Let’s start with the web. The shift to mobile for the web platform is well underway, with over — we’ve recently hit a milestone with over a billion people using Chrome on mobile every month. We’ve been working on several initiatives to try and make the web work better on mobile devices. I want to talk about two of them. First, we’ve implemented powerful new web standards in Chrome that enable a new class of website to gain app like behavior. Like working reliably on even the worst networking connection or sending notifications to re-engage users, we call websites that use these features progressive web apps, because they get progressively better depending on the capability of the web browsers, and they can lead to dramatically better user experiences.
Second, we created an open source project called Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP, to make it simple to create extremely fast mobile websites using existing web standards. On average, AMP pages load four times faster and use one-tenth as much data. These things load almost instantly. So we’re making it easier to develop mobile websites, but we’re also investing in native development. We want Android Studio to be the quickest, most reliable way to build Android apps. I’d like to invite Steph up to tell you more.
Stephanie Cuthbertson – Group Product Manager, Android Studio
Thanks, Jason. I’m Steph. I work on the Android team. Android Studio is our official IDE. It’s purpose-built for Android. And it was only three years ago, right here at I/O, that we showed it for the first time. Since then, it has built a ton of momentum. 92% of the top 125 apps and games now use Android Studio and millions of developers worldwide.
Our Android engineering team sees that almost all the professional developers that we connect with have used it and switched over from our Eclipse tools. Your feedback has been awesome because it’s helped us focus on the right things. We care a lot about making it great. And there’s much more to come.
This morning, we’ll release our latest, which is Android Studio’s 2.2 preview, focusing on speed, smarts, and Android platform support. First, speed. Already with 2.1 we made building and running changes 10 times faster than it was only six months ago. Our new Instant Run feature drove most of this. Now when you hit “run” we deploy changes directly into the running app. The emulators are three times faster and push speeds are even faster than that. So all of that means the emulators are now actually faster than the physical device that’s probably in your pocket right now. But we want to keep speeding you up to launch earlier.
One of the things that you told us is that we could not possibly make build speeds too fast. So with 2.2 we’re going to accelerate build speeds again. Plus we know Instant Run is a long-term bet so we’ll keep expanding coverage.
Another thing we want to do is make it easier to write tests to help drive up app quality. So with test recording, now as you just tap through your app, we’ll record — we’ll write all of your Espresso test code for you. Almost — it’s basically as if — it’s as if you had handwritten the code yourself and you can run those tests locally or you can run them with our IDE-integrated cloud test lab, to make sure your app runs well on many Android devices.
Now, one of the things the engineering team is most excited about is that with 2.2 you’re going to be able to build layouts faster and they’ll run faster, too. So let me show you this. 2.2 includes a rewritten feature-rich layout designer, with new constraint layouts. So what you’re going to see here is you’ll be able to use the layout window. It’s almost like a sheet of paper. So you can position your widgets and once you’re happy, you’ll see here we save you a ton of time because we’re going to automatically add all the constraints for you, doing a bunch of actually very cool math under the covers.
You’ll see the UI here is now going to adapt so you can try it on different Android devices. It will adapt to different orientations. But what you can’t see is behind the scenes your app will run faster, too. So many of you here are professional Android developers and you know building rich UI usually requires nested layouts and those are hard to performance-tune at times. With constraint layouts, there is no nesting required, so overall you get the same rich UI, less work, and better performance by default.
Second, smarts. We want to help you write better Android apps. The 2.2 preview includes a new APK Analyzer so you can figure out, “Hey, what’s making my app so big?” This is really useful for all of you who are targeting emerging markets. You’ve talked to us a lot about this. You also had asked for a layout inspector so we have a new layout inspector in 2.2, so you can find out what’s inside your Android layouts.
When you run code analyses, you’ll find a bunch of new quality checks, and that’s in addition to the 260 that are already there, all designed to eliminate common classes of errors that we see on Android. And we integrated the latest version of the wonderful Intellij IDEA 2016.1.
The third thing I want to talk about is Android Platform Support. So we developed the IDE right alongside the platform, so we can bring you the very best. 2.2 includes, to name just a few, support for N’s new Jack compiler which is bringing you wonderful Java 8 features like Lambdas, default methods. And for all of you developers who are working on graphics-rich like games and apps, you know C++ is critical and it’s because of your requests we’ve been subtly building out C++ support.
Now, we already have C++ editing and debugging, but in 2.2 you’ll find a major change based on your feedback. In addition to Gradle, for build we’ll now support Cmake and NDK build. And both of those build systems will work with the debugger and then on top of that, we made C++ debugging better also.
