Android Studio 0.6.1 Brings SDK Level Dialog, Improved New Project Wizard, and More
Android Studio was first unveiled at last year’s Google I/O conference. For the unaware, this IDE was created to streamline Android app development by bringing several key improvements over existing Eclipse-based solutions such as live code rendering across multiple layouts and much more. Ever since then, the app has received quite a few, rather significant updates. And now, it has received yet another significant addition.
Just under a week ago, we talked about two updates to Android Studio, which brought several highly requested features such as improved console messages during builds. Now, version 0.6.1 has been released, and it brings much more than you’d expect from an x.x.1 revisions.
The first thing you’ll likely notice with this new version is a revamped New Project Wizard, which can be seen in the screenshot to your right. In the New Project Wizard, you’ll also see a new minSdkVersion dialog, which helps you choose which API level you should target. This dialog displays API level, Android version number and name, cumulative distribution, and various key APIs present. In addition to the new features, this build also brings a few new lint checks, as well as many bugfixes.
You can learn more by heading over to the Android Studio 0.6.1 release notes. Then when you’re done, head over to ourapp development forums to share your development experiences with Android Studio and other development tools. Also, be sure to check out all of our past Android Studio coverage to learn more about its history and to find compatible tools and guides.
Android Studio 0.6.0 Released
The world was first introduced to Android Studio back in May of last year at Google I/O 2013. Based on Jetbrains IntelliJ, the Android Studio IDE was created to streamline the process of developing Android applications by offering features such as live code rendering across multiple device types, as well as the ability to easily add any Android API into your code immediately.
Since its release, we’ve seen Android Studio mature into a genuinely useful tool for app developers. The last time we talked about it was back in August of last year with its update to version 0.2.4. This version ushered in various improvements such as the ability to jump between a layout and its associated code, as well as the ability to create missing onClick handlers. Android Studio has received quite a few updates since then, and as such, it is now at version 0.6.0.
Android Studio 0.6.0, which was just released yesterday evening, is primarily a bugfix release. However, version 0.5.9, which was released just under one week ago, brought with it many significant improvements. Chief among the improvements are ProGuard editor code syntax completion and highlighting, a tweaked project structure editor, improved console messages during builds, and a new Gradle lint check.
You can learn more about all of Android Studio’s recently incorporated features and bugfixes by viewing the release notes for 0.6.0 and 0.5.9. Don’t forget to head over to our app development forums to share your tips and tricks and ask for support with Android Studio and any other development tools. Also, be sure to check out all of our past Android Studio coverage to learn more about its history and to find compatible tools and guides.
Migrate from Eclipse to Android Studio
Recently, we’ve been talking quite a bit about the Android Studio IDE. Launched originally at Google I/O 2013, Android Studio aims at replacing Eclipse + Android Developer Tools, and bringing a few niceties such as live code rendering for different layouts.
As with any big change, some developers have experienced a few growing pains ranging from differences in handling external libraries to pains during initial setup. Aside from problems, just learning a new way of doing things can also be a hassle. Luckily, XDA Forum Member JoshieGeek has a guide in our App Development Forums geared at helping developers make the move to Android Studio.
The guide begins by giving a brief overview of the IDE, as well as pros and cons when making the switch. Then, JoshieGeek covers installation across three platforms (Linux, Mac, and Windows), as well as creating your first project. Next, he covers the differences in exploring your project when compared to Eclipse, as well as how to view your app in different layouts. Finally, the guide covers how to generate a signed APK.
How to Use Google Play Services Library with Android Studio
We’ve written about Android Studio a few times in the past. Google’s would-be replacement for Android Developer Tools first made its appearance at Google I/O 2013. Based on Jetbrains IntelliJ, Android Studio offers many benefits over the older ADT such as live code rendering to see how your app will look across a variety of devices and layouts, as well as the ability to easily add any Android API into your app’s code. However, the transition hasn’t been without its share of growing pains.
One such issue that has popped up isn’t an issue per se, but rather a difference in how things are done. Since Android Studio is based on Gradle-build, the way it references external libraries (such as Google Play Services) is a bit different. Luckily, XDA Forum Member JoshieGeek has already gone through the process of learning how this is done, and has shared it in our App Development forums.
If you’re a developer looking to make the switch to Android Studio but you’ve either held back due differences in external library support or have just been waiting for the growing pains to subside, JoshieGeek’s guide will likely be of use. Make your way over to the tutorial thread to get started.
Android Studio 0.2.4 Released, Improvements for App Devs
Back at Google I/O 2013, Android Studio was released in beta form. The tool, which was released with the help of Jetbrains and based on IntelliJ, featured various “killer features” such as live rendering of your code and the ability to easily add any API into your code.
Since then, we’ve talked a little about it, including troubleshooting tips for setup and a graphing library compatible with the tool. Now, version 0.2.4 has been released, bringing with it several key improvements, including:
- XML attribute documentation
- The ability to jump between a layout and its associated activity
- The ability to create missing onClick handlers
- Improvements to the Gradle synchronization
- Improvements to layout editing and various bugfixes
To get your Android Studio updated, you simply have to restart it or manually check for updates (Help -> Check for Updates). To learn more about exactly what was changed, head over to the Android Tools Project Site.
Having a Hard Time Setting up Android Studio?
