Illustration by Virginia Poltrack

Now in Android #52

Paging, Gradle, AndroidX, Media3, Emoji2, CameraX, Accessibility, App Startup, WearOS, and more!

Manuel Vivo
Android Developers
Published in
4 min readDec 2, 2021


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

1M YouTube subscribers 🥳

Thank you everyone for following the Now in Android series and everything the Android Developers YouTube channel has to offer. During the Android Developer Summit, our YouTube channel reached 1 million subscribers! And here’s a small video to thank you all.

MAD Skills: Paging 📑 and Gradle 🐘

The series on Paging is already finished! In the third episode, TJ shows different operations that can be performed with Paging. Transformations like inserting separators, when to create a new pager, and customisation options for consuming PagingData.

In the next video, Erik Zuo from the Android community shares a Paging tip with you.

And to finish the series, TJ and Dustin answered your questions in the usual live Q&A.

After Paging, a new MAD Skills series started, this time about Gradle! In the following video, Murat introduces the series and everything you’ll learn in it.

In the first episode, Murat explains how the Android build system works, and how to configure your build.

In the second episode, you will learn how to extend your build by writing your own plugin.

And lastly, in the third episode, you’ll take your plugin a step further and learn how to get access to various build artifacts using the new Artifact API.

More MAD Content

But Wait! If this wasn’t enough, 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 🚀

Since the last non-ADS Now in Android episode, a lot of libraries were promoted to stable! For example, AppCompat, Activity, and Fragment are now in 1.4.0 with stable support for multiple back stacks. Emoji2 1.0 that brings support for modern emojis. Lifecycle 2.4 which introduces the repeatOnLifecycle and flowWithLifecycle lifecycle-aware coroutine APIs. Paging 3.1 brings some behavior changes to LoadState. And Wear tiles with which you can build custom tiles for Wear OS devices made it to 1.0.

All of these are stable already! Go use them! You can see all the AndroidX release notes here.

Jetpack Media3

The first alpha of the Jetpack Media3 library is available. Media3 is a collection of support libraries for media playback, including ExoPlayer. The following article explains why the team created Media3, what it contains, and how it can simplify your app architecture.

Articles 📚

Meghan wrote about the new emoji2 library that just became stable. Read more about the problem with emojis and how emoji2 can help you out.

We got more articles about CameraX! This time about a new feature in CameraX to convert YUV, the format that CameraX produces, to RGB used for image analysis capabilities available in TensorFlow Lite, for example. Read the blog post for more information about these formats and how to use the new conversion feature.

Improving app startup time is not a trivial task and requires a deep understanding of things that affect it. This year, the Android team and the Facebook app team have been working together on metrics and sharing approaches to improve app startup. Read more about the findings in this blog post.

Accessibility series 🌐

The accessibility series continues on with more information on how to create custom accessibility actions to make your apps more accessible. You can provide a custom action to the accessibility services and implement logic related to the action. For more information, check out the following episode!

In this other episode, you can learn more about the StateDescription API, when to use stateDescription and contentDescription, and how to represent error states to the end user.

New codelabs 🧑‍💻

If you’re interested in Wear OS and Jetpack Compose, the team released a new Compose for Wear OS codelab. In there, you can learn how Wear OS can work with Compose, what Wear OS specific composables are available, and more!

ADB Podcast Episodes🎙

There has been one 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:

In Episode 178: Hosts 3, Guests 0, Chet, Romain and Tor sit down to chat about the Android Developer Summit, and in particular all the new features arriving in Android Studio, along with a few other topics like Chet’s new jank stats library, the Android 12L release, and more.

Now then… 👋

That’s it for this time, with the Paging and Gradle MAD Skills series, AndroidX releases, the new Jetpack Media3 library, articles about Emoji2, App Startup, and CameraX, Accessibility videos, a new Wear OS codelab, and a new ADB episode!

Come back here soon for the next update from the Android developer universe.



Manuel Vivo
Android Developers