Results of the year for Android developers

    The year 2014 is coming to an end, and before setting off for the long New Year holidays, our Android tech leader Aleksey Zhuravlev summed up the outgoing year in terms of Android development.


    Android L
    The most anticipated version of the operating system can now be installed on a mobile device.
    Major changes:
    • ART instead of Dalvik: Google completely abandoned the Dalvik approach with a JIT compiler in favor of compiling applications during installation, thereby increasing application performance. More about ART here .
      True, as practice shows, some applications using Native libraries have stopped working correctly.
    • Material Design: a completely updated approach to the formation of design.
    • Battery Saver: now, when the battery is low, the device can be put into saving mode. Achieved by lowering the processor frequency.
    • Notification : a new approach to the notification system. More details .
    • Keyboard : a new keyboard in the style of material design.
    • Some more changes .

    It is worth noting that, so far, only owners of Nexus devices have the opportunity to receive an update. For most users, there is no official firmware yet.

    Material Design
    Now all those involved in the development of mobile applications, available a detailed specification for creating design. Since you have to support previous operating systems, there is a backwards compatibility library.
    So, the development assumes a minimum of problems when implementing a new type of design on various devices.

    Android Studio 1.0.0
    Just a few days ago, the main IDE for writing Android applications received version 1.0.0. This happened after 2 years of continuous development. More aboutchanges in versions . However, it is worth noting that this brought several inconveniences, namely: the transition to Gradle-plugin 1.0.0 and Gradle 2.2.x. Unfortunately, I had to make certain changes to build.gradle. Otherwise, the project stopped collecting due to a number of deprecated entities that were deleted.
    In general, the IDE for development turned out to be stable, with a lot of useful utilities.

    Google Play services from 4.1 to 6.5
    Over the whole year, services have changed a lot. More details about the changes can be found here .
    However, the most important change is the fragmentation of the service into a set of libraries. When developing large projects, very often there is the problem of exiting the number of methods beyond 65536, where half of these methods are Google Play services. Although there are solutions to this problem with the help of MultiDex , now you can access it less often.

    Realm I
    would also like to single out the library output for NoSQL Realm solutions . It has not yet been possible to use on combat projects, but a large number of tests and experience are already there. We plan to introduce it in live projects in the near future.

    Nexus 6
    This year was no exception to the continuation of the Nexus series products . The device has a six-inch display and a new version of the Android L operating system. It is worth noting that the price has risen significantly compared to previous models.
    For more details, see the review here .

    Android Wear
    Now you have the opportunity to develop applications for Android Wear. More details about the development processes for smart watches can be found here .

    Android Auto
    Now you can develop applications for cars using the Android Auto SDK .

    Android TV / Google Cast
    This year, Google introduced the Android TV platform along with the Android TV SDK for developers. And with Chromecast technology, it’s possible to stream images from a mobile device directly to the TV.

    What to expect in 2015
    First of all, you should expect an increase in users on Android L. The number of custom and stock firmware with the new version of OS will grow every day. As a result, most applications will have to be styled with Material Design, adding more animation. And also, do not forget about the support of version 4.x. As for version 2.x, development for it can be stopped. Already today, new projects come with the requirements of Android 4+, and for older ones the minimum version is gradually increasing.

    Google is still stabilizing the new version. As a result, version 5.0.1 has already been released. It should be expected that this year there will be no global changes. The company will continue to enter the market of watches, TVs and cars and stabilize Android L. And given the current situation with iPhone prices, the number of Android devices in Russia will grow, thereby stimulating customers to look primarily at the Android development market.

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