Google updates Android Jetpack, unveils Jetpack Compose

Android Jetpack development toolkit gains 11 new libraries and a companion toolkit to ease the creation of UIs

Google has updated Android Jetpack, the suite of libraries and tools for Android mobile development. The update includes a series of new libraries for capabilities ranging from building camera apps to benchmarking code. Google also introduced Jetpack Compose, a project aimed at simplifying UI development.

The new Android Jetpack libraries are in alpha or beta stages. These include:

  • Android for Cars, a beta-stage library for building apps that can be installed in a vehicle’s infotainment system via Android Automotive OS.
  • Benchmark, an alpha-stage library for benchmarking Java, Kotlin, and native code. Google has used this library to prevent introduction of latency into code. The library works with the Android Studio IDE.
  • Biometrics Prompt, a beta library for entering biometrics log-in credentials.
  • CameraX, an alpha library for camera app development without having to be concerned with underlying device behavior. The API is backward-compatible to Android 5.0 (API 21) or higher. 
  • ConstraintLayout2, a beta library providing a new way of customizing layouts, using helper classes. Motion and widget animation management is provided, via a MotionLayout type.
  • Enterprise, a beta library enabling managed enterprise apps to send feedback to mobility management providers in the form of keyed app states.
  • Lifecycle and LiveData KTX, an alpha library providing Kotlin coroutines that are lifecycle-aware. Developers can access coroutines scopes tied to lifecycles, coroutines that are lifecycle-aware, and support for asynchronous chains with the liveData builder.
  • Security, an alpha for implementing security best practices including encryption and a hardware-backed keystore with user presence.
  • ViewModel with SavedState, an alpha-stage module that offers the benefits of ViewModel, which saves UI data when a configuration is changed, and SavedState, saving application state.
  • ViewPager2, the next generation of ViewPager, for screen slide transitions. ViewPager2 is in an alpha state.

Google also has rolled out a preview of Jetpack Compose, a toolkit intended to simplify UI development. It combines a reactive programming model with Kotlin. Jetpack Compose can be downloaded from developer.android.com.

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