Android Developers
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Android Developers

Now in Android #72

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

Episode 72 Video and Podcast

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

Android Dev Summit ’22 Continues with Form Factors ⌚📺🚗

The second day of Android Dev Summit 2022 kicked off live from London, with updates on Android form factors, including large screens, wearables, TVs, and cars. Check out the full YouTube playlist to learn more about how your apps can take advantage of the growing portfolio of large screen devices such as tablets, desktops, and foldables, how we’re making it simpler than ever to develop for Wear OS, best practices for TV development, and what’s new in car development.

And, make sure to tune in on November 14th at 9AM PST for the final Android Dev Summit livestream focused on how to best leverage the innovations we’re making on the Android Platform.

Power your Wear OS fitness app with the latest version of Health Services 🏥

We covered the beta updates to the Health Services API, an API that enables Wear OS 3 apps to take advantage of on-device sensor data and related algorithms corresponding to activity, exercise, and health without having to choose between conserving battery life and getting high frequency data.

The Health Services Jetpack Beta introduces new data and exercise types, the ability to listen for health events such as fall detection, a new organization model for data in Health Services that makes the Health Services API more type-safe, new ExerciseStates that give you more control over how your app responds to an ending exercise, new passive listener APIs, and more.

Play it forward: Evolving our platform for another decade of developer success ▶️

Google Play covered lots of big platform updates, including expanding LiveOps and renaming it to “Promotional Content,” Churned-user Custom Store Listings, new technical quality thresholds for user-perceived crash rates and ANRs, an improved purchase experience, more flexibility and control over your subscriptions, new monetization insights, new safety initiatives and policies, the global expansion of the Google Play Games beta on PC, and more.

Articles 📚

In “Reach” Your Users on Large Screens, Diana covered how to consider reachability — what parts of the screen users can comfortably reach without stretching or adjusting their grip — when deciding where to place your app’s UI elements. The article considers hand size, device orientation, and how best to utilize the edges and top of the screen.

In Accurately Measure Android App Performance with Profileable Builds, Yi covers how to use the profileable tag on devices running Android 10 or higher to enable profiling tools that measure timing information without the performance overhead of the debug build. The blog explains when to use a release build, a profileable release build, and a debug build.

Videos 📚

There’s so much great stuff from the Form Factors livestream. For a quick summary, Alex presented his Top 3 picks from the Form Factors track at ADS ’22 while the live Form Factors #AskAndroid panel answered your questions on large screens, foldables, wearables, and TVs.

We had lots of sessions on how to handle your UI for larger screens, such as Canonical layouts and visual hierarchy: Designing for larger screens, Do’s and don’ts: Mindset for optimizing apps for larger screens, Compose: Implementing responsive UI for larger screens, Three tiers of large screen quality on Google Play, how to Build better UIs across form factors with Android Studio, how to Do more with multi-window and activity embedding, Insets: Compose edition, and Navigation Compose on every screen size.

But large screen also means getting ready for laptops, so Why and how to optimize your app for ChromeOS,and The key to keyboard and mouse support across tablets and ChromeOS covered that.

Large screens enable new capabilities such as Drag & drop for seamless multitasking and Stylus support, but also adds new challenges such as running Your Camera app on different form factors.

We also dove deeply into wearables, with a Deep dive into Wear OS app architecture, Building media apps on Wear OS, Around a watch: Handling rotary input in Wear OS, Testing Wear OS fitness apps without breaking a sweat.

We covered Improving the TV user experience, and What’s new with the Car App Library.

And since it’s great when all of Android’s form factors work well together, Creating helpful fitness experiences with Health Services and Health Connect, Make your app shine for all devices on Google Play, and Developing for Assistant across devices give insight into how to make that happen.

AndroidX releases 🚀

Concurrently with the Form Factors ADS livestream, the first release candidate of Wear Compose Version 1.1 went out, along with Car App Version 1.2 and Tv Version 1.0 alpha 2. Mediarouter Version 1.4 alpha 1 added SystemOutputSwitcherDialogController.showDialog() to show either the system’s output switcher dialog, or the Bluetooth Settings Fragment on Wear devices.

Privacysandbox Tools Version 1.0 alpha 1 is a new Jetpack library that contains apis for utilizing the Privacy Sandbox functionality.

Camera Version 1.3 alpha 1 now officially includes camera-viewfinder, providing a base viewfinder widget that can display the Camera 2 camera feed. Datastore Version 1.1 alpha 1 now can support data consistency in multi-process use cases, and has a new Storage interface which abstracts the underlying storage mechanism for Datastore. Implementations for java.io and okio are provided.

ADB Podcast Episodes🎙

In episode 190 of Android Developers Backstage Tor and Chet learn some more about performance from Carmen, an expert on everything related to performance from the Android Platform Performance team. This is the perfect episode for you if you ever wanted to learn more about R8, perfetto, baseline profiles, custom performance tracing, power metrics, etc.

Now then… 👋

That’s it for this week with Android Dev Summit and its Form Factors track, Health Services, Google Play updates, Performance, and more. Make sure to tune in on November 14th at 9AM PST for the Android Dev Summit Platform livestream! Come back here soon for the next update from the Android developer universe.

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Daniel Galpin

Daniel Galpin

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Developer Advocate at Google, writer, editor, theatrical performer, and social dancer.