Android Developers
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Android Developers

Now in Android #71

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

Episode 71 Video and Podcast

Now in Android is also offered as a video and podcast.

What’s new from Android at Android Dev Summit ‘22

The first day of Android Dev Summit 2022 was a blast! You can already watch the keynote and dive into our first track on Modern Android development.

Among the most important announcements, you can find the latest Compose release: October 22 (formerly known as Compose 1.3) stable! Compose for Wear OS hit its 1.0 stable release weeks ago and it’s the recommended way to build UI for Wear.

As you heard earlier this year: Google is all in on tablets, foldables, and ChromeOS. You can find updated templates for Wear OS in Android Studio, as well as a stable Android R emulator system image for WearOS. We’ve made it easier than ever to test your app on the large screen in Android Studio Electric Eel now in Beta, including resizable and desktops emulators and visual linting to help you adhere to best practices on any sized screen.

We also made it easier to take advantage of platform features in Android 13 such as the per-app language preferences and the new Photo picker which is a permission free way to allow the user to browse and select photos and videos they explicitly want to share with your app.

Modern Android Development at ADS ‘22

Modern Android Development (MAD) is our set of libraries, tools and guidance that make it faster and easier to build amazing Android apps. Here is a recap of the top 3 announcements from the conference.

You can find all the MAD talks in this playlist:

Don’t forget to check out the What’s new in Jetpack blog post that contains the released updates to three major areas of Jetpack: Architecture Libraries and Guidance, Application Performance, and User Interface Libraries and Guidance. It includes the updates to WorkManager, Room, new Architecture guidance, Baseline profiles, recomposition tracing, and more!

Also check out the What’s new in Jetpack Compose blog post that contains developers stories of how the community is adopting Jetpack Compose, and more information on the Compose October 22 release that’s shipped with a Bill of Materials (BOM). The new Compose features include staggered grids, variable fonts, swipe to refresh modifier, the new lookahead layout, and more!

Experimental preview of Jetpack Multiplatform libraries

Kotlin Multiplatform Mobile from JetBrains is now in beta, and we have been experimenting with this technology to see how it can enable code sharing across platforms. As part of these experiments, we are now sharing a preview of Kotlin Multiplatform libraries in Jetpack. The libraries available for multiplatform as part of this experimental preview are Collections and DataStore.

With this preview, we’re looking for your feedback about using these Jetpack libraries in multiplatform projects targeting Android and iOS applications. Keep in mind that these dev builds are experimental and should not be used in production. Learn more about the available APIs in the sample app, the API reference documentation, and the blog post!

MAD Skills: Compose basics 🎼

The MAD Skills Compose basics series has come to an end with the usual Live Q&A episode and the community tip brought to you by Adam Bennet that shares how you can speed up your learning with Compose.

If you missed any of the previous episodes, check out the wrap-up blog post where you can watch them all and find more information about them.

Material Design releases 🎨

Material Design components for Android 1.7.0 is now stable and brings updates to Material You styling, accessibility and size coherence and new minimum version requirements. You can find a new MaterialSwitch component, shape theming, and more!

Additionally, Compose Material 3 is stable as well. This library allows you to build Jetpack Compose UIs with Material Design 3. It supports color schemes, dynamic color, material components, typography, shapes, window size classes, window insets support, and more.

Articles 📚 and videos 📹

Manda Edling and Paris Hsu wrote about the designs of the Now in Android app. The blog post describes how the team applied Material 3 concepts to the app and explores the accompanying design Figma file which has just been released.

Alejandra Stamato wrote about effective state management for TextField in Compose. Check out what you need to do to prevent synchronization issues and unexpected behaviors, among them, make sure to define your TextField state variables with Compose APIs such as mutableStateOf.

Serban wrote about Pixel 7, the first 64-bit-only Android phone and what that implies such as dropping OS support for 32-bit code, reducing memory usage, improving performance, and enhancing security.

Ray recorded an episode about HDR video on Android. There you can find the requirements you need and the new Android Camera2 APIs.

Talking about Camera, the Android team wrote about better device compatibility with CameraX. In this post, you’ll look at three ways CameraX makes developers’ lives easier when it comes to device compatibility. First, the CameraX Test Lab where we test over 150 physical phones every day. Second, Quirks, the mechanism CameraX uses to automatically handle device inconsistencies. And third, we’ll discuss the ways CameraX makes it easier to develop apps for foldable devices.

Niharika Arora wrote the third part of optimizing for Android Go edition. This time, it’s about the tools which helped Google optimize their Google apps performance. When analyzing the memory footprint, they used Perfetto, the Memory profiler, and meminfo. For monitoring startup, they also used Perfetto, the App startup library, baseline profiles, the CPU profiler and the micro and macrobenchmark libraries.

The Android ML platform team wrote about the latest updates on Android’s custom ML stack. TensorFlow Lite in Google Play services is now Android’s official ML inference engine, TensorFlow Lite Delegates are now distributed via Google Play services, and the Acceleration Service will help you pick the best TensorFlow Lite Delegate for optimal performance in runtime.

The Android Game Dev Show has a new episode. In this episode, Nate Trost talks about new updates in Android Games including game mode, game state, adaptive performance, Vulkan, and much more!

Lidia wrote about 5 Play Console updates to help you understand your app’s delivery performance. Delivery insights help you better understand and analyze your app’s delivery performance and what contributes to it, and take action to optimize the experience for your users. The post includes five recent Play Console updates you can use to get more insight into your delivery performance.

Lastly, the team wrote about Bringing passkeys to Android & Chrome. Google is bringing passkey support to both Android and Chrome. Passkeys are a significantly safer replacement for passwords and other phishable authentication factors. They cannot be reused, don’t leak in server breaches, and protect users from phishing attacks. This release enables two key capabilities: Users can create and use passkeys on Android devices and Developers can build passkey support on their sites for end-users using Chrome.

Now then… 👋

That’s it for this week with Android Dev Summit and its Modern Android development track, Kotlin Multiplatform updates, Material Design releases, the Compose Basics MAD Skills series, articles and videos about the Now in Android app, TextField state management, Pixel 7, HDR on Android, CameraX, optimizing for Android Go edition, updates on custom machine learning, the Android Game Dev Show, Play delivery and passkeys.

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

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