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Android Builders Weblog: Extending the Android SDK

Android Builders Weblog: Extending the Android SDK

2023-01-09 18:40:14

Posted by Anton Hansson, Software program EngineerAndroid 10 and better help Modular System Components that permit us to expedite practical 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 at present, 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 previous post, starting this 12 months we plan to roll out the preliminary Privacy Sandbox on Android Beta release to Android 13 gadgets. You can begin utilizing the Extension SDK to combine your options with the AdServices APIs to arrange for restricted manufacturing testing. Learn more on how you can take part within the Privateness Sandbox Beta launch, and arrange your growth setting with a check gadget or emulator.

Backward compatibility

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

Verify for API availability

That will help you determine 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 offered. 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 possibly can question the extension model at runtime in the same solution to how Construct.VERSION.SDK_INT is usually used to verify for the Android model. For instance, if you must 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 verify, by way of Construct.VERSION.SDK_INT, would appear to be this:

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

This verify remains to be protected and proper, however this perform would return false on some gadgets the place the API is now accessible. In consequence, the SDK_INT verify just isn’t optimum, and the extension model verify is a greater solution to verify for API availability. All gadgets with SDK_INT >= 33 additionally have an R extension model of >= 2, however there are gadgets with SDK_INT < 33 with R extension variations >= 2.

Equally, the AdServices API reference might point out that it’s “added in Advert Providers Extensions 4”. The Advert Providers extension makes use of the SdkExtensions.AD_SERVICES fixed. The supply verify 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 should use a Jetpack library function to check 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 by way of Extension SDKs.

See Also

Tooling help

To assist guarantee app high quality, we added Extension variations tooling help to Android Lint’s NewApi verify. Since Android Studio Flamingo, it may auto-generate the right model checks for APIs which were launched by way of SDK extensions. Utilizing these new model checks is totally elective, 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 will get the most recent SDK extension 4 accessible within the SDK Supervisor at present. Be taught extra concerning the SDK Extensions and our documentation on the Privacy Sandbox Beta and the photo picker.

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