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Bridget Black December 3rd, 2021

It’s been a little under a month since the 2021 Android Dev Summit was held. The annual event, run by Google, is designed to give developers the opportunity to hear about the latest Android app development updates from industry experts.

The theme of the 2021 event was ‘Excellent apps, across devices’. In the words of Google, “we shared updates for the development tools, APIs and technology to help you be more productive and create apps that run across billions of devices, including tablets, wearables, and more”.

Android app development is constantly evolving, and events such as this provide the tech community with the perfect opportunity to come together and learn from each other. Even though the Summit was virtual, the spirit of collaboration was certainly strong.

As a leading provider of iOS and Android app development, Newpath Web is committed to staying on top of the latest trends, events, and opportunities within the app community. Continue reading to discover what we learnt from the Android Dev Summit ‘21.

Dual screen and foldable devices

With the ever increasing range of Android devices out there, the team at Google has turned their attention to how best they can support developers building apps for dual screen and foldable devices.

Developers are faced with the conundrum of building apps that are available and responsive on all different screen sizes and types. Google announced they were releasing a range of tools and resources, including the 12L OS, updated Adaptive Design guidelines, and redesigned window size classes to help developers meet the demands of larger and innovative (read foldable) screens.

Jetpack Compose

While brainstorming how to make your app innovative, user-friendly, and engaging may take a little time, the actual process of building it should be fairly seamless. Enter Jetpack Compose, “Android’s modern toolkit for building native UI”. The Dev Summit featured a number of different sessions on Jetpack Compose’s features and capabilities. Android released several upgrades to the software’s library, which will help designers further innovative and personalise UI experiences.

Data protection

We all know how important it is to keep customer data safe and secure, particularly over the app interface. Google to the Dev Summit as an opportunity to unveil their new ‘Data Safety Section’. The Safety Section is designed to provide users with the information they need to make informed decisions as to whether or not an app poses a risk to their online security.

By April 2022, all app developers will be required to submit information to Google about what user information they collect and whether or not this is shared with third parties. This information will be used by Google when deciding whether or not the app should be listed on the Google Play Store. It will also be clearly visible to users when they go to download your app.

Child safety

Equally as important as data protection is child safety. Kids love downloading and playing apps on their parents’ phones. Apps that are aimed at children and also boast social features will now have to feature in-app reminders about the importance of staying safe online.

Play Store updates

Google’s Play Store is your one-stop shop for all things Android apps. While it’s the most secure platform to download and access Android apps, it is by no means perfect. Hopefully, the changes unveiled at the Dev Summit will help improve user experience and make it easier for app developers to promote and share their work.

These changes include ratings and reviews being specific to a user’s country — meaning an Australian consumer won’t see irrelevant reviews from a US customer. Google has also made changes to their Subscriptions policy, now stating that apps “that subject users to deceptive or manipulative purchase experiences (including in-app purchases or subscriptions)” are explicitly forbidden.

New certifications available

Google is always looking for ways to upskill marketers and developers who use their products. At the Summit, they announced that the “Google Play Store Listing Certificate” would soon be available, a qualification that can be obtained after completing training and an exam that covers a range of relevant topics. The course will provide you with information regarding the importance of following Play Store policies, how to create a Play Store listing, and tools you can use to help promote your app.

Upon successfully passing the exam, the marketer will receive a digital badge and certificate.

Given the speed at which technology is evolving, events such as the Android Dev Summit ‘21 provide the Android app development community with the perfect opportunity to come together and shape the future of mobile applications. Here at Newpath Web, we constantly keep our finger on the pulse. Ultimately, it is our customers who benefit from this approach, and our impressive portfolio of applications proves this.

Contact our friendly team today to learn more about our Android app development services.

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