In today’s newsletter:

  • Nearby Share’s clipboard sharing feature is here (sort of)
  • Kotlin 1.7.0 is out
  • Jetpack Compose and Material libraries for TVs
  • A discussion on removable eSIMs
  • …and more

Android in the news

📋 At I/O 2022, Google announced that Nearby Share would soon be able to quickly share clipboard contents across devices. The feature isn’t technically available yet, but Mishaal was able to enable it anyway to give us a real-world look at the feature in action. 

🗳️ It looks like Google’s app archiving feature will support Android TV/Google TV devices. While support wasn’t initially announced for ATV/GTV, Bundletool 1.10.1 supports creating archived APKs that will appear on TV devices. Considering how storage-constrained streaming devices generally are, many will be glad to see it. 

📱 When Android 12 first launched, Google’s Material You dynamic color engine called ‘Monet’ was only available on Pixel phones. With Android 12L, it was made available in AOSP, but most OEMs haven’t shipped 12L yet. Since there’s no way for apps to tell if any given Android 12 device implements ‘Monet’, Google’s Material Components library used a whitelist system that unfortunately meant the theming feature wouldn’t be used on all devices that technically supported it. But according to a report from Android Police, the whitelist system will be lifted with Android 13, making ‘Monet’ more widely available to users. As he does, Mishaal has a great TL;DR on his Twitter breaking this whole thing down succinctly.

News for developers

  • Kotlin 1.7.0 was recently released with an Alpha version of the new Kotlin K2 compiler. It’s currently only available for the JVM, and no compiler plugins work with it yet. Kotlin 1.7.0 also includes performance improvements for the JVM, JS, and Native platforms, as well as Gradle enhancements, and several stabilization features. You can read the full changelog on the Jetbrains blog
  • According to a recent AOSP code change, Google is getting ready to release a Jetpack Compose for TV library, which will help devs design layouts for Android TV/Google TV devices. A Material TV support library is also coming soon, which will help devs build TV apps that adhere to the Material Design language. 
  • Google announced CTS-D, a new CTS module that will let developers submit test cases for device compatibility issues they see in the wild. For example, developers can submit tests to determine if a device has implemented Android’s power management features correctly. These tests will be optional, however, as Google is only “strongly advising” manufacturers to use CTS-D to mitigate issues. While it’s not enforced, Google said it would “work with” partners to resolve reported issues. 

Android Bytes: The curious case of the removable eSIM

This week’s episode of Android Bytes follows up on something our co-host Mishaal has been looking at for a while: a removable eSIM that lets Android phones without the built-in technology to access eSIM providers. We chat with Christos Omiridis of Telco Village, who was part of the team that created eSIM.me.

Listen now

Android Inside: Clover

Clover

Points of Sale systems (PoS) are easily one of the prime ways to use Android outside of phones, tablets, or TVs — just look at Square as an example. But they’re not the only company on the block putting out high-end PoS systems based on Android: Clover is a Square alternative with a different business model that focuses on letting business owners choose their own merchant accounts. 

Currently, Clover offers full stationary registers, handheld card readers, and wireless readers — all based on Android. The devices, services, broadcasts, intents, and more are all powered by AOSP. 

Android Dessert Bites

Android Dessert Bites newsletter column on file manager loophole to access /Android subdirectories

Did you know that if you give a file manager “all files access” there are still some files and folders it can’t access? File managers have been able to get around this restriction so they could actually do their jobs, but sadly the loophole they used has been closed in Android 13. In this week’s edition, I’ll be diving into how a simple oversight by Google made a privacy feature not work as intended.

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What we’re reading

If you’re curious about how Pixel’s “Now Playing” feature works, this Medium post from Android developer Kieron Quinn is a cool read. It talks about how ambient music recognition works at the hardware and platform level and how he got it to work on non-Pixel devices with Ambient Music Mod v2.

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