Google launches Android Studio 3.4 with Android Q Beta emulator, and R8 replaces Proguard


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Google today launched Android Studio 3.4, the latest version of its Integrated Development Environment (IDE), with “a small but focused set of new features that meet core developer workflows for building apps and managing apps. resources ”. This includes an updated Project Structure Dialog (PSD), R8 replacing Proguard as the default reducer and code obfuscator, a new app resource management tool, and an updated Android emulator with plug. support for Android Q Beta. Android Studio 3.4 also promises “over 300 bug and stability improvements.”

You can now download the new version for Windows, Mac and Linux directly from developer.android.com/studio. If you are already using Android Studio, you can get the latest version from the navigation menu (Help => Check for updates on Windows / Linux and Android Studio => Check for updates on OS X).

This release is part of Project Marble, a fancy name for an initiative Google announced late last year to improve Android Studio. “We know that for an IDE to be enjoyable and for you to stay productive, it doesn’t just have to be stable – it has to be rock-stable,” Karen Ng, Google Group Product Manager, noted at the summit. from Android developers in November. “The main focus of our next releases will be quality, which we call Project Marble, reducing the number of crashes, freezes, memory leaks and user-impacting bugs.”

Google released Android Studio 3.3 in January. The version number 3.4 suggests it’s not a significant version, but if you’re building for Android you should probably take a look at the list below.

Features of Android Studio 3.4

Here’s the recap of what version 3.4 brings to the table:

  • Resource manager: a new tool to visualize the drawings, colors and layouts of your application project in a consolidated view. In addition to visualization, the panel supports drag-and-drop bulk asset import and, by popular demand, bulk conversion from SVG to VectorDrawable. These accelerators will hopefully help you manage the assets you get from a design team, or just help you get a more organized view of project assets.
  • Import intents: Recognize common classes in the Jetpack and Firebase libraries and suggest, via code intents, to add the required import declaration and library dependency to your Gradle project files. This optimization can be a time saver since it keeps you in the context of your code. Additionally, because Jetpack libraries are modularized, Android Studio can find the exact library or minimum set of libraries required to use a new Jetpack class.
  • Layout Editor Properties panel: a single pane, with collapsible sections for properties. Additionally, errors and warnings have their own highlight color, we have a resource binding control for each property, and we have an updated color picker.
  • IntelliJ Platform Update: Android Studio 3.4 includes Intellij 2018.3.4. This update features a wide range of enhancements ranging from support for multi-line TODOs to an updated Search Anywhere feature.
  • Project Structure Dialog (PSD): A front-end user interface for managing Gradle project files. The new PSD allows you to view and add dependencies to your project at the module level. Additionally, the new PSD displays build variables, suggestions for improving your build file setup, and more. You don’t need to upgrade your Gradle plugin version number to take advantage of the new PSD.
  • R8 by default: R8 replaces Proguard. R8 Code Reduction helps reduce your APK size by eliminating unused code and resources, while making your actual code take up less space. Compared to Proguard, R8 combines shrinking, sugar removal and dexing operations in one step, which turns out to be a more efficient approach for Android applications. R8 is now the default code for new projects created with Android Studio 3.4 and for projects using the Android Gradle 3.4 plugin and later.
  • Android Emulator Appearance Updates and Android Q Beta Emulator System Image: In Android Studio 3.4, we released the latest Google Pixel 3 and Google Pixel 3 XL device skins. In addition, with this version, you can also download images of Android Q Beta emulator system to test apps on Android Q. Google recommends running the Canary version of Android Studio and the emulator to get the latest changes. compatibility during the Android Q Beta program.

Android Studio 3.4 also includes the usual performance improvements and bug fixes in addition to new features (full release notes). Google has not shared its plans for the next version.

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