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Sep 26

Android L’s Preview: Exclusively for developers!

By zealousys

Google’s newly announced Android L, which is assumed to have been nicknamed as Lemon Meringue Pie, has a lot to offer to the developers. As of now, the users have got nothing to do with Android L whereas for the developers, there are many benefits foreseen, since the version is under construction.

First and foremost, is the Material Design Support that has been much talked about. One can make apps with material design that are visually dynamic and consist of UI [user interface] element transitions that look natural to users. It also includes the following:

  • The material theme
  • View shadows
  • The Recycler View widget
  • Drawable animation and styling effects
  • Material design animation and activity transition effects
  • Animators for view properties based on the state of a view
  • Customizable UI widgets and app bars with color palettes that you control

The next interesting point is the new Task Locking API which allows developers to temporarily restrict users from going away or getting disturbed by other notifications.

This kind of an API helps in developing education apps that require high stakes assessment. The added advantage is that any unauthorized usage can be prevented because the task locking is only available for the authorized apps.

What should be paid attention at?

It is being said that the new Android Run-time [ART] is the default run-time in this version unlike Android 4.4. This ART has the under-mentioned features:

  • Ahead-of-Time (AOT) compilation
  • Improved garbage collection (GC)
  • Mended debugging support

At the same time, android developers need to be alert, especially if:

  • Their app makes use of Java Native Interface (JNI) to run C/C++ code.
  • They use development tools which generate non-standard code (such as some obfuscators).
  • They utilize techniques which are non-compatible with compacting garbage collection.

Many Android apps work without change under ART but few techniques that function on Dalvik do not work on ART.

Since, it is just a preview and not the ‘final release’, users need not worry about the performance issues of Android L. The operating system is still at the disposal of the software developers.

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