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How Mature Are You?

Age alone does not an adult make. But what does? What makes you finally, really an adult? Adulthood is a social construct. For that matter, so is childhood. But like all social constructs, they have real consequences. They determine who is legally responsible for their actions and who is not, what roles people are allowed to assume in society, how people view each other, and how they view themselves. But even in the realms where it should be easiest to define the difference—law, physical development—adulthood defies simplicity.

You can’t drink until you are 21, but legal adulthood, along with voting and the ability to join the army, comes at age 18. Or does it? You’re allowed to watch adult movies at 17. In many countries kids can hold a job as young as 14, depending on state restrictions, and are even allowed to deliver newspapers, babysit, or work for their parents even younger than that.

Chronological age is not a particularly good indicator [of maturity], but it’s something we need to do for practical purposes. We all know people who are 21 or 22 years old who are very wise and mature, but we also know people who are very immature and very reckless. We’re not going to start giving people maturity tests to decide whether they can buy alcohol or not.

There is definitely no certain age at which maturity sets in. In my personal experiences, I’ve observed that age has little or nothing to do with it. I have met young people who are mature well beyond their years, and I’ve known older folks who act childish, only thinking about themselves. So the question is: What are the character traits that show maturity? And do “mature” people exhibit them 100% of the time?

Well, I’m not sure that we can be mature in every situation that presents itself to us because we are always growing and learning as human beings, and I’m pretty sure that all of us have been guilty of at least some of these negative behaviors at least once in our lives. That being said, by considering these 25 tell-tale signs, perhaps we can be more aware of the interludes in which our whiny, complaining, adolescent self rears its immature head…

1. Realizing how much you don’t know.

2. Listening more and talking less.

3. Being aware and considerate of others as opposed to being self-absorbed, self-centered, and inconsiderate.

4. Not taking everything personally, getting easily offended, or feeling the need to defend, prove, or make excuses for yourself.

5. Being grateful and gracious, not complaining.

6. Taking responsibility for your own health and happiness, not relying on others to “fix” you or placing blame for your circumstances.

7. Having forgiveness and compassion for yourself and others.

8. Being calm and peaceful, not desperate, frantic, or irrational.

9. Showing flexibility and openness as opposed to resisting, controlling, or being unreasonable.

10. Helping yourself, not just expecting others to do it for you out of a sense of entitlement.

11. Doing good deeds even when there is nothing in it for you other than knowing you helped, being selfless.

12. Respecting another’s point of view, beliefs, and way of life without judgment, not insisting you are right, belittling another, or using profanity or violence to get your point across.

13. Sharing your good fortune with others.

14. Being able to turn the other cheek without wishing harm on another.

15. Thinking before acting and having good manners, not going off half-cocked, lashing out, or being rude.

16. Encouraging and being supportive of others.

17. Finding joy in the success of someone else, not envy or criticism.

18. Knowing there is always room to grow and improve and reaching out for help.

19. Having humility and laughing at yourself.

20. Recognizing that which does not work in your life and making an effort to do something different.

21. Passing up instant gratification in favor of long term benefits.

22. Accepting, liking, and loving yourself, not needing someone else to “complete” you.

23. Standing up for fairness and justice for yourself and others and choosing to do the right thing.

24. Making sacrifices for the good of others without resentment.

25. Not clinging to materialistic items or bragging.

I’m sure there are probably other signs, but this list covers at least the majority of them. I know we can always do a better job displaying our mature sides. I also know that, by doing so, we lift each other up through our example. What’s most important, however, is seeing the negative side of our behavior and knowing we must do something positive to change it…And that, my friends, is WISDOM.

Dream Big, Aim High

Everyone has a dream. No matter what dreams you are trying to pursue, regardless of whether it is to save humanity, to end world hunger, to overcome poverty, or to simply get a promotion or to change a better car, the truth is that your dreams matter. Many a time when we are young, we tend to doubt whether we will achieve our dreams. We start to say let us start small and we also sometimes land up pleasing others just to keep our sanity.

Here are some examples which prove that age is just a number

  • Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook at age 19, became a billionaire, and the rest is history.
  • Matthew Mullenweg used to work for CNET Networks. In 2005, he founded WordPress, a content management system used by over 60 million websites.
  • Catherine Cook, the creator of MyYearBook.com started the website at the age of 15.
  • Tumblr, the famous blogging website owned by Yahoo was founded by David Karp after he turned 21 years old.
  • Ryan Block started Engadget when he was 26.

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.

C. S. LEWIS

It is never too late or too young to have a dream or to realize your ambitions and goals. Take the first step by daring to dream big dreams. Here are 10 good reasons why it is important to dream big and aim high

1. It is inspirational and motivating

When you aim high and dream big, one of the most obvious benefits is that you will feel driven and be inspired by your dreams.

