Google I/O isn't the only event where new tools, toys, and APIs come out for developers targeting the largest mobile operating system in the world; the Android Dev Summit has also become a venue for an assortment of important software releases and announcements. Last year's event included a number of topics ranging from support for folding phones to the new Generic System Images, and much more. This year hits on just as many subjects, but some of the top announcements will center around Android Studio 4.0, new Jetpack APIs, and Jetpack Compose.
Android Studio 4.0 hits Canary
The first Canary build of Android Studio 4.0 is available today with the usual laundry list of optimizations and additions like Java 8 library desugaring (removing redundant code), a motion editor, Jetpack Compose, and more.
The Android team has also been improving language support in a big way, and with that, a special focus has been put on Kotlin. Users can look forward to faster compilation, reduced typing latency in the IDE, more lint checks, full support for Kotlin build scripts (KTS files) and live templates.
Jetpack APIs are growing up
Announced at I/O 2018, Android Jetpack is like an evolved form of the original support library, containing numerous tools and libraries that solve many of the challenges developers face. With Google's latest announcement, Jetpack will be growing even more. The previously announced Benchmarking library has been promoted to a release candidate, so it's likely ready for production use. Also getting a promotion is the View Binding library that simplifies interface development. And making its way to Beta in December, the CameraX API will make it easier to interact with the cameras on phones from most of the major OEMs.
Jetpack Compose developer preview
Earning a special place in the announcement is a recent addition to the family called Jetpack Compose, a new set of tools and APIs for UI development. It first hit the scene a few months ago with an announcement at I/O 2019 and was discussed and demoed in its own session (embedded below).
As of today, Jetpack Compose is emerging from its "early-exploration, pre-alpha" stage to an official developer preview. This doesn't mean it should be used in production code yet, but interested developers are encouraged to give it a try so they may provide feedback and help with surfacing bugs. Jetpack Compose is included with the Android Studio 4.0 release that just hit Canary.
There will be several other announcements and developer sessions coming in the Android Dev Summit. Sessions will cover the likes of app bundle support in the Play Console, modern Android development, and of course, Jetpack and Kotlin. Check out the Android Developer blog post for more details and keep an eye out for videos from the sessions as they go live on YouTube. You can start with the keynote below.