Bendable smartphones and other Android Dev Summit information

    Now Google is running Android Dev Summit, and the opening keynote has already taken place. Mostly what is told there is intended for Android developers, but there is also news that can interest the wider masses: “bending smartphones”. Having carefully watched the online broadcast, we wrote about the support of such devices and other information from keynote.

    Clamshell return

    As you can see, smartphone screens are getting bigger. But now there’s nowhere to do the devices themselves, and they used the entire front side - what's next? It turns out to fold in half with the help of folding screens.

    Two announcements took place simultaneously. Samsung at its event showed a prototype of the device with the Infinity Flex Display screen: it can be used as a regular smartphone with a not-so-large display, but it can be deployed and a 7.3-inch screen is hidden inside. And Google on Android Dev Summit announced support for this approach in Android: this support, for example, means that you can start watching videos on a folded device, and then decompose it, and it will continue on the big screen from the same place.

    The release of the Samsung smartphone is scheduled for next year, and Google adds "wait for models from other manufacturers." While the situation is at the prototype stage, not all the details are clear (literally: Samsung showed its device in the dark, not allowing it to be fully seen). But in any case, it is curious that Google supports such a bold experiment at such an early stage. For comparison: when Essential was the first company in the world to announce a “bang” phone (and it was not clear how they would receive it), it did it on its own - and only then, when the bang began to spread everywhere, official support was added to Android.

    That is, apparently, Google really believes in the future of a “folding” approach. It just seems that Android developers are not very encouraged by the prospect of supporting this in their applications. While words like “we're excited” were heard from the Android Dev Summit scene, the audience sat with this look:

    What else was in keynote?

    Past and future

    To begin with, the results of 10 years of Android were summed up - from how it all began, to the future. It’s funny that this part turned out to be very similar to our “10 years of Android” hubpost : even when we moved on to what lies ahead, two of the three mentioned development directions have already been described by us. But there are curious additional details.

    Speaking about the time preceding the release of Android 1.0, the scene directly recognized that the output of the iPhone then greatly influenced what was happening. Not only did the word “iPhone” sound at the Google event, but also in conjunction with the word “awesome” - the earth did not open. But at the same time, the company offered its own version of the story, slightly different from the well-known. According to her, at the time of the iPhone’s appearance on Google, they were already thinking about two different android phones: it was supposed to first release a quick button, and later reach the touch. And the iPhone’s output did not open the company’s eyes to the fact that touch screens are cool, but only made it speed up work on the second device, which was already in the plans. Believe it?

    And what are the three directions of development in the future? Two of them that we already wrote about are “smart phone smartphones” (AI, ML, that's all) and “Android beyond smartphones” (TV, cars, watches). And the third is “safety and wellbeing”: they say that it is important that smartphones improve life, not worsen. That is, the recent innovations of Android Pie are not limited to, the company sees this as a strategic direction.

    Android Studio and ChromeOS

    In the case of Android Studio, there were common words (“we feel your need to speed up the build”) and a small release (version 3.3 released beta 3), but all this was not a surprise for those who are following the development of the IDE. But what information was new: next year, Android Studio will be officially supported on ChromeOS.

    Months ago, as soon as ChromeOS had the opportunity to run Linux-based applications (and, therefore, Android Studio), enthusiasts began to use the Pixelbook in Android development: it’s a powerful laptop, it’s directly from Google, and when you develop an Android application on it, This application itself can be installed directly on the Pixelbook. But despite the attractiveness of this approach, those who tried said "everything is damp so far, ChromeOS will begin to really be suitable for development later." And now, it seems, this time is coming.

    Considering how many professionals are dissatisfied with the current MacBooks (problematic keyboards, controversial touchbar, prices are still high), top-end Chromebooks can compete for the hearts of Android developers. Although it also has its own nuances: last year's Pixelbook in 2018 did not receive an update, and the new Pixel Slate still primarily looks like a tablet.

    Google Play Moderation Issues

    In the keynote, in between, trying not to focus on this, they said something like this: “if you encountered an unreasonable removal of your application from Google Play and could not challenge it, then you should know what we think about you and there will be more about it at the summit separate discussion. "

    Despite the unflappable tone this was uttered, a lot of tension is hidden behind these words. Recently, more and more often stories have surfaced about how indie developers, at the whim of the algorithm, lost their application (which did not violate the rule), and when trying to restore justice, they received only automatic messages from robots. As a result, dissatisfaction with this in the community came to calls to organize protests on Android Dev Summit. And the words from Keynote, translated into simple language, are: “No protests, let's figure it out humanly, we agree to negotiations.”

    Let's look at the results of these negotiations - perhaps there will be a point in a separate hub post, which will analyze the situation in more detail.

    In-App Update API

    They also talked about a new API with which the application, during its use, can tell the user “let's update me”. There are two options: an ad that generally blocks the content (this is for urgent updates that fix critical bugs), and a less annoying ad below, with which you can continue to use the application.

    On the one hand, of course, this can be of use. On the other hand, there are fears in the community that they might use it to the detriment (“I see how an indie developer sells his application some kind of advertising muck, and it forcibly forces everyone to update”). With the third - developers in any case could already do this, just a lot of labor and less native.

    Android Dev Summit Videos

    You can see the entire keynote yourself - it is available on YouTube (if Google hadn’t posted it on its service). And after it began the technical sessions, and they are also quickly laid out. So if you are interested in technical Android reports, open this playlist .
    And if you are interested in technical Android reports, but you are also interested after any report how to ask the speaker properly, and also want to talk with other Android developers, we draw your attention: on December 8-9, we will hold Mobius in Moscow , and there will be that is all. iOS will not be offended either - you can watch the program , there any mobile developer will find something for himself.

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