Splash screen the right way
I believe that Google isn’t contradicting itself; the old advice and the new stand together. (That said, it’s still not a good idea to use a splash screen that wastes a user’s time. Please don’t do that.)
However, Android apps do take some amount of time to start up, especially on a cold start. There is a delay there that you may not be able to avoid. Instead of leaving a blank screen during this time, why not show the user something nice? This is the approach Google is advocating. Don’t waste the user’s time, but don’t show them a blank, unconfigured section of the app the first time they launch it, either.
If you look at recent updates to Google apps, you’ll see appropriate uses of the splash screen. Take a look at the YouTube app, for example.
Implementing a splash screen the right way is a little different than you might imagine. The splash view that you see has to be ready immediately, even before you can inflate a layout file in your splash activity.