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19 November 2021

#AndroidDevSummit ‘21: 3 things to know for Modern Android Development

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Posted by Florina Muntenescu, Developer Relations Engineer

Green graphic with Jetpack and android logos

From updates to Jetpack libraries, more guidance on using Kotlin coroutines and Flow in your android app and new versions of Android Studio, here are the top 3 things you should know:

#1 Jetpack feature updates

We’ve been working to add the features you’ve been asking us for in a lot of Jetpack libraries, here are a few highlights:

  • Navigation brings multiple backstacks support—no code update needed, just make sure you use the latest version.
  • WorkManager, our recommended solution for persistent work, makes it easier to handle Android 12 background restrictions, adding support for expedited jobs
  • Room adds auto-migration and multi-map relations.
  • DataStore, our coroutines based replacement for SharedPreferences, has reached 1.0.
  • Macrobenchmark, a tool to measure and improve startup and frame performance, added simplified and more accurate frame timing, and compatibility back to Android M

But if you want to deep dive, you should really check out: WorkManager - back to the foreground - where you’ll learn all about the latest APIs and features.

#2 Kotlin and Flow usage

Coroutines are the recommended solution for asynchronous work and Kotlin Flow is the obvious choice for managing streams of data in Android apps. To learn how to use Flows in practice, check out this Android Dev Summit session:

The talk also covers important things like how to stop collecting from the UI when it’s not needed, using the newly stable lifecycle-aware coroutines APIs: repeatOnLifecycle and flowWithLifecycle.

#3 Android Studio and LiveEdit for Jetpack Compose

In the Android Studio world, Arctic Fox is stable, Bumblebee is in Beta and Chipmunk is in Canary, all of them bringing a bunch of new features for Jetpack Compose and Material You, developer productivity and 12L and large screens.

The What’s new in Android Studio talk is a must see, especially the sneak peek demo of LiveEdit. LiveEdit is a generalization of live editing of literals, where you get to edit more general scenarios than just constants and strings: you can comment out parts of the UI, reorder composable calls and see the result on the phone in milliseconds. But, we want to make sure that this feature is really right before we include it in Android Studio, so stay tuned for it in the next releases.

You want more? Then sit back, relax and watch the full Modern Android Development playlist.