If you are planning to develop an Android application, you can now make that dream a reality by using the recently released Android Studio 3.0. This update is designed to redefine the manner in which we create and test Android apps by providing a series of new features.
Before the launch, Android Studio 3.0 underwent numerous tests that were geared towards improving its stability and performance. Let us look at some of the key features that it offers.
KOTLIN PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE
Kotlin is a relatively new production-ready programming language that is quickly gaining traction among Android app developers. Kotlin is an expressive and concise language that is compatible with the existing Android languages. This means that you can use as much or as little of it in your app, as you want and it is currently used by hundreds of Android apps on Google Play Store.
Android Studio 3.0 supports Kotlin programming language entirely, and so you can enjoy using it to create new apps or improve on the existing ones. Most of the favorite features such as syntax highlighting and code completion work perfectly well with this studio and the team has promised to also improve the other editor features to provide the best programming experience to users.
Adding Kotlin to the Android app project you are currently working on is easy – all you need to do is leverage the inbuilt conversion tool found in Code – Convert Java File to Kotlin file. You can also use the New Project Wizard to create a Kotlin enabled project without breaking a sweat.
JAVA 8 LANGUAGE FEATURES
Android Studio 3.0 allows programmers to make use of Java 8 language features in the app creation process thanks to the new javac based toolchain. Update the Source and Target compatibility levels to 1.8 through the Project Structure Dialog to align your project with this new toolchain.
ADAPTIVE ICON WIZARD
Adaptive Icon Wizard enables programmers to create multiple launcher icon assets as well as provide previews of how the adaptive icon will look with different launcher screen icon masks. Vector drawable layers are also supported by this wizard.
Android Studio 3.0 has revamped the layout editor to provide improved drag-and-drop view insertions and a new error panel.
INTELLIJ PLATFORM UPDATE
Android Studio 3.0 comes with IntelliJ 2017.1 that has impressive features such as parameter hints, Java 8 language refactoring, draggable breakpoints, semantic highlighting, improved version control search and the list is endless.
DOWNLOADABLE AND XML FONTS
If you want your application to run on Android Oreo and higher operating systems, it is now possible to include custom and downloadable fonts using the special XML with Android Studio 3.0.
BUILDING APP WITH ANDROID STUDIO 3.0
Android Studio 3.0 has brought to life a number of Android app development updates that programmers will find useful when creating new apps. One of the new updates is the use of SDK to develop instant apps. Android Studio 3.0 also provides some new templates that you can use Android Things applications.
Android Gradle Plugin has also undergone a significant improvement that is intended to enhance its scalability and also improve app build times. While launching Android Studio 3.0, the Google team mentioned that this new plugin has the potential to tamper with some of the existing build files. Therefore, it is essential that Android developers tread carefully when updating it to avoid compromising the functioning of the application.
TESTING APPS USING ANDROID STUDIO 3.0
Once you complete developing an Android app, it is recommended to test it on multiple devices to know if certain areas need to be tweaked. Android Studio 3.0 is set to simplify the testing process by providing a series of device emulators that you can use to test the app across different screen sizes, system versions, and architectures.
You can also use Android Studio 3.0 to create customized Android 8.0 emulators with Google Play Store pre-installed. One of the benefits of doing so is that you get a clear perspective of the app with full Play Services functionality.
Android Studio 3.0 has a set of tools that you can use to resolve performance problems. The tools are more effective in debugging these issues than the previous Android Monitor tools. Once you install the app on a device or emulator, click on Android Profiler tab to get an accurate and real-time report of Memory, Network and CPU. Each metric is mapped in the interface to give you a clear perspective of the key presses, touch events and activity changes.
IMPROVEMENTS TO APK ANALYZER
During the development of Android Studio 3.0, the APK analyzer features were improved to facilitate seamlessly optimization the size of your app’s APK.
A few enhancements were made on the Layout Inspector to offer a better grouping of properties into categories. There is also a search functionality in both Property Panels and View Tree to help you save time when searching for a particular property.
DEVICE FILE EXPLORER
Android Studio 3.0 has an advanced Device File Explorer that you can use to view the directory structure and file of your emulator or Android device. It is now possible to preview and modify any of the app data files when testing the app on the Android Studio 3.0.
With Android Studio 3.0, you can now debug an inconsistent APK without breaking a sweat. This feature will come in handy for Android app developers who built an app using Android C++ code in another IDE but want to analyze the APK using Android Studio.
You can use the APK debugging features if you have the debuggable version of your APK. To achieve a higher fidelity debugging, link the source to the APK debugging flow by selecting debug APK option on Android Studio 3.0 welcome screen.
ANDROID EMULATOR QUICK BOOT
You have probably worked with an emulator that takes too long to boot. Android Emulator Quick Boot on this new Android Studio resolves this problem by improving the emulator start time. The first boot will be slow but rest assured that all subsequent starts will happen at a rocket speed.
Android Studio 3.0 will improve the manner in which Android app developers create and test mobile apps. Android is helping mobile app development companies worldwide to build successful applications with a suitable platform for them. Take the time to explore all the features that Android Studio 3.0 offers to get maximum utility from it.