Google releases Android Studio 4.1 to stabilize it with new features
If you’ve ever done any programming, you probably know how helpful a good IDE can be. Especially on more fragmented platforms, like Android, having the right set of development tools is extremely important.
Google’s solution to make Android development easier is Android Studio, an IntelliJ-based IDE from JetBrains. It includes a whole bunch of stuff that makes building an Android app a lot easier. And Google is constantly working to make Android Studio better, faster, and easier.
Today, Google releases Android Studio 4.1 as a stable version. Although there are a whole bunch of changes in this version, we are going to talk about a few of the highlights.
Foldable and Embedded Emulators
First, the title function. Since foldable devices are becoming more and more popular, it makes sense that developers need a way to test their apps on foldable devices. Unfortunately, a real foldable is usually quite expensive.
Well, luckily for those who can’t afford a foldable phone, Android Studio 4.1 extends the built-in emulation tool with support for virtual folds. Now, in addition to being able to set the rotation of a device, you can also add a virtual hinge and adjust it to different degrees.
As if that were not enough, the Android emulator can now run directly in the Android Studio window. No more fiddling with position or forcing it to display on top of all other windows.
Material Design 2 was introduced quite a long time ago. It made many (controversial) changes to the Material Design language, including flatter layouts and more rounded elements.
However, Android Studio has not been updated alongside. When creating a new project, developers would still receive styling templates based on Material Design 1 and AppCompat themes.
With the release of Android Studio 4.1, Google updated the built-in style templates to better match Material Design 2 and to use the Google Material Library instead of AppCompat.
TensorFlow Lite improvements
AI might be a buzzword, but that doesn’t mean it’s not as useful. Many apps across all platforms use AI and machine learning to make it easier and more functional to use.
To make it easier to develop AI in Android apps, Android Studio 4.1 now has better support for TensorFlow Lite models. It can generate classes to make it easier for you to interact with imported models, so you don’t have to write the boilerplate yourself.
Of course, these aren’t the only changes in Android Studio 4.1. For more details, be sure to check out Google’s announcement.