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Android 15 public beta available, but not worth downloading yet

Google has dropped the first Android 15 public beta today, enabling enthusiasts with a Pixel phone to take the nascent operating system update for a spin. However, there ain’t much to see yet.

Following a couple of months in developer preview, Google has made the first public version available ahead of next month’s Google I/O keynote.

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That tells you much of what you need to know about this first beta release. This isn’t the first opportunity to play with some the forthcoming new Android 15 features that haven’t been announced net.

Google says: “We’ll have lots more to share as we move through the release cycle; stay tuned for more news and announcements around Google I/O on Tuesday, May 14th.”

The key features appear to be apps that run edge-to-edge by default, smoother NFC experiences, the promised support for app archiving, better braille performance, and new key management technology for end-to-end encryption.

“Today we’re releasing the first beta of Android 15,” said erstwhile Android VP of Engineering Dave Burke in a blog post.

“With the progress we’ve made refining the features and stability of Android 15, it’s time to open the experience up to both developers and early adopters, so you can now enroll any supported Pixel device here to get this and future Android 15 Beta and feature drop Beta updates over-the-air.

“Android 15 continues our work to build a platform that helps improve your productivity, give users a premium app experience, protect user privacy and security, and make your app accessible to as many people as possible — all in a vibrant and diverse ecosystem of devices, silicon partners, and carriers.”

If you wish to download the Android 15 beta, you’ll need a Pixel 5a or up and be enrolled in the Android beta program. We’d only recommend doing so on a spare device, rather than your primary phone, at this point.

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