At DevSummit 21, Google welcomes Android devices to the big screen

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At DevSummit 21, Google welcomes Android devices to the big screen

Google is now bridging that gap with the first alpha of Compose Material 3, which provides a collection of newly-styled components and themes, including support for dynamic color. Material You is part of a new 1.1 release of Jetpack Compose, still considered beta quality, that also brings features like stretch overscroll animation, improved touch-target sizing, and experimental lazy layout animations.

Both Jetpack and Jetpack Compose include APIs that allow developers to add support for large screens and new form factors to their apps. Google says there are over 250M large-screen devices in use, including both tablets and foldable devices, which make for the fastest growing segment of the market. For this reason, Google has readied a new version of Android to take advantage of the bigger screen estate of those devices, bringing a new feature drop for Android 12, Android 12L, to the market.

For example, on devices larger than 600dp, many system views adopt a new two-column layout to display more information and combine different widgets. Similarly, to make it easier to switch to a different app and control split-screen mode, Android 12L include a new bottom taskbar. Android 12L brings new APIs for developers, with Google’s promise that they did not break any current features.

With 12L we’ve optimised and polished the system UI for large screens, made multitasking more powerful and intuitive, and improved our compatibility support for apps so they look better right out of the box.

Story Highlights

  • Google has revealed a number of new technologies targeted at helping developers build better apps across a variety of devices and device factors at its AndroidDevSummit’21. Material You for Jetpack Compose, Android 12L support for wide screens, an expanded Jetpack library, and more are among them. Material You was released as part of Android 12 a few months ago to refresh the Android UI design paradigm and bring it up to speed with the current mobile landscape, which demands increasing flexibility and customizability for a variety of users and devices. Google also announced the first public release of Jetpack Compose, the modern framework for defining declarative native UI for Android.

  • As mentioned, Jetpack itself is also being extended, adding support for multiple backstacks in Navigation, simplified handling of Android 12 background task restrictions in WorkManager, and DataStore 1.0, a replacement for SharedPreferences. In addition, Jetpack adds auto-migration and multi-map relations to its SQLite-based persistence library Room, as well as a new benchmarking tool called Macrobenchmark.

Android 12L is available as a developer preview with a public release planned early next year. As a final note from the Android Dev Summit, it is worth mentioning Google is working to bring Compose support to Wear OS, which is also getting new features such as the Tiles API and Wath Face Studio.