This UI topic deserves its own callout because Jetpack Compose IS THE FUTURE UI TOOLKIT FOR ANDROID. It’s pretty huge, folks. And it’s been out there to play around with for a while. But if you’re one of those developers that likes to hang back until things settle down a bit, then this might be a good time for you to tune in, check it out, and give us feedback.
It’s an Alpha release, so expect the API to still be in flux as the team hones the details heading toward Beta. But a lot of the fundamentals of the API and the programming model should be pretty set and solid now, and there’s a lot more content to learn from, so try it out and let us know how it works for you.
Some things to start, or continue, your Compose journey include the learning pathway for Jetpack Compose (which includes articles, videos, and codelabs), Leland Richardson’s Thinking in Compose video, several new code samples, and the Compose website with all kinds of links to more resources.
And if you want to know more of the back story and internal details of Compose, check out the ADB podcast we posted last week.
This library has been used in alpha and beta forms for some time now, but it was finally time for it to grow up into a stable adult member of our society.
Flow virtual layout, which is helpful for chaining several items together in a way that they can flow onto the next line when there is not enough space available in the container at runtime.
Layer, a helper which makes it easy to apply transformations to several views at once.
MotionLayout, a subset of ConstraintLayout which enables rich UI transition animations. Android Studio now offers Motion Editor, a design tool for MotionLayout, simplifying the process for creating these powerful experiences. Check out Scott Swarthout’s article on the new Motion Editor tool in Studio and Sean’s new sample to get started.
As usual, there were several Android libraries released in various versions recently. Most of these were alphas and betas of various stages of development. A few notable releases to check out include:
- Concurrent 1.1.0: This library simplifies converting from ListenableFuture to Kotlin coroutines.
- Webkit 1.3.0: This new version enables ForceDarkStrategy, the WebMessageListener API, and checking whether WebView is running in multi-process mode.
- ConstraintLayout 2.0.0: This release has a bunch of exciting new features like MotionLayout, which I already talked about above.
- Security-Identity-Credential 1.0.0-alpha01: This new library provides access to the new credential APIs in Android 11, with a keystore-backed implementation for older releases back to API 24.