Google unveils new features for Jetpack, Android Studio and Kotlin
We’re now well into the Google I / O 2021 Developer Conference, so we’re seeing a bunch of developer-centric news for all of Google’s development products. Along with the changes to Flutter and Firebase, we also have new features for native Android development, including announcements for Android Jetpack, Android Studio, and even Kotlin.
Jetpack Compose is a Kotlin-based declarative design framework for Android, desktops, and even the web (although the latter two are handled by JetBrains, not Google).
Today, Google announced a date for the stable release of Jetpack Compose, along with new features in the works. Jetpack Compose 1.0 will be released in a stable version in July. It will come with more components, better support for large screens, and more general quality of life changes.
Android Studio Arctic Fox has been in the Canaries for quite some time now. Today, Canary is going beta, as Google is releasing the latest version of Arctic Fox on the beta channel.
There’s not much new here other than a channel change, but here’s a quick look at some of the features found in the Canary. The IDE supports built-in Jetpack Compose, with layout previews, code completion, and more. There are new debugging tools, including the Accessibility Scanner and the Memory Profiler. And, Google updated the Android Gradle plugin to 7.0, with version control now in line with Gradle itself.
Kotlin also benefits from a few improvements today, including the stable release of a new annotation processor API: Kotlin Symbol Processing. Google says this API should be up to twice as fast as previous options and generally more efficient.
Finally, we’ve made some changes to Android Jetpack, Google’s suite of support libraries.
Google released Jetpack Macrobenchmark in an alpha state to help developers analyze startup and animation delay in apps and identify associated issues. And Kotlin DataStore, Kotlin’s first alternative to SharedPreferences, has entered beta.