The company announces the first preview of Jetpack Compose, a new open-source toolkit designed to simplify UI development.
Google on Tuesday announced an expansion of Android Jetpack, a collection of software components to help Android developers write high-quality apps easier, with the release of six new Jetpack libraries in alpha.
According to ZDNet, Google made the announcement at Google I/O, the annual developer conference held in Google’s home town of Mountain View, California.
Jetpack, which was announced last year, is already in use by more than 80 percent of the top 1,000 Android apps. These Jetpack components help developers follow best practices, frees them from writing boilerplate code as well as simplify complex tasks.
An interesting update is Jetpack Compose, a new open-source UI toolkit for Kotlin developers. It combines a reactive programming model with Kotlin programming language to simplify UI development.
“Jetpack Compose is currently in an early-exploration, pre-alpha stage. Its API surfaces are not yet finalized and it should not be used for production,” Google writes on Github.
Easily add camera capabilities to apps with CameraX
Another standout feature is CameraX, an open-source library built to make camera app development easier. It provides a consistent and easy-to-use API surface that works across most Android devices, with backward-compatibility to Android 5.0 (API level 21).
This toolkit enables developers to leverage the same camera experiences and features that preinstalled camera apps provide, with as little as two lines of code.
“The CameraX library is in alpha stage, as its API surfaces aren’t yet finalized. We do not recommend using Alpha libraries in production. Libraries should strictly avoid depending on Alpha libraries in production, as their API surfaces may change in source- and binary-incompatible ways.”
Google is also releasing Android Studio 3.5 beta, which includes better IDE memory management tools, lower typing latency, and CPU usage optimizations for both the IDE & Android Emulator.
Another updates? Sometimes I wonder why I have to install the apps/feature I don’t use a single time.