Google is bringing satellite messaging to Android 15

Google’s second developer preview for Android 15 has arrived, bringing long-awaited support for satellite connectivity alongside several improvements to contactless payments, multi-language recognition, volume consistency, and interaction with PDFs via apps.

These developer-focused betas are a proving ground for features that will likely make it into the final public release scheduled for later this year. According to Google, public beta releases should be available to test between April and July.

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The latest developer preview addresses some nuisances and security concerns experienced by Android users, such as making apps more aware of why some services might be unavailable when devices are using a satellite connection. This is also the first official confirmation that Android 15 will come with satellite messaging, with Google’s press release saying that the new preview includes support for “preloaded RCS applications to use satellite connectivity for sending and receiving messages.”

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Support for screen recording detection is being introduced for apps that enable them to notify users if their activity is being recorded. The reliability of one-tap contactless payments is also being improved for apps that use NFC, and the multi-language audio recognition introduced in Android 14 is being refined to avoid words being dropped when the user switches between languages.

Small cover screens on flip phones should also become more useful as developers gain direct access to more ways of interacting with them, while support for a new CTA-2075 loudness standard should help Android users avoid having to adjust inconsistent volume when switching between content. And finally, Google is making “substantial improvements” to PDF features in apps, adding support for password-protected files, annotations, form editing, searching, and selection with copy.

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