Illustration by Virginia Poltrack

Now in Android #53

Meghan Mehta
Dec 17, 2021 · 4 min read

Welcome to Now in Android, your ongoing guide to what’s new and notable in the world of Android development. As 2021 winds down, let’s reflect on some of the big things we did in Android this year.

Android 12

We released Android 12 and pushed it to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). We introduced a new design language called Material You. We reduced the CPU time used by core system services, added performance class device capabilities, and added new features to improve performance. Users have more control of their privacy with the Privacy Dashboard and other new security and privacy features. We improved the user experience with a unified API for rich content insertion, compatible media transcoding, easier blurs and effects, AVIF image support, enhanced haptics, new camera effects/capabilities, improved native crash debugging, support for rounded screen corners, Play as you download, and Game Mode APIs.

Android 12L is also in Beta, which makes Android 12 even better on large screens. It includes tools to make multitasking more intuitive, contains improvements to compatibility mode and more! Try it out today.

Compose

Jetpack Compose, Android’s modern, native UI toolkit became stable and ready for you to adopt in production. It interoperates with your existing app, integrates with existing Jetpack libraries, implements Material Design with straightforward theming, supports lists with Lazy components using minimal boilerplate, and has a powerful, extensible animation system. You can learn more about working with Compose in the Compose learning path and see where we’re going in future Compose releases in the Compose roadmap.

Training

This year, the Android Training Team released the final four new units of Android Basics in Kotlin.

  • Unit 3 covers Navigation where you learn to navigate across, into and back out from the various screens within your app.
  • Unit 4 covers connecting to the internet. You’ll write coroutines for asynchronous code, learn about HTTP and REST to get data from the internet, and use the Coil library to display images in your app.
  • Unit 5 covers Data Persistence where you learn how to store data on-device, part of ensuring a smooth and consistent user experience, even during network disruptions..
  • Unit 6 covers WorkManager where you use Android Jetpack’s WorkManager API to schedule background work that keeps running even if the app exits or the device restarts.

MAD Skills

We had an amazing year for MAD Skills, releasing multiple video and blog series covering many important topics:

  • Kotlin and Jetpack — Learn the basics of Jetpack KTX libraries, how to simplify callbacks with coroutines and Flow, and how to use and test Room/WorkManager APIs.
  • Motion Layout — Learn how to use MotionLayout and its design tool to create rich, animated experiences.
  • WorkManager — Learn how to schedule critical background work with WorkManager: from basic usage, threading, custom configuration and more.
  • Navigation — Learn the basics of the Navigation component, specific features of the tool and the APIs to create and navigate to destinations.
  • Performance — Learn about using system tracing and sampling profiling to debug performance issues in apps.
  • Hilt — Learn how to add and use Hilt for dependency injection in your Android app, best practices for testing with Hilt, and more advanced content.
  • Paging — Learn the basics of paging, from the core types to binding them to your UI elements.
  • Gradle — Learn how to configure your build, customize the build process to your needs and how to write your own plugins to extend your build even further.

For more 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.

Events

This year we had Google I/O and Android Dev Summit, both virtual and free for all to attend!

At I/O we released updates in Jetpack, Compose, Android Studio tooling, Large screens, Wear OS, Testing, and more! Get caught up on all the Android videos from I/O!

At Android Dev Summit we released updates on privacy and security, large screens, Android 12, Google Play & Games, Building across screens, Jetpack Compose, Modern Android Development and more. Check out all the videos from ADS!

Even More!

We released new App Architecture Guides, Wear OS Jetpack libraries went stable, Hilt went stable, we released the Android Game Development Kit, we created an Accessibility video series, released the Android for Cars App Library and so much more.

For ongoing Android content you can check out our Blog, Medium, YouTube channel, and podcast.

Thank you for tuning in, building great apps, giving feedback and being part of our worldwide developer community. We’ll be back in 2022 with more Android updates! 😍😍😍

Android Developers

The official Android Developers publication on Medium