Google has announced the next variant of its Integrated Development Environment for Android, in Beta, improving upon its November release of Android Studio 2.0.
Google first gave insights into the next suite of development tools for Android in form of its Studio 2.0 in November. Well, now the version has been moved up a notch into Beta, giving credance to rumors that the company’s May I/O conference will also see a stable IDE release.
Moving into the meat of the matter, Google has gone way beyond just fixing bugs and into adding all new features with the Beta. For one, the variant brings cold swap, an option that can be deployed to restart the application in moments. The feature is handy for when you want to make changes to the structural code change. This can in essence be deployed to modify the class hierarchy, method signatures, static initializers etc.
It might be interesting to note that the cold swap feature builds upon the handy instant run tool, which was unveiled in Android Studio 2.0 in November.
It allows you to quickly make changes to your app code while your app is running on an Android device or Android Emulator. Instead of waiting for your entire app to rebuild and redeploy after each code change, Android Studio 2.0 will try to incrementally build and push only the incremental code or resource change.
The new update lets you validate URL links with a built-in validation tool. The new feature may be deployed by going to the tools section in Android and accessing the Google App Indexing Test. The emulator has also undergone a boost and “is faster than most real devices, and includes a brand new user interface.”
Also — and this is important — the beta version provides for testing applications that deploy pinch and zoom, by giving developers Multi touch support which can be used by holding down the Alt key on the keyboard and right-clicking your mouse to center the point of reference. You can also click & drag the left mouse button to zoom. The toolbar also sports updated rotation tools.
Well, while the developer team hopes that this Beta version is bug-free, it is still holding back before the final release to make sure and to receive and act upon feedback from users.
The beta release is near stable release quality, and should be relatively bug free. But as with any beta release, bugs may still exist, so, if you do find an issue, let us know so we can work to fix it.
That said, the beta version is a big step towards the final, stable release of the Android Studio 2.0. Also, if the improvements brought by this version are any indication, the IDE may just prove to be a hit in the developer community when it is finally announced — hopefully, at or before the May I/O conference.