Why We Love Android Studio 2.0 (And You Should, Too!)




Things About Android Studio 2.0 You should know like a boss!

Building an app just got a lot easier thanks to Google’s release of Android Studio 2.0. Following the highly successful initial launch of its official integrated development environment (IDE) back in 2013, the Internet giant has now taken things to the next level with improvements to its Android Studio.



"Today, mobile platforms are centered around speed and agility," Google stated in a blog post. "And yet, building for mobile can sometimes feel clunky and slow. Instant Run in Android Studio is our solution to keep you in a fast and fluid development flow."


It’s the first update the IDE has received in about three years, and
Google promises that “Android Studio 2.0 is the fastest way to build high quality, performant apps for the Android platform, including phones and tablets, Android Auto, Android Wear, and Android TV.”


It’s an all in one solution, with a code editor, code analysis tools, emulators, and everything else you may need to build a fully functioning app. “If you are developing for Android,” Google says, “you should be using Android Studio 2.0.”


Among the new features are Instant Run, which allows you to instantly see how changes in your code affect your running app.With the Instant Run button, developers can make changes on the fly, and those revisions and additions will appear live in running apps. When clicked, the Instant Run button will look for ways to deploy changes in as little as time as possible.


There’s also the Android Emulator, which runs three times faster than the old version, and will allow you to push both apps and data 10 times faster to the emulator than to an actual mobile or wearable device. The emulator also has Google Play Services built-in, allowing you to examine API functionality.


The Cloud Test Lab Integration lets developers run their code anywhere, “easily testing on a wide range of physical Android devices in the Cloud Test Lab right from within Android Studio.” And of course, to help you keep your apps clean, there’s a GPU Debugger Preview now as well, which allows you to “uncover and diagnosis GL rendering issues by capturing and analyzing the GPU stream from your Android device.”


Also speeding things along is the IDE's new Android Emulator, which Google said is three times faster than the previous version. And with boosts from Android Debug Bridge, developers can push apps and app data up to 10 times faster.


Android Emulator was also given new features that enable developers to manage calls, battery, GPS, network and other features just as they would on a physical Android device.

Installing the latest emulator in Android Studio 2.0

Let's start with the installation so we could play along with it together.
The first thing to be installed is Android Studio 2.0 Preview 3b which is now available on Canary Channel. To switch the update channel to Canary, just click at 
Help -> Check for Update
and change the top-most dropdown menu to Canary Channel. After that, check for the update again and Android Studio 2.0 will be installed on your machine.
Android Emulator 2.0 comes together with Android SDK Tools v25 and newer. So the next thing you have to install is Android SDK Tools v25 rc1 which could be done through SDK Manager. Or if there is the newer version available while you are reading this blog, update to the latest one would be always the best scenario.
And the reason behind its speed is the latest version of Intel x86 Emulator Accelerator (HAXM installer). Just download the latest version available from the Extras section.
As mentioned in the name, what that SDK Manager downloads is just an installer. It doesn't install the HAXM for you yet. You need to manually install it yourself by browsing into Android SDK Folder and follow with extras/intel/Hardware_Accelerated_Execution_Manager. You will see an installer laying down inside.
The latest one to download is Android 5.0 - Google APIs Intel x86 Atom System Image rev 10 to use it as an Emulator's ROM image.
All done ! It's now ready !

Give it a try

Let me skip the Android Virtual Device creating part since I believe that every single Android developer could do that yourself through AVD Manager available inside Android Studio 2.0
Please note that there is a new experimental feature available in this part. You could assign the number of CPU's Core for the emulator unless it will be automatically set to the default value, 1.
Now it's a good time to launch a created AVD.
You could see the new toolbar on the right side of Emulator screen.
Verdict: 

  1. I found that Emulator started and operated much faster than the previous version. Anyway, I must say that I feel that it is still a little bit slower than Genymotion. But well, it is acceptable and very satisfiable.
  2. It consumes quite a lot of memory.
But it still works quite fine on 8GB+ RAM machine.
There are quite a ton of new features available. The most obvious one is you could now easily resize the window!
For those extra features just like GPS simulation, Fingerprint, Phone Calling etc which we have to do through the command line in the previous version is now available in GUI version.
These extended controls are one of the most impressive features for me in this new update.
In conclusion, Android Emulator 2.0 is really satisfiable. I would consider switching my primary emulator from Genymotion to Android Emulator 2.0 !


Additional resources:
Here is a must watch video to get started with Android studio 2.0 .

10 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know You Could do in Android Studio


An Android Tool Time Pro Tip Roundup



Some Cool list of additional shortcuts that can make your life much easier as developer!

Let us know about the lastest IDE for android devlopment in the comment section.



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Comments

Anonymous said…
Quite interesting

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