Google has released a new version of its Android Studio aimed at helping developers build apps more quickly and efficiently for the wide variety of Android devices on the market.
Android Studio 2.0 previewed last November, with product manager Stephanie Cuthbertson saying at the time that the new version would respond to developers’ requests for a faster Integrated Development Environment.
That focus on speed is apparent in the version released Thursday, starting with the new Instant Run feature, which allows you to quickly see the effect of changes you make to code on a device or emulator, without necessarily having to reinstall the APK. Simply click the Instant Run button, and it analyzes how to most quickly deploy your changes. It works with any Android Device or emulator running API 14 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or higher.
Speaking of emulators, Google is providing a new, speedier one. “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,” product manager Jamal Eason wrote in a post on the Android Developer Blog. That’s good news, considering how much developers complained about emulator speed in the past.
A new Cloud Test Lab allows for easy testing of apps across a range of devices hosted in Google data centers. Write your own tests, or use the basic ones Google supplies.
Rounding out the new features are an App Indexing API that helps your app become more visible in Google search, and a GPU debugger for game developers that supplies frame-by-frame debugging of graphics rendering issues.
You can download Android Studio 2.0, and access documentation and tutorials, here. Follow the new Android Studio Twitter account for updates on Android Studio 2.0. (There’s also a Google+ page, for the five of you who do that sort of thing.)