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Android Studio 3.5 Beta Released

Google has shipped Android Studio 3.5 Beta, continuing the company's Project Marble to improve the IDE's quality and stability in reaction to developer complaints about bugs and other problems.

"Based on the feedback from many of you, we have taken a step back from large features to focus on our quality fundamentals," Jamal Eason, program manager, said in announcing Android Studio 3.3 early this year. "The goal is to ensure Android Studio continues to help you stay productive in making great apps for Android."

Eason picked up on that theme in announcing the v3.5 beta during the company's Google I/O 2019 conference.

"The results of Project Marble are focused on three core areas: system health, feature polish, and bugs," Eason said this week. "We are seeking your final round of feedback to make sure we didn't miss a key area that matters to you, so download Android Studio 3.5 on the beta channel today to let us know what you think."

The announcement post provides details on a large number of improvements concerning system health (ranging from memory leaks to UI freezes to build speed) and feature polish (ranging from apply changes functionality, to project editor to data binding and more).

The beta's release notes provide more on Project Marble initiatives, including:

  • Reduced UI latency in the editor window and improved smart editor features when using the Data Binding library
  • Improved build speeds with incremental annotation processing
  • Performance improvements when using the Android NDK
  • Improved Lint check performance by mitigating several memory leaks
  • On Windows, new notification actions to mitigate build speed regressions due to anti-virus software
  • Significantly reduced CPU usage when using the Android Emulator
  • Improved Gradle Sync performance by adjusting for deleted build cache
  • Improved update experience to provide more information and actions to help developers update the IDE and the Android Gradle plugin
  • Improved performance and UX with the Layout Editor

"The specific areas and the approach we took to optimize Android Studio for Project Marble were all based on your feedback and metrics data," Eason said. "The aggregate metrics you can opt-in to inside of Android Studio allow us to figure out if there are broader problems in the product for all users, and the data also allows the team to prioritize feature work appropriately. There are a couple pathways to help us build better insights. At a baseline, you can opt-in to metrics, by going to Preferences /Settings → Appearance & Behavior → Data Sharing."

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

Google's Tor Norbye also provided details during the I/O conference in a presentation (video here) where he said: "I don't have any new features to show you and that's because we've been busy addressing your top complaints. So what I'm gonna do today is tell you what we did and I think as engineers you'll find it interesting, but I'm hoping that as users you'll be really excited, maybe even as excited as if I showed new features, because you'll see how your daily usage of the IDE will improve."

That generated some applause from Android developers in the audience.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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