“Let Me Explain You” Droidcon

Droidcon is a global developer conference series focusing on the best of Android. These conferences offer some of the best presentations and talks the industry has to offer from companies such as Square, Twitter, Soundcloud, and even Google itself. With the wealth of knowledge shared at Droidcon NYC, it can be hard to extract the good stuff from the great; so we sifted through the various presentations to highlight the presentations that will lead to some “easy wins” when developing your Android apps.

LeakCanary – Pierre-Yves Ricau (Square)

If you have ever developed an Android app, chances are you’ve encountered the dreaded OutOfMemory error. In short, a memory leak typically occurs when a chain of references holds an object in memory after it should have been garbage collected. Luckily, the wonderful engineers at Square have provided a tool in combating this issue during development. LeakCanary was open sourced by Square back in May of this year and is an invaluable tool in helping you reduce the number of memory leaks within your application. It is ridiculously easy to set up, and the value gained from including it in your development and QA process is enormous.

More details on LeakCanary.

Droidcon Slides

Vector Support in Android Studio 1.4 – Roman Nurik, Nick Butcher, and Chris Banes (Google)

Vector Support in Android Studio 1.4

Remember that time when your designer gave you an asset only to change it a day later, forcing you to re-import the asset in multiple different densities all over again? Well, those days are over. Android Studio 1.4 now adds the ability to import vector assets. Your designers can now provide you with SVG assets which are easily imported into your project using Android Studio. That’s all well and good for Lollipop and up devices, but what about all of the users running older versions of Android? Luckily, backwards-compatibility has been added in the latest version of the Android gradle plugin! (Please note: at the time of writing, the plugin is still in beta). At build time, this plugin will rasterize the SVGs and then generate the required assets for different densities. This will make your designers extremely happy and really streamline the designer-to-dev process. Oh, and if your app is strictly using Material icons, you can even cut out the designer completely; the vector import wizard in Android Studio supports directly importing assets from the Material icon library.

This video gives more information about Vector support starting around the 27:15 mark.

Droidcon Slides

Debug Builds: A New Hope – Matt Precious (Square)

Better app Debugging in Android

The development of an app can be tough at times. Bugs seemingly crop up at random, APIs may or may not be ready, and the timeline for delivery may be rather short. How can you ease the development process on yourself and others within your team? Enter U2020 and the Debug Drawer. U2020 has been around for awhile now, but it has been constantly improved with new and interesting features. Jake Wharton and Matt Precious of Square were generous enough to include a slew of tools that they use to reduce the pain points of the development process. To highlight a few:

There are a ton of other great debug features included within U2020 and the Debug Drawer. Check out the slides from the talk or the U2020 source code for even more great features.

U2020 can be found on GitHub
Be sure to check out Telescope as well!

Droidcon Slides

Accessibility 101 – Haley Rose Smith (Slack)

Accessibility in Android should not be overlooked. Users of your applications have various needs and will interact with your applications in a variety of ways. There are a couple of really simple checks you can do to your app that result in big gains for your users.

Droidcon Slides

Video of Talk


At Prolific, we are already reaping the benefits of implementing these “easy wins”. You won’t just be helping yourself and your product –you will be helping your users.

There were plenty of other great takeaways from Droidcon NYC 2015. The full list of presentations can be found here on Github. Touchlab did a wonderful job organizing the event, and we can’t wait for next year’s!

Videos of the various presentations are available via their Youtube channel, and we highly recommend checking them out.

Note: “Explanation for Let Me Explain You” can be found here.

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  • http://touchlab.co/ Kevin Galligan

    Glad you enjoyed it! Some comments:

    Video for Accessibility 101: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOr3mgqJU0A

    We have more videos coming out over this week. All told, there’s roughly 1TB of video that needs to get crunched, with 30-40 hours of content, but should be coming along soon. Check out the youtube list for updates: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnVy79PaFHMUqqvwbjyKJZv1N8rzHOCBi

    Also, don’t wait till next year! We’re partnering up on Droidcon SF in November: http://sf.droidcon.com/, there will be Droidcon Montreal in May…

    • prolificjohn

      Thanks Kevin! We’ll update the post as the videos roll in.

  • Shahnewaz Khan

    Great posts! However I am unable to read past blogs, can you please look into this?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Christopher Jones

      Hey! Sorry about that; we’ve fixed the issue, so old posts should be good to go.