Android Studio 4.0 Offers Design, Development, and Build Improvements

The latest version of Android Studio is now available. Highlights of Android Studio 4.0 include a new motion editor and build analyzer, as well as improved versions of CPU Profiler and Layout Inspector.

“In these uncertain times, we are touched by the many developers around the world who are finding ways to continue doing what they do best: creating amazing apps for Android. Whether you’re working from your kitchen table on a laptop or from a home office, you need tools that follow you. Android Studio 4.0 is the result of our drive to bring you new and improved tools to code smarter, build faster, and design the apps your users depend on, and it’s now available on the stable channel, ”Adarsh ​​Fernando, Manager product at Google, wrote in a Publish.

Highlights include:

Motion editor is a graphical interface for creating, editing and previewing MotionLayout animations. The MotionLayout API is an API for handling motion and widget animation in applications. With Motion Editor, developers can skip the process of manually creating and modifying XML files. It generates these files automatically and supports modification of constraint sets, transitions, keyframes, and view attributes.

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An improved version of Layout inspector provides a more intuitive way to debug user interfaces. It provides access to data and information on how resources are used.

Android Studio 4.0 also introduces a layout validation feature that can be used to preview layouts on different screens and setups simultaneously.

Develop and profile
CPU profiler has been overhauled in this version. Based on user feedback, the team decided to separate CPU records from the main profiler timeline. They are now organized into groups which can be more easily analyzed. All thread activity can now also be viewed in the thread activity timeline. The team also redesigned the System Trace user interface with single-colored threads, sorting capabilities, and the ability to see data only for selected threads.

Android Studio 4.0 also adds smart editor features, such as syntax highlighting, completion, and error checking. When integrated with an Android project, it also provides full symbol input for all classes, methods, and fields, along with quick navigation and refactoring.

Other development updates include the IntelliJ IDEA 2019.3 platform update, Kotlin live models and clangd C ++ support.

To build
Construction analyzer is another new tool in this release. It offers an overview of bottlenecks in a build by highlighting the plugins and tasks responsible for the overall build time and suggesting ways to alleviate the issues.

Developers using the Android Gradle 4.0.0 plug-in or higher can also take advantage of the feature-on-feature dependencies. This means that developers can define relationships between modules and specify that a specific module depends on another. “Being able to define this relationship ensures that your application has the modules required to unlock additional functionality, resulting in fewer demands and easier modularization of your application. For example, a function: video can depend on the function: camera. If a user wants to unlock the ability to record video, your application will automatically download the required: camera module when it asks for: video, ”explained Fernando.

Java 8 language API are also now supported and can now be used regardless of an application’s minimum API level.

Other build features include the ability to enable or disable discrete build features and support for Kotlin DSL script files.

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