On May 28, 2020, Google launched Android 4.0, the latest version of its integrated development environment, to help developers to code smarter, and design and build applications faster. To get this IDE on Windows, Linux, or Mac devices, developers have to visit the Android developer website. Let’s check out what this integrated development environment has brought for the developers:
New design features in Android Studio 4.0
- Layout Validation
- Motion Editor
- Upgraded Layout Inspector
Let’s read them in detail:
While developing an application for multiple devices with different screen sizes and resolutions, it is mandatory to ensure that the app’s UI fits well in every screen. To help developers do this without any hassle, the new Android Studio has a layout validation feature. Using it, the developers preview layouts on multiple screens at the same time. The layout validation feature is available in the top-right corner of the IDE.
Android Studio 4.0’s powerful motion editor can be used with the MotionLayoutAPI to create, modify, and preview MotionLayout animations without putting additional efforts. In other words, you don’t need to work hard for creating and editing XML files as the new motion editor will do that for you. On top of that, it also offers support for modifying constraint sets, keyframes, transitions, and check attributes. Developers who are relying on ConstraintLayout can use this latest IDE to change it into MotionLayout.
Upgraded Layout Inspector
The all-new layout inspector is available in the Tools Windows in the View tab of the IDE. Using this latest inspector, you can debug your user interface more intuitively as you have the insights of the way resources are being fixed. Moreover, you can also access the data that remains up-to-date with the running application. If you are developing an app for a device with API 29 level or higher, you can access many extra features to check edits and a live 3D model of your application.
New build features in Android Studio 4.0
- Support for Kotlin DSL script files
- Feature-on-feature dependencies
- Options to turn on or off build features
- Build analyzer
- Java 8 Language library desugaring for all the Application Program Interfaces
Let’s read them in detail:
Required support for Kotlin DSL script files
The all-new IDE has a built-in support for Kotlin DSL script files, which means the scripts written in this language provides a complete suite of instant fixes. Moreover, these scripts receive full support from the Project Structure dialog.
With this fresh feature, you can now define that a dynamic feature module relies on another module. This works only when you use the Android Gradle plugin 4.0 or above. With feature-on-feature dependencies, you can make sure that your application has the modules needed to open extra functionalities, which in turn reduces the number of requests and simplifies modularization of the application.
Options to turn on or off build features
Android Studio 4.0 allows developers to enable or disable various build features, including the built-in support for modern libraries, auto-generated BuildConfig classes in the Android Gradle plugin. This can improve build performance for big projects.
Generally, Android developers use different Gradle plugins along with the custom build logic to create a system for their application. But, obsolete or improperly configured tasks can increase the development time and put the efforts of developers in vain. With this all-new build analyzer, you can know in advance about the plugins and tasks that can affect the overall build time of the application. Moreover, the feature can also suggest ways to remove regressions.
Java 8 Language library desugaring for all the APIs
Earlier versions of the Android Gradle plugin used a process called desugaring to support different Java 8 language features, including method references. But, in this latest version of IDE, the desugaring engine is capable of supporting Java language APIs, irrespective of what’s your app’s minSdkVersion is.
New develop and profile features in Android Studio 4.0
- IntelliJ IDEA 2019.3 Platform Update
- Intelligent editor features
- Clangd support for C++
- CPU Profiler UI upgrades
- Kotlin Android live templates
Let’s read them in detail:
IntelliJ IDEA 2019.3 Platform Update
To improve the quality and performance across the IDE, IntelliJ IDEA 2019 in the Android Studio 4.0 has been updated from 3 to 3.3.
Smart editor features
To accomplish desugaring, dexing, obfuscating, and optimizing in one go, R8 was introduced in the earlier version of the Android Studio. This release helped in improving the build performance in the IDE. The new version of the Android Studio has come up with smart editor features, including bug checking and syntax highlighting, which help in creating or writing rules files for R8.
Clangd support for C++
The latest version of the IDE is using clangd as the main language analysis engine for developers writing codes in C++. The engine will do:
- Code navigation
- Code inspection
- Code completion
- Displaying code issues and alerts
Developers can configure this new feature by visiting the IDE Settings, choosing Languages & Frameworks, and then C/C++ > Clangd or Clang-Tidy. After this, they have to configure the options.
CPU Profiler UI upgrades
The CPU profiler tells the essential info, such as the app’s trace recordings and thread activity. In the new Android Studio, these recordings have been segregated from the profiler timeline and stored in separate groups so that the developers can analyse them without any hassle. While doing this analysis, the developers can also check the thread activities in the Thread Activity Timeline. Moreover, they can also use new shortcuts for navigating around the data.
Kotlin Android live templates
The main purpose of the live template is to permit you to add simple constructs in the coding by using common keywords. The new Android Studio has Android-specific live templates designed dedicatedly for the Kotlin code. To check the complete list of templates, open Settings, go to Editor, and then click Live Templates.
This was all about Android Studio 4.0 that is loaded with a vast swath of new development features, design tools, and coding functionalities. Being a developer, you can make the most out of it to develop amazing Android applications without any hassle. All you have to do is to upgrade your old Android studio to version 4.0.
And, if you are looking out for the Android app development services to build a scalable, robust, and high-performing application, then contact a reliable mobile app development company today. Apart from this, you can also hire Android developers for the same, especially, if your project is short and doesn’t require a big team of developers.