Always wanted to attend a Google event and I must say it was the best event I’ve ever attended!
It was most useful for Android & PWA (Progressive Web App) Developers, Product Managers.
The event had 2 tracks — Chrome track & Android track. I mainly attended Chrome track and here’s what I learnt:
Chrome Track — Highlights:
I. Flutter (Want to have a single code base and launch the apps soon?)
An open-source UI SDK, which can be used to develop applications for Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, and the web.
E.g. In Dream 11 company, the time from development to launch reduced from 3 weeks to 2 days.
Best part — All apps with just one single code base!
In simple words, who should use Flutter?
- If you are a startup, want to build android & iOS apps from scratch, use Flutter.
- If you currently have android app, use flutter to build iOS app.
Also, it’s #1 fastest growing skill by LinkedIn
Here’s a chance to win Apple iMac pro by coding using Flutter! Register here.
II. Portals (Don’t like showing blank screens when transitioning between 2 web pages?)
We often overlook the page transitions, showing blank screens to users when they move between pages. Portal provides a better navigation UX. They allow embedding and they also provide ability to navigate to its content.
Here, you could use your own animations and define your own transition time (say 400ms)
Chrome recommended the following:
- Use portals when you don’t want to show blank screen when users are navigating between two pages.
- Avoid overloading the page with portals. Use it only for most important page transitions.
- Avoid using heavy animations, because that could cause performance issues.
III. Periodic Background Sync (PBS) (Want to show fresh content even when there’s intermittent network connectivity?)
PBS is an extension of Background Sync that allows websites to set tasks to be run in periodic intervals, with network connectivity. We can define the minimum interval between 2 syncs.
E.g. The PWA content can update itself in the background, giving people a smoother and reliably fresh experience, rather than waiting for new content after relaunching PWA.
IV. Promoting PWA installation — Keeping Web Users APPY!
Project Fugu provides the below capabilities to enable native android app experience on the web.
- Supporting PNs
- Offline Browsing
- Access from phone home screen
For best practices and guidelines, check here.
V. ML (Machine Learning) Kit
Google provides ready-to-use APIs for barcode scanning, smart reply, text recognition, image labeling and many more!
E.g. In Google photos app, if you search “white board”, you will be able to filter photos which contain white board.
Explore ML algorithms built by the Google expertise here.
VI. New performance metrics
Chrome has introduced two new metrics which can be used to measure page performance.
- LCP — Largest Contentful Paint — It reports the render time of the largest content element visible in the viewport (E.g. images, video)
- CLS — Cumulative Layout Shift — Measures unexpected shift in page layout that occurs when the page is loading
VII. Web Almanac
~5.8 million websites were used to understand the state of the web and comprehensive reports are available related to SEO, Performance etc.,
VIII. SMS Retriever API — Now available for PWA!
Swiggy mobile site is a full fledged PWA. They used the above API to read the OTP code in SMS. They saw 4 second reduction in the user’s time to login.
To avoid a badge of shame, it’s high time to make your websites faster!
Android Track — Highlights:
One of the most important improvement is that, the metadata of the photos will not be passed to apps.
Whenever an app gets access to photos, the metadata of the image was also accessible. For example, the location in which photo was clicked, device information (like what device, OS, screen resolution) is a part of metadata. As part of android 10, such metadata will not be shared with apps when user grants access to photos & camera.
Kotlin programming language is now Google’s preferred language for Android app developers.
Android developers – Here’s a chance to win tickets to Google I/O 2020 (California). Register here.
As a product manager at bigbasket, who’s responsible for on-site experience, the chrome track provided many solutions to ensure better performance of website. The event was extremely educative in terms of understanding where the web is heading.
Million thanks to the speakers!