A lot of people fail to reach their goals because the goals they set are not exciting and motivating enough.

People are not lazy. They simply have impotent goals – that is, goals that do not inspire them.

Tony Robbins

2. It boosts your creativity

When something is big and exciting enough, it forces you to think outside the box to reach it. And this is why thinking big and aiming high can boost your creativity.

The challenge comes when you set a big goal that requires you to do something different. When you aim high, you will need to think creatively to achieve it.

This is because if you do what you have always been doing, you will always be getting back the same old results.


3. It takes you out of your comfort zone

Yes, pursuing big dreams requires you to get out of your comfort zone.

You see, if you keep doing what you’re comfortable with, you will never grow. You will be getting the same results over and over again. Until you change what you do and move out of your comfort zone, nothing changes.

In order to make a change, you need to do something different. And this is why you should aim high. When you expand your comfort zone and do something uncomfortable, you will start to see progress. And different results will come to you.

Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.

Adre Gide

4. It makes you grow

As we have talked about above, pursuing big goals requires you to get out of your comfort zone. And when you do that, that’s where growth happens.

You can never improve and grow if you keep doing the same thing. It is only when you do something differently, you will experience growth.

And to be successful, you need to grow. You need to improve, learn, and become better each day. This is why aiming high is so important.

There is no way you can grow if you are thinking and playing small because that’s what everyone else is doing.


5. It inspires others

Besides growth, you will also inspire others in your journey to pursuing big dreams. If your goal is to get a raise or a promotion, you will only inspire yourself, and maybe your spouse.

But if your goal is to build a product that can save people’s lives or end the child’s abuse, it becomes interesting and inspiring.

Your playing small does not serve the world. Who are you not to be great?

Nelson Mandela

Why do you have to stop yourself from unleashing your true potential? Why do you need to limit yourself by playing small?


6. It attracts opportunities

When your dream is big enough that it inspires others, rest assured that it will also attract bigger opportunities.

You become what you think about most of the time. If you are thinking and playing it small, you will attract small opportunities. But when you are thinking and playing big, big things will come to you.

This is why successful people who have accomplished extraordinary results have big visions.

Champions and professional athletes aim for Olympics gold medalist, mediocre people don’t dare to even think about winning the competition held in their districts.


7. It encourages long-term thinking

We all know that success is not a one-night thing. It will never come to you in the short-term.

Real success is long-term. It is not an overnight result. If you are wishing to make quick money in the short-term or without any effort, you are not going to achieve real success.

When you dream big, it encourages you to think long-term. And when you think far into the future, you will not be intimidated by the short-term reward.

I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’

Muhammed Ali

8. It unleashes your true potential

How do you know how much potential you have? Well, you can’t. The only way you can know your own limit is to go all the way.

For instance, you can set a goal to earn INR 100,000 a month, but what if you have the potential to earn INR 500,000 a month?

As I said, you will never know your true potential until you do. Hence, this is why you want to dream big and aim high. Your thinking will unleash your potential.

What if you’re a genius but because you don’t dare to dream big, you play it small your entire life?

Don’t you think that you’ve wasted your entire life?


9. It gives you better results

Aiming high actually gives you better results. When you achieve your big goals, you win. 

If you set your goals ridiculously high and it’s a failure, you will fail above everyone else’s success.

James Cameron

The problem with most people is that they don’t even aim for the ceiling in their house. And then they wonder why they are not successful.

I know, it is not easy. Success isn’t easy, if it is, everyone would be successful.

And because it is hard, it makes you someone extraordinary when you dare to dream big and work for it.

You see, most people don’t dare to dream big and they don’t work for it. Therefore, if you are willing to aim high and put in the effort, you will do far better than most people out there.


10. It gives you greater experience

When something is easy to get, you will never appreciate it.

This is why we experience the sweetest victory when we poured in hard work and work through defeats and failures.

Victory is sweetest when you’ve known defeat.

Malcolm Forbes

You see, if you want to make these dreams come true, you must first start with thinking big. And since you are going to be thinking and dreaming anyway, why don’t you do think and dream big?

How to Let Go of the Past

Our past experiences can have a significant impact on our daily lives. We often base our decisions on events that we have witnessed and also dwell on past experiences or people. Letting go is never easy. It may be hard for some and even harder for others.

I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.

Carl Jung

I’ve struggled with ridding myself of guilt, shame, and grief. I’ve struggled with freeing myself from mistakes, past relationships, and worries about the future. It’s not that I haven’t tried. Believe me, I’ve tried really hard.

It’s frustrating because I’m fully aware of the importance of letting go and moving on. I know that attachment is the reason we suffer. I know that past pain, anger, and resentment holds us back. I know that holding on to the unwanted blocks the wanted from coming in.

