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InfoQ Homepage News Google Revamps Android Material Design, Improves UI Toolkit and Android Studio

Google Revamps Android Material Design, Improves UI Toolkit and Android Studio

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At the recent Google I/O conference, Google introduced a number of significant improvements to its Android platform. Most notably, the original Material Design, introduced in 2014, gets a major overhaul, Jetpack Compose gets closer to 1.0, and Android Studio improves productivity.

Material You attempts to bring Android UI design paradigm up-to-date with the current mobile landscape, which requires growing flexibility and customazibility.

The challenge today has broadened. Computing continues to grow with more screens appearing in more areas of our lives. Also, users are demanding more expressiveness and control over their personal devices. They’re seeking experiences that are more than just practical and functional—experiences that also evoke emotion.

One of the key features of Material You is its promise to adapt to each user's style and preference by customizing the color palette used by apps based on a wallpaper selection. Google is confident of its capacity to automatically tailor any app's style for any user's palette preference.

Material You also aims to make is easier for developers to adapt to different form factors, screen sizes, input modalities, and all hardware variations that are found from desktop to mobile to wearable contexts. Related to this, Material You also focuses on improving accessibility by extending the possibilities for users to customize the UI and tailor it to their needs.

Material You is part of Android 12, which is currently available in beta.

After two years in development, Jetpack Compose is now approaching its first stable release. Compose aims to simplify and accelerate UI development for Android apps, the key idea being Compose is to build UIs out of composable elements that stay in place and adapt to changes to their environment. For example, if you use Hilt to manage dependency injection, Compose is able to automatically create a view model for you. Jetpack Compose is getting support for Material You and better integration with other libraries in Jetpack to make its adoption easier.

Jetpack itself is getting many improvements, including CameraX, aimed to make it easier to use camera functionality across devices; Paging 3 used to display data in small chunks; Security crypto, to simplify encryption usage; and so on.

On the front of tooling, Android Studio Arctic Fox, now in beta, aims to accelerate UI design, extend apps to new devices, and boost developer productivity, says Google. Android Studio improves its integration with Compose tooling, support for running tests on multiple devices, simplify database and concurrent debugging with the App Inspector. Android Studio also moves to Gradle 7 and introduces support for Apple Silicon for developers using macOS.

Android Studio Arctic Fox can be downloaded from the Google developer portal.

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