Posted by Stephanie Cuthbertson, Director of Product Administration
As we speak, on the Laptop Historical past Museum in Mountain View, CA, we kicked off the Android Dev Summit, having a look again on the final 10 years of Android after which leaping into some vital new options for Android builders. Here is a have a look at among the issues we shared!
Unfolding Android into new experiences
As early as Android 1.6, Android and our companions have contemplated completely different display sizes and densities, enabling the platform to energy a broad class of kind elements and new experiences like Android TV, Android Auto, Put on OS and even Android apps on Chromebooks. Cellphone screens are an space the place Android companions set the bar, introducing “phablets” when telephone screens had been small. Quick ahead to immediately, when a phablet is… only a telephone, an ordinary dimension customers have come to like.
Now we see a Android system makers creating a brand new class: Foldables. Making the most of new versatile show expertise, the display can actually bend and fold.
There are two variants broadly talking: two-screen units and one-screen units. When folded, foldables appear like telephones, becoming in your pocket or purse. When unfolded, their defining function is what we name display continuity. For instance, begin a video with the folded smaller display – and later you’ll be able to sit down and unfold the system to get a bigger tablet-sized display for an exquisite, immersive expertise. As you unfold, the app seamlessly transfers to the larger display with out lacking a beat. We’re optimizing Android for this new kind issue. And, making modifications to assist builders all over the place make the most of the probabilities this creates for wonderful new experiences, new methods to interact and delight your customers. Tune in to the Foldables session at Dev Summit this week to be taught extra. Anticipate to see Foldables coming from a number of Android producers, together with one Samsung previewed immediately and plans to supply subsequent 12 months.
Kotlin: updates to the quickest rising language
We made Kotlin a firstclass language on Android in 2017. This month we had over 118,000 new tasks utilizing Kotlin began in Android Studio – from these customers who choose in to share metrics. That is a 10X enhance from final 12 months. It is grow to be the quickest rising language when it comes to progress of variety of contributors on GitHub, and voted the #2 most cherished language on Stack Overflow. In our surveys, the extra builders use Kotlin, the upper their satisfaction.
Final week, JetBrains released the latest version of Kotlin, 1.3, which brings new language options, APIs, bug fixes, and efficiency enhancements:
- Inline courses let you create a kind which does not allocate until boxed. For the constrained units that Android apps goal, avoiding allocation whereas retaining type-safety is a giant benefit.
- Unsigned numbers are actually a part of the Kotlin normal library together with UInt, UByte, and ULong. These new varieties are constructed utilizing inline courses.
- Coroutines assist is now secure. The language and library assist mix to simplify the way you work together with asynchronous operations and carry out concurrent work–issues which can be important to each Android app.
All of those new options of Kotlin 1.three shall be built-in into the Kotlin-specific APIs that we offer–a majority of that are by KTX extensions as a part of Jetpack.
Android Jetpack: Navigation, Work Supervisor, and Slices
At Google I/O we introduced Jetpack, the subsequent technology of instruments and Android APIs to speed up Android utility growth. Jetpack builds on the foundations laid out by Help Library and Structure. Already, 80% of high 1,000 apps and video games are utilizing one of many new Jetpack libraries in manufacturing.
This summer season we moved AndroidX – Jetpack’s evolution of the unique Android Help Library – to public AOSP. This implies you’ll be able to see options and bug fixes carried out in real-time, and contribute to any of the AndroidX libraries. You may be taught extra about contributing here.
We have been working to get as a lot suggestions and refinement as potential on two new Structure Part libraries: Navigation and Work Supervisor, and we plan to maneuver each to Beta this month. The Navigation Structure Part presents a simplified method to implement Android’s navigation ideas in your utility, utilizing a single Exercise. Plus, the brand new Navigation Editor in Android Studio creates and edits your navigation structure. This eliminates navigation boilerplate, provides you atomic navigation operations, simpler animated transitions and extra. WorkManager makes it straightforward to carry out background duties in essentially the most environment friendly method, selecting essentially the most acceptable resolution primarily based on the appliance state and system API stage.
We’re additionally excited to see Android Slices transfer to public Search experiments! At I/O this 12 months we launched Slices, a brand new method to convey customers to your app. Slices are like a mini snippet of your app, the place you’ll be able to floor content material and actions. You may e book a flight, play a video, or name a experience. Slices is one other instance the place we wish to be open very early, however we wish to take the time to get it proper. We’re transferring into public EAP this month with Doist, Kayak and others. We’ll run experiments surfacing Slices in Google search outcomes. To be taught extra, there’s additionally a session immediately at Dev Summit with extra information and greatest practices.
