Android 15 Beta 2 was announced at Google I/O 2024 on Wednesday, a day after the start of the company’s annual developer conference. The latest beta version of the next major operating system (OS) update is now available for download on Google Pixel smartphones and is coming to select smartphones in the coming weeks. This year, Google has focused on adding new security and privacy features to Android 15, and the latest beta version contains powerful new features that are available to beta testers.

During the company’s Google I/O developer session shown from its first security and privacy-oriented feature coming to Android 15 smartphones — Private Space. This will allow users to hide certain apps (such as banking, finance, dating or social media apps) on their smartphone in a safe place. Apps in Private Space can be updated through a separate Play Store app and will also have access to their own storage area, inaccessible to other apps on the phone.

Google says that the Private Space feature is located in the default app drawer on Android 15. Users can scroll down to the bottom of the app list to reveal the protected app. This segregated list of apps can optionally be protected with a separate passcode – or using a biometric lock – while allowing them to completely hide its existence.

With Android 15, Google is also upgrading its anti-theft protections, making it harder for thieves to use a stolen phone that’s been reset without the previously used Google account credentials. Android 15 will also ask users for their biometrics when trying to increase screen timeout, access passwords, or disable Find My Device.

Another powerful anti-theft feature coming to Android 15 is “Theft Detection Lock,” or the ability to lock a smartphone when “sudden movement that may indicate theft” is detected. Meanwhile, “Offline Device Lock” will also automatically lock if a user turns off internet access – something a thief can do after stealing a smartphone.

Remote Lock will allow users to send a command using a different number (when their handset is stolen) to remotely lock and/or wipe their phone without going into Find My Device. Theft Detection Lock, Remote Lock and Offline Device Lock are aimed at discouraging smartphone theft and will arrive later this year on phones running Android 10 and above, according to Google.

Other features coming to Android 15 include the ability to automatically enable Bluetooth the next day – we can assume this feature is designed to help Google ensure that the Find My Device network continues to work as intended. Google also added improvements to the widget picker in Android 15, as well as a redesigned volume control panel that offers better accessibility for one-handed use.

Android 15 Beta 2 is available for download on Pixel 8, Pixel 8 Pro, Pixel 7a, Pixel 7, Pixel 7 Pro, Pixel 6a, Pixel 6 Pro, Pixel 6, Pixel Fold and Pixel Tablet. Select smartphones from a handful of manufacturers will also be eligible to install Android 15 betas, and you can access the full list of compatible phones here.

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