Google I/O 2015 Recap For Android Developers
Last week Google I/O, Google’s annual developer conference, took place in San Francisco. It was an exciting week for Android developers as there were new enhancements and updates to Google Cardboard, Android Wear, Google Play Services, and just about every other Google product. Here are my three biggest takeaways from Google I/O to help you get ready to implement them in your own Android apps.
M Developer Preview
As expected, Android Lollipop will be followed by Android M (still a code name).
While the introduction of Material Design made Lollipop a dramatic departure from previous versions of Android, M will have a focus on quality and performance. In addition to a plethora of bug fixes and enhancements, there will still be plenty of goodies for developers to take advantage of when M releases this fall. Here are some of the highlights:
One of the most significant changes this fall will arrive in the Android Permission system. Previously, you were able to specify what your app required, but with M, permissions have been simplified and optimized. This change will require your users to accept permissions at runtime instead of install time.
Gone are the days of requiring users to enter passwords. With just a few lines of code, you’ll be able to integrate Android M’s new Fingerprint Authentication.
So Much More
There are tons of other features packed into Android M, including enhanced Notifications, Voice Interactions, and Direct Sharing. You can learn about all of these features in the Android M Developer Preview API Overview.
You can also start playing around with the Android M Developer Preview today on your Nexus 5, 6, and 9 devices. To learn more about the Preview, head to the Android M Developer Preview website.
Material Design Updates
It’s been a big year for Material Design; here on the blog we’ve written about Material Themes, Toolbar, and the awesome controls you can use. Material Design is now one year old, and Google has done a fantastic job of updating their Design Guidelines for designers and developers to include all of the latest controls, including extending to TV and Auto.
Even more of a game changer for developers is the introduction of the new Design Support Library, which now includes the Floating Action Button, Material Tabs, Snackbar, AppBarLayout, CollapsingToolbarLayout, and much more! We’re excited to announce that you are able to take advantage of this brand new Design Support Library today with our release of a preview NuGet package for your Xamarin.Android apps. We’ve also released a sample to help you quickly learn these great new Design Support Library features.
All the Libraries!
The Android fun doesn’t stop there, though! There have also been several updates to core Android libraries that we’re making available today as preview NuGet packages, including Google Play Services, Android Support Libraries, and the latest and greatest Android Wearable Library.
One of the most exciting new libraries we released today is Chrome Custom Tabs, which enables you to easily and elegantly display websites with the power of Chrome without having your users leave your app. It’s available today on NuGet and as a full source code sample on GitHub so you can get started today!