At Google I/O, Android Studio and Flutter get huge productivity updates
Google LLC released important updates today at its Google I/O developer conference: a new version of Android Studio which makes the development experience smoother than ever and the next version of the application development framework Beat.
For Android developers, the Android Studio Dolphin beta and Android Studio Electric Eel preview have received updates to work better on more Android devices. This means superior control for development on Wear OS and large-screen devices.
“One of the things we’re trying to do is improve end-user experiences by improving developer experiences,” Android developer experience manager Sean McBreen told SiliconANGLE in an interview. “We appreciate that there’s no magic bullet for developers and it’s really about improving all those fronts, big screens, our own apps, third-party apps, our tools, our libraries, our guidance and group them together to make it easier to build for these devices.
The biggest news comes in the form of a preview of Live editing for Jetpack Compose, an Android UI toolkit that uses the Kotlin language. With Live Edit, developers can make changes to code in Android Studio and see those changes happen directly in an emulator on a connected device right away.
Developers will find it easier to pair and control Wear OS emulators directly from Android Studio using a pairing wizard. It will also allow developers to pair multiple emulators to a single phone, and they won’t be forgotten when the Android Studio instance is closed between sessions, saving development time between working days.
Studio is also updated with run/debug formats for Wear OS tiles, watch faces, and builds so they can be launched directly from projects. This will make it much easier to jump in and play with them and hook up.
Jetpack Compose has received a number of other updates, including the ability to view all UI animations at once so they can be coordinated in “Animation Preview”. Developers can also see how often their UI redraws when viewed to make it more efficient. via a counter in the Layout Inspector.
For large-screen devices, which make up a large part of Android 12L, Google has previewed a resizable emulator. This will give developers the ability to easily and quickly switch between different screen form factors to test different layouts with the same app to understand how the UI will look.
The same can be done with a visual layout validation tool that will help find and fix issues on different devices. This can help detect when UI elements go out of bounds, such as when a button is hidden on different screen sizes.
Launch of Flutter 3
Flutter 3 represents a milestone release for Google’s cross-platform app development framework. Developers now have access to macOS and Linux desktop support, making it available on six platforms. They also get better integration with Firebase and vastly improved productivity features.
“For us, Flutter was about the challenge of how to create a bold UI that runs anywhere you want to deliver great app experiences,” Tim Sneath, chief product officer at Flutter, told SiliconANGLE in an interview. “Historically you could do it a number of ways, you could make a Windows app, macOS app, one for each platform, or you could use HTML, but it’s a 30-year-old standard that was designed to documents on the Web and not an operating system.
So the way he sees Flutter 3 is the culmination of this journey that Flutter has embarked on to provide developers with a way to write apps once and then run them on a multitude of operating systems and devices. .
Flutter 3 now supports macOS natively and will run smoothly on both Intel and Apple chips with universal binary support for both architectures. On Linux, Google has worked with Canonical to offer OS and widget integration with a set of packages that will make it easy to deploy Flutter apps.
This means that Flutter is now available natively on six major platforms without the need for web or mobile support.
Developers must also be able to build, maintain, and operate their applications after coding them. To that end, Flutter 3 has fully integrated Firebase to let developers manage things like parsing, authentication, databases, configuration, file storage, and messaging.
This includes a major improvement in the Flutter Crashlytics plugin, which uses Firebase’s real-time crash reporting service. It allows developers to track fatal errors that occur during code execution. As a result, developers can quickly triage issues that arise in their applications after deployment and resolve them quickly.