In 2013, Google announced the switch from Eclipse to Android Studio as the primary route for Android Development. Android Studio is a fork of the popular IntelliJ Java IDE from JetBrains. Yesterday they announced the released of Android Studio version 2.
So, what are the new features in this release? Well…
- Instant Run – For every developer who loves faster build speeds. Make changes and see them appear live in your running app. With many build/run accelerations ranging from VM hot swapping to warm swapping app resources, Instant Run will save you time every day.
- Android Emulator – The new emulator runs ~3x faster than Android’s previous emulator, and with ADB enhancements you can now push apps and data 10x faster to the emulator than to a physical device. Like a physical device, the official Android emulator also includes Google Play Services built-in, so you can test out more API functionality. Finally, the new emulator has rich new features to manage calls, battery, network, GPS, and more.
- Cloud Test Lab Integration – Write once, run anywhere. Improve the quality of your apps by quickly and easily testing on a wide range of physical Android devices in the Cloud Test Lab right from within Android Studio.
- App Indexing Code Generation & Test – Help promote the visibility your app in Google Search for your users by adding auto-generated URLS with the App Indexing feature in Android Studio. With a few click you can add indexable URL links that you can test all within the IDE.
- GPU Debugger Preview – For those of you developing OpenGL ES based games or apps, you can now see each frame and the GL state with the new GPU debugger. Uncover and diagnosis GL rendering issues by capturing and analyzing the GPU stream from your Android device.
- IntelliJ 15 Update – Android Studio is built on the world class Intellij coding platform. Check out the latest Intellij features here.
Of these news features, the 3x improved emulator speed is by far the most exciting to me. Put simply previous Android emulators have been SLOW. Painfully, excruciatingly slow. Heck, the simple fact they can TRIPLE the speed of previous emulators should give you an idea of just how slow it was! The emulator also has an improved user interface, added drag and drop APK deployment, multi touch support, resizable windows and more.
They also increased the speed of APK deployment by a factor of 10. All told, these improvements alone make this upgrade a no brainer. You can learn more about the new features of Android Studio 2.0 here. Android Studio is available for download here.