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14 April 2019

What a time to love Android and Google

I’m writing this after Google IO ‘19 because I know I have a 1 week window before I start disliking them. 🙃 I’m going to talk about the most exciting things that came out of the conference and why you too should be excited.

Camera X

From a developer standpoint the most annoying things isn’t only building for multiple phone sizes but it’s dealing with camera. Most Samsung phones act differently than other phones so you end up writing a bunch of custom code to handle that. My understanding of Camera X is that under the hood all these customizations are already configured so now we are saving code. Not only are we saving code but within jetpack we are cutting down on resources. The smaller your app size is the greater it’s chances of staying on a users phone.(this is assuming they like your app)

Pixel 3a

This isn’t developer related but boy do I love some good hardware. The pixel 3a was basically a phone we all knew could happen years ago made into reality. This phone has all the perks of the Pixel 3 but for $400 (that’s like half price). Like with Apple’s iPhone XR (which I typed most of this from) this proves the point that you don’t need to be charging $1000+ for a phone.

Kotlin is the official language

I been saying Kotlin was official for the past year because Google added Kotlin to all their documentation. Kotlin makes it really easy for people who don’t like Java to jump into Android development. Along with Kotlin being the official language there are more courses backed by google and jetbrains on how to get started.

Accessibility

Sometimes I feel like “accessibility” is used as a buzzword vs people actually doing the work around it but Google is actually doing work. From design to robust app features. I was so excited to learn more and there were a lot of sessions led by people with different needs. I am excited to put more time into making apps more accessible the right way.

Dark Mode

Dark Mode might not be exciting for most but as someone who loves black/dark grey it’s perfect for me. Dark Mode helps save battery life and just looks cool. IOS added dark mode last year on Mac so I’m glad google decided to follow their lead on mobile.

Google Assistant

If I knew what a hype beast was I’d say this is it! Google is basically made it so you don’t have to keep touching your phone. You can rent a car, respond to txt, set timer, add to calendar, all of the things all by just saying “ok Google”!!! This is like the biggest game changer. Amazon got in the voice game early so they were dominating but it seems like Google is hot on their heels. Making assistant apps have gotten better too with all this news. There is going to be more integration with Android apps so you can control whole user stories using voice. I’ve looked into writing Google assistant apps once before but now I think I want to seriously jump in. Now you don’t have to use Kotlin for these. Like Alexa you can use nodes and js or I hear they have a porting tool you could use and their developer advocates on stackoverflow are really good.

Machine Learning

This is the last big thing I’m excited about. This could easily fall under accessibility but I wanted to separate them. Google is the biggest holder of user data right now and google is really using that data to make big impact everywhere. Last year they were talking about analyzing cancer images, but this year they were talking about using machine learning to understand people with speech impediments. This is huge! Helping people feel included in your platform can really set one apart with this new voice wave emerging.


Well this is all I got for now. As I learn more and test I’ll be sure to write about it. On the other hand if you don’t want to keep up with all this but want to talk about how it can benefit your app/future app book a 1-hr call with me

tags: google - android - kotlin - pixel - ml - marchine learning