Google Announces Major Update to Jetpack Compose

Posted on October 24, 2022 by Paul Thurrott in Dev, Google, Android with 0 Comments

Google announced today that its Jetpack Compose UI toolkit for Android now supports Material Design 3, WearOS, and Android TV (in alpha). The announcement came as part of its hybrid Android Developer Summit ’22 event.

“We launched Jetpack Compose over a year ago, and have been busy improving it ever since,” Google’s Jolanda Verhoef writes in the announcement post. “We’ve added new features and invented powerful tools to make your experience developing Android UI as productive, intuitive, and fun as possible. So, if you’re starting a new app, it’s time to write it with Compose! With Material Design 3 support, new Bill Of Materials, Compose WearOS Stable and Android TV (alpha), Compose Camp, and many other pieces of news, it’s an exciting release.”

Here’s what’s new in the October ’22 release of Compose:

Compose Material 3. Google has issued the first stable release of the Compose Material 3 library, which allows developers to use Compose to create apps with Material 3 themes. This includes updated versions of many UI components, such as buttons, cards, checkboxes, switches, navigation bars, drawers, and many more, with support for others coming soon. The default template in Android Studio Flamingo now uses Material 3 as well.

Support for WearOS, large displays, and Android TV. Developers can now use Compose to target WearOS, Android for foldables and tablets, Chrome OS, and, in alpha, Android TV.

Compose Bill of Materials (BOM). This module will simplify how developers define Compose library versions. “Instead of defining each version separately, which can become cumbersome and prone to errors when library versions start to differ, you now only need to define one BOM version and all Compose library versions will be extracted from that,” Verhoef explains. “We will publish a new version of the BOM every time a Compose artifact has a new stable release, so moving from stable release to stable release is going to be much simpler.”

Relay (alpha). Relay is a design-to-code solution for improving designer/developer collaboration. It lets designers create UI components using the Figma plugin, while developers use the Android Studio plugin to automatically use these components in their apps.

Accessibility improvements. Google fixed an accessibility bug in dialogs and pop-ups, decreasing the maximum elevation of each from 30 dp to 8 dp.

Performance improvements. A major change to how Modifiers work in the October ’22 release will result in performance improvements. This is a refactoring change and doesn’t require any API changes.

Android Studio Flamingo. Now in canary, Android Studio Flamingo will use Compose and Material 3 project templates by default, will enable Live Edit, and will include improved composition tracing.

You can learn more on the Android Developer website.

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