Google may be adding a new Bluetooth feature for Android 15 that could allow broadcasting audio to nearby devices, according to Android Authority. Currently, unless someone is using an app with a built-in social listening feature like Spotify, it can be challenging for them to share what they are listening to with everyone else in their group. However, Auracast is said to be able to use Bluetooth Low Energy without the need for pairing.

In order for this to work, both the sender and receiver will need to have Auracast for it to work, which will only be available for the latest version. This is based on a work-in-progress code that is hidden at present. Android Authority reports that it is possible that “such predicted features may not make it to a public release.”

While investigating the Android 14 QPR2 Beta 3 release, there were a number of new audio “strings” reportedly found within the Settings function. It apparently contained a toggle for sharing audio, along with a button for scanning a QR code to link to a nearby audio stream, a button for selecting a different Bluetooth device for listening, and a section displaying a list of nearby audio streams.

Although Android 13 can already connect to nearby LE Audio broadcasts through a button in Android’s media output switcher, Google is believed to be making this feature more prominent in the Settings for Android 15.

What could we expect from Android 15?

Google hasn’t published official information on Android 15 and its possible release dates, however, it is expected that the company may launch the Android 15 Developer Preview in February or March 2024. There has been speculation regarding Android 15 bringing back lock screen widgets, a functionality removed from the operating system with Android 5.0 Lollipop.

Reports from Android Police also indicate that Android 15 has been named Vanilla Ice Cream, succeeding Android 14’s Upside Down Cake. This name, Vanilla Ice Cream, is said to be a homage to Android’s history. The term “vanilla Android” is commonly used to describe the basic version of Android, a nod to “plain android.”

Mishaal Rahman from Android Authority revealed that the cloud file selection for the Photo Picker will enable apps utilizing the native Photo Picker for media sharing to access images stored in Google Photos’ cloud storage, rather than being limited to only local files.

Another feature reportedly found in many custom skins is Private Space. It generates a list of apps that can be secured with a password or biometric feature, similar to Samsung’s Secure Folder.

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Suswati Basu

Freelance journalist

Suswati Basu is a multilingual, award-winning editor and the founder of the intersectional literature channel, How To Be Books. She was shortlisted for the Guardian Mary Stott Prize and longlisted for the Guardian International Development Journalism Award. With 18 years of experience in the media industry, Suswati has held significant roles such as head of audience and deputy editor for NationalWorld news, digital editor for Channel 4 News and ITV News. She has also contributed to the Guardian and received training at the BBC As an audience, trends, and SEO specialist, she has participated in panel events alongside Google. Her career also includes a seven-year tenure at the leading AI company Dataminr, where she led the Europe desk and launched the company's first employee resource group for disabilities. Before this, Suswati worked as a journalist in China for four years, investigating censorship and the Great Firewall, and acquired proficiency in several languages. In recent years, Suswati has been nominated for six awards, including the Independent Podcast Awards, International Women's Podcast Awards, and the Anthem Awards for her literary social affairs show. Her areas of speciality span a wide range, including technology, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), social politics, mental health, and nonfiction books.