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Android Support Library Overview

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IAN LAKE: What if you
had a Google engineer to support your app
development and they dealt with supporting
every version of Android or building those
basic components so you don’t have to? We’ve got you covered. What if you, like me,
had spent ages building a great modern UI,
only to find more edge cases to handle to get
it great on every device? We’ve got you covered. What if your boss says you need
to support Google Cast, Ware, TV, and Auto by tomorrow? We’ve got you covered. The Android Support
Library gives you the tools to build apps faster. We’ve packaged the
essential components you need to build
a great app that works on the huge variety of
Android devices out there. It’s like having
Googlers helping you every step of the way. I’m Ian Lake. I’m here to talk to you about
what the Support Library is, and why you should use it. OK. Hear me out. Shouldn’t the newest
version of Android have everything you need? It does have quite a bit. But think of it more like
the foundation of a house. A solid but inflexible base
to build your app on top of. The Support Library
is the framing you actually build
your app around, letting you build
apps faster and focus on the important part,
the unique experiences only your app provides. So maybe this
framework is helpful. But what does that
exactly entail? Well, we’ve talked about
the Support Library as single library. It’s actually a whole
constellation of libraries. Yeah. There’s a lot there. Thankfully, you don’t
have to use all of it. You can choose exactly what
makes sense for your app. So you may have
noticed this library at the base of just
about everything? That’s the support-v4 library,
providing compatibility shims and new functionality
for devices all the way back to Android 1.6. It includes support for
application components– like fragments– notification
enhancements for Ware and Auto, and more. Support for common UI
patterns, like paging through content, tabs,
and navigation drawers. And makes it easy to
load and share content. As well as a ton of classes
to make your life easier. And you see all those components
with stars next to them? Those are unique to
the Support Library, making this an essential
part of any app, even if you’re targeting only
the latest Android versions. So they’ve got the big
one out of the way. Phew. Believe me, if they
were all like that, we’d be here all day. You may have heard of this
material design thing. A fresh new look for Android,
iOS, the web, and everything. The appcompal library makes
it easy to give your app a material code of paint
all the way back to API 7, through a custom theme and a
backward compatible version of the AppBar framework. I can’t tell you
how critical this is for making a modern-looking
Android app that looks great on the latest devices, yet
doesn’t have you pulling your hair out supporting the
thousands of Android devices out there. So what else could there be? You’ve got a beautiful app
using familiar UI patterns. So the question becomes, how do
you take it to the next level? Perhaps you have some
fantastic video content that would look great on a TV. The mediarouter library
provides the Cast button, needed to get your
content to Google Cast devices like Chromecast
and the Nexus player. Or take it a step farther, and
build out a great Android TV app using the leanback library. Maybe your app has
fantastic pictures. In that case, you might want
to use the palette library to pull out prominent colors
from those pictures and color coordinate your UI. Perhaps you need a
bit more UI polish to really make your
app pop off the screen. The cardview library builds
a consistent card look that fits in perfectly
with material design. The gridlayout library
gives you an easy way to align elements to a
grid without requiring a complicated relative layout
or multiple linear layouts. The recyclerview serves as
a more flexible and animated replacement to
listview, making it easy to build lists and
grids that react to changing data in a beautiful way. But maybe pixel pushing
isn’t your thing. You can use annotations
from the annotations library to give extra hints
to the compiler and catch even more
errors at build time, rather than your app
misbehaving at run time. Or you want to do some
serious parallel processing. Renderscript is
perfect for that. Finally, if your
code should ever grow beyond the 65,000
method decks limit that exists on
pre-Lollipop devices, the multidex library can
keep your app building. So there’s a ton out
there, all serving as the framing which can help
you build apps faster and work across a wide range
of Android devices, letting you focus on
the unique experiences only your app provides. You can learn even more about
all the parts of the Support Library on the developer site. I’m excited to see
what you can build with the help of the
Android Support Library.

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13 thoughts on “Android Support Library Overview”

  1. Murat Kemaldar says:

    This was sooo necessary. Thank you very much for the overview!

  2. Valentin Konovalov says:

    all devices? https://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=78377

  3. Andreas Nilsson says:

    If the same component is available in the Android SDK and Support Library, which one to prefer? e.g. Fragment or support Fragment? My intuition say support fragment, but what is the official statement?

  4. Erik Mejia says:

    I really liked this video, simple, concise and packed with lots of information.

  5. alfongj says:

    Great video @Ian Lake !

    Could you briefly explain in which situations could it be a good idea to use the v13 library? (rather than v4, for instance)

  6. Fuad Hamidan says:

    Android Support Library. Mengapa anda harus menggunakan nya? cekidot

  7. Dmitriy F says:

    Could you talk more on supporting Material Theme? Obviously it's not 100% backwards compatible, but could give guidance on how to make apps look more "materialistic" on non-lollipop devices. 
    Thanks!

  8. Everything Tech Review says:

    This saves my ass in my apps!

  9. Nandhu Reddy says:

    all com.android.support libraries must use the exact implementation 'com.android.support:appcompat-v7:27.1.1'
    implementation 'com.android.support:design:27.1.1' am facing this issue please help me

  10. 한ᄃ소메KimJhongHyun says:

    Sir how to stop updating support library? Can you help me?

  11. eithan balamban says:

    How to Stop updating Support Libraries??!!! Pls Help mee!!!

  12. Diddle Le Le says:

    I am NOT building APPS There Is NO NEED FOR UPDATING LIBRARY TO ADD ON. I AM REPORTING THESE ISSUES TO SEVERAL AGENCIES.

  13. Diddle Le Le says:

    Actually What I Need Is To Eliminate The Occurring Nuisances. I Think Vvery-Soon.

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