Google I/O 2019: Major Updates to Boost Up Android Apps and Business Growth

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In this blog post, we have covered all the major announcement which were made in the Google I/O 2019 to boost up android apps.

Started on May 7th and ended on May 9th at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California, Google I/O 2019 made the week special for both developers and app users.

It’s an annual developer conference, where the internet giant announces new hardware, software, and lots of other important updates related to apps and its services. This year, Google has also announced various updates in gaming, Android, cross-platform coding, Android OS user experience, and lots more.

We’re going to talk about every important update, which can improve Android apps, in terms of performance, security, user engagement, etc. But, before this, it’s important to discuss certain basics of the Google event, to cater to those who have a curiosity to explore everything about the event.

What does I/O Stand for in Google I/O?

First organized in 2008, Google I/O is also narrated as I/O that stands for input/output. ‘Innovation in the Open’ is the most popular slogan that defines I/O in a better way.

Where is Google I/O?

The Google conference 2019 was held at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California. The venue of Google I/O was changed two times. It was held in San Francisco, CA from 2008 to 2015 and Mountain View, CA from 2016 to 2018.

Major Announcements and their Impact on Android Development

Every Android developer must take into account these major announcements, for creating performance-packed, scalable and user-centric apps to cater to custom business needs.

Android Jetpack (Alpha version libraries)

Jetpack got a major update in the form of 11 Jetpack libraries that can make Android app development faster and easier. Whereas earlier introduced Jetpack Compose is used to simplify UI development.

  • Camera X library enables Android app development companies to build powerful camera applications and integrate the best camera functionality.
  • Lifecycle & LiveData KTX library simplifies how concurrency is tackled within Android applications.
  • Benchmark library lets Android apps companies get the quickest ways of benchmarking their app code, whether it’s written in Java or Kotlin.
  • The Security library implements the right security practices for Android apps. It now balances encryption properly with performance, especially for consumer applications.
  • ViewModel with the SavedState module can remove boilerplate code and earn advantages of using both SavedState and ViewModel with common code. ViewPager2 provides a quite easier way of listening for page data changes.

Android Jetpack (Beta library)

  • Developers can now tackle the complicated transition even without using coding via MotionLayout, which is a part of ConstraintLayout 2.0 that advocates for new optimizations and also the latest way of optimizing the app’s layout.
  • The Biometric library offers users a complete trustworthy experience with an app.
  • Jetpack Enterprise library lets your app avail advantage of backward compatibility with a fully managed configuration.
  • Android for Cars libraries helps you get a complete driver-optimized version of your app.
  • Jetpack Compose will be created with a couple of principles including Kotlin’s advantages, declarative for defining UI components, offering reusable blocks for creating custom widgets easily, compatible with existing appearance, material design, and more.

New in Chrome and Web

Addressed by Ben Galbraith, Dion Almaer, and others, this session at Google I/O 2019 majorly talked about certain improvements for web platforms, while primarily focused on three key goals such as Instant, Powerful, and Safe.

Impact on Web App Development

  • The app development companies can now use Preload and Prefetch to help browsers understand what to prioritize, when it comes to the current page, to improve the performance of the web apps.
  • Developers can improve overall user experience with Lazy Loading, which ensures loading only those images that users browse through. It can automatically manage new images to load when scrolled by users.
  • Google Search Console got a new speed report that helps developers get a full insight at the URL level. It helps them get aggregated details regarding how a group of pages of apps can be improved further.
  • Android developers can use Paint Holding to look at the page that’s being loaded and also whether it responds quickly and enough. It can reduce the flash of white when a browser displays that the app page is loading.
  • Google has announced to open up Duplex to the web, which developers can leverage to make more powerful PWAs. For instance, users can easily make a car rental reservation. All they need to say, help me find a rental car through a rental company, and the app will pull up the site and make reservations automatically.
  • Google team has worked to build Performance Budgets directly into Lighthouse, after witnessing the majority of well-known apps implemented Performance Budget within their development environment.
  • Developers can now make PWA more powerful by leveraging Web Perception Toolkit, Trusted Web Activities and the ‘Install’ button in Chrome UI. Web Perception Toolkit lets developers easily integrate with the device camera. Trusted Web Activities enable developers to integrate website content into Android Apps. Whereas the ‘Install’ button in Chrome UI improves the discoverability of PWAs and prompts users to install it.
  • The new update at Google IO will also help developers to make PWAs more secure by letting users find details with transparency, regarding how sites deal with cookies. The Google team is also planning to help developers in providing better privacy protection for users by limiting the cross-site cookies to HTTPS connections. The team is also planning to improve the fingerprint option further.
  • Firebase team has expanded successfully the performance monitoring tool, which is set to web apps in beta.

Android Development Tools

Addressing the session at Google I/O 2019, Tor Norbye said, “We are not going to introduce any new tools and technologies for Android development this year. Since we have focused on your issues and worked hard to resolve them.” He focused mainly on issues such as System Health, Feature Polish, and Bug Backlog.

