Android 15 Preview: Scoop Up 'Vanilla Ice Cream' This Week

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Google's Android 15 Developer Preview is scheduled for release February 15, meaning that if all goes well, it'll be ready for prime time when the Pixel 9 series drops sometime in the fourth quarter. As the name suggests, this is the developer-only iteration, so it's not meant for public consumption.

According to a post on Google's Android Open Source Project site, the development version of Android 15 releases tomorrow (Thursday), just almost a week after the launch of Android 14 QPR3 Beta 1. The post points to Android V (maybe it's a typo and should've been "Android XV"?), which nonetheless implies Android 15, and is codenamed "Vanilla Ice Cream" following Google's tradition of naming OS versions after desserts.

Like previews before it, the Android 15 Developer Preview is meant to provide developers early access to unreleased features while allowing them to incorporate them into their apps. Thus, it goes without saying that previews are ideally meant for the developers to work with and isn't polished, let alone stable enough for the general public. For now, here's what might end up in the final Android 15 release:

App pairs

Foldables are a thing now, if you haven't heard. They allow users to run apps side-by-side or on flexible docks (a la OnePlus Open). Being able to quickly ring up favorited app pairings is a powerful multitasking feature, so we wouldn't be surprised if Android 15 makes this available to benefit devices like the Pixel Fold. We think it's about time Android has this feature for all phones, full stop. Samsung, among others, has had this functionality baked into One UI for years now. Once you've experienced it, it's hard to imagine going without it.

Lock screen widgets

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Early look at what widgets on the lock screen could look like (Credit: Android Authority)

Could we see a return of widgets on the lock screen? Google briefly dabbled with it between Android 4.2 and 5. According to a report though, there's a provision built into a current Android 14 developmental version that indicates the ability to add widget into something called "communal" space that acts a widget drawer.

Easy mode

This feature is excellent if you're setting up a new phone for someone who isn't too tech savvy or your elderly grandparent who wants something easy to use. OnePlus already has a setting like this called Simple Mode, whereby it enlarges icons and text, boost contrast, and mute colors or any bright distracting elements.