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InfoQ Homepage News Jetpack Compose Brings Performance Improvements, Better Tooling Integration, and Updates Material 3

Jetpack Compose Brings Performance Improvements, Better Tooling Integration, and Updates Material 3

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At its Google I/O conference, Google has announced a new iteration of its Jetpack Compose UI toolkit for Android. Among its many improvements, Jetpack Compose has now better performance, extended support within Android Studio, a new Material 3 library, and more.

Google says it is been working on Compose performance by migrating modifiers to a new more efficient implementation. Modifiers in Compose are what you use to decorate or augment a composable, for example to modify its appearance, making it scrollable, draggable, and so on. According to Google, the new system brings a 22% performance improvement on Text and TextField composables, but the hole toolkit benefits from its adoption.

Jetpack Compose includes also new UI features, including a new pager component to flip through a list of items and new FlowRow and FlowColumn layouts to automatically arrange a list of items into a vertical or horizontal layout.

Compose integration in Android Studio has also made progress by including support for live edit and extended animation preview in Android Studio current beta. More features have been packed into Android Studio canary, dubbed Hedgehog, such as displaying which parameters have changed in the debugger to inspect what is causing re-rendering, support for a new Espresso Device API that enables applying rotation changes, folds, and other synchronous configuration changes to virtual devices, and more.

Jetpack Compose also updates the implementation of Android official design system Material Design 3, which reaches version 1.1. Compose Material 3 1.1 brings new components, improved APIs and a number of enhancements. New components include bottom sheets, either standard or modal, which overlap the main UI; new DatePicker and DateRangePicker; a new TimePicker supporting two different layouts, horizontal for keyboard-based time input and vertical for gesture-base time input; revamped search bar and docked search bar, which differ in the way they show search results, either full screen or in a smaller window; and support for tooltips.

The new Jetpack Compose also extends support for large screens, foldable devices, and wearables. In particular, a new Glance library aims to make it easier to develop homescreen, responsive, interactive widgets. Compose for WearOS 1.2 has reached alpha, bringing improvements like loading animations, long list and text folding, enhancements to rotary inputs to navigate through lists, and better preview integration in Android Studio.

For a full list of changes included in the last version of Compose, check the official release notes.

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