We do not heal the past by dwelling there; we heal the past by living fully in the present

Marianne Williamson

I came across these steps and some of them have helped me. Use whatever works for you!

Where focus grows, energy flows.

Tony Robbins

Focus on the wanted, not the unwanted. Imagine, visualize, and fantasize what you’d love to have instead in your life!

The Power of Choice

We all make choices in our lives every day, both knowingly and unknowingly. From simple decisions like what to eat for dinner and what to wear to work, to the heavier ones about who to be friends with and whether to change jobs, there’s a truth that we must all embrace: everyone has the power of choice. It’s a critical part of our self-development, and each and every one of the choices that you make shapes your experiences and brings you to where you are in your life.

One of the great things about having the power to choose is that if you don’t like the place you are in your life right now, you can change it! You’re in the driver’s seat, and you can actively and intentionally pursue different options for yourself. It’s part of your decision-making on how to be happy in life.

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.

Viktor Frankl, Holocaust survivor and Psychiatrist

Even when life deals us a horrible hand, Every human being has the freedom to change at any instant. Essentially, we always retain the power of choice.

This critical life lesson is an important reminder that you have control of what you do next. Even in the deepest, darkest moments of your life, you can still choose how you look at those situations and how you respond.

Let’s see some of the important things you control

1. You Have Control Over Your Behavior

You can’t control everything in life but you certainly do control your behavior. You can control how you react to setbacks and how you choose to spend your time.

Take a look at your daily habits and how they impact your life. Bad habits such as spending too much time watching TV, drinking too much alcohol, or spending too much money can hold you back from reaching your full potential. Create healthy habits and accept responsibility for your behavior and you’ll see positive changes in your life. 


2. You Have the Power to Choose to Work Hard

You can choose how much work you want to do and what type of you work you want. If you choose to work hard, you’ll see positive results. Even if you start in a low paying job, hard work can get you promoted or open doors to new opportunities.

You also have the power to change the type of work you do. You can open your own business, change careers whenever you want, or further your education.


3. You Control Who You Keep for Company

Even though you can’t choose your biological relatives, you have the power to choose who to spend your time with. Spend time with people who are inspirational, motivational, and positive. It can do a lot for your energy level and outlook on life. Be willing to join volunteer organizations and meet with influential people to find people who are making positive change.


4. You Have the Power to Choose Your Future

If you had a terrible childhood or you’ve made a lot of mistakes in the past, you don’t have to allow that to define the rest of your life. You have the power to choose your future.

Create the type of future you feel like you were really meant to live. Make changes and work hard to become the person you feel like you are meant to be. With hard work and determination, you can create any type of life you want for yourself. 


5. You Have the Power to Choose Your Attitude

You have the power to choose the type of attitude you want to have in life. The way you react to problems, setbacks and angry people says a lot about you. Choosing to have a positive, compassionate, and determined attitude can mean the difference between feeling sorry for yourself and creating the life you always dreamed of living.


No matter what arises in your day or in your heart, remember there’s always something you can choose. May we all remember the power we have.

Things will work out

We have all gone through that phase wondering what God is up to, why does everything that happens makes us feel that things are just going downhill. Maybe it’s work or stress-related, or maybe you are struggling with relationships. Maybe it’s something in your financial life. And no matter what you do in any of those areas, it feels like you’re trapped in a pit you can’t get out of.

This quote is very true, we really can’t see all that is falling into place to make things eventually work out for the best. It is not easy to keep the faith and believe that God is constantly at work in our lives. Do we have the belief that it will all work out? Do we actively keep the faith in your own life, not giving up, crumbling, or letting the challenges we’re facing overcome us? Do we stand up strong and allow challenges to come your way, knowing that you’ll come out stronger on the other side? Definitely not easy!

Here are some things that keep me strong in even the toughest situations

Stop Focusing on All The Ways It Won’t Work Out

When you’re focused on the worst possible outcome, you’re more likely to fulfill those fears. Faith requires effort just like taking action does. When you notice yourself start to drift toward the woe-is-me mindframe, stop yourself, then redirect those thoughts in a positive direction. What is the best possible scenario?Are you taking action to create that outcome? Luck is something you create through action and interpretation of what life deals to you. Make yourself the luckiest person you know.


Don’t Try to Control The Way It Works Out

This applies to pessimistic and optimistic ideas of what the future holds. You have no control over some things that add to the outcome of whatever you’re working toward. As much work as you can put into anything in your life, there reaches a certain point at which you must give up control. If you don’t, you could drive yourself mad. Much of our frustration, anxiety, worry and depression comes from the fact that we try to control the things we simply cannot control. Have faith that it will work out, yes, but don’t force it to happen the way you see it happening…


Keep An Open Mind

Often times, life throws the unexpected at us. If you keep an open mind, those unexpected events can seem more like possibilities than obstacles. Start viewing the unexpected as opportunities to accomplish your goals in a new way. Things work themselves out in ways we could never plan for. Keep the door open, and allow the unexpected to open doors you never saw before.


