Google today announced the first preview of Jetpack Compose, a new open-source UI toolkit for Kotlin developers who want to use a reactive programming model similar to what React Native and Vue.js.
Jetpack Compose is an unbundled toolkit that is part of Google’s overall Android Jetpack set of software components for Android developers, but there is no requirement to use any other Jetpack components. With Jetpack Compose, Google is essentially bringing the UI-as-code philosophy to Android development. Compose’s UI components are fully declarative and allow developers to create layouts by simply describing what the UI should look like in their code. The Compose framework will handle all the gory details of UI optimization for the developer.
Developers can mix and match the Jetpack Compose APIs and view with those based on Android’s native APIs. Out of the box, Jetpack Compose also natively supports Google’s Material Design.
As part of today’s overall Jetpack update, Google is also launching a number of new Jetpack components and features. These range from support for building apps for Android for Cars and Android Auto to an Enterprise library for making it easier to integrate apps with Enterprise Mobility Management solutions and built-in benchmarking tools
The standout feature, though, is probably CameraX, a new library that allows developers to build camera-centric features and applications that gives developers access to essentially the same features as the native Android camera app.