Google launches Jetpack Compose Developer Preview and Android Studio 4.0 Canary


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At the Android Dev Summit 2019 today in Sunnyvale, Google made a slew of developer announcements for its mobile operating system. The company has released extended APIs for Android Jetpack, Jetpack Compose in Developer Preview, and Android Studio 4.0 Canary, the latest version of its Integrated Development Environment (IDE).

Think of Android Jetpack as the successor to Support Library, a set of components that makes it easier to leverage new Android features while maintaining backward compatibility. When Google launched Jetpack last year at I / O 2018, Android Product Manager Stephanie Cuthbertson described it as “the next generation of Android APIs designed to accelerate app development.”

Android Jetpack

During I / O 2019 in May, Cuthbertson said that 80% of the top 1,000 apps in the Play Store use Jetpack. Today, she revealed that more than 84% of the best 10,000 Play Store apps used Jetpack.

And now Android Jetpack gets more features:

  • Benchmarking is now available as a release candidate. This library makes it easy to measure the performance of your application.
  • Linking views is an easier way to access views from your code. Available now, this is a safe-type solution with minimal impact on build time, no more findViewById(), no more annotation processors.
  • CameraX simplifies the development experience and lets you focus on your app instead by addressing the differences between the many devices in the Android ecosystem. Samsung, Xiaomi, Oppo, Motorola, LG are already uniting behind CameraX, which will be released in beta in December.

These are all iterative updates – the biggest improvements will probably have to wait until I / O 2020. But Google isn’t standing still until then.

Jetpack Compose and Android Studio

Also at I / O 2019, Google opened up a first look at Jetpack Compose. The new Ungrouped Toolkit is intended to simplify user interface development by combining a responsive programming model with Kotlin.

Today Google released the Jetpack Compose Developer Preview. You can get it by simply downloading the latest Canary version of Android Studio. Speaking of which, Google also released Android Studio 4.0 Canary today. IDE includes live preview, code completion, full sample of a Compose application, Java 8 library de-sugaring, motion editor, full support for KTS files and Kotlin live models .

Since Compose is fully developed in AOSP, Cuthbertson says there is a continuous feedback loop. This led to “many API improvements”. She added that Jetpack Compose will be released in beta next year.

Modern Android Development

Additionally, Cuthbertson spent time talking about “modern Android development” – a push by Google to give developers recommendations on how to build their apps. She also provided an update on reducing access to sensitive data and making Google Play safer for children and families. Google recently limited SMS / call log permissions to only those apps that need them as part of basic functionality. As a result, 98% fewer applications are accessing this sensitive data.

While Google is committed to developing C ++, Java, and Kotlin for Android, if you ask for a recommendation, the team will tell Kotlin. Almost 60% of the top 1,000 Android apps now use Kotlin. Google is working with JetBrains to bring faster Kotlin build speeds, incremental annotation processing with KAPT, less IDE typing latency, more fluff checks, and new optimizations in R8 that take into account specific bytecode patterns. Kotlin. Today Google released full IDE support for Kotlin build scripts. In addition, Google has also launched an Advanced Android Course with Kotlin on Udacity and an Android Developer Certification associated with Kotlin.

In May 2018, Google introduced Android App Bundle as a new posting format designed to reduce app size. Cuthbertson announced today that more than 250,000 sets of Android apps are currently in production, covering 25% of all active installations. Google is now making app bundles and dynamic delivery much easier to test. Internal app sharing lets you share test versions of your bundle app as easily as you share APKs. This allows you to allow everyone on your team to download artifacts without giving them access to the Play Console. Additionally, you can now get download links for older versions of your app, be it app bundles or APKs. And finally, the dynamic delivery offline test with the fake split installation manager is now available.


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