Pull Over and Get Your Bearings

Take the time to pull over to keep from freaking out. Take the time to pull over and get grounded again. Take some deep breaths. Take a time out. Close your eyes and ask, “Where is the opportunity in this situation?” or “How will this strengthen me?”


Don’t Just Believe, Take Action

Let’s pull up the 1st point again here: “Stop focusing on all the ways it won’t work out.” I want to encourage you to instead focus on being positive and taking actions that align with that positive mindframe. Action is the key to realization. If you don’t try to create the life you want, things will most likely not work out in your favor. You must exert effort. You must work for it. You must allow it to happen by making space for the opportunities in life. Yes, there reaches a point where you can’t control the outcome, but reaching that point takes some work. Break down your goals into mini-goals and make a plan of action. Add faith in the fact that it will all work out, and you’ll be a major force to reckon with.


While God’s actions seem to be hidden from sight, we can trust He is working. We are not trapped in our circumstances or current situation. He uses other things or people to instill hope, faith, and trust. He’s orchestrating an outcome that will bless you and He will be with you through it all…all the way. We can wait in confidence and keep moving forward, one step at a time.

Little Miracles Happen Everyday

Every day, billions of people wake up in the morning and go about their busy days. For some, the busyness of the day does not allow for time to reflect, while for others, the mundane routine offers little to look forward to, or to be grateful for.

The nature of life today does not often lend itself to recognizing the miracles happening around us and often to us. It is this inability to see everyday miracles in our lives that often causes depression, anxiety and hopelessness.

When we focus more on the miracles in our lives, we can have a better outlook on life and be happier.

Here are a few everyday miracles that we may be overlooking

People changing before your eyes

You’ve heard it before, the saying that “people don’t really change.” Well, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. We’ve all seen the examples. What about abusive, alcoholic father who somehow, someway came to his senses to overcome addiction, save his marriage and family relationships?

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.

Leo Tolstoy

Myriad other examples flood the earth everyday. When you accept that people can and do change, you see miracles in abundance.


Another of the little miracles is the gift of our senses. What we can hear, see and smell. “When in doubt, play Mozart, eat chocolate” is one of my imagined bumper stickers.

Have you tried to look at the world through the eyes of children? They show us how to reappreciate the miracles of our senses. There are plenty of videos online of children amazed by the small things around them, playing with their dog, transfixed by a butterfly dancing and so much more.

It is a miracle that the sun rises every day. It is a miracle that we rise up too, every day. It is a miracle that we can breathe. It is a miracle that the body intuitively knows what to breathe. It is a miracle that our heart is pumping without being commanded to do so. It is a miracle we can see. It is a miracle we can hear. It is a miracle we can eat and speak using the same mouth. It is a miracle that we can touch and feel and walk and lift. It is a miracle that we know what something as abstract as emotion is.

Imagine a day when the sun forgets to rise or the earth stops to rotate. Imagine a day when you don’t rise up. Or a day when you cannot breathe. Or your heart stops to pump. Or your eyes stop to see. Or your ears stop to hear. Or your mouth cannot eat or your speech is lost. Or you cannot touch nor feel nor walk nor lift. Or you stop to feel any emotion what-so-ever.

It is important to acknowledge and express gratitude for all of these miracles everyday if we want our lives to be full of miracles, big and small.

Here is a lovely song by Luther Vandross from Never Let Me Go – the album would go on to be nominated for multiple Grammy Awards and be awarded Platinum status.

One thing I would love to do is talk to someone, wish I knew who
Sometimes the people who know the least say the most
Makes you wonder who you can trust, what’s gonna happen
First thing I know, God is love
The next thing would be, He loves me
Sometimes I’m tired of waiting for a thing or someone
Then I stop and see what He’s done and I know everything will come

Maybe today, anything can change, nothing stays the same
Maybe today, what’s tomorrow for, no one knows for sure
Through it all, come what mayLittle miracles happen everyday

And so there you go, strangely enough
Alone even though, addicted to love
You’re in and out so quickly that it gives you a start
You’re waiting for a message or a word but you haven’t heard from your heart

Maybe today, things can change, nothing stays the same
Maybe today, is for the love we need, I really believe
Through it all, come what may
Little miracles happen everyday

What is a miracle?
Love is a miracle
Every time that you care, a miracle, it happens somewhere
So many miracles, even small little miracles
Just take one look about, it’s not hard to figure out

‘Cause it might be today, anything can change nothing stays the same
And maybe today, what’s tomorrow for, no one know for sure
Through it all, come what may
Little miracles happen everyday
Little miracles happen ev’ry day
Little miracles happen everyday
They happen everyday

Google AR Glasses

There was a lovely surprise at the end of the Google I/O 2022 keynote last week. It was a look at its latest AR glasses. The key feature Google showed off was the ability to see languages translated right in front of your eyes, which seems to me like a very practical application for AR glasses. 

