MAD about Media. Trendy Android Growth (MAD) for… | by Android Builders | Android Builders | Aug, 2022

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Trendy Android Growth (MAD) for multimedia functions

Meet our summer season Android DevRel Engineer intern, Avish Parmar!

Howdy everybody!

I spent my summer season as a developer relations engineer intern on Google’s Android DevRel crew. Upon becoming a member of Google, I used to be excited concerning the alternative to make an affect within the developer group. On this weblog put up, I will talk about trendy approaches to constructing Android media apps by my expertise changing the Common Android Media Participant (UAMP) media participant pattern app to Compose, updating it to make use of trendy libraries like Media3.

As somebody utterly new to Android growth with a background in Java, studying Kotlin was pleasantly trivial. Equally, I used to be in a position to depend on my information of declarative frameworks like React to be taught Jetpack Compose, Android’s trendy UI toolkit. Listed below are some similarities I seen:

  • Like React, Compose permits builders to construct consumer interfaces and concurrently see what they’re creating utilizing Compose’s preview characteristic.
  • Compose’s syntax is just like React, however a lot cleaner since all markup, similar to strings for various languages, is hidden in an app’s useful resource recordsdata and is referenced by the suitable useful resource capabilities.
Implementing buttons in React
Implementing buttons in Compose

My aim was to remodel UAMP to include the ideas of Trendy Android Growth (MAD). To get began, I wanted to grasp the structure of Android media functions to familiarize myself with how UAMP is carried out.

Right here is the final structure of UAMP:

music service:

UAMP was just lately migrated to make use of the brand new Jetpack Media3 library, which allows Android functions to create wealthy visible and audio experiences. Media3 consolidates legacy APIs similar to Jetpack Media (also called MediaCompat), Jetpack Media2, and Exoplayer2. It includes a less complicated structure that’s acquainted to at present’s builders and permits you to extra simply construct and keep your functions.

MusicService represents the “server” facet or the “again finish” of UAMP.

Here’s a diagram describing MusicService:

MusicService It’s made up of two elements, MediaSession and the Participant. A MediaSession represents a media playback session in progress. It gives varied mechanisms to regulate playback, obtain standing updates, and retrieve metadata concerning the present media. makes use of of UAMP ExoPlayerMedia3 default Participant implementation, for playback.

A MediaController is used to speak with the MediaSession. the MediaControllerwhich is carried out by MusicServiceConnection in UAMP and can be carried out by different shoppers, it’s used to speak with the MediaSession.

For extra info on Media3, see the Media3 documentation.

consumer interface:

UAMP makes use of the Mannequin-View-ViewModel Structure to permit abstraction and a division of accountability between every layer.

My foremost job in changing UAMP to Compose was to rewrite the views as Compose screens, connecting them to their respective ViewModels.

UAMP has three foremost UI lessons: an exercise and two fragments:

  • MainActivity is accountable for swapping between the 2 shards.
  • MediaItemFragment is answerable for shopping the music catalog. Exhibits an inventory of media objects that may be albums or songs. Touching an album will show a brand new MediaItemFragment containing the songs inside that album. Enjoying a music will begin taking part in that music and show the NowPlayingFragment.
  • NowPlayingFragment reveals the music that’s at the moment taking part in.

The 2 fragments might be transformed to Compose whereas holding MainActivity kind of intact for conversion functions.

UAMP makes use of each view binding and information binding to work together with Views.

View binding permits you to extra simply write code that interacts with views and isn’t wanted in Compose. Knowledge binding permits you to bind UI elements in your layouts to information sources in your software utilizing a declarative (reasonably than programmatic) format.

Listed below are three approaches to changing an app that makes use of view binding to Compose:

  1. Take away the adapters (eg MediaItemAdapter in UAMP) used to configure binding and use these values ​​to populate Composables as an alternative. This strategy is environment friendly as a result of you do not have to alter the underlying framework configured by the respective Fragment and the code will be redirected to make use of Composables.
  2. In case your app makes use of Fragments, eradicating the Fragments and creating the screens from scratch is one other strategy that might work, though the strategy is usually a bit extra cumbersome because the Fragments implementation could comprise some logic that may should be re-implemented within the composable capabilities.
  3. To keep up view bindings, one strategy can be to have just some components of the UI carried out in Compose. Views would nonetheless be accessed utilizing their respective view capabilities, similar to binding.view_id_name.setText(). Composables will be accessed by way of binding.composeview_id_name.apply /* All of the Compose code right here */ .

I selected to delete the MediaItemAdapter and hold the snippets so you’ll be able to reuse enterprise logic already carried out in UAMP. This was potential as a result of reactive frameworks like Compose take away the necessity to bind views.

