Android 15 Beta Brings Key Security Update, Notification Features; Pixel 5a Excluded From Early Access

HomeTech NewsAndroid 15 Beta Brings Key Security Update, Notification Features; Pixel 5a Excluded From Early Access


  • Android 15 introduces “RECEIVE_SENSITIVE_NOTIFICATIONS” for enhanced security.
  • New “Notification Cooldown” feature to manage frequent alerts.
  • Pixel 5a excluded from the Android 15 update.
  • Android 15 Beta available for Pixel 6 series and newer models.

The developer beta for Android 15 is out and it has given some valuable insights into what users can expect from this next OS upgrade.

Chief amongst them is a significant improvement to online security and user experience enhancements, addressing some of the persistent challenges users face with mobile technology today.

As part of these updates is a novel approach to protecting two-factor authentication (2FA) codes and managing notification overload stands out, illustrating Google’s ongoing commitment to enhancing Android’s functionality and security.

Enhanced Security for Login Codes

Enhanced Security for Login Codes
Enhanced Security for Login Codes

In an era where online security is paramount, Android 15 is expected to bolster the protection of login codes, crucial for two-factor authentication—a vital layer of security for online accounts.

Discovered insights into the Android 14 QPR3 Beta 1 code by Android Police’s Mishaal Rahman suggest the introduction of a new permission titled “RECEIVE_SENSITIVE_NOTIFICATIONS”.

This feature aims to safeguard one-time passwords (OTPs) sent via text or email, which are susceptible to interception.

By restricting this permission to select system apps and leveraging the “NotificationListenerService” API, Android 15 might just significantly reduce the risk of being associated with these essential security codes.

Tackling Notification Overload

Tackling Notification Overload
Tackling Notification Overload

Another user-centric update in Android 15 is the “Notification Cooldown” feature, designed to alleviate the disruption caused by frequent notifications.

This feature will be enabled by default, offering users the option to apply it universally or solely to conversation notifications.

The innovation lies in its method of gradually reducing the volume of successive alerts from the same app or conversation, thereby minimising disturbance without entirely silencing important notifications.

New "Notification Cooldown" feature to manage frequent alerts
New “Notification Cooldown” feature to manage frequent alerts

Suffice it to say those irritating WhatsApp notifications or excessive Amazon beeps are going to come to an end.

It will be interesting to see how this feature affects the various apps that rely on constant push notifications to generate user interest.

Pixel 5a and Android 15

Pixel 5a and Android 15
Pixel 5a and Android 15

Finally, in a move that may disappoint some enthusiasts, the Pixel 5a will not be eligible for the Android 15 update.

Despite Google’s commitment to providing Android and security updates for the Pixel 5a until August 2024, the timing coincides with the anticipated launch of Android 15.

Google has specified that the Android 15 Developer Preview will be available only for the Pixel 6 series and later models, leaving the Pixel 5a behind.

As such all the latest Pixel devices including the Pixel Fold and also the Pixel Tab along with the usual Pixel 6,6a, 7, 7a, 7 Pro, 8, and 8 Pro will all be the first to get the new Android 15 update.

Android 15 Beta Brings Key Security Update, Notification Features; Pixel 5a Excluded From Early Access
Android 15 Beta Brings Key Security Update, Notification Features; Pixel 5a Excluded From Early Access


What new security features does Android 15 offer?

Android 15 is set to improve security with a feature aimed at protecting one-time passwords (OTPs) for two-factor authentication, using a new permission called “RECEIVE_SENSITIVE_NOTIFICATIONS”.

How does Android 15 plan to address notification overload?

The operating system introduces a “Notification Cooldown” feature, which reduces the volume of successive notifications from the same source, helping manage the barrage of alerts users often face.

Will the Pixel 5a receive the Android 15 update?

No, the Pixel 5a will not be eligible for the Android 15 update, as Google’s Developer Preview is limited to the Pixel 6 series and later devices.

How can I test the Android 15 Developer Preview?

The Developer Preview for Android 15 is currently available for a range of Pixel devices including the Pixel 6, 7, 8 series, Pixel Fold, and Pixel Tablet. Users must manually download and flash their devices to access the preview.

What are the benefits of the “Notification Cooldown” feature in Android 15?

