Android Jetpack Compose is Now Available in Beta

Posted on February 24, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Dev, Google, Mobile with 2 Comments

Google announced today that its Jetpack Compose UI toolkit for Android is now available in beta, letting developers create interfaces with less code.

“With this beta release, Compose is API complete and has all the features you need to build production-ready apps,” Google’s Anna-Chiara Bellini and Nick Butcher write in the announcement post. “Beta also means API stable, so we won’t change or remove APIs. Now is a great time to start learning Compose and begin planning for how you will use it in an upcoming project or feature once it reaches 1.0 later this year.”

Jetpack Compose is a declarative UI toolkit, somewhat akin to XAML in the Microsoft developer space, as opposed to a more traditional descriptive UI toolkit. That is, it focuses on what a UI should look like and not how it is created. Behind the scenes, Compose takes care of updating UI when state changes, be it different data, a device rotation, or whatever. And it’s built with Kotlin, Google’s modern Android development language, so it can take advantage of Kotlin’s coroutines capabilities to help developers craft simpler asynchronous code.

To help developers learn Jetpack Compose, Google has created a new learning pathway for the toolkit that includes documentation, a curated list of videos, and hands-on codelabs. The firm also provides 8 official sample applications so you can see Compose in action.

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