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.
August 26, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
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.
August 15, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
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:
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.
It’s no secret that visual aids such as charts and graphs help in effectively disseminating numerical information. After all, who really wants to read an essay of numbers? That feeling is only exacerbated when the reading is done on a small cell phone screen. Thankfully, as apps are becoming more and more visually enriched, dull data visualization is nearly a thing of the past.
To help developers better display exactly the data they need in their apps, XDA Senior Member Androguide.fr created HoloGraphLibrary. Forked from a separate base library by developer Daniel Nadeau, Androguide.fr’s offering builds on the original by adding support for various unit display types and compatibility with Android Studio and Gradle.
In addition to providing his forked library, Androguide.fr has also included a comprehensive guide on how to use the library in his thread. So what are you waiting for? Don’t display numbers as text; it’s not pretty. Head over to the library thread to get started.
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.
In a crowded, standing-room Google I/O 2013 kicked off with the Keynote. Google’s SVP Vic Gundotra welcomed the 6,000 in attendance as well as the 40,000+ in attendance worldwide at the viewing parties, and the 1,000,000 watching on YouTube. He then turned it over to Google’s new SVP in charge of Android, Chrome & Apps, Sundar Pichai. Sundar talked about us being at one of the most innovative phases of computing, with us seeing people around the world increasingly using different computing devices, as well as two large fast growing, scalable platforms in Android and Chrome.
He touched base on Android’s current activations, reaching the 100 million in 2011, 400 million in 2012 and now 900 million in 2013. He also spoke regarding the journey Google is undertaking to bring the remaining 4.5 billion users in the world online and how that can make a difference in their lives. After that, he turned it over to Hugo Barra, VP of Product Management for Android.
Hugo spoke to the 48 billion app installs on Google Play, with 2.5 billion in the last month alone. He gave us a teaser about adding new dev services and tools associated with Google Play with the availability of the Google Play Services API, which provides the latest APIs to all devices consistently. He gave some notes about new location APIs being added to the Google Maps API:
The next feature mentioned the Google+ Sign-In, which allows developers to utilize cross-platform single sign-on between devices, and lets a web application auto-install the app on a tablet or phone.
After Google+ Sign-In, Google Cloud Messaging was the focus. 60% of the top apps in the Play Store use GCM, with 200K messages/sec and 17 billion/day being served. GCM is also now part of Google Play services, and brings 3 new features for developers:
The next thing talked about was Google Play Game Services, which includes the following for game developers:
The Google Play Services update has already begun rolling out today for all devices, and developers will be able to start taking advantage of these new features immediately.
Eclipse has always been the defacto standard tool for creating Android applications – especially if you don’t want to use a text editor and ANT. Even though it is the standard doesn’t mean that people like it. It’s kinda like that annoying wart you have on your hand that you can’t get rid of and you finally just accept. But Google has come up with the “wart killer” in Android Studio. They partnered with Jetbrains to create a new tool based on IntelliJ which has been released into the open source world. A few of the killer features built into the tool are:
One of the other big things spoken about was Google’s take on Android 4.2.2 on a device that isn’t, and will not be classified as, a Nexus device. The Samsung Galaxy S4 is the hottest selling device available today, but runs TouchWiz Nature UX 2.0. Many people feel this version of TouchWiz is a massive regression to pre-Gingerbread TouchWiz, and removes any advances that TouchWiz had made with the original TouchWiz Nature found on the Galaxy S III, Note and Note II.
Google announced that the Samsung S 4 Google Edition will be available June 26, and will be unlike any other Galaxy S device from Samsung. It will ship without Samsung software. That alone, for many people, makes this about the most compelling piece of news coming out of the Keynote. The Google Edition will come with stock Android 4.2 (no word on a new version yet), dual-carrier support (ATT and T-Mobile), LTE support, 16 GB storage, prompt system updates from Google, and will ship with the bootloader unlocked. While the price tag of $649 could be a deterrent for some, it is in line with the Samsung version while note packing the same “software” features.
That ends our overview coverage of the Keynote. While there were other things announced, they don’t directly impact XDA as much as they reside in the peripheral. Feel free to go watch the rebroadcast of the Keynote below or at Google Developers YouTube page.