Android Dev Summit '19 Keynote

Each year Google hosts Android Dev Summit, a conference for Android developers. This year’s summit started just yesterday and I thought I would talk about some of the things I found interesting in the keynote.

Kotlin

Kotlin, which I mentioned in my last blog post, was announced as Google’s preferred language for Android Development earlier this year and it’s been gaining a lot of popularity. According to Karen Ng, a group product manager for Android, almost 60% of the top 1,000 apps on Google play now use Kotlin.

Karen Ng also said that Google are committed to improving Kotlin by partnering with JetBrains. Together, they’re working on compile speeds, IDE typing latency and lint checks. Google are also announcing full IDE support for Kotlin build scripts.

Live layout inspector

The new live layout inspector works similarly to the web inspector on Google Chrome, letting you inspect a UI and see attribute values and how they’re set. This seems like something that would be really useful when building front ends.

Motion editor

The new motion editor and motion layout make animation simpler and more straightforward. With the motion layout, you have a start and end state where you can set keyframes to add animation. Once you’re done, you can play them back in Android Studio complete with a timeline. The motion editor can be found in Android Studio 4.0 Canary 1.

Jetpack compose

Jetpack Compose is a toolkit for building native UIs in Android. As you would expect for a Jetpack project, compose aims to simplify front end development and make things easier. With Jetpack compose, you write your UI in Kotlin rather than XML. At Android Dev Summit this year, Google announced an early developer preview as part of Android Studio 4.0 Canary 1. Like Kotlin, Jetpack Compose can be adopted gradually and doesn’t require you to rewrite everything.

This simple example I saw in a talk shows how it works

@Composable
fun greeting(name : String) {
    Text("Hello $name")
}

This takes a name and simply prints a greeting to said person on the screen. You can learn more about compose on the project page.

Follow the event

Android Dev Summit will be running until the end of today. You can keep up to date with what’s happening on the Android Dev Summit website and the Android Developers YouTube channel.