Google makes it easier for Android TV app developers to adapt to platform changes

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What you need to know

  • Google has unveiled new methods for building app experiences for users at its 2022 Android Dev Summit.
  • The search giant is rolling out the first alpha release of Jetpack Compose for Android TV.
  • It has also introduced updated templates for Wear OS in Android Studio.

Google today held its 2022 Android Dev Summit, where it introduced new changes to its app development tools meant to provide better user experiences across a variety of devices, including smartwatches, large screen devices, and Android TVs.

The search giant has announced the first alpha release of Jetpack Compose for Android TV in an effort to expand the use of this toolkit to smart TV applications. Previously, Compose only supported large screens, home screen widgets, and Wear OS devices. This meant that components in the toolkit were optimized for phones instead of TVs, forcing developers to rebuild them for your living room screens.

With the latest change, those components will be readily available to developers building apps for many of the best Android TVs. Google notes that components such as featured carousel and immersive list are already available, with plans to add more in the future.

Google has also released refreshed Wear OS templates in Android Studio, as well as a stable Android R emulator system image for Wear OS. In May, the company released Compose for Wear OS, which uses the new Material design for smartwatches to help speed up app development efforts.

The Mountain View-based tech titan notes that many apps have seen a spike in the number of installs after they've been optimized for wearable devices. For example, Todoist has seen an install growth rate of 50% since it was fine-tuned for Wear OS 3.

Google is also continuing its efforts to invest in large screen devices like tablets and foldable devices. It is now releasing new layout guidelines for apps by vertical as well as developer guidelines for Canonical layouts. These efforts coincide with Google's preparations for the launch of its Pixel-branded tablet next year, which includes a redesigned Play Store for large screens.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.