Android Studio 3.5 Goes Stable, Culminating 'Project Marble' Quality Improvement Program

Google's months-long Project Marble aiming to improve the quality of its flagship IDE is culminating with the recent release of Android Studio 3.5 into the stable channel.

The IDE sports improvements across several fronts resulting from Project Marble, unveiled last November to address a bugfest and mounting negative developer feedback.

The program eschewed new feature development to focus on improving existing foundational quality, specifically in the areas of system health, feature polish and bug squishing.

"To improve system health in Android Studio, we first created a new set of infrastructure and internal dashboards to better detect performance problems," said Jamal Eason, program manager, in an Aug. 20 blog post. "We did this to establish a safety net to catch issues that are typically difficult to catch with regular unit testing. Then, the team addressed a range of issues from fixing over 600 bugs, 50 memory leaks, 20 IDE hangs, and improving XML and Kotlin typing latency.

"Additionally, for the Android Emulator, we decreased the CPU and memory impact on your development machine. Project Mable was a focused period to work on the IDE and Android Emulator system health but it also uncovered a set of quality areas we will continue to work on going forward."

Yacine Rezgui Details Interface Improvements
[Click on image for larger view.] Yacine Rezgui Details Interface Improvements (source: Google)

Yacine Rezgui also detailed What's New in Android Studio 3.5 in a video.

"During the past few months, our engineers fixed hundreds of bugs and memory leaks resulting in fewer interface freezes, especially when editing data binding expression in XML, and two times faster link code analysis performance," Rezgui said.

In addition to the hundreds of bugs being fixed, notable changes to the core areas of system health and feature polish affected:

  • System Health:
    • Memory settings
    • Memory usage report
    • Reduce exceptions
    • UI freezes
    • Build speed
    • IDE speed
    • Lint code analysis
    • I/O file access
    • Emulator CPU usage
  • Feature Polish:
    • Apply changes
    • Gradle sync
    • Project upgrades
    • Layout editor
    • Data binding
    • App deployment
    • C++ improvements
    • Intellij 2019.1 platform update
    • Conditional delivery for dynamic feature support
    • Emulator foldables and Google Pixel device support
    • Chrome OS support

Eason earlier provided a list of Medium blog posts to explain more about the IDE improvement project:

More information is also available in the release notes.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.