Android Development Rewind – Year 2019

There’s no dull year in the world of Android and 2019 was no different. Many APIs got deprecated, many new APIs hit stable release.

So, in this article, I’ll try to incorporate all the major events in the world of Android in 2019. Let me know if you want something to be added in the comments.

 

10. Android Studio is a lot Cooler!

With updates such as Preview for Compose, Visual Editor for Motion Layout, Apply Changes android has surpassed the definition of IDE.

It has made complex processes such as connecting to firebase, adding ML Kit etc…just a single click process! This year the Android Studio team focused on fixing performance issues and evident bugs with Android Studio and I can say that they indeed pulled off a really good job.

android jetpack compose

9. Code Search with Cross References for the Android Open Source Project

This was yet another big announcement in 2019. Android repository is a collection of multiple repositories and it was difficult for developers to search code references to different repositories.

Well, this has gotten easier with Code Search where developers can click a reference to another project and they’ll be redirected to that specific piece of code. I think this would be extremely useful for framework engineers who deal with AOSP on a regular basis.

android code

8. Huawei Ban

In May 2019, due to to US-China trade war, Google was forced to pull Huawei’s license for Android OS.

This meant that the new Huawei phones such as Mate 30 Pro would not have the latest Android OS. However, existing Huawei devices will continue to receive security updates.

This article will give you more clarity about the whole situation: Huawei Ban

 

7. No More 32-bit ONLY apps

After 1st August Play Store has stopped accepting apps which support 32-bit architecture only. Developers will have 2 years to update their apps to support 32-bit Architectures as after that their 32-bit only apps wouldn’t be available for download.

However this is relaxed for games built on Unity engine 5.6 as it can be costly for game developers to upgrade. You can read more about how to upgrade here.

 

6. Work Manager hits Stable Release

Work Manager is one of the most brilliant APIs Google has released for android in a long time. It hit stable release on 9th March 2019.

It is a Scheduler API to schedule deferrable tasks on a worker thread. In fact, I’ve written a series of articles on Work Manager which you should definitely check out:

 

5. Android Supports Dark Theme

Android Q now officially supports dark theme. It was long due and finally was announced at Google IO 2019. 

And it’s as easy as creating a new theme in styles.xml extending from Theme.AppCompat.DayNight. Have a look at this article to know more about how to add dark theme to your android app.

android dark theme

4. Flutter Web Support moves to Beta

Flutter hit stable release in December 2018 and just a year later, it has moved it’s web support to Beta. It is a toolkit by Google to enable developers to build apps for Mobile, Web and Desktop with a single codebase.

 

3. JetPack Compose hits Developer Preview

Jetpack Compose recently moved from alpha to developer preview. And though I was vary of using it at first, but it grew upon me as I built a small application with it. If you want to know about JetPack Compose, I’d suggest giving this article a read.

jetpack compose

 

2. Goodbye AsyncTasks

For many Android Developers, AsyncTask was their first API for networking/offloading tasks from UI threads. And to be honest, they worked really well if used properly. 

But with the advent of Volley, Retrofit, RxJava and now Coroutines, it was eventually time for AsyncTask to be deprecated. AsyncTasks will be deprecated from Android 11.

asynctask deprecated

1. No More Deserts!

This was probably the biggest announcement of 2019 when Google dropped the tradition of naming new android releases based on deserts with Android 10. 

Reason given by Google was that desert names don’t resonate with everyone around the world and numbers were probably the way to go for Android OS to be recognized internationally.

android 10

 

These were the 10 major announcements from the Android world in 2019. Next year we have a lot to look forward to especially with things such as Jetpack compose, Camera X stable release, Flutter stable release for web.

If you want something to be added to the list, let me know in the comments section below.

 

 

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