Since its introduction during I/O 2019, Jetpack Compose was obviously destined to become the prescribed method of Android UI development. After more than two years in public development, it has hit the milestone many developers have been waiting for: an official 1.0 release. Alongside a stable release of Android Studio Arctic Fox, Jetpack Compose is ready for use in production code.
A new Android release usually means new Emoji, and Android 12 is no different. Google has just announced that it's rolling out the changes we spotted yesterday in Android 12 and other Google services like Gmail, Chat, and Chrome OS. That includes 992 redesigned emoji and some of the new (delayed) ones in the Unicode 14.0 standard. Google also tells us that apps will soon be able to harness new emoji separately from system updates. Originally, we were concerned that this was just a rebadging of the older EmojiCompat feature, but after speaking to Google a little more in-depth about it, that's not the case.
Google is moving to unify app development for Android Auto and Android Automotive. It feels long overdue, as there's no good reason to have two different routes for creating apps for what is essentially the same form factor.
Android development may have started as a grab bag of poorly integrated libraries with no documentation and running it all in a bad IDE, but things have really turned around over the years. Android Studio makes it easier to build working apps with fewer mistakes; Kotlin makes for more readable straightforward code; and the combination of Jetpack and Jetpack Compose provides a clear direction for faster development. Today's announcement really focuses on Jetpack Compose, but as you would expect from each Google I/O, new versions of each are coming out and they've got something new for everybody.
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.
Road warriors, rejoice. Verizon has unveiled a new entry into its Jetpack series of hotspots, the MiFi 7730L. It brings with it improvements and access to LTE-Advanced in available markets. Up to fifteen devices can connect simultaneously and securely.
One of the most popular third-party browsers in the Play Store, Dolphin Browser, received a fairly major bump today up to version 9.0. This brings a handful of worthwhile enhancements, including support for the HTML5 rendering engine from Dolphin Beta. In this case, however, the Dolphin team has made the engine an optional addon called Jetpack instead of making it the default. So, basically, making the browser faster on HTML5 sites is optional, for whatever reason.
Aside from Jetpack, this new version also includes a built-in network diagnostic tool that can help find and solve issues on your network, as well as "night mode," which lowers the brightness while browsing in the dark, and Dolphin Connect for sync.
Jetpack Joyride, a game that's already seen huge success on iOS, finally came to Android today. The game – which ranks with Temple Run in terms of interest and demand from Android users – comes to us from Halfbrick Studios, the minds behind the insanely popular Fruit Ninja, and delivers the same action-packed, stylistically awesome experience as its iOS counterpart.
The game invites players to "take to the skies on a one-way trip to adventure," following the story of Barry Steakfries, who breaks into a secret lab to free experimental jetpacks from evil scientists, causing plenty of mayhem in the process.