Google adds Developer Support images for Pixel

Android Developers (via Android Police):

For Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, and Pixel 6a devices, Android 13 included a bootloader update to address potential security vulnerabilities, and the anti-rollback counter for those devices was incremented, preventing them from being rolled back to Android 12.

To facilitate app development and testing, we provide modified Android 12 system images for these Pixel devices called Developer Support images. Developer Support images are system images that are based on stable, public builds of Android 12 (API level 31) and the 12L feature drop (API level 32) that also include an updated version of the bootloader with security fixes and an incremented anti-rollback counter.

Great to see Google addressing an issue that had the potential to cause grief for many Android developers using Pixels as test devices. Worth noting though that these are custom system images containing the updated bootloader version – once a Pixel is updated to Android 13, you still won’t be able to run the original, public versions of Android 12 on the device.

Flashing back and forth between these developer support images and the public Android 13 images will also require a full device reset, wiping all data on the device. So you’ll want to backup anything worth keeping prior to doing so.

Also worth noting that OTA security updates won’t be made available in these Developer Support images, and they are not approved for the Compatibility Test Suite.

CameraX 1.2 library now in beta

Google’s new camera library for Jetpack, CameraX has now reached beta. The library joins a growing number of Jetpack libraries, and aims to make development easier for apps that integrate with device cameras.

Today’s release also includes two new features:

As of today, CameraX version 1.2 is officially in Beta. Update from version 1.1 to take advantage of the latest game-changing features: our new ML Kit integration, which can reduce your boilerplate code when using ML Kit in a CameraX app, and Zero-Shutter Lag, which enables faster action shots than were previously possible.

Google rolls out deep link dashboard on the Play Console

Google has now rolled out a new dashboard allowing developers to monitor Android app deep links on the Play Console. The dashboard highlights any issues that are found with both Android App Links and custom URL schemes.

First announced at Google I/O this year, the dashboard alerts developers of any configuration issues by extracting deep link intent information from an app’s manifest file. The intent information from the manifest is also presented on the dashboard.

For App Links, Google goes one step further and verifies that the appropriate details have been added and made available in the assetlinks.json file which is hosted at <>/.well-known/assetlinks.json. This confirms domain ownership.

If any issues are identified, Google provides advice on how to resolve them.

Later this year, Google will also highlight important URLs that it suggests should be registered as deep links:

We’re very excited to share this first release of the deep links page with you, making it much easier to make sense of your setup and fix broken deep links. The next release, coming later this year, will also highlight important website URLs that aren’t yet configured as deep links, so that you don’t miss an opportunity to drive more quality traffic to your app.

The new dashboard is available now and resides in the Play Console within the Grow menu under Deep links.

Android Studio ‘Chipmunk’ released

Ahead of Google I/O later this week the Android team are out with the latest stable release of Android Studio (2021.2.1), dubbed ‘Chipmunk’.

This one is a fairly modest release and it contains a bunch of useful but not earth-shattering features including a new window to preview Jetpack Compose animations and more jank information when profiling the CPU.

The launch screen has also been updated to feature a chipmunk after the release’s moniker.

It indicated by the version number, this release also shifts Android Studio onto the IntelliJ 2021.2 platform major release. This means you’ll get a bunch of new IntelliJ features as well, including project analysis and the new package search UI.

The full release notes can be found here.

New Android MAD videos released

Google has released a new series of 6 videos covering some core concepts surrounding Modern Android Development (MAD).

They cover a broad range of topics including the data, domain, UI and data layers. I’m only just starting to watch, but so far they seem well-suited to beginners and intermediate developers alike.

There’s even a recording of an interactive Q&A session at the end of the series, covering many questions that cropped up during the course.

These aren’t the first MAD videos Google has released – but it’s great to see the company release refreshed content. If you’re after more MAD content, you can find more in the MAD portal on the Android Developers site.