Flutter is Google's cross-platform application framework that allows developers to create responsive apps for Android, iOS, and even macOS. The toolset has already been used by countless applications, including the mobile Stadia app, and now Google is teaming up with Ubuntu Linux to bring Flutter apps to desktop Linux.
With every big new OS version there are countless under-the-hood upgrades that will go unnoticed by regular users but could have a positive impact on their experience. Android 11 will be no different, and we've spotted one such small but potentially important new feature in Google's developer documentation for the upcoming release. Starting in Android 11, apps will be able to grant per-process network access.
Google has announced a Smart Home Virtual Summit on July 8 with a keynote, panel discussion, and various other developer sessions that would likely have been part of Google I/O last month had that event not been canceled. While it's only meant for developers building hardware and/or software that works with Google's smart home platform, we could also learn about some upcoming user-facing features, too.
Google has already released several Developer Previews of Android 11 for smartphones, but there has been no news on the update for smart TVs and streaming boxes. That changes today, as the first Android 11 Developer Preview for Android TV is now available — but only for one device.
AR applications on Android have historically always had problems with proper depth sensing and distinguishing between foreground and background in the physical world. Whenever you'd add an AR object, it would just sit on top of the whole scenery in front of your viewfinder, regardless of whether or not something should realistically block the view. After an extensive preview phase introduced last year, Google is now launching its new Depth API to ARCore to all developers using Android and Unity.
Scoped Storage was the most controversial addition to Android 10 when it debuted last year, as it blocked most applications from accessing your phone's entire internal storage to improve privacy and security. Google ended up pushing the deadline for supporting Scoped Storage to the release of Android 11 later this year, but there's additional functionality in the new Android version for apps to try out.
This has been an exciting week for Android developers. The first Android 11 Beta rolled out, Android Studio received a significant update in the Beta/Canary channels, and a shiny new Play Console for publishing/managing applications is now available in beta. Thankfully, the new experimental Play Console addresses many common complaints with the current iteration, and it's definitely worth trying out if you're a Play Store developer.
Google introduced app bundles two years ago, which allows developers to split up the components of their apps, and only requires Play Store users to download the components their phone or tablet needs. The feature has drastically cut app download sizes, and now Google will make supporting app bundles a requirement for newly-published applications.
Mobile gaming has become a big deal in recent years, thanks to an increase in both smartphone performance and user base. While developers only have to deal with a very limited amount of hardware targets when it comes to iOS, publishing games for Android requires optimizing for a wide range of devices with varying levels of power. Now a new library in the Android Game SDK will help developers improve the performance of their games on Android phones in a much more streamlined fashion.