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Illustration by Virginia Poltrack

Now in Android #27

Android Studio 4.1, MAD Skills series, more Kotlin vocabulary, Play Billing subscriptions, biometric authentication, MotionLayout tags and a podcast resource on resources

Chet Haase
Oct 14 · 6 min read

Welcome to Now in Android, your ongoing guide to what’s new and notable in the world of Android development.

NiA27 in Video and Podcast Form



Android Studio 4.1: Now Stable!

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Android Studio 4.1 recently released its stable build. I’ve talked about this release in earlier episodes as it worked its way through pre-stable releases, but here again are just a few highlights:

  • Database inspector: You can both view the state of and make changes to your on-device database (using Jetpack Room or raw SQLite queries) in the IDE.
  • New project templates have been updated to use Material Design Components.
  • Integrated emulator window: You can now run the emulator directly in the IDE instead of in its own, separate window. You can’t spell Integrated Development Environment without, well, “Integrated”.
  • Dagger/Hilt code navigation: Click on the new gutter actions to find out more about Dagger and Hilt types in your code.
  • ML Model Binding: Studio can generate code for an imported TensorFlow Lite model which makes it easier to interact with that model from your app code.

You can learn more about this release in Yacine Rezgui’s video as well as in Scott Swarthout’s blog and the Android Studio release notes. Or heck, just download the thing and see for yourself.

MAD Skills: The Series

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We’ve launched a new series about Modern Android Development called MAD Skills. The series will have content in video and article form about various pieces of MAD, including the language (Kotlin), tools (Android Studio), APIs (a subset of Jetpack), and distribution (Android App Bundles). Every few weeks we’ll start a new miniseries on a specific topic.

This week we started things rolling with a series about the Navigation component. In the first episode, I give an overview of the API and tool. The second episode shows how to navigate to dialog destinations. And next week we’ll post episodes covering SafeArgs and deep links.

Check out the MAD Skills playlist for the shows we’ve posted so far, and check back as we continue to post new episodes every week until… well, we haven’t planned an end yet. But we have a lot of technical content to cover, so it’ll be a while.

For those that prefer your content in article form, whenever a video is published which covers material not yet described in an article, we will post an accompanying article in the Android Developers publication on Medium, so keep an eye out there for future MAD articles.

Remember: Don’t get even — get MAD!

Kotlin Vocabulary

Default Arguments

By the By: Kotlin Delegates

Kotlin provides not only the infrastructure and language keyword (by which I mean by), but also several built-in delegates (such as by lazy), though this article stops at the “How does it work?” stage and, er, delegates explanations of built-in delegates to a future article.

Play Billing Subscriptions

Biometric Authentication

Part 1 discusses why you should consider incorporating biometric authentication. For example, if your app requires users to log in frequently, offering biometric authentication makes that required experience easier and faster for them. Or if your app only requires login once, after install (probably because logging in with a password is tedious), then biometric authentication might offer a way for you to provide more security for users while using a more convenient login mechanism than traditional password login.

This article also introduces using the BiometricPrompt API (in the AndroidX Biometric library) to handle authentication.

Part 2 walks through some of the details of using the API as well as the recommended design flow for authenticating users.

Motion Tags: KeyPosition

Podcast Episodes

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There’s been another episode of Android Developers Backstage posted since the last Now in Android. Check it out at the link below, or in your favorite podcast client:

ADB 150: Aaptly Named

Now then…

Android Developers

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