Android will know if your phone is stolen

Google has announced a range of new security features as it releases the second Android 15 beta, including a theft detection feature that activates when your phone is swiped from your hands. While some of these updates will be included with Android 15 when it launches this fall, theft detection and several other features will also be available on phones running much older OS versions, extending their reach to a wider audience.

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The Theft Detection Lock works by recognizing the unusual motions indicating someone has yanked your phone from your hand or a surface. To prevent unauthorized access, the screen automatically locks. The system also monitors other suspicious signals and will lock the screen if someone tries to take the phone off the network to block remote access.

Google is also introducing a new feature that allows you to lock your phone screen remotely if it ends up in the wrong hands. By visiting, you can enter your phone number and respond to a security challenge to lock your device—an essential tool if you only have access to a friend’s phone. These features will arrive later this year via a Google Play services update for phones running Android 10 or later.

Android 15 also brings new security features, including “private spaces,” which allow you to store apps and information in a separate hidden area on your phone that can be locked with a unique PIN. Additionally, Google is adding protections for forced resets, requiring the owner’s credentials the next time the phone is set up.

Google Play Protect is also receiving an update to enhance user protection against malicious actors. This update expands Play Protect’s on-device AI capabilities with live threat detection, monitoring how apps use sensitive permissions through the Private Compute Core without collecting data. If suspicious activity is detected, potentially malicious apps are sent to Google for further review. Live threat detection will be added to devices from manufacturers like Google Pixel, Honor, Lenovo, Nothing, OnePlus, Oppo, Sharp, and Transsion later this year.

As with last year, the latest OS version played a smaller role in Google’s day one I/O keynote. We can expect to hear more about Android 15’s new features over the coming months during its beta phase. In the meantime, it’s encouraging to see so many new features being rolled out to a wide range of Android phones, not just those capable of running the latest OS version.