Google releases Android Studio 3.6 as a stable version


Google released version 3.5 of its IDE for Android app development, Android Studio, on the stable channel in the middle of last year. This release was the culmination of months of bug fixes and stability improvements. Today, Google announced that the next stable version, Android Studio 3.6, is now available for developers. The update has been in testing for months and focuses on improving the experience of editing and debugging code. Here is an overview of what’s new in the latest version.

Android Studio 3.6 changelog

Android Studio 3.6 abbreviated changelog

Split View in Design Editors

A new split view for the layout editor and navigation editor allows you to see both design and code views of your user interface simultaneously. The split view replaces the preview window and can be configured file by file to record contextual information such as zoom level and design view options. To activate Split View, click on the “Split” icon in the upper right corner of the editor window.

Android Studio 3.6 Split View

Split view in design editors. Source: Google

Color Picker Resource Tab

Google added a “resources” tab to the color picker in Android Studio 3.6. This tab displays the colors that you have defined as color resources to make them easier to choose or modify. It is accessible in the design tools and the XML editor.

Android Studio 3.6 Color Picker Resource Tab

Color Picker Resource Tab in Android Studio 3.6. Source: Google

Android Emulator – Google Maps User Interface

The latest version of the Android emulator is 29.2.12, and it includes a way to view the location of the emulated device. Google has integrated a Google Maps user interface into the extended controls menu so developers can specify virtual locations and build virtual routes.

Google Maps location UI in Android Studio 3.6

Android emulator location user interface with real-time location broadcast. Source: Google.

Support for multiple displays

Emulator 29.1.10 adds initial support for displaying multiple virtual screens to make it easier to develop applications for devices with multiple screens. Developers can configure multi-virtual displays in the Android Studio emulator through the Settings menu (Extended Controls> Settings).

Other changes

  • See the binding: Incompatibilities between your XML layout files and your code can cause your build to fail at run time. To avoid this, Google is introducing view binding, a feature which, when enabled by adding a single line in each module’s build.gradle file, “generates a binding class for each XML layout file present. in this module “. View binding is intended to replace findViewById, allowing you to reference all views with IDs without encountering a null pointer or class cast exceptions. Learn more about this feature here.
  • Android NDK Updates: Google brought Kotlin support for two Android NDK features that were previously supported by Java. They understand “[navigation] from a JNI declaration to the corresponding implementation function in C / C ++ “and” automatically [creating] a stub implementation function for a JNI declaration.
  • IntelliJ Platform Update: IntelliJ 2019.2 is included in Android Studio 3.6. This JetBrains blog post explains the main changes.
  • Add classes with apply changes: Clicking on “Apply code changes” or “Apply changes and restart activity” will allow you to add a class, then deploy this code change to a running application. The difference between these two actions is explained here.
  • Android Gradle Plugin Updates: Version 3.6 of the Android Gradle plugin adds support for the Maven Publish Gradle plugin. Learn more here.
  • In-place updates for imported APKs: Android Studio 3.6 now automatically detects changes to imported APKs and lets you import them back in place so you don’t have to reattach symbols and sources.
  • Attach the Kotlin sources to the imported APKs: You can now attach Kotlin source files to imported APKs. Learn more here.
  • Leak detection in Memory Profiler: Google has updated the memory profiler with the ability to detect instances of activity and shard that may have leaked. Documentation for this feature is available here.
  • Unscramble the bytecode of the class and method in APK Analyzer: When inspecting DEX files using APK Analyzer, it is now possible to unblock the class and method bytecode by loading the ProGuard mappings file for the APK you are analyzing. More info here.

Google also posted a YouTube video summarizing the changes to Android Studio 3.6:

You can download the latest stable version from Android Studio or from the Google website. For more details, see the Google blog post on the Android Developer Blog or the latest Android Studio release notes. The next major IDE update will arrive as Android Studio 4.0, which introduces new Jetpack libraries, including CameraX and Compose. Version 4.0 is currently in Canary, so it will be a few months before it is ready for a stable release.


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