Impact on Android App Development

  • Google team has opened up opportunities for Android developers to improve the health of mobile apps with certain major areas of improvements such as UI freeze dashboard, registration infrastructure, out of memory exception dashboard, leak report, client-side heap analysis, automatic leak detection, etc.
  • Android app development will be more focused on Kotlin-first. Developers dealing with new projects have to write code in Kotlin, which will include new Jetpack APIs and then features.
  • Live Caption is an important highlight of Android Q. It uses Android Audio Framework APIs and will enable developers to build apps that can display live caption for video or audio files. Leveraging tools like live transcription lets developers create Android apps that can directly recognize any speech and display it as text.
  • Dark theme is another important improvement that developers can leverage while developing Android apps to easily use the functionality to their application. It has the potential to enable the dark mode when the battery saver-mode gets turned on.
  • To deal with bug backlog, Android developers can now make it easier by developing a complete infrastructure to catch bug.

Android Studio Design Tools

Addressed by Vadim Caen, Jerome Gaillard, and others, this session at I/O 2019 was primarily focused on creating layout, navigation, resources, and inspection.

Impact on Android Designing

  • Layout Editor lets developers create a wonderful user experience in multiple steps such as creating an outline, contextual menu, enhanced preview, constraint popup, attribute panel, and custom dimension. Sample data is useful for developers in creating a wonderful preview app. In the case of travel apps, they can leverage sample data of cities.
  • Navigation Editor helps developers visualize the entire app’s layout. They can use navigation architecture components to create a complete predictable flow for users through the app.
  • Android app will now help users get accurate information regarding action, destination, etc. On the other hand, placeholders make it possible to quickly draft the entire app navigation flow.
  • With Preview Layout, Android app designers can build a complete 3D view to visualize background color and can change as per the client’s requirements.

Creating Flutter Applications

Presented by Emily Shack, Fortuna and others, in this session at Google I/O, there were many talks on how to make Flutter app beautiful and platform adaptive. The main focus was on various code practices to make Flutter app development more effective with improved user experience.

Impact on Flutter Development

  • The recent event of Google paved the way for creating Flutter apps with more capability and perfect user experience. Developers can leverage the Flutter framework in Dart, C++ Flutter engine, platform-specific embedder, Flutter web engine, browser, iOS Android runner, and hardware.

Android OS User Interface

In this session of Google I/O, addressed by Artur Tsurkan, Mike Digman, Abodunrinwa Toki, and others, much was explained, in terms of the way Android can empower developers to enable their apps perfectly to help users get things done properly. However, the main focus was on three key factors including sharing, notification, and multi-tasking.

Impact on Android App Development

  • With Sharing Shortcut, developers can improve the sharing capability of your app and help users in sharing directly within your app, including top contacts, folders, and groups.
  • It’s now easy for an app development company to let users see the content at the right time via Gentle Notification, which is effective in organizing valuable notifications while ensuring these are not time-sensitive for users.
  • On the other hand, Android apps can deliver a more seamless experience with Notification Actions, which help users quickly reply with suggested responses and can also access related deep links directly. Users can also edit reply before sending it.
  • Developers can improve the multitasking ability of Android apps with Picture-in-Picture that helps users visually monitor the task.
  • New Android apps will enable users to get a complete preview of what they are going to share.
  • Bubble is a new feature of Android Q, which lets developers build amazing Android apps that can improve the user experience while messaging, calling, etc. Users get the flexibility to access valuable tasks from any location and anytime.

Cross-platform Coding

The session was addressed by Mike MacDonald, Frank, Jen, and Kat, who described expense tracking and also focused on the Firebase app. They emphasized on many key factors like scanning a report, determining total on receipt, and keep a running total of expenses. Firebase doesn’t need creating any infrastructure for your application.

New in Gaming

Google I/O 2019 emphasized several new features aiming to help developers build, launch, and grow the demand for Android games. Google’s Tian Tim talked about Google cloud to boost the game’s infrastructure and also added certain new capabilities, e.g; ML. They also talked about Stadia, announced at Google’s GDC this year, for memory management and multi-core performance.

Impact on Android Game

  • Developers can now leverage a new memory improvement to boost the game’s memory and help it stay fit.
  • Now it’s easy for developers to cater to the client’s requirements of synchronizing their game and improve frame rate, to make game more quick and powerful.
  • Google Play Console includes a pre-launch report that helps your game to be easily discovered among users. It helps you target, optimize, and monitor your game across Android Fleet.
  • Now it’s really easy to attract players earlier in the life-cycle and offer some special in-app items leveraging pre-registration awards.
  • Developers can easily improve the performance of Android games through developer-selected peer benchmarks that let them compare games against a set of 8 to 12 peers of their choice.
  • Developers can leverage AI to improve players’ experience, user retention, and acquisition. The technology helps in limiting cheating multi-player game types, anomaly detection, etc.

Conclusion

The recent updates by Google, are directed towards improving functionality, performance, and user experience of Android apps. So, businesses seeking to have an app has a genuine reason to choose Android application, and reap out its potential benefits to their improve growth and revenues.

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