What can we find in version 4.0?

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Photo by David Pisnoy on Unsplash

Android Studio 4.0 was released today, May 28, 2020, into the stable channel. That means it’s available for anyone to download and use, without major problems. This is a major release since Android Studio 3.6, which I also reviewed back then. You can take a look at the official documentation if you want to know every detail, but the intention of this post is to summarize in an easier way the main features of it.

General Changes

Visually it didn’t change much, the only thing that comes to sight is the update of typography.

The layout editor defaults to code, which is something people were requesting a lot in Android Studio 3.6. …


Build Types, Product Flavors, and Build Variants, what’s the difference?

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With the help of Gradle and the Android plugin, you can easily automate processes that in the past needed to be manually done and a lot of time-consuming activities. Among the advantages of these configurations, we find Android Gradle Build Configuration, with which you can get different versions of your app with variations for things like testing, using different backend endpoints, switching assets, or enabling some locked features.

When talking about these variations we find three main terms “build type”, “product flavour” and “build variant”. Let’s explore each of these and use-cases for one over another.


Kotlin Annotation Processing Tool. What is it? When to use it? Let’s learn about this Android tool.

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It has been three years since Kotlin was introduced to the Android world. Like many other programming languages, annotations are a needed and powerful tool, but surprisingly Kotlin was not compatible with Java’s Annotation Processing Tools. So let’s dive into what is KAPT for Android.


AABs and APKs: What are they, and what’s the difference?

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Photo by Mr Cup / Fabien Barral on Unsplash

When building Android apps, you’ll be facing a myriad of different file formats and terminology. Particularly when exporting the final version of your app, you’ll be seeing two main output formats. In this article, we’ll compare Android App Bundle versus APK, which are composed of DEX files. But what do all these acronyms mean?

Acronym meaning

Before digging deeper into the topics, it’s important to get the definition of each of the above-mentioned formats:

  • AAB: Android App Bundle
  • APK: Android App Package
  • DEX: Dalvik EXecutable

APK: Android Application Package

Let’s begin by reviewing this format as it’s the one that’s most known and has been around for the longest time. As mentioned above, APK stands for Android App Package. …


Integrating components with our Firestore data

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Photo by Pathum Danthanarayana on Unsplash

Firebase Firestore and Android Architecture components seem to fit together perfectly. Yet there is little information on how to tie these tools together.

This was brought to my attention by Ashton Jones and in response, I’ve created some articles explaining how to integrate them. In this article, I will explain how to integrate an Android App developed with Android Architecture components with a Firebase Firestore database.

As mentioned this is a follow-up tutorial, but it can be followed without the need to read the previous ones. But if you’re curious, here they are:

Let’s Start

If you want to follow along from this point, download the Android project on my site. …


Add database functionality to your Android app

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Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash.

In a previous article, we discussed how to create an Android app with two of the most important building blocks of Android Architecture Components: LiveData and ViewModel. This is a follow-up to that tutorial.

Once we have an app with clean architecture, we will be configuring Firebase Firestore for Android Architecture Components to update data in real-time and make the most out of LiveData and ViewModel in Android.

Starting Up

We will start this tutorial with the app we built for the previous tutorial, My Shopping List. Download the starter project from my website.

Open the app in Android Studio and let the Gradle sync finish. Run the app and you should see an app with a shopping…


Using Android Architecture Components

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Photo by Anders Jildén on Unsplash.

Among the wide range of tools that were released with Android Jetpack, Android Architecture Components, LiveData, and ViewModel are particularly useful. I’m creating this tutorial in response to Ashton Jones, who expressed that there are very few examples for integrating these Architecture Components with Google Firestore.

In this tutorial, you will learn how all these elements interact, creating a fully functional app with a back end (Firestore) and a front end (Android app) based on Google technologies.

In this first part, we will start by building the Android project. …


How can we implement Accessibility in Android?

As part of Material Design Guidelines, Android added help for developers and designers to improve accessibility in Android apps. The topic of accessibility has become very important in web apps, this because indexing in search engines is improved when apps follow accessibility best practices. As this has not been enforced in mobile applications so much, we often forget it is key for inclusion and user experience. Accessibility in Android is very important and we will learn about it in this post.

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Photo by Neil Thomas on Unsplash

Accessibility vs. Usability

Before diving into the details of accessibility in Android, I would like to clarify the distinction between accessibility and usability. …


Dialogs and Alerts are a fundamental part of every Android app, in this tutorial I will show you the basics of working with them

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Dialogs are present in our every day lives in the digital world. Almost every user knows what are we talking about when referring to dialogs: ‘those annoying small windows that cover the screen and interrupt what you want to do’… well sort of. It is like most of our Android UI tools, a way to communicate important messages with users. That’s why I have created this Android Alert Dialogs in Kotlin Tutorial.

First, take a look at the Android official definition of dialogs we find the following:

A dialog is a small window that prompts the user to make a decision or enter additional information. A dialog does not fill the screen and is normally used for modal events that require users to take an action before they can proceed.


SwiftUI the new way of developing User Interfaces for iOS

SwiftUI was released at the end of 2019. Just like every year, Apple announced multiple updates for developers. After the event, I promised myself I was going to get ahead of time and learn it right away (yeah just like iOS developers version of New Year’s Eve resolutions), truth is… I didn’t.

Today I took my first dive into it and wanted to make it easier for anyone who still hasn’t had the time to review it. Because let’s be honest, at the moment, it is not required in our every day, but it will eventaully be. …

About

Evana Margain

Mobile Developer expert in native iOS and Android, with experience in architecture, project design, and tutorial development. Visit me www.evanamargain.com/blog

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