Google Releases Android Studio 3.2
Google released the latest edition of its flagship IDE for mobile app development, Android Studio 3.2, featuring a new app publishing format, Android 9 Pie functionality and even a new What's New assistant to inform coders of the latest changes.
The new release comes some seven months after the shipping of Android Studio 3.1, which featured enhanced Kotlin support, smaller builds, recent IntelliJ platform updates and more.
In an announcement post this week, Jamal Eason, Android product manager, said all Android coders should use the new edition to transition to the aforementioned new publishing format, called Android App Bundle. As we detailed in our coverage of the beta release in June, this is a new way to package apps resulting in smaller APK package sizes to cover the wide variety of Android devices, obviating the need to refactor code to create such smaller apps by including only the needed resources.
Specifically, the IDE's release notes explain, it's a new upload format that ships compiled code and resources to the Google Play Store, which is then responsible for generating an APK package for download.
"Google Play’s new app serving model, called Dynamic Delivery, then uses your app bundle to generate and serve optimized APKs for each user’s device configuration, so each user downloads only the code and resources they need to run your app," the release notes state. "You no longer need to build, sign, and manage multiple APKs, and users get smaller, more optimized downloads."
Eason said the new approach results in smaller, optimized apps, with early users finding a savings of 11 percent to 64 percent in size over the legacy APK approach.
Another new feature that appeared in the beta is Android JetPack, providing new libraries, tools and architectural guidance to follow best practices and more. One benefit is relieves the need to write common boilerplate infrastructure code so developers can focus on making an app unique.
"Android Jetpack helps to accelerate Android development with components, tools, and guidance that eliminate repetitive tasks and enable you to more quickly and easily build high-quality, testable apps," the release notes state. Android Studio 3.2 includes several updates to support Jetpack, including: a Navigation Editor; and AndroidX migration (migrating the Android Support Libraries to a new Android extension library).
Google also highlighted a new Energy Profiler to quickly gauge energy impacts on Android devices. "Battery life is a key concern for many phone users, and your app may impact battery life more than you realize," Eason said. "The new Energy Profiler in the Android Studio performance profiler suite can help you understand the energy impact of your app on an Android device."
Many more features are detailed in the blog post and release notes, covering areas such as development, builds, testing and optimization. Android 3.2 can be downloaded here.
David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.