• Android 15 introduces OS-level support for app archiving and unarchiving, simplifying usage for app stores and freeing up more device space for users.
  • Android’s integrated screen reader, TalkBack, now supports Braille displays through the Human Interface Devices standard, compatible with both USB and secure Bluetooth connections.

Recently, Google LLC launched its first Android 15 Beta version, making the new operating system available for developers and early adopters to explore.

The latest update to the Android platform features enhancements that boost core performance, including OS-level support for app archiving, enhanced communication, and better support for apps designed for large screens. Additionally, Braille displays now have access to updated Android communications, and the beta placed a premium on privacy and security.

Edge-to-edge Display Set as Default

In Android 15, apps are now automatically optimized for large screens by default, eliminating the need for explicit calls to Window.setDecorFitsSystemWindows(false) or enableEdgeToEdge() to display content behind system bars. However, for proper functionality on earlier Android versions, apps should still use enableEdgeToEdge().

Several Material 3 components and assemblers will manage inserts for developers, contingent on their positioning within the application in accordance with the framework’s guidelines. This will help the application to be edge-to-edge and prevent system targets or other elements from overlapping with prominent touch targets.

Improved Application Performance

Last year, Android and Google Play introduced app archiving, a feature that lets users free up space by partially removing seldom-used apps from their devices.

Android 15 now includes OS-level support for both app archiving and unarchiving, enhancing the ability of app stores to utilize this feature and providing users with additional device storage space. Archiving an app removes its Android package kit—the package necessary for an app’s installation and operation—and any cached data while preserving user data.

Apps now have the ability to manage and gather profiling information to enhance performance through a new PerformanceManager class. The Android team is planning to integrate this with an Android Jetpack API, which will simplify the process of collecting heap dumps, stack sampling, and more. This API also features a rate limiter to ensure that performance is not adversely affected.

Android 15 and Braille

Android’s built-in screen reader, TalkBack, has been updated to support Braille displays using the Human Interface Devices (HID) standard over USB and secure Bluetooth. The HID standard, which initially facilitated USB connectivity for a range of devices like mice, keyboards, and game controllers, is expected to enhance the accessibility of Braille displays on Android devices over time.

Enhancements in Security

Android 15 has implemented further modifications to the operation of background apps to stop them from moving other apps to the foreground, escalating privileges, and exploiting user interactions. These changes will provide users with increased control over their devices and help prevent malicious apps from manipulating devices covertly. Since Android 10, launches of background activities have been limited, and this enhancement aims to strengthen that control even more.

With Android 15 now in its beta phase, users with supported Pixel devices can enroll to receive this release and future Android Beta updates via over-the-air installation. Additionally, the beta release can be tested using a 64-bit system image on the Android Emulator in Android Studio.