This feature aims to reduce the disturbance caused by repeated notifications without completely silencing them, providing a quieter and less disruptive experience.

What is the Android 15 Developer Preview?

The Android 15 Developer Preview is the latest release by Google, designed to offer developers an early look at the new features and capabilities of Android 15. It aims to enhance developer productivity, app performance, and user privacy.

How can developers participate in the Android 15 Developer Preview?

Developers can participate by flashing a system image onto a compatible Pixel device or using the 64-bit system images with the Android Emulator in Android Studio. Feedback and testing are encouraged to improve Android 15.

What are the key features of Android 15?

Key features include Privacy Sandbox for enhanced privacy, Health Connect for centralized health data management, File Integrity Management for improved security, and partial screen sharing for user privacy.

When will Android 15 reach Platform Stability?

Android 15 is expected to reach Platform Stability in June 2024, providing developers with a timeline for final testing before the official release.

Is the Android 15 Developer Preview available for consumer use?

No, the Developer Preview is intended for developers only for testing and feedback purposes. It is not recommended for daily or consumer use at this stage.

What is the timeline & update of android 15?

Google outlines a timeline for Android 15’s development, including Developer Previews, Beta releases, and the final release to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and ecosystem.

February: Developer Preview 1 (Early version for developer feedback, with new features, APIs, and behavior changes).

March: Developer Preview 2 (Update with more features, APIs, and behavior changes).

April: Beta 1 (First beta-quality release, available via over-the-air update to early adopters in Android Beta).

May: Beta 2 (Incremental beta-quality release).

June: Beta 3 (Marks Platform Stability milestone with final APIs and behaviors, and opens Play publishing).

July, August: Beta 4, … (Near-final builds for final testing).

Final release: Android 15 released to AOSP and ecosystem.

What is the Platform Stability Milestone for Android 15?

Android 15 includes a Platform Stability milestone, expected to be reached at Beta 3 in June 2024, signaling the finalization of APIs and behaviors.

Google encourages developers to target this milestone for final compatibility testing and release planning.

How to get started with Android 15?

Getting Started with Android 15 – Developer Preview 1

The First Developer Preview of Android 15 is currently available for the following Pixel devices, exclusively catering to developers for testing purposes and not intended for daily consumer use:

Pixel 8 and 8 Pro
Pixel 7, 7 Pro and 7a
Pixel 6, 6 Pro and 6a
Pixel Fold
Pixel Tablet

Google encourages developers to engage with the Developer Preview to provide feedback and prepare for the upcoming Android 15 release.

What are the privacy & security features of Android 15?

Privacy and Security Measures

Android 15 introduces features to safeguard user privacy and security:

Privacy Sandbox: Upgrades Android AD Services to extension level 10, incorporating the latest Privacy Sandbox for personalized advertising experiences while prioritizing user privacy.

Health Connect: Integrates Android 14 extensions 10, offering a secure platform to manage and share health data collected by apps.

File Integrity: Introduces FileIntegrityManager with enhanced security features utilizing fs-verity to prevent unauthorized file modifications or malware attacks.

Partial Screen Sharing: Supports sharing or recording specific app windows for improved user consent and privacy.

What Pixel devices are compatible with Android 15?

While Google now has an industry-leading software commitment on the Pixel 8 series, older Pixel devices still only get three years of major Android updates.

As such, the Android 15 Developer Preview marks a preview of the end of life for a few Pixel devices. Specifically, Pixels released in 2020 and early 2021 are dropping off including the Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a 5G, Pixel 5, and Pixel 5a.

As for what Pixel devices are compatible with Android 15, the list is as follows:

Pixel 6
Pixel 6 Pro
Pixel 6a
Pixel 7
Pixel 7 Pro
Pixel 7a
Pixel Tablet
Pixel Fold
Pixel 8
Pixel 8 Pro

By the time Android 15 formally debuts later this year, Google will likely have also added Pixel 8a, a Pixel Fold sequel, and the Pixel 9 series to that list, but that’s all a long way off.

When does the Android 15 Beta start?

Yearly Android releases typically begin with a couple of developer preview releases. This year, Google says there will be two previews released in February and March. Then, in April, the Android 15 Beta program will officially begin.

