Along with the recently released Android 11 beta, Google has made a new version of Android Studio available to developers. Android Studio 4.1 Beta and Android Studio 4.2 Canary are here to help developers target Android 11 and its new set of APIs. You’ll find updates to Kotlin, Jetpack, and more.
Google says it focused on a number of critical factors in the Android Studio 4.1 Beta and 4.2 Canary builds — all due to requests from developers.
To start, debugging is simpler. Developers can debug wirelessly over ADB with Android 11. Google also added Database Inspector and Dependency Injection tools. Device testing is better with the Android Emulator, which is now hosted inside the IDE. Developers can run tests side by side to see results from a handful of devices concurrently. The device manager is touched up a bit, too. Machine learning is easier. Developers can import their models for ML Kit and TensorFlow Lite directly in the IDE.
Overall, building and deploying apps should be faster. Kotlin Symbol Processing and Gradle task graph caching, in particular, should smooth over the process. Developers can use the new build analyzer to diagnose where their app may have code issues. An updated performance profiler UI should boost game tooling. Google also updated the System Trace tool and added support for native memory profiling.
Google says 70% of the top 1,000 apps on Google Play are now using Kotlin. With such a strong adoption rate, Google improved Kotlin coroutines, a language feature that makes it easier to write concurrent API calls. Google says it “officially recommends” Kotlin coroutines, which it has built into the three most-used Jetpack libraries. Kotlin 1.4 provides faster code completion, has more powerful type inference enabled, offers function interfaces, and some quality of life improvements.
Jetpack continues to earn its wings. For example, Google worked with the Dagger team to create Hilt, a new wrapper that sits on top of Dagger. It’s now the recommended Dependency Injection solution for Android. This particular tool is in alpha status. Google added a second library to App Startup, which is meant to help app and library developers improve app startup times. Other updates, such as to Paging 3, are on board, too.
Alongside the Android Studio beta and canary builds, Google is offering developers Jetpack Compose Developer Preview 2, which it says is packed with developer-requested features. For example, developers will find new animations, testing, constraint layouts, adapter lists, and editable text. Also on board are theming and graphics, material UI components, window management, and input and gestures tools. These mostly target user interface elements.
Last, there’s an all-new Google Play Console. Google says it redesigned the console to help developers get the most out of their apps on the Play Store. Fresh features should help developers find, discover, and understand Play Store features, find new guidance on policy changes, better understand performance insights, and make it possible for everyone on a development team to access the features via the new user management options.
The Android 11 beta is available to all Pixels from the Pixel 2 and up. The latest Android Studio can be downloaded via the Android Developer Console.