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VR Development Gets Easier With Vitals in Android O

A new suite of development tools in upcoming new Android version will make life easier for developers of VR applications.

During the Google I/O conference, Stephanie Saad Cuthbertson, Director of Product Management at Android spoke about the Android O developer preview, due for release later in summer. The new Android version focuses on two aspects; Fluid experiences for user interaction and creating the best user experience and Vitals for battery performance and reliability.

Several new tools are being introduced specifically for developers working with Android apps. Cuthbertson spoke about the three main fundamentals of the Android experience; battery life, start-up time and stability. As such Google are introducing tools that allow for things like security enhancements to protect your phone and tablets from harmful apps and disable them. Google Play Protect can scan apps to make sure they are all safe and don’t pose a threat. Boot time on O is twice as fast as in previous versions of Android for devices using Pixel and apps will also run faster.

It was also noted that apps themselves can have a large impact on the system. Some apps which run continuously in the background can consume lots of system resources and battery life so Android O will introduce limits to be placed upon apps so they don’t continue to drain battery if an app goes wrong.

A feedback suite for developers is also going to be introduced. Titled the Play Console Dashboard, the utility will show the issues that cause battery drain, crashes and slowdown in the UI. For each issue the app has, it will show how many users are affected and give guidance on how to fix the problem. A profiler is available to visualise the problems happening within the app. The unified visual profiler allows for activity of network, CPU and memory to be shown clearly, so devs can see everything on a unified timeline. For example if looking at the CPU it is possible to view the call stack and check how long every call is taking and jump to the exact line of code to fix a problem.

VRFocus will bring you further updates on Android O and VR apps as it becomes available.

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