So I would really appreciate it, we would really appreciate it, if you download and try all of this today and give us feedback. With that, I would love to pass it back to Jason. Thank you very much.
Jason Titus – VP, Developer Products Group at Google
Thank you, Steph. It’s great to see Android Studio getting so much faster. And there is one more product I’d like to talk to you about.
18 months ago, we acquired Firebase, a great mobile backend-as-a-service (BaaS) for storing your apps data and syncing it across iOS, Android and the Web. Since then, its usage has grown to over 450,000 developers. We would really admire its great developer experience and we wanted to figure out how to bring that to other areas of app development. We’ve been working closely with companies big and small all over the world to explore how we could make our offering better.
Today, we are announcing the next generation of Firebase. Firebase is now a suite of integrated products to help you build your app, grow your user base, and earn money. This is the biggest, most comprehensive developer update we have ever made. So at the heart of the new Firebase is a mobile analytics tool we’ve built from the ground up called Firebase Analytics. It’s inspired by much of the work that we’ve done in the last 10 years with Google Analytics, but it’s designed specifically for the unique needs of apps.
It’s great for app developers for a couple of ways. First, it gives you rich insights into what users are doing inside of your app. And it also tells you where they’re coming from with rich cross network attribution; all of this in a single dashboard.
Second, we’ve created a new feature called Firebase Audiences, which integrates all of Firebase together. With Firebase Audiences, you can group users based on the criteria that matters to you most, and then take action with notifications, experiments, and even re-engagement campaigns on Adwords. And the best part, Firebase Analytics works across Android and iOS and it is completely free and unlimited. Surrounding analytics are over a dozen other major features. I’m going to cover some highlights.
First, there’s cloud messaging and notifications, which is built on the world’s most popular cloud-to-device messaging platform, with over one million apps sending over 170 billion messages every day. And now that it’s integrated into Firebase, you can send targeted notifications to your audiences without writing any code. And, like analytics, it is completely free and unlimited.
Now, app quality is important to all of us. If your app crashes, it’s bad for your users, and it hurts your business. Within Google, teams like Chrome build and deploy across multiple platforms at scale. So we’ve built on their infrastructure and created Firebase crash reporting. You can use it to quickly identify bugs and issues, and take action to reduce impact on your users.
Another aspect of building a high-quality app is being able to tune and experiment with features. So we’ve taken the same infrastructure that we use for our own apps and created Firebase Remote Config which lets you create experiments and test app configurations at scale.
Finally, to help you grow, we’ve created Dynamic Links. A Dynamic Link is just a regular URL whose behavior can be configured depending upon where it’s tapped. It persists through the app install process so you can drive installs while still maintaining a superior user experience. In this example with NPR, with Dynamic Links, we were able to take what was 13 taps down to only 4. So as I mentioned, there are over a dozen features of the new Firebase, and while each of them is interesting on its own, the power of Firebase is in how they’re integrated together.
Here’s a quick example. First, with crash reporting, you can see crashes as they’re happening. Then in analytics, you can look at what the impact is on your business. Once you fix the crash, you can actually use notifications to reach back out and invite users back into your app. Or use remote config to offer them a coupon. And all of this is integrated into our Google Cloud platform, so that if you want to do deeper, more customized analysis of your analytics data, you can export it to BigQuery, Google’s fully managed, petabyte scale data warehouse.
So I’ve only skimmed the surface, but we’re going to go into detail later on this afternoon, and we have over 30 sessions on Firebase throughout I/O. The new Firebase is available today through one easy to install SDK across Android, iOS, and the Web. Please give it a try. We’re really interested to hear what you think and we can’t wait to see what you build next.
And with that, here is Ellie to give you a preview of a new Android effort that we’re working on for you.
Ellie Powers – Product Manager of Google Play
Thanks, Jason. Hi, everybody. I’m Ellie from the Android team. And I’m here with Ficus Kirkpatrick, our Engineering Director. We hope that Firebase will make it a lot easier for all of you to build great apps. And we’re also thinking hard about how Android apps should evolve and do more. We’ll be showing you a sneak peek of a new project. We think it’s going to change how people experience Android apps, and we’ll be bringing it to Android users and developers over the next year.
Developers like all of you here have built amazing Android apps. They unleashed the full power of Android devices, seamlessly combining the camera, sensors, smooth animations, and more. But you’ve really told us that you want to be able to bring users into your apps more quickly. We want to make it easier for users and developers to connect; for users to access a wider range of apps and for developers to reach more people.