Google has kicked off its Android Dev Summit today at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA, and we have been given a sneak peak at some of the topics and surprise announcements.
The event looks set to be another influential one that will help to shape and guide app development over the coming months and years. Focus is largely on familiarizing developers with some of Android’s more recently added features and updates, though there are a few new announcements and surprises being made as well — including the beta launch of Android Studio 3.3 today and official Chrome OS support for the IDE starting early next year!
This is the first Dev Summit in three years. Those not lucky enough to attend in the flesh will be able to catch the whole thing live over at the Developers website, at the YouTube channel (video attached below), or at one of several livestream viewing parties (hangover cures at the ready).
There’s also an official Dev Summit app, which in keeping with modern trends, is of course also an instant app.
In the meantime, here’s a run down of just some of the things being discussed over the two days:
No big surprise here, Kotlin is the fastest growing language in terms of GitHub repositories, and is of course now a major part of the Android platform since support was officially added to Android Studio in 2017.
Discussion will revolve around JetBrains’ release of the latest Kotlin 1.3 and Android’s updated support for multiple new features via extensions and new libraries.
Android Jetpack: Navigation and Work Manager
Jetpack provides developers with useful tools and APIs that speed up development, testing, and more, building on the established Support Library. Google has unveiled that it will be discussing two new Architecture components that make life easier for devs: Navigation and WorkManager. The first helps implement navigation principles, even bringing a Navigation Editor to let you easily design and tweak your navigation architecture with support for animations, easier transitions, and more. WorkManager meanwhile will make it easier to efficiently perform background tasks, selecting the most appropriate solution for the device being used.
Android App Bundles
Another hot topic in the world of Android development, app bundles will also be getting some attention. Topics include support for uncompressed native libraries that make development significantly easier while also shrinking app sizes. Dynamic feature modules let you load any functionality on demand with no need to keep one-time use features installed on devices.
In-App Updates API
This new API will help developers to ensure that their users are enjoying the latest versions of their applications. It includes a flexible update option, that will allow users to continue using the app while it downloads the update in the background. Like Windows… but hopefully a lot better. Good news for devs and users alike!
Several new features and updates are coming to Android Studio with the aforementioned announcement of Android Studio 3.3 beta and official Chrome OS support for the IDE. We’ll get some insight into what will come with 3.3, including the ability to build and deploy your regular app and instant app from a single Android Studio project, using just a single Android App Bundle. That means just one artefact will need to be uploaded. I’m starting to get the impression that Google wants us to use instant apps…
More to come
The Big G has promised some more announcements and surprises, so be sure to tune in if you can — and check back here where we’ll be discussing all the most exciting developments. Developer developments.