Google revamps Android hardware design, improves UI toolkit and Android Studio

At the recent Google I / O conference, Google made a number of significant improvements to its Android platform. Most notably, the original Material Design, introduced in 2014, is undergoing a major overhaul, Jetpack Compose is getting closer to version 1.0, and Android Studio improves productivity.

Material You is attempting to update the Android UI design paradigm with the current mobile landscape, which requires increasing flexibility and customization.

Today’s challenge has grown. Computing continues to grow with more and more screens appearing in more areas of our lives. Additionally, users demand more expressiveness and control over their personal devices. They look for experiences that are more than just practical and functional, experiences that also evoke emotions.

One of the main features of Material You is its promise to adapt to each user’s style and preferences by customizing the color scheme used by apps based on a selection of wallpaper. Google believes in its ability to automatically adapt the styling of any application to any user’s palette preferences.

Material You also aims to make it easier for developers to adapt to different form factors, screen sizes, input methods and all the material variations that can be found from desktop to mobile to portable contexts. In this context, Material You also focuses on improving accessibility by expanding the possibilities for users to customize the user interface and tailor it to their needs.

Material You is part of Android 12, which is currently available in beta.

After two years of development, Jetpack Compose is now approaching its first stable release. Compose aims to simplify and accelerate user interface development for Android applications, the key idea being Compose is to create user interfaces from composable elements that stay in place and adapt to changes in their environment. For example, if you are using Hilt to handle dependency injection, Compose is able to automatically create a view model for you. Jetpack Compose supports Material You and better integration with other libraries in Jetpack to make it easier to adopt.

Jetpack itself benefits from a number of enhancements, including CameraX, aimed at making camera features easier to use on all devices; Pagination 3 allows data to be displayed in small chunks; Crypto security, to simplify the use of encryption; etc.

On the tool front, Android Studio Arctic Fox, now in beta, aims to speed up user interface design, extend apps to new devices, and increase developer productivity, Google says. Android Studio improves its integration with Compose tools, supports running tests on multiple devices, simplifies database and concurrent debugging with App Inspector. Android Studio is also upgrading to Gradle 7 and introducing Apple Silicon support for developers using macOS.

Android Studio Arctic Fox can be downloaded from the Google Developer Portal.

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