New Features In Android Studio 2.2
There were many highlights in this year’s Google I/O, with so many unexpected announcements like the Android Studio 2.2 update, which has brought considerable changes to Android programming.
Android Studio 2.2 Preview is based on Google’s focus to develop a fast and productive IDE – integrated development environment for Android. This large update was developed in sync with the Android Platform, and allows developers to take advantage of the newest Android APIs and features.
The first version of Android Studio was launched at the 2013 Google I/O, and in only three years, about 92 per cent of the top 125 Google Play game and app developers, as well as millions of developers globally use Android Studio. Google intends to keep building features that will enhance the efficiency and productivity of developers.
Android Studio 2.2 features a range of new developments, including designing user interfaces and new ways to build and debug apps. Here are some of the new categories of features in the 2016 update:
- Layout Editor – This new user interface designer helps developers to visually design layouts and make quick edits in an app
- Constraint Layout – This new Android layout has enough power and flexibility for developers to express complex UIs without necessarily nesting several layouts
- Layout Inspector – Allows developers to debug snapshots of their app layout via the Android emulator
- Enhanced Code Analysis – Quality checks for your Android app code via Android Studio
- Firebase Plugin – Additional services within Android Studio including Authentication, Analytics, AdMob, and Notifications.
- Samples Browser – Simplifies the way to reference Android sample code
- Improved C++ Support – Improved ability to edit, build, and debug in C++
- IntelliJ 2016.1 – A collection of updates from all underlying JetBrains product platforms
- Merged Manifest Viewer – Allows you to diagnose how your dot xml merge with app dependencies across multiple build variants
- Jack Compiler Improvements – Now features annotation processing and incremental builds to reduce build times
- APKAnalyser – Lets you drill into the APK to reduce its size
- Espresso Test Recorder – Allows you to make records of Espresso UI tests using your app as a regular user
If you still have the previous version of Android Studio, the new interface might confuse you quite a bit. The update features a new look for the Layout Editor with two displays, though the key new feature is the Constraint Layout used as a default layout in every New Project template. It will take a bit of time to get familiar with the new Interface and handling tasks differently, but you’ll soon be taking advantage of all these new features.