Android Developers Can Now Drive Users Upgrade Their Apps

01 Dec

In its Android Dev Summit, Google today announced several new tools and features for programmers that write programs for its mobile operating system. Some of those are not any surprise, such as support for the most recent release of this Kotlin language, which is becoming ever more popular in the Android developer ecosystem, as well as new features for its Android Jetpack tools and APIs, as well as the Android Studio IDE. The biggest surprise, however, is probably the initiation of the In-app Updates API.

Though the title doesn't just make it sound like a break-through attribute, it is really a major deal. With this new API, programmers now have two new approaches to drive users to upgrade their program.

"Here is something which developers have requested us for a very long time is say you own an app and you wish to make sure that the consumer is running the most recent model," Google senior director for Android merchandise management and developer relations Stephanie Saad Cuthbertson informed me. "That is something developers really fret."

Suppose you shipped your application with a significant bug (it happens...) and would like to make sure that every user updates immediately; you will shortly be able to show them a full-screen obstructing message which will be exhibited when they first start the program again and again while the update is applied. That's obviously only meant for major bugs. The next option allows the user with more flexibility and permits them to keep on utilizing the program while the upgrade is downloaded. Developers can completely customize these upgrade flows.

At the moment, the newest updates API is currently in testing with a couple of partners and the plan is to open it to more developers shortly.

Since Cuthbertson worried, the team's attention in recent years has been around providing developers what they want. The poster child for this, she noted, is Kotlin languages. "It wasn't a Google-designed speech and possibly not the clear choice -- but it actually was the best choice," she informed us. "When you examine the past several decades, you may really see an investment which started with the IDE. It is actually just five years since that time, we have been building out it, completely based on developer feedback."

The company announced that 46 percent of specialist developers now utilize Kotlin and over 118,000 new Kotlin projects were launched in Android Studio in the last month alone (and that's only from consumers that opt into discussing metrics together with Google), to ensure investment is unquestionably paying off.

One thing developers have lately been whining about, however, is that build times in Android Studio have slowed down. "What we saw internally was that construct times are getting faster, but that which we heard from developers externally is they are becoming slower," Cuthbertson said. "We began benchmarking, both internally in controlled conditions, but for anyone who opted in, we began benchmarking the entire ecosystem." What the team found was that Gradle, the heart of the Android Studio build system, is getting much quicker, but the system and platform you build on also includes significant effects. Cuthbertson noted that the Spectre and Meltdown fix needed a major effect on both Windows and Linux users, as for example, as do plugins. So moving forward, the team is constructing new profiling and research tools to allow programmers to gain more insights into their build times and Google will build more of its plugins to accelerate its operations.

Almost all of this isn't in the recent Android Studio 3.3 beta (and beta 3 of version 3.3 which is launch recently ), but only one factor Android Studio users will probably be happy to listen is that Chrome OS will get official support to your IDE first next year, utilizing Chrome OS's new ability to run Linux software.

Other updates, the firm announced today are brand new Jetpack Architecture Component libraries for Navigation and Work Manager, making it simpler for developers to add Android's navigation principles in their programs and execute background tasks without needing to write a lot of boilerplate code. Android App Bundles, which enable developers to modularize their programs and ship parts of them on demand, can also be getting some updates, as are Immediate Programs, which users can operate without installing them manually. Employing web URLs for Instant Apps is now optional and constructing them in Android Studio has become simpler.

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