Google estimates there will be five Android 15 Beta releases in April, May, June, and July leading up to a final release soon after. Android 14 launched unexpectedly late in October 2023, so it remains to be seen if Android 15 will follow suit or move back to its September slot.

How to install the Android 15 Developer Preview on Pixel?

During the developer preview stage, you can only sideload Android 15 builds on Pixel devices. The update is not available through over-the-air updates. That functionality is reserved for the later beta releases. If you are not familiar with sideloading updates manually, we strongly encourage you to wait for the final release. But if you just can’t wait to get your hands on the latest and greatest, here’s how to install it.

Download the needed files
Boot into Recovery mode
Navigate to ADB sideload
Connect the handset to a computer with ADB tools installed
Enter the sideload command
Reboot your phone
The following process explains how to install the OTA update, not a factory image.

How does Android 15 Support for Creators ?

Android 15 provides tools and hardware support for creators, including:

In-app Camera Controls: Offers more control over camera hardware and algorithms, facilitating low light enhancements and flash adjustments.

Virtual MIDI 2.0 Devices: Extends support to virtual MIDI apps, enabling composition apps to control synthesizers effectively.

Performance and Quality Enhancements

Android 15 focuses on enhancing app quality and performance:

Dynamic Performance: Expands the Android Dynamic Performance Framework (ADPF) with power-efficiency modes and thermal management capabilities.

Developer Productivity

Android 15 continues to enhance developer productivity by adding OpenJDK APIs and quality-of-life improvements, ensuring compatibility with over a billion devices running Android 12+.

What is the fastest method to Download Android 15?

For the faster method with an OTA, here’s how to do it.

You can download the OTA file from Google’s Full OTA Image hosting site. That site contains OTA downloads for sideloading different updates, including Android 14, on every Pixel and Nexus device ever made, so you’ll need to scroll down to ensure you are downloading the file that associates with your device. OTA downloads are available here.

For the Android 15 Developer Preview, only Pixel 6/Pro, Pixel 6a, Pixel 7/Pro, Pixel 7a, Pixel Fold, Pixel Tablet, and Pixel 8/Pro are available. Basically, you won’t be able to install it on any Pixels not running a Tensor processor, including the original Pixel/XL, Pixel 2/XL, Pixel 3/XL, Pixel 3a/XL, Pixel 4/XL, Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a 5G, Pixel 5, or Pixel 5a.

How to install the Android 15 Developer Preview on your Pixel ?

First, you can install a Factory Image, which wipes your phone and starts everything from scratch. Alternatively, there’s an OTA file, which installs over your current version of Android without wiping your phone.

When installing a developer preview, it’s actually good practice to install a factory image rather than an OTA, as you’ll see fewer issues with that. Google even directly says it could cause issues this year.

However, the process there is a bit more complicated, including unlocking your bootloader, resetting you device, and more. If you want to go down that route, Google has instructions available.

What You Should Know Before Installing Android 15 Preview 1?

This is a preview, and features may change, or Google may remove them before the final release. Stability and bug-free operation can’t be guaranteed in this early stage. So, if you’re planning to install the Android 15 Preview 1, be ready to face many issues.

Enabling/Disabling “Notification Cooldown” on Android 15?

Google’s enabled this feature automatically in the developer preview, but if you’re using it, here’s how to customize it:

Open your device’s “Settings” app.
Tap on “Notifications”.
Scroll down and choose “Notification Cooldown”.
Your options:
“Apply cooldown to all notifications” for comprehensive quiet.
“Apply cooldown to conversations” to target chattiness.
“Don’t use notification cooldown” to turn the feature off entirely.

What is the future of Notification Cooldown ?

As Android 15 progresses, Google could further improve Notification Cooldown. An ideal addition would be customization on a per-app basis, allowing users to fine-tune which apps have this calming feature applied.

Even in its initial form, “Notification Cooldown” has the potential to simplify how we manage notifications on our devices.

Also Read: Android 15 Set Change App Management with In-Built Archiving Feature

Also Read: Google Launches Android 15 Developer Preview with Enhanced Features: What You Need to Know

Also Read: Samsung Galaxy Devices Set for Android 15 Update Unveiled

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