Android Studio, if you do not know yet, is an integrated development environment (IDE) for writing apps for Google’s mobile operating system. It is a complete tool consisting of everything a developer will ever need including a code editor and generator, an analysis tool, a built-in emulation tool and a lot more.
The tool was launched in 2013 and it came out of beta last year. Today, the tech giant has released the second iteration to its developers’ kit, Android Studio 2.0.
Android Studio is based on IntelliJ IDEA and supports everything from a flexible Gradle-based build system to ProGuard and app-signing capabilities and Built-in support for Google Cloud Platform. These offer a lot more flexibility and control for developers when compared to the previous gen Android development tools that were add-ons for Eclipse IDE. Google, earlier this year, announced that it would stop supporting this option at the end of the year. So, Studio became the official Android development kit.
The new version of the IDE brings in tow a host of new features. It is available as a preview in the Canary release channel of Android Studio.
One of the biggest improvements Google has brought in the latest version of Android Studio is the accelerated deployment speeds. We also get a new feature called ‘Instant Run’ that will allow you to simply reload an app build to see what changed. The feature will allow developers to build and deploy their app code once to an emulator or a mobile device and when they make changes to the code, it will take a very short period of time for the code to be dumped into the required device/emulator. According to Google, the feature will be compatible for all apps built with support for Android ICS and above.
Google, for its graphics intensive and gaming developers, has also added a new GPU profiler in Studio 2.0. The tool is still officially in preview. It will allow developers to determine what exactly happens when the app draws a new image on screen to improve overall performance, maintain stability etc.
App indexing is also a new addition in the Google IDE. The feature basically allows users to gain access to content from apps directly from Google’s search engine. The Android Studio and the Search team had long sessions together to make it easier to enable this feature in new apps.
Finally and most importantly, the new version of the Android IDE brings new emulators. These emulators, theoretically, should run faster than any physical device. Not just this, the team has also made the emulation process a lot less time consuming, a lot more easier and also added many new features to it. The interface, for example, has now been revamped which will allow you to trigger individual modules easily. You also get the ability to emulate different network conditions and emulate the GPS.
Google Play Services are also accessible via the emulator now and you can now simply resize the emulator window to test different screen sizes.