Android Oreo Adds a Splash Screen API so Developers can Easily Build App Loading Screens
Most developers have mixed opinions when it comes to splash screens. Some advocate for the use of it to hide the app loading in the background and then transition to it seamlessly. On the other hand, some consider splash screens a waste of time both for the user and the developer. Google’s stance on this is mixed, having previously not promoting their use but have since started using splash screens themselves in many applications. And with Android Oreo, Google wants to make building a simple splash screen a way easier task for developers.
Google has introduced a “splash screen API” in Android 8.0. This API allows developers to easily set a drawable resource as an app loading screen. You can also set a splash screen between heavy activities inside your app. Before Android Oreo, there were many different approaches to building a splash screen, the most common one being creating a drawable, a custom theme, and a SplashActivity. Google wants to streamline and make the process easier for developers by having them take advantage of this new API.
This change isn’t currently documented in the Android Developers site. The commit was added on April 13th to AOSP, right between the first and second Android O Developer Previews were officially released. As such, in order to learn how to use it, you’ll need to reference the AOSP commit and check out the changes made since then. We do expect the official Google documentation for this API to be uploaded eventually in order to make things easier.
This isn’t the only change included for developers in Android Oreo though, as Google has introduced lots of new, useful APIs and developer features. We’ve done a lot of digging to find these changes, but to see more, you’ll need to dig into the Android Open Source Project yourself!