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Google’s Jetpack Compose developer tool now available in beta


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Google’s Jetpack Compose developer tool now available in beta




Google LLC announced today that Jetpack Compose, a new tool that’s meant to help developers build Android applications faster, is now available in beta test mode.


Jetpack Compose, in alpha mode since last year, is designed to speed up the Android development by streamlining the process of creating each app’s user interface. That has always been a time-consuming task for developers that involves writing lots of customized code.


Previously, the UI elements of each Android app had to be created using the XML markup language, whereas the app’s core features were written in a second language. Jetpack Compose eliminates the need to use XML, and instead developers get to write both the UI and the features of their app in a single, simpler language, called Kotlin.


Jetpack Compose also eases development in other ways, by reducing how much code developers must write to handle UI changes, for example. If a user of an e-commerce app takes out an item from their shopping cart, the app needs to refresh to reflect that change. Interface elements written in Jetpack Compose can apply such updates with considerably less code than XML-based implementations.


Google said in a blog post that Jetpack Compose can be thought of as “a declarative UI toolkit” that enables developers to describe what their app UI should look like for each given application state, rather than describing how to produce it, as they would do when using XML. As Google explains it, Compose takes care of updating the UI when the app state changes, so developers don’t have to go through the tedious, error-laden process of manipulating the UI into the desired state.


The beta release of Jetpack Compose brings the project to “API completion” and contains all of the features developers can expect to find when version 1.0, the first stable release, comes out later this year, Google added.


One big focus for the beta release was ensuring interoperability with existing Android apps. Google said it has come up with several integrations with common libraries to help developers migrate their apps into the Jetpack Compose UI framework.

“A lot of app developers have existing code so we built Compose so it’s interoperable,” Google Product Director Karen Ng told SiliconANGLE. “You don’t have to rewrite your app.”


To help developers get to grip with Jetpack Compose, Google has updated its learning pathway for the beta release with a new, curated list of video tutorials, hands-on code labs and various documentation. In addition, Google has created eight sample applications built in Jetpack Compose that developers can tinker with to see how it works.


Google said the next steps are to focus on stabilizing the Jetpack Compose APIs ahead of its full 1.0 release later this year.


With reporting from Robert Hof


Image: Google



Source: Google’s Jetpack Compose developer tool now available in beta


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