Here we go again, the once in a year big Google event, Google i/o 2012 is happening very early this morning (Japan time). Believe it or not, I stayed up till midnight just to watch the announcement of the new Nexus7. For the price of USD$199, this tablet is not a bad investment to begin with.
So, what’s new in Android? The Name, obviously! 4.1 Jelly Bean is now official. It’s not Android 5.0, Android 5.0 is “code-named diabetes” according to friends on twitter. I guess the engineers are humble about their results this year.
I’d like to summarize the note I’ve taken for the sessions that Google is going to carry out in the event. Here are some highlights of topics that will be focused in the Google i/o 2012 sessions later on.
1) Performance: Smooth performance, speeding, streaming inputs, etc. For some reasons they use “butter” to describe how great it is.
2) Widgets & Wallpaper: Mostly about widgets can be resized.
3) Animation: Ability to animate layer, view property animator, automatically remove or react any layout changes.
4) Framework tidbits
- Improved textview,
- Transfer rich text,
- “Better” memories management,
- Grid layout: one can now create complex UIs in an easy way.
- Text view : one can swipe back and forth between the picture taken. There is a “live preview” of camera running and spinning around. Mainly about things that cannot do with surface view.
5) New API
- Activity Animations (One can now create your own animation)
- Navigation: task stack Builder : helps create task stacks.
- Automatic ‘up’ navigation for activities
- It is now available in support library.
6) Aligning XML attributes and Java Properties: More “toolable” API.
7) Internationalization: New locales and fonts with Arabic and Hebrew. I guess it can be a good thing to improve world peace.
8) Improved support for Right to left text, ie, “textview”, edit text, static layout, canvas. Dance anyway with your fingers on the screen.
9) Performance improvements with RTL text. Well, the expert knows what was to improve before.
10) Accessibilities, swipe any direction until the content focus, double tap activate current elements, text reading by words, line, paragraph, etc.
11) Able to detect: Limiting Costly Downloads. Save your money and time for unnecessary things.
12) Support for Neon (Renderscript compute)
13) Media: API access to low-level Codec data, one can see also the “Media Codec APIs in Android Jelly Beans” for more information. Not much change on the audio latency improvement. As for NFC, there are large payloads over Bluetooth, one can move files with a tap. Tap-to-pair for Bluetooth headsets and speakers will be in the session at the “Up Close & Personal: NFC and Android Beam”
14) Google Play: it is now respond to user comments.
15) More: new seller countries, team access to the Android Developer Console, sales reports, Android Expansion files (APK up to 50 MB, Expansions files up to 4GB), optimized APK updates, “Unlocked” device available on PLAY… all that can be seen on “Android Apps in Google Play” later on.
The topic then talks about some changes on the Notifications 4.1
Changes in Tools
- Improvement on Emulator with x86 virtualization
- Great ways to test the new features with GPU support for the emulator
- Sensor and Multitouch Support: Using USB cable to plug in, the phone can send all the data in the emulator and run the application very easily in different screen sizes.
- linit, Tracer for Open GL ES, Device Monitor, System Trace.
ADT : One can now Debug your application inside the ADT.
Notifications in 4.1
- One can now add new things: Big Content View, Priority Spot. (Everything looks big, if you ask me)
Notifications are separated as “Priority Buckets” in 3 categories: Max, High-Default-Low, MIN
Max : very urgent tasks like emergency alert (typhoon, earthquakes) , incoming calls, turn-by-turn directions (Something can be life threatening)
High-Default-Low: Most notifications go here, like e-mails, etc (What most people gets usually, I guess new TL from my twitter followers or direct messages from Facebook in my case)..
MIN: calendar events that are expired, suggestions, detailed status, app promotes (Things like the movie I went last week).
For everything else, it goes to Priority Defaults( Reminders of my next bill payment, that is really the things I hate to be reminded).
Content View : Same as before except it is now 4 times the size of Big Content View, big Canvas for text, photos, lists.
Actions : are added upto 3 buttons. Uses, Protips, etc.
Big Text Style, Big Picture Style: Ok, we all have eyes problems for playing too much computer, so I guess these are necessities. Images is less or equals to 450dp wide, 2:1 aspect.
Inbox Style: Great for any kind of list, for example, 3 new messages show at the same time on the screen.
With all the above mentioned available, users can also choose NOT to get notification. Yes, we can now disable or uninstall all notifications from the package. Users hate to be annoyed.
Finally, the talks go on about other Jelly Bean i/o sessions as follows:
-Media Codecs in Android Jelly Bean.
-Android Fireside Chat
-What’s New in Android Developer’s Tools
-For Butter/Worse: Smoothing Out Performance in Android Uls.
-Doing More With Less- Being a Good Android Citizen.
In conclusion, the sessions will start from now on till Thursday the 28th of June (29th, Friday in Japan). I am looking forward to my next assignment (Please pick something easy for me to understand, boss!)