Android 15 has a clever way to make notifications less annoying

The Lock Screen on the Google Pixel 8 Pro.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

This year’s Google I/O 2024 was kicked off with one of the rare keynotes where Android did not see most of the limelight. AI — and more specifically, Gemini — was the talk of the show, and even the Android section of the keynote was filled with all the intelligent features coming with Android 15. The second beta of Android 15 rolled out just a few hours after the keynote, and it brings many more features that weren’t discussed onstage. One of them is “Adaptive Vibration,” which seems exclusive to Pixel phones for now.

As the name suggests, Adaptive Vibration is designed to fine-tune the vibration strength of incoming notifications based on the environment or where your phone is located. Android Authority discovered the feature under the Sound & vibrations menu in Android 15 ‘s settings.

Android 15 adaptive vibration feature.
Tushar Mehta / Digital Trends

On the dedicated page for the feature in the settings, Google adds a small description along with a demo animation. As per the description, Adaptive vibration uses “your phone’s microphone and other sensors” to “determine sound levels and context.” It doesn’t specify which sensors, but says that “no data is ever recorded.”

The attached animation shows that vibrations are stronger when the phone is placed on a cushion than when it’s on a table. This makes sense, considering a soft surface such as a cushion, sofa, or bedding would typically dampen the vibration, while a hard surface like a tabletop will amplify it. That way, you’re less likely to encounter both miss a call or notification or be yanked out of focus because the phone is placed on a hard surface.

While Adaptive Vibration feels useful, it might be limited to the Pixel family of devices (especially the more recent ones). Since a manual slider for vibration strength is now commonplace in Android, extending this feature to all Android devices (at least those running Android 15 and above) would be useful.

Another thing to note is that while it adjusts the vibration strength based on where the phone is placed, it does not necessarily silence the phone (or reduce the ringer’s volume like an iPhone) when you pick up the phone, which is something I would have really appreciated had Google adopted it. Still, it’s an interesting new feature nonetheless, and one we’re eager to try out for ourselves.