Google released Android Studio 2.2 with 20+ new features today. This release has three major themes: speed, smarts and Android Platform support. This version includes support for all the latest developer features in Android 7.0 nougat, For example – Code completion, Multi Window support, Quick settings API, Redesigned Notifications etc. Almost every development cycle (design, develop, build and test) has been improved in this version.
Major features of Android studio 2.2
Some of the major features that have been introduced/improved are
LayoutEditor: You can quickly design app ui with new ui designer. You just need to drag and drop widget and check it’s appearance in blueprint mode(it shows how you app gonna look with current design). You can adjust the visual attributes of each widget with new properties panel.
1: Pallete , 2: Component tree, 3:Toolbar , 4: Design Editor, 5: Properties
ConstraintsLayout: This new Layout is flexible layout manager that allows to create large and complex layouts with flat view hierarchy. It is backward compatible with upto Android API level 9(Gingerbread). It works best with the new Layout Editor in Android studio 2.2.
LayoutInspector: It is an early release in Android studio 2.2. It allows to inspect app’s view hierarchy at run-time from within Android studio IDE. This is useful when your layout is built at run-time rather than being defined entirely in an XML layout. It provides a quick solution to inspect the view properties of layout without leaving the IDE. Goto Tools —> android —> LayoutInspector to open it.
PSD File Support in Vector Asset Studio: It is a tool that helps to add material icons and import scalable vector graphic(SVG) and adobe photoshop document (PSD) files into project as vector drawable resources(i.e. an XML file). Using vector drawables instead of bitmaps reduces the size of APK because same file can be resized for different screen density without losing it’s image quality. Also, Maintaining one XML file is easier than maintaining different images at different screen resolutions. For backward-compatibility, It generates raster images as well that are packed together in the APK.
Firebase Plugin: Adding services like Analytics, Authentication, Notifications and AdMob are just a few clicks away suing Firebase plugin inside of Android studio.
Updated Code Analysis & Link checks: Improved features that checks quality of our android app code for java 8 language usage and cross file analysis.
Enhanced accessibility support: Accessibility features such as screen readers, navigate between files and tools, automatic code completion, etc. have been improved.
Improved C++ Support Edit and Debugging: Now, You can now use CMake or ndk-build to compile your C++ projects from Gradle. Also, A lot of bug fixes has been done in this release.
Samples Browser: It helps to find high-quality, google-provided android code samples based on current highlighted symbols in the project.
Instant Run improvements: Instant run is improved in terms of edit, build and run iteration cycles for many developers.
APK Analyser: You can easily inspect content of APKs to understand the size contribution of each component. Also, you can compare two APKs.
Build cache: This is introduced in Android studio 2.2 beta 3. This speed up build times by storing and reusing files/directories that were created in previous build of same or different project.
Espresso Test Recorder: This is beta release. It lets you create UI tests by recording interactions with your app. it, then, outputs the UI test code for you. Suppose you records interaction with a device and add assertion to verify UI elements in a particular snapshots of the app. Espresso test recorder then takes saved recording and automatically generates corresponding ui test. It can be used locally, on integration server, or using Firebase test lab for android.
GPU Debugger: This is beta release. You can now record a stream of Open GL ES commands on your android device, then, replay it within android studio for analysis. you can also fully inspect this command to better understand and debug graphical output.
Virtual Sensors in the Android Emulator: A new set of virtual sensors controls is introduced in this release. you can now test android sensors such as Accelerometer, Ambient temperature, magnetometer, pressure, light, relative humidity etc.