Google launches Android Studio 3.6 with Google Maps in the Android emulator


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Google today released Android Studio 3.6, the latest version of its Integrated Development Environment (IDE), with a particular focus on “improving quality in primarily code editing and debugging use cases. “. This release is the first since Project Marble, a fancy name for an initiative Google announced late last year to improve core Android Studio functionality. Android Studio 3.6 introduces a small set of new features, tweaks existing features, and fixes common bugs and performance improvements.

The new version comes less than a week after Google launched Android 11 Developer Preview 1. While developers can use other IDEs to build on Android, the latest features come first in Android Studio. Version 3.6 includes a new way to quickly design, develop, and preview application layouts using XML. Google Maps is now integrated directly into the extended control panel of the Android emulator so that developers no longer have to manually enter GPS coordinates to test the location features in their app. It’s also now easier to optimize your application and find bugs with automatic memory leak detection for shards and activities.

You can now download Android Studio 3.6 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).

Google released Android Studio 3.5 in August. The version number 3.6 suggests that this is not a significant version, but if you are building for Android there may be some features to note in the list below.

Features of Android Studio 3.6

Here is the summary of what version 3.6 brings:

  • Split View in Design Editors: Design editors, such as the Layout Editor and the Navigation Editor, now provide a Split View that lets you see both the Design and Code views of your interface user. Split view replaces the Preview window and can be configured on a file-by-file basis to preserve contextual information such as zoom factor and design view options, so you can choose the view that’s best for each use case. . To activate the split view, click the Split icon in the upper right corner of the editor window.
  • Color Picker Resource Tab: It is now easier to apply the colors that you have defined as color resources. The color picker now fills color resources in your application so that you can choose and override values ​​for color resources. The color picker is accessible in the design tools as well as in the XML editor.
  • View Binding: Lets you more easily write code that interacts with views by providing compile-time security when referencing views in your code. When enabled, view binding generates a binding class for each XML layout file present in this module. In most cases, view binding replaces findViewById. You can reference all views that have an ID without the risk of null pointer or classcast exceptions. These differences mean that incompatibilities between your layout and your code will cause your build to fail at compile time rather than at run time.
  • Android NDK Updates: Previously supported by Java, these features are now also supported by Kotlin. You can navigate from a JNI declaration to the corresponding implementation function in C / C ++ (view this mapping by hovering over the C or C ++ element marker near the line number in the managed source code file). You can automatically create a stub implementation function for a JNI declaration (first define the JNI declaration, then type “jni: or the name of the method in the C / C ++ file to activate).
  • IntelliJ Platform Update: The IntelliJ Platform 2019.2 release includes many improvements, ranging from a new service tools window to significantly improved start times.
  • Add Classes with Apply Changes: Now you can add a class and then deploy this code change to your running application by clicking Apply Code Changes or Apply Changes and Restart the Activity.
  • Android Gradle Plugin (AGP) Updates: Support for the Maven Publish Gradle plugin, which allows you to publish build artifacts to an Apache Maven repository. The Android Gradle plugin creates a component for each build variant artifact in your app or library module that you can use to customize a post to a Maven repository. Additionally, the Android Gradle plugin has dramatically improved the performance of annotation / KAPT processing for large projects – AGP now generates class R bytecode directly, instead of .java files.
  • New packaging tool: The default packaging tool has been replaced by zipflinger for debug builds. You should see an improvement in build speed, but you can also go back to the old packaging tool by setting android.useNewApkCreator=false in your gradle.properties file.
  • Android Emulator – Google Maps User Interface: Android 29.2.12 emulator includes a new way for application developers to interact with the location of the emulated device. The Google Maps user interface is integrated into the extended commands menu to make it easier to specify locations and build. routes from pairs of locations. Individual points can be saved and returned to the device as a virtual location, while routes can be generated by entering addresses or clicking two points. These routes can be replayed in real time as the locations along the route are sent to the guest operating system.
  • Multiple Display Support: Emulator 29.1.10 includes preliminary support for multiple virtual displays. Users can configure multiple screens through the settings menu (Extended controls> Settings).
  • Resume SDK Downloads: When downloading Android SDK components and tools using Android Studio SDK Manager, Android Studio now allows you to resume downloads that were interrupted instead of restarting the download from the beginning.
  • Updates in place for imported APKs: Android Studio now automatically detects changes to the imported APK file and gives you the option to re-import it in place. Previously, when changes were made to these APKs, you had to re-import them manually and reattach the symbols and sources.
  • Attach Kotlin Sources to Imported APKs: Support for attaching Kotlin source files to imported APKs.
  • Memory Profiler Leak Detection: Memory Profiler now has the ability to detect activity and fragment instances that may have leaked. To get started, capture or import a heap dump file into the memory profiler and check the Activity / Fragment Leaks checkbox to generate the results.
  • Unblock Class and Method Bytecode in APK Analyzer: When using APK Analyzer to inspect DEX files, you can now unblock class and method bytecode. In the DEX file viewer, load the ProGuard mappings file for the APK you are scanning. Once loaded, you will be able to right-click on the class or method you want to inspect by selecting Show Bytecode.

Android Studio 3.6 also includes the usual performance improvements and bug fixes in addition to new features (full release notes). Google hasn’t shared their plans for the next release, but we’ll likely hear more of them at their I / O 2020 developer conference in May.

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