Android 15 Adds Support for Folding Cover Apps and Satellite Messaging

With the introduction of the Android 15 Developer Preview 2, Android 15 keeps moving closer to release. Although Android 15 isn’t expected to release until October, the first preview was sent out a month ago.

For the past year or two, Android has been working on supporting satellite messaging, and it appears that Android 15 will bring this capability to apps. Better status bar indicators for being connected to space and notifications are features of the updated operating system. Apps can be informed when their satellite connectivity is limited by a “NonTerrestrialNetwork” API. According to Google, Android 15 will allow third-party SMS and MMS apps to use the satellite connectivity APIs; however, only “preloaded” apps will be able to use improved messaging with RCS support. Although it seems unbelievable that Google does not provide open APIs for third-party RCS apps, this confirms that Play Store apps will still not be able to use RCS on Android 15.

Depending on the device you own, Android’s PDF compatibility may vary widely. As a result, Android 15 includes significant enhancements to the integrated PDF render. It will eventually become a module so that the Play Store can be used to update it. “Advanced features like rendering password-protected files, annotations, form editing, searching, and selection with copy” are reportedly being added to the Android 15 version, according to Google.

With their tiny screens that are too small to run standard Android apps, foldable phones that resemble flip phones are upending the Android app ecosystem. With Android 15, Google is attempting to address this issue. These days, handsets with around 3-inch-square front screens, such as the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip and Motorola Razr, are primarily restricted to the built-in apps.

With regard to the “cover screen support” attribute, it appears that Google is simply standardising the opt-in flag for the time being. According to Google: “These screens are too small to be considered as compatible targets for Android apps to run on, but your app can opt-in to supporting them, making your app available in more places.” It appears that Google isn’t yet prepared to assist with the question of how precisely a developer is expected to handle a multitude of proprietary, quite small screens. Cover screen support for Android eventually requires support from the Play Store app listing, the framework, and the IDE.

Now available for the Pixel 6, 7, 8, Fold, and Pixel Tablet is the second developer preview.