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Android: 15 new things developers need to know

What’s been happening on Android in the last few months? Below, we share with you the 15 new things you should know about this platform: 

New version of the operating system

The most important new feature of 2021 was the release of Android 12, which includes:

1. Redesign of the User Interface (UI)

It is called Material You
and one of its most prominent features is the custom design. The color of all settings and screens can now be defined by the predominant color of the background image.

2. Security and privacy changes

Users can now completely turn off the camera and microphone, and thus ensure that they are not using these functions.

3. GPS

Android 12 now allows users to tell an app the precise or approximate location.

4. Foldable devices

With the success of flexible screens, Android is working to take advantage of the horizontality and split-screen modes of these devices. Its north? To improve and make the user experience easier on all devices.

Android TV 

Many brands of TVs are incorporating this operating system, which already has Android 12. Improved home screen design with direct access to search, apps, and recommendations; automatic playback of movie trailers; advances in privacy and security; and better support for HDMI and tuners, among others.

6. Huawei

Huawei’s split with Android is a done deal. Its devices are already using Harmony OS, its own operating system that is already at version 2.0.

7. Wear OS

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is the first smartwatch model from this Korean brand to use Wear OS 3, the unified operating system from Google and Samsung.

This alliance, which was announced during the most recent edition of the Google IO, allows Samsung smartwatches to have access to Google Play applications for the first time.

The Wear OS operating system is already at version 3.0, and will be included throughout this Samsung lineup.

Native application development

8. Kotlin

Google continues to recommend Kotlin
as the language of choice for Android, as it has many advantages in terms of development productivity.

9. JetPack Compose

One thing to always have on your radar is Jetpack, which is the set of libraries that stores best practices for code to work properly. New versions, such as JetPack Compose
, allow you to code screens using code.

Android and GeneXus

In 2021 GeneXus was evolving GeneXus 17 version adding features such as:

10. Incorporation of new formats required by the Store to publish binaries

The Android App Bundle
, a new Android binary format, is already included in GeneXus, as well as the new application icon format.

11. Huawei Generator

Thanks to this generator, the range of services provided by Huawei can be easily implemented by changing the properties from GeneXus and thus publish applications to the Huawei AppGallery.

12. Maps

Layers, line drawing, polygons, areas, and new providers were added. This information can be expanded in the following content: State of the Art: Creating Applications for Smart Cities.

13. UI Testing

This functionality allows performing UI Testing in GeneXus in a simple way. How is it done? You define a new object, tell it what to do, and then you can see the object in execution in the emulator or in the device; in this way you can check if what you have programmed happens correctly or not.

To see this topic in more detail, you can see the deep dive Software Testing with GeneXus.

14. Design System Object

It is a new object that allows to define the design of the application in a simple and easy way. To learn more about this object, and to see it in execution, click on How to model a Design System from scratch.

15. Super Apps and Mini Apps Support

This is one of the topics that GeneXus will focus on in 2022. If you want to go deeper about this technology, you can read 3 talks about Super Apps.

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