For the info binding, I used the observeAsState perform to bind composable to LiveData. Each time there’s a change to the related LiveData, the Compose display is recomposed and the adjustments are propagated.

After you set observeAsState for a media component’s place attribute, Compose takes over the state administration duties for you.

With that executed, I began changing UI elements to Compose. For instance, I modified the RecyclerView nonetheless LazyColumn.

Earlier than: RecyclerView definition in XML structure
Earlier than: Enterprise logic to fill RecyclerView with media components
After: LazyColumn in Compose handles each defining the UI and filling the listing with objects

The final step was to return a ComposeView within the fragments onCreateView capabilities (for instance, see MediaListFragment‘s onCreateView perform right here) to show the corresponding display. Screens comprise the composable capabilities that outline the consumer interface and the controllers that join the screens to the enterprise logic embedded within the view fashions.

The play/pause icon defines a controller that invokes the suitable view mannequin perform to play/pause the at the moment taking part in media.

I additionally created a Compose display, NowPlayingScreenwhich makes use of Composables that individually show related metadata concerning the at the moment taking part in merchandise, similar to album artwork, title, and length.

Media3 makes it simple to undertake new options like spatial audio, which is a characteristic that makes your app play sound as if it had been coming from digital audio system positioned across the listener for a extra practical expertise. With the latest launch of Media3 1.0.0-beta02, ExoPlayer is up to date to configure the platform for multichannel spatial audio.

To include spatial audio, I created a configuration display, which might permit the consumer to toggle spatial audio within the app and retrieve info from the Spatializer API for the at the moment taking part in media. That is how the toggle management was carried out within the app:

5 Code snippets to explain the method.

SettingsScreen Change and toggleSpatialAudio implementation
MainActivityViewModel toggleSpatialization sends a customized command to MusicService by way of MusicServiceConnection
spatializationBehavior the audio attribute is about for the ExoPlayer occasion
onAudioAttributesChanged is known as on MusicServiceConnection which then posts the up to date worth to isAppSpatializationEnabled
The isAppSpatializationEnabled observer on the NowPlayingFragmentViewModel calls updateState, which updates the worth of spatializationStatus.

Compose was an effective way to get into Android growth as a result of I used to be in a position to depend on my expertise with different declarative frameworks and simplify the code I wrote. Having the ability to interoperate Compose with XML made it simple to transform from UAMP fragments to Compose screens, as you could possibly leverage the underlying enterprise logic that was already used for Views. Compose additionally allowed me to “see what I coded” through the use of the @Preview annotation to visualise part and attribute adjustments in a real-time UI preview. Since Compose took care of state administration like view bindings, I used to be in a position to focus solely on making the UAMP UI stunning and interactive.

New libraries are being actively launched to Compose to reinforce present performance and add new options. To become involved, you’ll be able to be part of the Compose group and share your suggestions. With a thriving developer group and frequent updates, it is easy to search out options to any points you could encounter. The group has already constructed high-quality libraries to handle fashionable use instances, similar to dynamic imaging. I extremely suggest any developer, new or outdated, to no less than give Compose a attempt when constructing a brand new app, including new screens to an present app, or migrating an app to Compose.

Coming again to Media3, the simplicity and compatibility it presents by way of being basically a bridge between varied media libraries is a testomony to its effectivity and effectiveness. The Media3 library makes it simple for builders to include trendy options, similar to spatial audio, into their functions, whereas requiring much less code and having a a lot less complicated structure. From a developer’s perspective, Media3 is the one cease store for all of the media performance you could want.

By engaged on this challenge, there are a lot of issues that I’ve discovered; not solely technically but additionally psychologically as a developer. Early on, studying about Kotlin and the Jetpack libraries allowed me to broaden my information and ability set. Delving a bit deeper into my position as a developer relations engineer intern, I noticed the worth of Roman Nurik’s “Stroll Then Discuss” philosophy at DevRel, which suggests not solely pondering critically about greatest practices, but additionally placing myself within the place of different builders, whose multitude of use instances these libraries intention to fulfill. I hope I’ve satisfied you of the advantages of adopting trendy Android growth methods in your media app.

Trendy libraries like Compose and Media3 are usually launched and up to date, making it simple for builders to make the most of new instruments and options. Whereas MAD raises the bar, it additionally reduces the training curve for brand new builders to get began with Android growth due to its simplicity.

For extra info on UAMP:

For extra info on Compose:

For extra info on Media3:

To learn to migrate an app to Compose:

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MAD about Media. Modern Android Development (MAD) for… | by Android Developers | Android Developers | Aug, 2022