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Android Builders Weblog: Extending the Android SDK

Posted by Anton Hansson, Software program EngineerAndroid 10 and better help Modular System Elements that permit us to expedite purposeful and safety updates to the Android ecosystem exterior of main API stage releases and make new performance backward suitable on already-released Android variations. These enhancements assist make growth extra versatile and broaden the attain for app builders. We have constructed a brand new Extension SDK framework so that you can combine with these APIs, and right now, we’re releasing the primary public model of the Extension SDK (Extension Degree 4).

Sooner API and have introductions

Being able to introduce new performance exterior of main API stage releases permits sooner improvements. As shared in a earlier publish, starting this 12 months we plan to roll out the preliminary Privateness Sandbox on Android Beta launch to Android 13 units. You can begin utilizing the Extension SDK to combine your options with the AdServices APIs to arrange for restricted manufacturing testing. Be taught extra on learn how to take part within the Privateness Sandbox Beta launch, and arrange your growth surroundings with a take a look at gadget or emulator.

Backward compatibility

Extension SDKs additionally permit us to increase the help of sure platform performance to present Android variations, growing person attain. For instance, the PhotoPicker APIs beforehand accessible solely on API stage 33 (Android T) and above at the moment are additionally accessible all the best way again to API stage 30 (Android R) by the Extension SDK on units with an R extension model of at the least 2.
Moving image showing Photopicker API in action on a cellphone screen

Verify for API availability

That can assist you establish extension API availability, we’ve added further info to the API reference that signifies for which API ranges and the minimal extension variations that the API is on the market. For instance, the API reference for ACTION_PICK_IMAGES signifies its availability on “Android R Extensions model 2” and above.
Action_Pick_Images link Added in API level 33 Also in R Extensions 2
You may question the extension model at runtime in the same technique to how Construct.VERSION.SDK_INT is often used to test for the Android model. For instance, if you want to confirm the provision of the PhotoPicker APIs, use the brand new API SdkExtensions.getExtensionVersion. For the R extensions, the model code (30) that corresponds to R is used:
enjoyable isPhotoPickerAvailable(): Boolean {
return SdkExtensions.getExtensionVersion(VERSION_CODES.R) >= 2

The choice test, through Construct.VERSION.SDK_INT, would appear like this:

enjoyable isPhotoPickerAvailable(): Boolean {
return Construct.VERSION.SDK_INT >= 33

This test remains to be secure and proper, however this operate would return false on some units the place the API is now accessible. Because of this, the SDK_INT test just isn’t optimum, and the extension model test is a greater technique to test for API availability. All units with SDK_INT >= 33 additionally have an R extension model of >= 2, however there are units with SDK_INT < 33 with R extension variations >= 2.

Equally, the AdServices API reference might point out that it’s “added in Advert Companies Extensions 4”. The Advert Companies extension makes use of the SdkExtensions.AD_SERVICES fixed. The provision test seems like this:

enjoyable isAdServicesAvailable(): Boolean {
return SdkExtensions.getExtensionVersion(SdkExtensions.AD_SERVICES) >= 4

For developer comfort, we’re extending Jetpack to make it simpler to work with extension variations. For instance, you need to use a Jetpack library operate to test for PhotoPicker availability, which abstracts away the conditional model checks. We count on to be releasing extra Jetpack libraries (such because the Privateness Preserving APIs within the Privateness Sandbox) to help the right use of APIs launched through Extension SDKs.

Tooling help

To assist guarantee app high quality, we added Extension variations tooling help to Android Lint’s NewApi test. Since Android Studio Flamingo, it will probably auto-generate the right model checks for APIs which have been launched through SDK extensions. Utilizing these new model checks is totally non-obligatory, however adopting them may assist result in extra widespread use of recent APIs after they exist.

Screen grab of version check in use

Get familiarized with SDK extensions

We’re simply starting the SDK Extension developer journey and plan to make extra options accessible sooner or later. You may get the most recent SDK extension 4 accessible within the SDK Supervisor right now. Be taught extra in regards to the SDK Extensions and our documentation on the Privateness Sandbox Beta and the picture picker.



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