The company didn’t share any details about when they might be available and only demonstrated them in a recorded video that didn’t actually show the display or how you would interact with them. But what was shown in the video painted a very cool picture of a potential AR future.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai shared some context about how the company views AR ahead of introducing the video during Wednesday’s I/O keynote. Based on what he said, it seems the company believes that AR can exist in many places that aren’t a smartphone.

Looking ahead, there’s a new frontier of computing, which has the potential to extend all of this even further, and that is augmented reality. At Google, we have been heavily invested in this area. We’ve been building augmented reality into many Google products, from Google Lens to multisearch, scene exploration, and Live and Immersive views in Maps.

These AR capabilities are already useful on phones and the magic will really come alive when you can use them in the real world without the technology getting in the way.

That potential is what gets us most excited about AR: the ability to spend time focusing on what matters in the real world, in our real lives. Because the real world is pretty amazing!

Count your Blessings

In a world of plenty where most of us are pre-programmed to strive for more, desire what we don’t have, and lust after what’s faster, better, and stronger, we forget to appreciate what we have.

It made me think: what would happen if we could all learn to live with less? What if we could accept the gifts life has to bestow upon us and let what we have be enough? What if we took measures to simply count our blessings everyday? Would we (could we) be happier or more content?

When we count our blessings, we note all the wonderful things in our lives. This helps us to appreciate how good life is. Gratitude is a feeling of appreciation or thanks. When people count their blessings, they can say it like this: “I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for my friends. I am thankful for my health.”

It is better to be grateful for our blessings than to take them for granted. When we take something for granted, we do not appreciate it. Sometimes we are not appreciative of our good fortune and blessings until they are gone.

But now, let’s take a step back. What exactly is a blessing?

In English, the word “blessing” has at least two meanings. As we said, a blessing is something that brings you happiness or helps you. To religious people, a blessing is approval and help from a higher source — God.

So, what kinds of things can we be thankful for? Here is my list which I frequently look at as a source of encouragement and positivity

  • The love of my family and friends 
  • The privilege of having a job 
  • The opportunity to spend time with the less fortunate both at work and my church 
  • Being able to help people 
  • Clean water and good food 
  • All the beautiful things that God has created

Make a habit of being thankful. As I mentioned, I think it’s a great idea to keep a list handy to remind you of everything you have to be grateful for. You can even write yourself notes and put them around the house or at your office. 

So much of our happiness has to do with our focus…what we’re dwelling on in our mind. That’s why when we put our focus on God and all of the great things He does for us, it breathes hope into our thoughts, moods, and our entire day.

When we give thank, we make God bigger in our eyes…and suddenly our problems seem smaller!

Do you want to make this day and every day better? then begin to count your blessings! As you do, your perspective will change, and you’ll suddenly feel so much better about life.


Here are two hymns on this topic that I love

Google I/O 2022: Everything New for Developers

Last night (India time!) we had Google I/O, which at its core is a developer focused event. Here are the some of the biggest announcements made at the keynote. 

Android

With Android 12L last year and Android 13 this fall, Google has been focusing on enhancing the experience on “large screen” devices like tablets and foldables. And Google is leading by example with Android’s large screen ambitions by updating over 20 of their own apps to look and act better on tablets and foldables, this includes YouTube Music, the Play Store, and Google TV.  

Google is also integrating TensorFlow Lite into Play Services. Because of this, developers can now depend on the bundled version of the library to reduce the size of their application.

On the privacy front, there’s a new ML-based “Google Code Scanner” API for scanning things like QR codes and barcodes. The work is delegated to Google Play Services, which saves your app from needing the camera permission, and the scanning is done on-device, keeping the data securely offline.


Android Studio

During the I/O developer keynote, Google showed the next steps for Android Studio, with a look at the upcoming “Dolphin” release, which is moving into Beta testing phase.

  • View Compose animations and coordinate them with Animation Preview.
  • Define annotation classes to easily include and apply multiple Compose preview definitions at once.
  • Track recomposition counts for your composables in the Layout Inspector.
  • Easily pair and control Wear OS emulators and launch tiles, watch faces, and complications directly from Android Studio.
  • Diagnose app issues faster with Logcat V2.

Looking further ahead, the latest Canary release, dubbed Electric Eel, is testing out a variety of new features.