Android Studio: specializing in productiveness, construct velocity, high quality and fundamentals
Android Studio is our official IDE for Android growth. We requested the place do you spend essentially the most time? After we collect knowledge from Android Studio’s opted-in customers we see that construct time are getting sooner with each launch, typically as quick as 20%, however we additionally see construct time getting slower and slower over time. So, how can each issues be true? We have been digging in onerous to grasp.
It seems construct is a reasonably sophisticated ecosystem. Developer selections makes an enormous distinction. Our builders are utilizing a really broad (and rising) mixture of OSes, customized plug-ins, annotation processors, languages. All of those can considerably have an effect on occasions. In a single case, a plugin some customers like so as to add was silently slowing construct speeds by as much as 45%. Studying this, we realized we want construct profiling and evaluation instruments so you’ll be able to simply perceive what’s slowing your construct down. We’re additionally investing extra in our personal plugins to speed up efficiency to verify we proceed to enhance the efficiency of core construct.
Android Studio 3.3 launches beta 3 today. In coming releases anticipate to see a powerful give attention to high quality and fundamentals: lowering the variety of crashes and hangs, optimizing reminiscence utilization, and fixing user-impacting bugs. We additionally introduced immediately that we’re making Android Studio an formally supported IDE on Chrome OS early subsequent 12 months; be taught extra here.
Android App Bundles and dynamic options
App sizes have grown dramatically, up 5x since 2012. However bigger apps have downsides: decrease set up conversion charges, decrease replace charges, and better uninstalls. Because of this we constructed the Android App Bundle, the brand new publishing format that serves solely the code and sources a consumer must run your app on their particular system; on common apps see 35% dimension financial savings in comparison with a common APK. The app bundle additionally saves you effort and time with every launch because you needn’t use incomplete options like multi-APK. Android Studio 3.2 brought full IDE assist of app bundles, and there are actually 1000’s of app bundles in manufacturing totaling billions of installs, together with Google’s apps like YouTube, Google Maps, Google Photographs, and Google Information.
The app bundle now helps uncompressed native libraries; with no further developer work wanted, the app bundle now makes apps utilizing native libraries a mean of eight% smaller to obtain and 16% smaller on disk on M+ units.
As soon as you turn to the app bundle it’s also possible to begin modularizing your app. With dynamic feature modules, you’ll be able to load any app performance on demand as an alternative of at set up time. You needn’t maintain massive options which can be solely used as soon as, on each single system ceaselessly; dynamic options could be put in and uninstalled dynamically when your app requests them.
In-app Updates API
We have heard that you just’d like extra controls to make sure that customers are operating the newest and best model of your app. To handle this, we’re launching an In-app Updates API. We’re testing the API with early entry companions and shall be launching it to all builders quickly.
You may have two choices with this API; the primary is a full-screen expertise for vital updates while you anticipate the consumer to attend for the replace to be utilized instantly. The second possibility is a versatile replace, which implies the consumer can maintain utilizing the app whereas the replace is downloaded. You may fully customise the replace stream so it looks like a part of your app.
We’re additionally making instant apps simpler than ever to undertake. We not too long ago made utilizing internet URLs non-compulsory, enabling you to take your current play retailer deep hyperlink site visitors and ship customers to your prompt expertise if it is accessible. Moreover, we have raised the moment app dimension restrict to 10MB for the Attempt Now button on the Play Retailer and internet banners to make it even simpler to undertake.
Within the Android Studio three.three beta, now you can construct an instant-enabled app bundle. This implies that you may now construct and deploy each your Prompt and put in experiences from a single Android Studio challenge, and embrace them in a single Android App Bundle. You solely should add simply ONE artifact for each prompt and put in app.
As builders, your suggestions has been vital in shaping these funding areas; you’re a part of how we work, from early concepts, to EAPs and canaries, Beta, and iterating after launch. We hope you be part of us for the subsequent two days whether or not you are watching the 30+ sessions on the livestream, becoming a member of social, or with us in-person in Mountain View. From the group, a honest thanks for all of your considerate suggestions and contributions. We hope you take pleasure in Android Dev Summit.