Android Studio 3.5 Beta Adds Google Pixel 3a Emulator Skin, Premium Chromebook Support, Foldable Device Emulator, and More


Google’s official IDE for Android software development, Android Studio, has recently undergone a number of changes to improve overall stability. Google dubbed its bug-removal initiative “Project Marble” and its goal was to focus all of its attention on dealing with the many complaints developers have had about the IDE, such as annoying memory leak issues. However, with each release of the IDE, Google always brings new features such as Android Studio 3.4’s Resource Manager and Project Structure Dialog. During Google I / O 2019, Google announced the first beta of Android Studio 3.5 with the bugfixes and feature polish we’ve come to expect. Here are the highlights of version 3.5-beta1 followed by a summary of each change.

Android Studio 3.5 beta changelog

  • System health
    • Memory settings
    • Memory Usage Report
    • Reduce exceptions
    • User interface hangs
    • Construction speed
    • IDE speed
    • Plush code analysis
    • Access to I / O files
    • Using the emulator processor
  • Polish functionality
    • Apply changes
    • Gradle synchronization
    • Project upgrades
    • Layout Editor
    • Data binding
    • Deploying applications
    • C ++ enhancements
    • Intellij Platform Update 2019.1
    • Conditional delivery to support dynamic features
    • Support for foldable emulators and Pixel devices
    • Chrome OS support

System health

Memory

Google has already addressed many issues that cause memory leaks over the past few months, but they recently started allowing users to agree to send them out-of-memory exception data so they can find the remaining issues. When the IDE runs out of memory in version 3.5-beta 1, high level statistics on the size of the memory heap and dominant objects in the heap will be automatically captured so that Android Studio can suggest better memory settings and offer a more in-depth analysis. If an application needs more RAM than the default 1.2 GB heap size, the IDE will offer to automatically increase the heap size to accommodate those larger projects. You can also manually adjust the heap size in the settings. Finally, the 3.5-beta1 update lets you trigger a cleansed heap dump of personal data that you can share with Google for troubleshooting.

Exceptions

With version 3.5-beta1, you will now experience fewer exceptions as Google now detects issues more quickly in the Canary Channel with data collected from opt-in users. You’ll also see fewer notifications for exceptions, as error reports and scans require less input from the user to report to Google.

Android Studio 3.5

Exceptional Android Studio bubble. You will less often see the red icon at the bottom right.

User interface hangs

The underlying Intellij platform infrastructure has been extended to measure UI thread shutdowns that last longer than a few moments. With the data they collect, they can focus on common issues that cause the user interface to freeze. For example, the team optimized XML editing performance in version 3.5-beta1 using data obtained during the development of the Marble project.

Construction speed

Project build speed has been improved with the addition of incremental build support to annotation processors such as Glide, AndroidX datalink, Dagger, Realm, and Kotlin. Google’s preliminary analysis shows that adding incremental support for Kotlin resulted in a 60% improvement in non-ABI submodule code changes for the Google I / O 2019 app.

IDE speed

Several unnecessary parts of the Android NDK have been removed to improve the overall speed of the IDE, so developers will no longer need to disable the Android NDK plug-in entirely just to improve Android Studio performance.

Plush code analysis

Lint code analysis is now up to twice as fast, especially in bath analysis mode, thanks to fixes to several memory leaks.

Accessing I / O Files for Windows

For Windows users, performance may be adversely affected by anti-virus applications, including build and install directories for scanning. In version 3.5-beta1, the IDE will check excluded anti-virus directories against your project’s build directory for inconsistencies and notify you to make changes to avoid unnecessary slowdowns.

Android Studio 3.5

System Integrity Notification – Virus Check

Using the emulator processor

Google discovered that Play Services and its related services run aggressively in the background because the emulator is set to AC power rather than battery drain. To reduce background CPU usage more than 3 times, the latest Android emulator will be set to drain battery by default.

Polish functionality

Conditional delivery to support dynamic features

App Bundle support in Android Studio 3.5 improves with conditional delivery. This allows you to set the device configuration requirements (e.g. OpenGL version, augmented reality support, API level, user country, etc.) for the Dynamic feature modules are automatically downloaded during installation.

Module selection for conditional delivery

Support for foldable emulators and Google Pixel 3a

The updated Android Studio emulator now supports the creation of foldable virtual devices. It also brings skins for the new Google Pixel 3a and Google Pixel 3a XL.

Android Emulator – Foldable Stand

Chrome OS support

At Android Dev Summit 2018, Google announced that support for Android Studio will arrive on Chromebooks in 2019. Now is the time for support for Chrome OS, starting with high-end Chromebooks. x86-based running Chrome OS 72 and later. Applications can be deployed to Android devices connected via USB. An installer is available here.

Android Studio on a Chromebook

Android Studio in Chrome OS

Other changes

  • Apply the changes: Android Studio 3.5 introduced Apply Changes to let you test code changes without restarting your app. Over the past few months, the deployment pipeline has been redesigned to improve deployment speed, and the Execution and Deployment toolbar buttons have been changed for a more streamlined experience.
  • Progressive synchronization: A recent change in Gradle caused your project’s dependency caches to be purged to save storage space, resulting in errors for missing dependencies. IDE version 3.5-beta1 now checks for this state.
  • Project upgrades: The output windows, pop-ups, and dialogs have been updated to let you know when you need to update to a newer version, and the latest versions also allow you to update the IDE and the Gradle plug-in independently.
  • Layout editor: The usability of the layout editor has been improved in areas such as selecting and removing constraints for device preview resizing.
  • Data link: Google fixed crashes in the Code Editor when creating datalink expressions in XML files.
  • Application Deployment Flow: A new drop-down list allows you to see and modify on which device (s) you intend to deploy your project.
  • C ++ improvements: CMake builds are up to 25% faster thanks to parallel Ninja target calls, you can specify ABI targets separately with the new Single Build Variant UI, and you can use multiple versions of Android NDK side by side in build.gradle.
  • Intelij platform update: Features of 2019.1 Intellij platform have been included.

For the full release notes, see this page. To download the latest beta, visit this page. (Make sure to download Android Emulator v29.0.6 to take advantage of the aforementioned features.) If you encounter any bugs, you can notify the team of any issues here. Finally, follow the Android Studio development team on Twitter and Medium to stay up to date on the latest IDE news.



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