For starters, Google has launched a new “Google Play SDK Index” that offers public information about the versions of Android dependencies and SDKs. This SDK Index is being integrated into Android Studio to offer lint warnings about outdated and deprecated packages early on, allowing you to easily fix them before publishing your app.

Android Studio’s resizable emulator is staying in Canary testing for a while longer rather than graduating to Beta. Just like before, there are four layout presets for rapidly checking your app in various common display shapes — phone, unfolded foldable, tablet, and desktop.

Android Studio Electric Eel includes a new, experimental “Device Mirroring” tool that can show your phone’s display on your computer.

Additionally, for Jetpack Compose developers, Android Studio Electric Eel includes an optional “Live Edit” feature that allows changes to your code to be reflected in emulators and previews of your app in real time. This should go a long way toward making design iteration faster. The previous version of live editing for Jetpack Compose was limited to changing literals such as in-app text and dimensions.


Jetpack Compose

For a few years now, Google has been steadily crafting Jetpack Compose, a new UI framework for Android, built to use the advantages of Kotlin while also taking inspiration from Flutter’s (another Google project) declarative UI creation. Since its stable launch nearly a year ago, Jetpack Compose has seen significant adoption from the Android community, with over 100 of the top 1000 Play Store apps using the framework, including Twitter.

The biggest announcement for Compose is that Jetpack Compose for Wear OS has now reached beta testing phase, with Google often considering beta to be ready for production applications. 

IO 2022 marks the launch of Jetpack Compose 1.2 Beta. The first highlight of this release is that font padding for text is now optional, one of the most hotly requested features from Compose developers. In a future release, padding will default to being disabled, so it’s definitely worth playing with it in your own app.

On a related note, Compose 1.2 now allows your app to download the fonts it needs, rather than needing to ship it in your APK. This feature is powered by Google Fonts, allowing your Jetpack Compose app to have easy access to over 1000 free fonts. Another textual improvement in Compose 1.2 makes more of your app’s text compatible with Android’s built-in magnifier tool.

Other improvements with Jetpack Compose 1.2 include a new customizable “LazyLayout,” stable lazy grid layouts, WindowInsets to better add Compose to an existing app, and recommended “window size” layouts for testing.

Google is also making it easier to get from one particular part of a Jetpack Compose app to another, with a new Compose-specific adder for the Navigation library, allowing for your compose functions to be set as navigation destinations.


Jetpack

Google’s goals for Jetpack have always focused on making the lives of Android developers easier, be it through APIs to bridge new features to the many versions of Android or unique new libraries to improve apps.

On the latter front, Google has unveiled the concept of “Baseline Profiles” for Jetpack, which take usage data from your app to optimize the most commonly used parts. Those parts are then compiled by the system first, allowing for them to be ready to run faster. To create a Baseline Profile for your own app, you can use the Jetpack Macrobenchmark library.

Google themselves have begun using Baseline Profiles in their apps, with the Play Store’s search results page loading as much as 40% faster. In other instances, Google has seen some apps receive a 30% initial speed boost just by using Baseline Profiles.

To better run your app across multiple windows and on foldables, Jetpack offers the WindowManager library to solve common problems like physical display size changes. WindowManager pairs well with another library, DragAndDrop, which makes it all too easy to accept dragged contents, either from your own app or another.

Jetpack’s new JankStats library does just what it says on the tin, tracking down and offering statistics about instances of “jank” or dropped frames. These moments are recorded along with helpful context of what the user was doing that could help explain inconsistent instances of jank.

For Room, a data persistence library and one of the foundational pieces of the Jetpack suite, Google is readying an update to version 2.5, which begins the effort of rewriting Room in Kotlin. Room 2.5 will also bring support for the newer “Paging 3.0” way of reading and saving data that’s enhanced for Kotlin use. Other Room improvements include easier JOIN queries and AutoMigration changes.

If your project hasn’t yet made the jump to Kotlin, the Jetpack team is preparing a Paging 3.1 update that integrates Guava and Rx for Java alternatives to Kotlin coroutines.


Flutter 3

Flutter, Google’s massive cross-platform app development framework, has reached version 3, bringing Material You, Linux, & macOS support, and more. Linux and macOS Flutter apps.

Meanwhile, part of supporting macOS is that both Flutter and the underlying Dart programming language now have native support for Apple Silicon. Better yet, you can ship Flutter apps in the Universal Binary format, allowing them to run effectively on both Apple Silicon and Intel based Macs. This Apple Silicon support also extends to developers, with the Flutter and Dart SDKs both now ready to run on the latest generations of Mac.

At last year’s Google I/O, shortly after the company announced its then-upcoming Material You design language, the Flutter team confirmed that developers would be able to bring this third generation of Material Design to their own apps. Less than a year later, we now see the fruits of that effort, with Flutter 3 bringing a variety of new Material You widgets.

