Illustration by Virginia Poltrack

Now in Android #43

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

NiA43 in Video and Podcast Form


Google for Games 2021 Developer Summit ⛰

The Google for Games 2021 Developer Summit was last week, and we used it as an opportunity to announce a bunch of new things we’re doing to make game development better on Android. For game development, this was the equivalent of our Google I/O.

Google for Games Developer Summit

Android Game Development Kit 🛠️

Introducing the Android Game Development Kit

Game development libraries

C/C++ libraries for Android games

Game development extension

Android Game Development Extension

Optimizing your game

Android GPU Inspector frame profiling

Reach and devices 📱

Reach and devices

Android 12 for Games 🎮

Play as you download

Android 12 also introduces Game Mode APIs to allow game players to pick a performance profile such as better battery life or performance mode. The API allows Android to communicate the player’s preferences so you can adjust your game accordingly, but the system can also intervene on their behalf with Game Mode interventions that automatically adjust the game. You can opt out of these interventions with a manifest setting, and we have provided a form so you can help us tune these interventions for your game.

And more…

Android 12 beta 3 🤖

We’ve also added new privacy indicator APIs to WindowInsets that let you get the maximum bounds of the indicators and their relative placement on the screen, and a new permission that allows apps paired with Companion Device Manager to start foreground services.

The AppSearch Jetpack library allows you to use AppSearch within your app in LocalStorage mode on Android 4.0+, and will support Android 12+’s central index in PlatformStorage mode that allows the system to display your app’s data on System UI surfaces and within other apps.

We also released a beta of Android 12 for TV, which includes refresh rate switching settings, better display mode reporting, and updates to Android’s tunnel mode that reduces media processing overhead in the Android Framework. Android TV now supports background blurring with RenderEffect for in-app blurs and WindowManager for cross-window blurs, as well as official support for rendering the UI at 4k.

Introducing MAD Skills: Performance ⏲️

The MAD Skills series continues with more technical content about modern Android development.

We’re introducing Performance this week, which covers how to use both system tracing and sampling profiling to debug performance issues in apps.

In the first episode, Carmen focuses on system trace profiling within Android Studio. System trace allows you to get a detailed view of what your app is doing, and see it in the context of what’s going on in the rest of the system. Carmen walks through the user interface, explains how to collect traces within Android Studio and on device, and shows how to set trace information within your app.

But Wait, There’s More MAD content!

For ongoing content, be sure to check the MAD Skills playlist on YouTube, the articles on Medium, or this handy landing page that points to all of it.

AndroidX Releases

Articles 📰

Connect your Android users with a tap: Fast Pair

Updating your widget for Android 12

Documentation updates 🆕

Also, we’ve launched a new home for building responsive layouts that adapt to fit phones, tablets, foldables, and Chrome OS devices. This page brings together guides on our APIs, Material Design resources, and codelabs to help you get started.

ADB Podcast Episodes 🎧

ADB released episode #170, part of our continuing series on Jetpack Compose. In this episode Nick and Chet are joined by Doris Liu and Nader Jawad to discuss Compose’s Animation and Graphics systems. They explain how they adapted traditionally imperative systems to a declarative world and give an overview of both the high level composables the library offers as well as lower level building blocks you can drop down to for more control.

Now then… 👋

Android Developers

The official Android Developers publication on Medium