June 27, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
We’ve talked about Android Studio quite a bit in recent months. This relatively new IDE was first unveiled at last year’s I/O as a more streamlined way to create Android apps versus using Eclipse-based solutions thanks to key improvements like live code rendering across multiple layouts and more. In the time since, Android Studio has matured very quickly. And for many users, it has become their go-to Android IDE.
We last talked about Android Studio back when it reached version 0.6.1 a few weeks ago. For those who don’t remember, this update brought quite a few updates including a revamped New Project Wizard, a new SDK Level dialog to help you better target your application, and various bugfixes. Now, Android Studio 0.8.0 has been released, and in doing so, it exits Alpha and enters Beta.
Although a formal changelog has not yet been posted, Android Studio 0.8.0 Beta brings quite a lot to the table. Namely, version 0.8.0 brings support for Material Design and Android L Developer Preview. In addition, 0.8.0 also allows you to create apps specifically geared towards Android Wear and Android TV. As stated on the Android Developers blog post:
To help you develop your apps for the upcoming Android version and for new Android device types, we’re also happy to announce Android Studio Beta. Android Studio Beta helps you develop apps by enabling you to:
- Incorporate the new material design and interaction elements of the L Developer Preview SDK
- Quickly create and build apps with a new app wizard and layout editor support for Android Wear and Android TV
Building on top of the build variants and flavors features we introduced last year, the Android Studio build system now supports creating multiple apks, such as for devices like Android Wear. You can try out all the new features with the L Developer Preview by downloading the Android Studio Beta today.
You can learn more by heading over to the Android Developers blog, and you can install the latest version yourself by heading over to the project download page. Then when you’re done, head over to our app 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.
[Many thanks to yourarjunjadeja for the heads up!]
June 13, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
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.
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.
February 4, 2014 By: Tomek Kondrat
Developing Android applications isn’t easy. There are a variety of tools that help greatly like Eclipse and Android Studio, but the majority of your code still needs to be written manually. Building an application is one thing, but optimizing it is a totally different story. There are some best practices that should be followed to ease the development and debugging process, and now is as good a time as ever to get to know them a bit better.
Some best practices, tips, and tricks are already described in Android Developer pages, which is a compendium of knowledge and a vast number of resources. However, there are also some tips and tricks acquired through personal experience of XDA community members. One of them, XDA Senior Member SimplicityApks, decided to share his knowledge with all of us by writing a thorough guide with various examples about how to improve your application’s performance and optimization when using Java and JavaFX code. The author also included many code samples directed towards beginner and intermediate developers. If your journey with Android programming has just begun, this guide should definitely go onto your todo list.
No matter if you are a new developer or have some coding experience, you should make your way to the original thread and read more about dos and don’ts in Android programming.
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.