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Android apps will update while you're using them

Developers will soon have the ability to let users stay in apps while an update downloads. Getting locked out of an app while it updates is probably the very definition of a first world problem, but Google is addressing it anyway. The company is introducing a new API for Android that will allow users to continue using apps while an update downloads in the background -- or boot them out of the app when it's a critical update. Google announced the In-app Updates API at its annual Android Dev Summit -- alongside support for foldable displays -- while celebrating 10 years of the OS. The API will give developers a couple options when it comes to updates. The first is a full-screen experience, which blocks use of the app until the update downloads and installs. That option is recommended to be used for important updates that need to be installed immediately -- critical security patches, bug fixes and the like. The other option is what Google is calling a flexible update. When enabled, users will be able to continue using an app while an update is downloaded. Developers will also be able to customize the update flow so it feels like it is part of the app. For now, the new In-app Updates API will only be available to Android developers who are early access partners. Google hasn't announced an official date that it will get wide release but said the API will be available to all developers soon.

Android Dev Summit: Google details Kotlin, Jetpack, and instant app improvements

Google kicked off its Android Developer Summit in Mountain View this week with a bang, and support for foldable devices only scratched the surface. The company announced that many of the new features in Kotlin 1.3 are now natively supported, and it provided updates on Jetpack, Android Studio, instant apps, and more. First up was Kotlin, a statically typed programming language from JetBrains that runs on the Java virtual machine. The latest version — 1.3 — was released last week, and brings with it a bevy of features: All of those have been integrated into Androids Kotlin-specific APIs, Google said. Google revealed Jetpack, a suite of tools and APIs designed accelerate Android app development, at Google I/O 2018 in May, and its taken off like a rocket (no pun intended) in the months since. Today, 80 percent of the top 1,000 apps and games have adopted it, according to Google. And this week, the company detailed two new Architecture Component libraries that promise to make it even more appealing: Navigation, Work Manager, and Slice. Navigation and Work Manager — both of which are launching in beta this month — offer a simplified way to implement Androids navigation principle with animated transitions, create and edit navigation flows, and perform background tasks in the most efficient manner based on application states, device API level, and other factors. Android Slices, on the other hand — which were unveiled at Google I /O and this week move to public Search experiments — show mini app snippets containing content and actions, like playing a video or booking a flight. The list of initial partners includes Doist and Kayak, among others. Android Studio, Googles official IDE for Android development, got some love during the dev conferences first keynote. Android Studio 3.3 beta 3 launches today, and its focused on stability — specifically  user-impacting bugs. The frequency of crashes, hangs, and memory usage have been reduced, and Google said its building tools that will help [developers] easily understand whats slowing an app build down. Also announced: forthcoming support for Chrome OS. Last but not least, Google revealed improvements coming to the instant apps. Within Android Studio 3.3, developers can deploy and build instant apps and installed apps from a single Android Studio project, and include them in a single Android App bundle.