Google IO Recap: Firebase, Jetpack, Kotlin, and R8

PreEmptive had the opportunity to send a couple of representatives to Google IO this year. IO 2019 didn’t tell us what dessert starts with a Q, but it did showcase some great tools and frameworks as well as provide insight into the direction of Android:

Firebase and Jetpack speed up development and allow better compatibility with older platforms. Google reinforced its commitment to Kotlin stating that most of their samples and frameworks will be available first in Kotlin and later to standard Java. R8 is now the default for minification. Android will do more on-device processing to ensure better privacy.

At PreEmptive, we have similar goals:

  • Staying up-to-date with the latest features of Android development while maintaining compatibility with older platforms.
  • Support for Kotlin since DashO v8.3 (2017).
  • Support for R8.
  • On-device Checks which help protect application data.

The highlight of the trip was the ability for face-to-face meetings with Google employees. We were able to discuss what we have done to incorporate R8 with DashO’s Gradle Plugin for Android (available with the DashO 10 Beta) and found we were on the same page regarding the direction of R8. We actually had a chance encounter with a developer who needed a specific piece of advice which we had already listed on The Unofficial R8 Documentation.

Overall, it was a great experience. There was a lot of information to cover in such a limited time. As in prior years, sessions were recorded and are available on YouTube. We recommend the following sessions as they provide a general overview of Android developments: