Top 7 Key takeaways from Google Android Dev Summit 2018

The 2018 Android Dev Summit was held on 7th and 8th November 2018 at The Computer History Museum 1401 N Shoreline Boulevard, Mountain View, CA 94043. There were Top Notch speakers from Google and partners for explaining the new core features for android developers to enhance their capabilities and productivity.


1. Foldable devices: A new form factor

Google is now closely working on supporting foldable screens for mobile devices with Samsung. These devices consist of two screens adjacent to each other. If folded will look like a phone and if unfolded then become a tablet size screen.

This is going to be revolutionary device, as it’s like that it is a phone and tablet both. It will give users a seamless experience with a key feature of Screen Continuity, when switching from folded screen to unfolded screen.

E.g. if you open a video on a small screen i.e. folded screen and later you want to view it on big screen then if you unfold your device then your video will be shown on the big complete screen.

These devices may be launched early in the next year 2019.

2. Emergency location Service updates:

Google has enhanced ELS (emergency location service) for helping people in emergency situation. It tracks the location more precisely using wifi, cell tower and GPS. It helps the emergency service provider in reaching at accurate place in time using Google maps with direction information.

3. Digital wellbeing:

This is a new tool that allows users to track their usage on mobile phones to see amount of time they are spending on each app. Google has added new features like,

  • App timers to limit the usage
  • Do not disturb mode
  • Notifications when reaching limit
  • Developer hooks to display your app’ dashboard usage

4. Enhanced version of Android Jetpack:

It is a new generation tool for accelerated development of android apps. Its main focus is to help developers in writing less code and targeting mode devices. Its development is published to Public AOSP.

Key Components:

  • Paging 2.1
  • Navigation
  • Work Manager
  • Databinding 3.2
  • LiveData
  • Room 2.1: data layer for persistent storage over SQLite.
  • ViewModel
  • Slices: A new way to display your App’s content outside your App.
  • Android X development to public AOSP.

5. What’s new in Android Studio 3.3 beta

  • Android App Bundle:
    • It generates the custom apks as per the needs of users .It helps in reducing the size of apk as per user’s device resolution, screen density, CPU architecture & Languages.
    • It reduces the size of apk by 40%.
  • Enhanced Security using secure key management system.
  • Supports uncompressed native libraries
  • Dynamic features support
    • Install and uninstall the feature on Demand
    • Or Defer install in the background
  • Navigation Editor: This is a new powerful feature in Android studio for the easy implementation and defining a navigational flow of your app across different screens. Developers can define entry and exit animations on each screen via editor window. Developer can also define arguments to be passed from one screen to another using editor. It is a very easy way to define transitions between screens without using code.
  • Google Play Instant:
    1. Size Limit raised to 10 MB
    2. URL is optional
  • Build an app bundle with instant modules in Android studio 3.3

New way to force App updates:

  • Google play in-App update API
    • Immediate in-app update
      • This is a full screen shown to the user whenever an app is opened and user can update the app before using it.
    • Flexible in-app update
      • It doesn’t force user to update the app immediately.

This is a kind of new version notification shown to the user while using the app, And if user want to download new version, it can tap on download button and install will happen in the background and user can use the app as it was using earlier, once download gets finished it will ask user to restart the app to apply the new version.

7. Kotlin 1.3: A new official language for Android

Jake Wharton explained the importance and adoption rate of Kotlin by developers for android apps:

  • #1 fastest growing language
  • 46% of Pro android developers are using Kotlin.

Key Features of Kotlin 1.3:

  • Inline classes
  • Unsigned numbers
  • Multiplatform projects
  • Coroutines releases
  • Android KTX
  • Kotlin Coroutines Codelab
  • Build backend using Google cloud platform using Kotlin

Written and Compiled By: Sunil Bhatia

Sunil Bhatia is Director Technology with labs108 inc, and is a experienced Enterprises Architect, having 18 years of solid experience in managing and executing multiple concurrent projects in Mobile applications in multiple domains on Android and iOS Platform. He has deep experience in managing medium and large sized projects executed using both Agile (SCRUM) and waterfall execution models. He worked on core technologies with HCL, Aricent Technologies (Altran Group), Siemens Information Systems, NEC Systems Technology and DCM Technologies.

By: Himanshu Shekhar

Himanshu Shekhar is Technology Strategist, having 18 years of experience in different domains like BFSI, Telecommunication, Networking Equipments, Storage Devices, Media, TV, Entertainment, Sports, NEWS, and many more. He has expetise in Mobile Apps, Java, J2ee, Oracle, Web, IoT, DevOps, Microservices, Blockchain and AWS Cloud. He is Certified Professional of many Technologies.

He worked in the technology division of companies like Sunlife Financial (Fortune 500 Company), Aricent Technologies (Now Altran Group).

He worked on projects for companies like "Alcatel Lucent NJ USA", "Sandisk USA", "SiS Taiwan", "Photeon GmBH Germany", "AvotMedia Sunnyvale USA", "THQ Wireless", "Ericsson" and many more.

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