Beyond that, significant effort has gone into custom theme generation within Flutter 3. Similar to Android 12, it’s possible to automatically craft an app’s entire color scheme from a single starting color. Importantly, though, this capability is in no way limited to Android 12 and its wallpaper-based themes. Should you wish, your app can use just about any color as its baseline for a custom theme.


DART

The hallmark feature of Dart 2.17 is the ability for developers to extend enums as well as override its default functions. This allows enums to act quite a bit more like custom written classes, should you see fit.

In an effort to reduce boilerplate code, Dart 2.17 also introduces the idea of “super parameters” when creating a class that inherits from another class. In the common example of Flutter widgets which always pass on the “key” parameter to the “Widget” class, this should save quite a few lines of code and make your code much easier to read.


Firebase

During Google I/O 2022, the Firebase team shared a suite of new features for Android and Web developers, as well as improvements to security and third-party services.

For many, the most crucial tool that Firebase offers is Crashlytics, a purpose-built tool for identifying issues that users of your app are experiencing and precisely where in your code that issue is occurring. However, until now, that data has been primarily accessed through the Firebase Console in your browser.

With the upcoming release of Android Studio Electric Eel, currently in Canary, your data from Crashlytics is now available in a new “App Quality Insights” window. This makes it even easier to dive into each crash and the parts of your code likely to be responsible. For now, Android Studio’s Crashlytics integration only works with Android applications written in Kotlin or Java, but Firebase Product Lead Francis Ma confirmed that additional support for Flutter applications is coming soon.

Elsewhere in Crashlytics for Flutter developers, the Firebase team has vastly improved adding the plugin to your Flutter app, now making it a simple two-step process. Other improvements to Crashlytics for Flutter include better automatic grouping and logging & alerts for critical errors. More broadly, the various Flutter plugins for Firebase are now moving to “general availability” and are being developed more directly by the Firebase team.

For web developers who use Firebase to host their applications, the “firebase deploy” command is being massively upgraded to deeply support two popular frameworks, Next.js and Angular Universal. These improvements will help bring the power of Firebase’s security and CDN to your app with little effort on your part.

On the security front, Firebase App Check is a recently launched service — moving today from beta to general availability — that works to protect your app’s backend from being accessed by illegitimate apps and devices. It does so through, among other things, the Play Integrity API, which checks against common forms of abuse and rooted devices.

For those who want to integrate their apps with third-party services, Firebase is expanding their system of “Extensions.” In addition to new supported partners like Snapchat, some Extensions can now be deeply customized through the use of “events” that let you run your own code in response to workflows from third-party services.


Google Play

The biggest highlight of Google Play’s announcements at I/O is the release of the SDK Index, a web tool that offers insights into the most popular packages in use on Android today. In particular, you’ll find what permissions they need, what apps use them, and code that may potentially violate Google Play policies.

A new beta program called “LiveOps” will allow developers to submit their applications and special events/discounts/etc. to be featured prominently by the Play Store. Google has said that apps using LiveOps on average see 5% more active users and 4% higher revenue. For now, the LiveOps beta is limited, but developers can register for the chance to join.

Another new feature coming soon to the Play Store is the ability to manage up to 50 store listings for an app, allowing for slight variances between them, perhaps based on an ad campaign or based on the user’s region or interests.

Similarly, developers of apps that have subscription plans can now create a diverse set of slightly different offers and even flexible pricing. There’s even a way to change the price of a subscription for new customers while leaving existing customers at the older cost.

On the security front, the Play Console is also working to make it easier to keep your app’s signing keys safe. As a best practice, Google Play App Signing can be configured to automatically rotate to a new signing key on an annual basis. Additionally, Play App Signing is in the process of switching to exclusively using Google Cloud Key Management, both for newly generated keys and migrating existing keys to the service.


Any of the updates I may have missed? Any of the above need more details on? Please let me know! 🙂

FIDO – The Password Killer

Did you know that the first Thursday of May is apparently “World Password Day”? I didn’t! And this year to celebrate this day AppleGoogle, and Microsoft are launching a “joint effort” to kill the password. The major OS vendors want to “expand support for a common passwordless sign-in standard created by the FIDO Alliance and the World Wide Web Consortium.”

 The new capability will allow websites and apps to offer consistent, secure, and easy passwordless sign-ins to consumers across devices and platforms.  

Password-only authentication is one of the biggest security problems on the web, and managing so many passwords is cumbersome for consumers, which often leads consumers to reuse the same ones across services. This practice can lead to costly account takeovers, data breaches, and even stolen identities. While password managers and legacy forms of two-factor authentication offer incremental improvements, there has been industry-wide collaboration to create sign-in technology that is more convenient and more secure.  

