With the primary focus on enhancing the ‘product quality’, Google launched Android Studio 3.5 on 20th August. This is the most state-of-the-art form of its IDE (integrated development environment).
Under Project Marble, Google’s enterprise to enhance Android Studio last year, this is the newest release. For the last eight months, the team prioritized on the flows and fundamental features of Android Studio. Thanks to these enhancements, the users can now enjoy bug fixes, better system health and polished features.
Google, in a bid to upgrade the system health, came up with a new infrastructure, consisting of internal dashboards. This mechanism would be able to detect issues related to performance seamlessly.
In the process, the team fixed over 50 memory leakages, 600 bugs and around 20 defects in the IDE. The typing latency of XML and Kotlin have been improved. The development team lowered the memory and CPU impact for the Android Emulator.
They examined the flow of app deployment to a device, where they introduced Apply Changes in the place of Instant Run. During the build, the new mechanism does not modify an APK. The classes are redefined through runtime instrumentation on the fly.
Last April, Android Studio 3.4 hit the market. The latest version comes just a few months later. Let’s explore the features that Android Studio 3.5 brings to you.
What Changes Can You Expect in Android Studio 3.5?
In Android Studio 3.5, Google has made several quality enhancements. Have a look at the new features integrated in Android Studio 3.5.
Enhancements in system health under Project Marble involves a combination of user and typing interface freezes, memory performance, CPU usage, build speed and I/O performance. Google has introduced new processes for each of these features to detect glitches.
Evidently, Android Studio 3.5 boasts a robust mechanism to evaluate the feedback of users, which could be related to bugs or opt-in analytics. Several improvements in the system health have simplified the performance.
Some of these changes include:
1. UI freezes
Google, while working on Project Marble, found that the code editing of XML was working slow, particularly in the IDE. Therefore, the team got XML typing optimized.
As a result, the user experience in Android Studio 3.5 is likely to be better. The upgrades made in typing latency have pacified the editing of data-binding expressions.
2. Automatically recommended memory settings
In case more RAM is required by an app project on a machine that has a higher capacity of RAM, the IDE will automatically recognize the same. Accordingly, the user will be informed to get the heap size of memory increased.
Therefore, you can go to the option ‘Appearance & Behavior’ and click on ‘Memory Settings’. This particular feature has enhanced the performance of Android Studio.
3. Build speed
Google has also made a number of speed enhancements for the new version of Android Studio. The key annotation processes have been optimized with incremental support. This includes AndroidX data binding, Glide, Realm, Dagger and Kotlin (KAPT). The incremental support is expected to have a significant effect on the build speed.
4. File access speed in disk I/O
As a part of Project Marble, Google found that Microsoft Windows users had to experience a higher access time for disk I/O, as compared to other platforms.
Investigating into the data, the team found that folders for build output were not optimally excluded by the default configuration of scanners for viruses. They have fixed this situation in Android Studio 3.5, integrating an optimal setup. This is further likely to improve the user experience.
Besides enhancing the system health, Google also addressed certain critical aspects, related to user friction and bugs. These include layout editor, data binding, project upgrades and ChromeOS support. They also worked on the flow of app deployment, as a part of Project Marble.
1. Apply changes
Google eliminated Instant Run and replaced it with Apply Changes, which is more practical-oriented in nature. The team worked on the overall architecture of Android Studio, with Apply Changes being integrated from a more ground-based approach.
APIs specific to certain platforms are used in Apply Changes from Android Oreo, and other higher versions. This restores the consistency and reliability in the behaviour. The APK does not get modified as a result of Apply Changes, which makes it a better feature, as compared to Instant Run.
In order to support the implemented changes, Google re-architected the overall development pipeline to enhance the development speed. It also made changes in the deployment and run toolbar buttons to streamline the user experience.
About Project Marble
If you had missed Project Marble, you should know that it is not an individual service or product. This is a comprehensive term, used to refer to the work carried out by Google to enhance the stability of the Android app development of the company, Android Studio.
Throughout the lifetime of the project, Google has highlighted primarily on bug fixes than introducing fresh features to upgrade Android Studio. Google, after a few months of making its beta update, has come up with Android Studio 3.5.
This is a stable version that brings Project Marble to an end. However, the company will continue to work on bug fixes.
Get Started With Android Studio 3.5
Users can now download this version for Linux, Mac and Windows directly by visiting the official website. In case you have been using Android Studio already, you might want to upgrade it to the new version. Go to the help menu and click on ‘Check for Update’ to find the desired option.
Android Studio 3.5 promises a wide range of features and enhanced user experience with the upgrades. You can download this latest version from the official website.
The features of Android Emulator mentioned here ensures that a user should be running at least v29.1.9 of Android Emulator, that has to be downloaded through the SDK manager. For Android app developers, this version is definitely a must-try.