jetc.dev Newsletter Issue #92
1.1.0-beta03 is out, with some new APIs!
In addition, this week we look at search bars, swipe-for-action implementations, and testing (including some Compose-related Appium improvements). We look at sliders, shimmers, and unexpected state capture. And I return to a long-standing topic of mine: support for external displays.
Reviewing the release notes for the latest Jetpack Compose update!
1.1.0-beta03 is out! And, we got new modifiers,
onPlaced() and (for
help with drag and drop! Beyond that:
If you use
MultiModalInjectionScope, note that some things were removed.
LazyVerticalGrid()now supports horizontal spans
Some bugs were fixed in Compose Material’s
One Off the Stack, One Off the Slack
You’ve got questions. That’s understandable!
Bridging between composables and the classic
View system can lead to unexpected
issues. See why the
update parameter to
AndroidView is important for coping
with state changes in this week’s highlighted Stack Overflow question!
mutableStateListOf() is a great function, but it only treats the list members as
state, not what is inside each of those members. If you mutate a member, by default, nothing
will happen… unless you take some steps to make the member’s contents itself be state.
Learn how in this week’s highlighted Kotlinlang
#compose Slack thread!
Posts, videos, and other new information related to Jetpack Compose!
A UI pattern, popular on iOS, is to have list rows that swipe horizontally to expose
some actions. Harsh Mahajan demonstrates how to implement this in Compose UI,
through a library that Harsh wrote that has a
Many Android UI testers like using Appium, but most of the material on Appium is focused
mostly on the classic
View system. Raj Varma examines what it takes to get Appium
to test composables, using Compose UI’s supplied test artifacts and some new Appium
capabilities that Raj contributed.
Eric Martori looks at translating strings in a Compose UI application… but not by using string resources. String resources are baked into the app, which is handy but means that adding language support (or fixing translation bugs) requires shipping a new version of the app. Eric explores using a Web service as the primary source of translations, with string resources serving as a fallback.
Other Interesting Links
- Using Jetpack Compose in Production Code: First Impressions
- Video: Imperative vs. Declarative UI Development
- Video: Animated Shimmer Effect with Jetpack Compose
- Video: OCR Using MLKit and Jetpack Compose
- Medium: Jetpack Compose Toggle Button
100% pure code!
Atsushi Eno is creating a library to help fill in the gaps between Compose for Android
and Compose for Desktop, for where there are incompatibilities between their respective
APIs. Right now, it focuses on
…And One More Thing
While the core of Compose UI was laid down in time for the
1.0.0 stable release
earlier this year, there are a lot of edge cases that we will need to address.
In some cases, such as better keyboard support, the edge cases probably need to be handled
directly in Compose UI. In other cases, outside developers might be able to come up with
working patterns without necessarily having to wait on official Compose changes.
One such edge case is support for custom content on external displays. Official Android support for this has been around since Android 4.2, though Google’s interest in it has risen and fallen over the years. So, for example, while Samsung generally supports external displays via USB-C/HDMI adapters, Google has avoided it on the Pixel series (though I do need to test the Pixel 6…).
The default behavior of connecting an external display is screen mirroring: whatever is on the phone screen also appears on the TV, monitor, projector, or whatever you are using for the external display. There are two officially supported options that apps can use to control what goes on that external display.
The first is to launch an activity on that external display, using
This has been available since Android 8.0. The good news is that Compose UI should
work nicely with this – it is merely another activity, after all. The bad news
is that it behaves oddly, not honoring requests for landscape.
Since most external displays are locked to landscape, this is a problem.
The second is to use
Activity can display a
it with a particular external display. This seems to work better. However,
is a subclass of the framework’s
Dialog class. Normally, in Compose UI, we work with
composable abstractions around that sort of thing. So, we may need to see what bits of
those abstractions are useful for a composable
Presentation, in addition to setting
up all of the “plumbing” for detecting external displays.
I am anticipating a need for this in 2022, so I expect that I will be taking a shot at these things before too long, and I will aim to write up the results. But, my needs are purely for Android; ideally some official solution for this also handles Compose for Desktop and Kotlin/Multiplatform.
- 2022-09-13: Compose updates! Tracking down and fixing recompositions! Maestro! Redwood! Molecule! And Twitter's rules for composables!
- 2022-09-06: Snapshots! A Glance support library! Measuring and drawing! Swipe-to-dismiss! Speed dials! And... a redwood sighting?!?
- 2022-08-30: Android 13 per-app language support! Performance optimizations! Expandable lists! MVI! Zooming! Steppers! And... another Compose beta? Already?!?