Now in Android: Episode #2
Featuring Final Q preview, Gestures, Resettable user IDs, Reddit AMA, and ADB episode 119
This past week saw the release of the latest (and final!) preview release for Android Q. But, in typical Android fashion, there were many other things happening as well that you probably also care about. Here’s a roundup of recent Android happenings.
Android Q Preview, Beta 6
The final preview build for Android Q is available. Dave Burke posted an article on the developers blog talking about the latest features and the status of the release. Developers should download the build and test your apps on it; if you have a non-PIxel device, you can download a Generic System Image (GSI) for Treble-compliant devices. If you’ve got a Pixel, you can enroll to get Beta 6 on your phone. Or if you’re already running Beta 5, you’ll automatically get an update for Beta 6 soon.
A Nice Gesture
Speaking of Android Q, Chris Banes has posted a couple of great articles on the new gesture behavior in this release. This new feature (an expansion of a behavior started in the P release) is a major UI interaction change happening in the release, and may have an impact on applications. For example, horizontally-scrolling views and some libraries may conflict with the new UI behavior. At the very least, developers should test their apps on the new release to make sure they work well, and then adjust their UI and interactions if there are any issues.
This first article focuses on how developers can take advantage of the new gesture capabilities to use the entire screen. You are now advised to draw behind the navigation and, in some situations, the status bar, giving much more screen real estate for app content. Chris covers the APIs and approaches used for achieving correct full-screen behavior.
The second article in the series covers window insets. It explains how to handle potential conflicts between fullscreen app views and the navigation/status bars.
Meanwhile, Allen Huang and Rohan Shah (Product Managers on the System UI team, which implements all of this stuff) posted an article on the Android Developers Blog, Gesture Navigation: A Backstory, which talks about the history of, and context for, this new feature.
New AndroidX Library for resettable user IDs
One of the changes in recent releases of Android to protect user privacy has been to restrict the user ID information that applications can use. In particular, it is no longer possible to get non-resettable user IDs, and developers need to migrate from former practices to an approach that uses resettable identifiers instead.
One of the common uses for user IDs is for advertising or analytics. For this use case, it is a best practice to use advertising IDs. AndroidX has just released an alpha version of a new library that makes this approach easier across releases. You can check out the new Ads library here, and this article describes more about how to use the library.
Android AMA on Reddit
If you were not able to catch the Android AMA on Reddit last week, check out the comments, questions and answers. A large group from the engineering team was there answering all kinds of questions about Android Studio, Jetpack, Kotlin, Q Gestures, and more. This has become kind of an annual tradition on the team (three times makes a tradition, right?) that we look forward to each summer. Many people go to the beach for their holiday; we answer your questions on Reddit.
If you weren’t able to get your question answered, bring it to the Android Developer Summit, October 23–24 in Sunnyvale, California. Registration is open until August 15.
ADB 119: Kotlin with Andrey Breslav
Episode 119 of our podcast was pretty special. Okay, to be clear, every episode is special, because every episode allows us to talk to interesting engineers and learn all kinds of stuff we didn’t know before.
But in the latest episode, we were able to get some time with Jetbrain’s lead for the Kotlin language. Tor and Romain got to ask all kinds of things about how things work, how the language evolves, and where Andrey wants to take Kotlin in the future.
Check out the episode on your favorite podcast client or download it from the blogger link below.
Episode 119: Kotlin with Andrey Breslav
Tor and Romain spoke with Andrey Breslav, the lead language designer at Jetbrains for Kotlin. They talked about…
That’s it for this time. Go check out Q Beta 6! Test and update your apps to work well with Gestures! Check out the new Advertising ID library for user-resettable identifiers! Grab some popcorn and go read the long list of questions and answers on the Reddit AMA! And come back here soon for the next update from the Android developer universe.