Android Studio has been the IDE of choice for Android developers since its release in 2014. Version 3.2 of Android Studio was released at the end of April, bringing about a few very interesting changes to the Android Studio ecosystem.
Here are the most important changes you need to be aware of:
- IAndroid Studio Jetpack has been updated and improved. The new, updated jetpack is going to make the overall development process much smoother and easier. It should minimize repetitive work and help to streamline the development workflow.
- New Navigation Editor. The new navigation editor helps developers to gain a better view of their app’s design and layout. It should make it much easier to plan navigational patterns between different parts of an app.
- AndroidX Refactoring. Android has introduced a new refactoring mechanism for the Android Support Libraries to a new Android extension library using the androidx namespace.
- The New App Bundle. The new dynamic app bundle is much smarter and intuitive than the previous version. Once you have created your app and uploaded its resources, you won’t now need to generate customized APKs for different types of machines on which these APKs are going to run. You can now simply use the dynamic APK builder. This will automatically create different versions of the APK best suited to different machines. You can then add some added bundles for your app that can be downloaded by users on demand.
- Layout preview. During the app development process, the presence of runtime data can hamper the visualization capability of the app. This can affect the app design process. With the new layout preview, you can preview your design using sample data in the layout editor. You can then change the data as you require, which will allow you to see a complete preview of your app design.
- Slice Functionality. Android Studio 3.2 will now create a preview of your app in Google Search results. This is what’s being called ‘slice functionality’. This will be particularly useful for mobile developers that want to think carefully and thoroughly about how they market their app.
- More new lint checks. Beyond Kotlin interoperability lint checks, Android Studio 3.2 is implementing 20 new lint checks. These will help developers find and identify common code problems. These new checks range from warnings about potential usability issues to high-priority errors regarding security vulnerabilities.
- New Gradle target. You can use the new lintFix Gradle task to apply all of the safe fixes suggested by the lint check directly to the source code. An example of a lint check that suggests a safe fix to apply is SyntheticAccessor.
- Metadata updates. Various metadata, such as the service cast check, have been updated for lint checks to work with Android P Developer Preview.
Android Studio has been the default development environment for Android developers and with these new changes, it is trying to incorporate some cool new smart features which are sure to help the developers create better and faster apps more efficiently and save a lot of their development time.