In 2013, Google had launched Android Studio which was its official integrated development environment (IDE) that can ease up app development for its mobile platform with better visual features. App developers have since come up in throngs to develop apps for the Play Store which has now grown to nearly 1.6 million apps. With the new overhaul to Android Studio 2.0, Google has introduced a plethora of productivity features and enhanced speed of development.
Instant Run feature is one of the main additions to the list, as the company has been instrumental in developing previews over the last year with more refinedness, every month. Once the code is changed, developers can witness how the changes affect the running app. Now they do not have to re-compile or reinstall the APK when changes have to be made. This feature surely accelerates edits to the code, the overall build and run cycles too.
The Android device emulator utilizes multi-core CPUs, thus making the entire process three times faster than before. The official Android Emulator is quite faster than the real smartphone, and new features can work best with the new emulator. Also the new interface helps in fine tuning the app by letting one rotate the screen, install apps with the easy drag and drop process with terrific touch controls that include the pinch to zoom.
Once the app is ready, the Google Cloud Test Lab comes to the rescue for testing against a portfolio of physical devices. It works with own tests supplied by Google, that can do away with conflicts and other bugs. Game developers can preview GPU Developer, which lets you identify and debug issues related to graphics.
Google has also introduced App Indexing that would helps users to search for their app in Google and Play Store. One needs to create the right URL structure for the same, with the relevant attributes too.
An Overview of the Topmost Features
The biggest impression at the Android Dev Summit was made by Android Studio 2.0. The interface is buffed up nicely adhering to the need for speed, and along with Android Emulator, Google introduced the new standard for Android app development!
All Android developers can easily run Android Studio and the Android Emulator. For other users, one can go through some tutorials on the web that mention about the installation procedure for the same.
The full feature list of Android 2.0 includes:
- Instant Run: This feature is supposed to improve workflows by letting one see changes right on the device or emulator. All the changes can be seen in live mode which means that one can code continuously and run the app, accelerating the edit, build, and run cycles. When you click on Instant Run button, the changes are analysed and determined how they can be deploy in the fastest way. Instant Run works with all types of Android Devices or emulators which are capable of running API 14 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or higher.
- Android Emulator: The new Android Emulator is nearly three times faster in CPU, RAM, and I/O compared with previous version. The push speeds of ADB are nearly ten times faster. In fact, developing on the Emulator is faster than real device operations. The new user interface and sensor controls are great enough to get APKs dropped directly for quick installation. It is easy to resize and rescale the window, utilize multi-touch actions and do much more.
- Cloud Test Lab: This new service allows developers to test the app across multiple devices and device configurations. It is also an extension to the overall testing process that includes a host of tests against several physical devices hosted in data centers of Google itself. Cloud Test Lab can perform all types of crash tests, right from Android Studio itself.
- App Indexing: Users can find their app in Google Search easily with the help of App Indexing API. Android Studio 2.0 can help derive the best URL structure in the app code and also helps developers to add attributes in the AndroidManifest.xml file which augurs well with the Google App Indexing service. Test and validate the code later to get the best results.
- GPU Debugger Preview: Developing OpenGL ES games especially those which are especially graphics-intensive, the new GPU debugger can guide the developers with a frame by frame analysis to identify and debug graphics rendering issues with all sorts of information about the GL state.
Android Studio 2.0 does deliver it in goods and since the preview is now off, one can expect developers to code faster and leverage the features to the hilt.