By now, most developers have heard of Android Studio, Google’s new replacement for Android Developer Tools based on IntelliJ IDEA that was launched back at Google I/O this past year. While many who have used Android Studio now swear by its ease of use, especially when targeting multiple screen sizes, device types, and resolutions, a sizeable number of users have faced difficulty in using the app.
The difficulties that users have experienced are not unexpected, however. After all, Android Studio is not a finished product. Rather, much in the way of Google’s many other semi-perpetually “beta” products, it’s still in its early access preview. Because of the difficulties he faced when trying to get Studio running for the first time, XDA Forum Member lolrenx decided to create a thread detailing his experiences with the hopes of helping future developers attempting to install Studio. Since then, others have joined in on the fun and stated their issues, as well as what they have done to overcome them (if applicable).
So whether you want to see if the issues you’re currently battling have been solved by someone else previously or if you just want to share stories of the developer daemons you’ve encountered, head over to the original thread.
Migrating to Studio? Eclipse Says “Not so Fast”
Many of you might have a preference in Android IDEs, and you probably know of the recent developments of Android Studio that are turning away developers from Eclipse in droves. More advocates for Studio are popping up, but Eclipse refuses to give up. Read an overview of the latest buzz and statements of IDEs!
OxygenOS Released and More! – XDA TV
OxygenOS for the OnePlus One has been released! That and much more news is covered by Jordan when he reviews all the important stories from this weekend. Included in this weekend’s news is the announcement of Android Studio 1.2 beta being released and be sure to check out the article talking about CyanogenMod 12s for the OnePlus One coming just around the corner. That’s not all that’s covered in today’s video!
Be sure to check out the other videos released earlier this week on XDA TV. XDA TV Producer TK released an Xposed Tuesday video covering a mod that fixes Lollipop’s memory leak. Then TK reviewed the Must Have App, Spider Squisher Pro Extreme. Also, rirozizo gave us a XDA Game Time video for Dumb Ball. Finally, if you missed it be sure to check out Jordan’s Review of the Nvidia SHIELD Tablet. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
Generate Blank Watch Face Template in 4 Easy Steps
The Android Wear watchface API requires developers to code everything from scratch which can prove to be a daunting task for some. However, Android Studio 1.1 aims to simplify that process, by adding a Wear Watch Face code template, allowing you to generate boilerplate code in 4 easy steps
Easily Generate Layers Projects on Windows
This Windows tool by XDA Recognized Contributor bunchies creates a Layers project ready to be imported to Android Studio. It’s a nice and easy way to get started with Layers development, so you should definitely give it a shot if you’re planning to theme some Android elements.
Easily Edit Classes.dex with Dex Manager
Android applications can be edited in multiple ways. The most convenient way is of course changing the source code in your favorite IDE and compiling it with the provided tools. Unfortunately not every application available for Android is open-source, and therefore easy to edit through Android Studio or Eclipse with ADT.
Applications without publicly available source code can also be modified. The well known ApkTool is one option to make some changes, but if you are using Windows as your operating system, XDA Forum Member Jasi2169 created a nice tool able to decompile the classes.dex file directly from the APK or JAR file. With this tool, the user can simply extract the classes.dex with favorite archive manager like 7-Zip and drag the classed.dex file to Dex Manager. Everything will be decompiled on the go and extracted to the source folder as Smali files. These files can be edited and re-compiled as a classes.dex and used to replace the original file in the APK.
If something goes wrong, the user gets a an error log in the Error Box area. This should help debug the project and fix the potential build problems. A nice graphical user interface and simplicity make Dex Manager an interesting alternative to command line-based ApkTool.
You can try the application by downloading it from the Dex Manager v1.0 – Designed To Play With Classes.dex forum thread.
Micromax Takes OnePlus to Court! Android Wear Receives Lollipop – XDA TV
Android 5.0 Lollipop is available officially for the Moto 360! That and much more news is covered by Jordan when he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is the announcement of Sony supporting AOSP on the entire 2014 Qualcomm Line of products and be sure to check out the article talking about the latest with Cyanogen where Micromax sues OnePlus! That’s not all that’s covered in today’s video!
Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA TV. XDA TV Producer TK released an Xposed Tuesday video for BatteryHistory XXL. Then Jordan showed us a comparison of many different USB desktop chargers. Finally, TK gave us an Android App Review of Leandroid. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
Meet Jack and Jill: Android’s Experimental Toolchain
Earlier this week, Google finally pushed the stable version of Android Studio, replacing Eclipse with ADT plugin. It appears that the Mountain View company is on a roll, as they recently announced a very new and experimental toolchain named Jack and Jill.
Jack (Java Android Compiler Kit) and Jill (Jack Intermediate Library Linker) are the two tools at the core of the new toolchain. Google is encouraging developers to play with it a bit to see whether or not there are some noticeable improvements. Here’s a short explanation by Google regarding the new toolchain:
The Android Gradle plugin and Jack collect any .jack library files, along with your source code, and compiles them into a set of dex files. During the process, Jack also handles any requested code minification. The output is then assembled into an APK file as normal.
Adding Jack to the project is very easy. If you are using the 21.1.1+ Build Tools for Android Studio, you can simply add the “useJack = true” to your build.gradle file. It looks like the Android Developer team will make Jack and Jill a default toolchain for applications in the future. Right now, they are working to make the transition as smooth as possible.
More details with some code examples can be found on the Android Developers blog. Head over there to learn more.