For Android developers who like to keep up with the latest features, there are two major events hosted by Google that are not to be missed — Google I/O and the Android Dev Summit. Today being the latter event, Google has brought Android Studio 4.0 to the Android Dev Summit with an early developer preview of Jetpack Compose.
For better or worse, much of Android UI design has traditionally been done in a separate language like XML instead of Java. However, with the recent popularity of development options, like Google’s own Flutter SDK, that allows UI and app code to be written in the same language, there’s been a desire to create Android apps using only Kotlin throughout.
At Google I/O, Android developers got their wish with the announcement of Jetpack Compose, which promised the ability to create modern user interfaces with Kotlin in a way that takes inspiration from Flutter.
Today at the Android Dev Summit, Google has announced that support for Jetpack Compose — including code completion, live previews, and a sample app — has been rolled into the latest Canary release of Android Studio, version 4.0.
The most recent stable release of Android Studio, version 3.5, was focused heavily on fixing bugs and performance issues, rather than shipping new features. Now Google seems to be following that up with a version worthy of upticking from 3.x to 4.x. We’re not sure yet what all this release will entail, but some notable features include “Java 8 library desugaring, motion editor, full support for KTS files, and Kotlin live templates.”
In other Jetpack news, Jetpack’s Benchmark library has moved from Beta phase to a Release Candidate, just one step away from the final “stable” release. Also, Jetpack’s CameraX library, which allows developers to not have to worry about the various quirks and edge cases of each phone’s camera hardware, should see a beta release in December.
Android Studio 4.0 Canary with Jetpack Compose support is available for download now on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS.
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