Google on their I/O 2017 revealed the latest version of Android studio in preview channel 3.0. Google has focused on accelerating the app development flow and the latest set of tools for Android platform. Google spokesman has claimed that the new version features 20 plus improvements, the main among them are Kotlin support, diagnosing performance issues, and Gradle build speed etc… The developers are most comfortable working in Android IDE (Integrated Development Environment).
The main strategy behind developing this version was to make app development easier and build tools to make it possible and enhance the user experience. Android studio 3.0 is integrated with Android development platform that offers features such as Android O development wizards, Instant app development support etc…
Android App Developers are the true beneficiaries of Android studio 3.0 as it favors app development with its unique functionalities. The main offerings of Android studio 3.0 are as follows:
Android has finally accepted Kotlin and developers are excited as you can easily create and convert the existing java codes to Kotlin and preview what the statements mean inside the editor. Kotlin is simple and easy to understand, the conversion tools help to integrate the Kotlin code that already exists in Android apps.
The one thing that has improved to great extent in Android studio 3.0 is the layout editor, a new error panel has been introduced along with an updated component tree that offers a better drag and drop view insertions. The constraint layout supports creating groups, improving chains and viewing barriers to keep the layout synchronized.
Instant apps can be designed in your projects using Android 3.0. Instant apps are lightweight apps that help users to run without installation. Two new features have been introduced in Android studio and they are instant feature and app. You can even alter your app into an instant app by combining with App link assistant.
Android Monitor tools from the previous version have been replaced and made into Android Profiler. In this, you can access the real time-data related to your apps memory, CPU activity and network as you deploy the app in an emulator. This also keeps the track of activity changes, key presses and helps the device a better understanding of what’s happening in the apps. You can also track the performance aspects of every app.
This version supports instant run for projects with Java 8 language support. In order to attain this feature, you have to update the source and compatibility to 1.8 in project structure dialogue.
Adaptive launcher icons introduced in Android O helps to display the apps in different shapes across different Android devices. New launcher item assets can be designed and viewed and also provides the preview of the adaptive icon would look on a different launcher screen icon masks.
In Android Studio 3.0, with the help of new module wizard and the set of templates in new project wizard, you can develop Android things. Android things help you to extend your knowledge in Android app development in to the category of the internet of things (IOT) device.
Custom fonts can now be added to your app with the XML fonts preview and font selection tools in Android studio. Downloadable font resource can also be created and added to your app. The main advantage of such fonts are that they allow you to use a custom font in your app. You should upgrade to Google play services v11.2.63 or higher in order to use Downloadable fonts.
For making your development experience fast, Android studio has OpenGL ES 3.0 support for Android Oreo System images along with improvements in graphics performance. Majority of the graphics card in all operating system supports OpenGL ES 2.0 acceleration. Your development machine should have a GPU graphics card that supports OpenGL 3.2 or higher on any OS (Microsoft, Windows, Linux) for enabling OpenGL ES 3.0 with Android emulator.
The latest release has focused more on improving build-speed of projects that have multiple modules. Various API changes are made in Android Gradle plugin used by Android studio. If you are still stuck with API provided with previous plugins, then you should validate the compatibility with the new plugins and migrate applicable API’s.
Device File Explorer helps to view the files along with the directory structure of the Android Emulator or device. This explorer has been ported from DDMS to Android studio on popular demand.
CPU profiler is enabled for analyzing the CPU thread usage of your app by triggering a sample of instrumented CPU trace. The main symptoms of a poor app are unnecessary CPU processing and spikes in load. With this feature, you can troubleshoot CPU performance issues using filters build in the CPU profiler and variety of data views.
Android studio 3.0 with their crucial features and massive changes will play a dominant role in the future of app development. This update allows developers to build functionality in to websites so that users can directly access them from search results and enough room to experiment with and introduce unique user experience with such apps.