Some things we’re excited about from Google I/O 2022

Some things we’re excited about from Google I/O 2022

By Walter  |  May 15, 2022

Every year around May, developers like myself and some curious beings at iPF Softwares look forward to one thing: Google I/O.


It’s flashy, it’s fun, there are lots of announcements, and most importantly, you get a chance to nerd out and not be judged :)


One of the most fun things about Google IO is that there is usually something for everybody, from Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to the greatest gadgets, advancements in Web Technologies, Android, Flutter, Firebase, Cloud Computing—safe to say, it's a jam-packed excursion.


In this article, I will discuss the latest updates from Google I/O 2022 for developers, innovators, and business leaders, as well as what it means to us at iPF Softwares in our pursuit of designing and developing innovative and impactful software solutions.

Advancements in Web Technologies

As creators of one of the most popular search engines and one of the most popular browsers in the world, Google is very prominent in the web technologies space and we’re always excited to see what they’ve been up to in the past year.

 

While there were a lot of technical things that were mentioned, here are the most relevant ones that might interest you.

  • Image lazy loading is finally available across all modern browsers: This is a great performance boost to the website, making our job much easier. With image lazy loading updates, websites will load faster because images that are lower on the site will wait to load until the user scrolls and gets closer to them, making your site load faster; isn't that cool?
  • Topics: Google aims to protect user privacy by telling advertisers about user-preferred topics instead of a user’s entire browsing history, which will prevent advertisers from tracking users across sites.
  • Web Authentication Google and other browser vendors are working on ways to provide site users with easy but secure one-click authentication. This way, business owners don’t have to worry about keeping their client’s data secure.
  • Media Sessions: While this might not be relevant to a lot of people, it would come in handy if you have a podcast or are a TV/radio station and you want people to listen to content found on your website in the background but still get handy controls like play, pause, and skip next in their notification shade.



Flutter, beyond rapid mobile development

We're huge fans of Flutter at iPF Softwares. Happy to have adopted Flutter development which was mostly focused on speed of development, deploying to multiple platforms, fast auto-reload, and much more.


Flutter 3 introduces even more deployment targets, making it a total of 6 targets (Android, iOS, Windos, Linux, Mac and the Web) you can deploy from more than one codebase.


This means if you want to target very low-end devices, you can have a digital solution built and deployed to all the 5 platforms instead of having it built for each platform separately, and this means lower development costs and time.

  • M1 Mac Support: Version 3 of Flutter also provides first-class support for Apple’s M1 Macs, which means an app created with Flutter can now take full advantage of all the power and speed of the M1 chips.
  • Apparently, Tiktok is made on Flutter: As a proof of concept, Flutter shared how Bytedance(creators of TikTok) is using Flutter to create their app once and easily deploy it to all platforms too, which as proof of concepts go, TikTok is the “protest” of them all :)
  • Flutter casual game toolkit: One last thing that was interesting was an early preview of their Flutter casual game toolkit solution to make it much easier to create fun and engaging games using Flutter.
Gadeget break; the new Pixel 7 looking very sharpGadeget break; the new Pixel 7 looking very sharp


Android 13 and modern Android development

While we're huge Flutter fans, we recognize that the majority of our population accessing the internet and entering the digital space does so using Android devices, and often low-end.


Android devices at that, so we're always pushing the boundaries of what's possible with the latest versions of Android as well as tried and proven Android development practices, all in an effort to provide the best Android solutions whenever possible.

  • First-class support for tablets, foldable, and smartwatches: With the increased number of foldable phones, tablets, and smartwatches, google which has previously only targeted phones and TVs, is bringing first-hand support for these two device categories, both from an OS level as well as the tools it provides for developers to help them target these platforms more efficiently. 
  • Multi-device device experiences: connected device experiences are becoming very popular of late, and more and more users are expecting apps and digital solutions to just work predictably across devices. A common example is that you might start writing an email on your phone while commuting to work and expect to continue right where you left off when you get to your work computer. Another common example is watching Netflix and Youtube videos. Google has been working on solutions to make this even easier to build with some newly released and improved Android APIs.


Quality Control with Firebase

Anyone who’s ever built software will tell you that you can’t avoid bugs and UX issues and so the most proactive teams put together a team of Quality Assurance engineers who are constantly testing the product and working with app users to make sure the products are working as expected. 

 

Another thing they do constantly is monitor user-submitted feedback as well as auto-detected issues reported by analytics software such as Crashlytics. You can read all about our software testing process, it’s a very interesting read.

 

I mention this because one of the tools we use for automated error detection is Firebase crashlytics, one of Firebase’s most popular offerings and since we like it so much, we always keep an interested eye out to see if there are any new Firebase tools we can use in other parts of our development process.


  • Better, first-hand support for crashlytics: After high demand from developers, Firebase is adding a much more seamless integration of Firebase Crashlytics to Flutter and providing tools to allow developers to identify issues by priority.
  • Firebase Extensions: Firebase extensions allow developers to plugin readymade firebase solutions(E.g. E-commerce checkout logic) on top of their firebase setups, ship faster, and then migrate to first-party solutions slowly as user needs change or if they need to build custom logic.
  • Firebase App Check: Firebase introduces App Check to help developers using Firebase’s database solutions safeguard their databases against attacks by verifying the origin of incoming traffic is valid.
  • Firebase App Distribution: Firebase is making it easier to manage testers and beta releases as well as making the distribution of new app versions to testers faster and more seamless so they don’t report on bugs that have already been.
  • Firebase performance monitoring alerts: While our QA team spends a lot of time constantly testing apps before, during, and after each release on a lot of devices and external people, you can only cover so many user variations by testing manually. Firebase performance alerts allow developers to make it easy to get notified when an app is not performing efficiently on a user’s device.


iPF Softwares' commitment to staying on the bleeding edge of technology

We want to be part of the solution by building and delivering impactful digital solutions that will disrupt the way people do things through technology.

Our purpose is to make sure people in Africa have access to world-class digital tools and solutions that will impact their lives economically and socially. We do that by partnering with different organizations and helping them design, develop, and innovate technological solutions while making sure they work and drive the impact intended.

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