The expanded standards-based capabilities will give websites and apps the ability to offer an end-to-end passwordless option. Users will sign in through the same action that they take multiple times each day to unlock their devices, such as a simple verification of their fingerprint or face, or a device PIN. This new approach protects against phishing and sign-in will be radically more secure when compared to passwords and legacy multi-factor technologies such as one-time passcodes sent over SMS. 

The announcement last week extends these platform implementations to give users two new capabilities for more seamless and secure passwordless sign-ins: 

  1. Allow users to automatically access their FIDO sign-in credentials (referred to by some as a “passkey”) on many of their devices, even new ones, without having to re-enroll every account. 
  2. Enable users to use FIDO authentication on their mobile device to sign in to an app or website on a nearby device, regardless of the OS platform or browser they are running.

In addition to facilitating a better user experience, the broad support of this standards-based approach will enable service providers to offer FIDO credentials without needing passwords as an alternative sign-in or account recovery method. 

These new capabilities are expected to become available across Apple, Google, and Microsoft platforms over the course of the coming year. 

Here is an illustration of the envisaged experience

This looks like a familiar system for anyone with phone-based two-factor authentication set up, but this is a replacement for the password rather than an additional factor.

Companies have been trying to go “passwordless” for years, but getting there has been tough. Will FIDO get it done? Only time will tell 🙂

Stop Worrying About What Other People Think

We all want to be accepted and loved by others. It is a nearly universal human desire. After all, we evolved to survive better in groups, where fitting in and having the trust and respect of our peers are the measures of success. The need to belong is in our DNA.

But sometimes that need takes center stage, and what others think about us takes on more importance than what we think about ourselves. We may analyze each look and word that comes our way for clues that we’ve been judged and found acceptable or lacking. Someone passing in the hall without a hello may leave us red-faced and convinced we don’t deserve notice. We may people-please, always putting others first, which leaves us open to being taken advantage of while we chase praise. We may exhaust ourselves trying to be cool enough, hard-working enough, attractive enough, or successful enough to feel valued.

What’s behind this anxiety about being liked, and why are some of us so much more vulnerable to it than others?

Healthy striving is self-focused: ‘How can I improve?’ Perfectionism is other-focused: ‘What will they think?’

Brené Brown, “The Gifts of Imperfection”

If you recognize that you are someone who’s anxious about being liked, there are steps you can take to get back to a healthier relationship with others and with yourself.

1. Keep things in perspective.
It’s said that people would care a lot less about what others think about them if they knew how little others think about them. And it’s true: Everyone has enough to occupy their mind. They also have their own insecurities. If you’re worried about how you come across to someone you’ve just met, keep in mind that they’re probably doing the same.

2. Question your thinking. 
We tend toward patterns of negative thinking that can hurt our mood or behavior. For example, we may assume the worst, or filter out the good in a situation and pay attention only to the bad. Or we may overgeneralize or jump to conclusions. Pay attention to your thoughts, and question them rather than allowing impressions to run away with you. You may discover that what you’re fretting over exists only in your mind. 

3. Let go of perfection. 
It can be hard to shake the feeling that if you just get things right, you will be loved and admired. But this is a fruitless pursuit, not only because perfection is an illusion, but because what people think about you has more to do with them than with you.

4. Get to know yourself.
What do you really like? What do you really want? Are you making choices about your career, relationships, and pastimes because you want them or because they’ll please or impress someone else? Allow yourself to try new things and wonder, “What would I pursue or enjoy if I wasn’t so worried about being judged?” 

5. Find your tribe. 
Somewhere out there are people who can identify with you and appreciate you for who you are. Don’t waste time trying to hang on to those who expect you to conform to their wishes and wants. Cultivate authenticity, and you’ll find those you are meant to be with.

Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.

Brené Brown, “Daring Greatly

6. Allow yourself to be vulnerable. 
It can be terrifying to go against the grain, speak out, take a risk, or face disapproval. But decide what matters to you, trust yourself, and go for it. We don’t grow by always playing it safe; we grow by allowing ourselves a chance to fail. 

7. Accept a helping hand. 
The anxiety you feel about what others think can sometimes be overcome with a little self-awareness. But in some cases, especially for those with underlying trauma or mental health issues, professional help can help you get to the root of your feelings. Allow yourself to reach out for the care you need rather than prolonging your suffering. 

8. Be your own friend.
It’s a tough reality, but you will never be able to make everyone like you, no matter what you do. But look on the bright side: No one else can do it, either. So accept the twinges that will inevitably come when you realize you haven’t made a connection with someone, and focus instead on a goal that will take you further toward being the kind of person you want to be—learning to like yourself, flaws and all.


In conclusion, this quote sums things up perfectly

What other people think of me is none of my business.

Wayne Dyer