The latest update to Google’s purpose built IDE for the Android platform has been released this week. Android Studio 3.3 is highly evolutionary, introducing a number of new features and options.
This time around there are an impressive number of bug fixes making Android Studio far friendlier to use. Over 200 user reported bugs have been fixed. That number is significant because it shows the number of users reporting bugs, and the fact that Google has recognised, verified and fixed them all into one release.
There’s plenty of other offerings too which are outlined in the blog post:
This release also includes official support for Navigation Editor, improved incremental Java compilation when using annotation processors, C++ code lint inspections, an updated new project wizard, and usability fixes for each of the performance profilers.
The Navigation Editor is a visual tool to allow developers to map out navigation within their app, a significant change which will give developers significantly improved tools to improve their internal mapping for their app.
There’s also an improved project wizard and an update to Kotlin which made quite the splash when it first came to Android, we spoke to Russell from Shifty Jelly about it after Google IO 2017 and well… see for yourself.
The other day we converted a class that was 183 lines of Java, to 16 in Kotlin. The difference isn’t always as dramatic but it leads to faster development time with less errors all while being much more enjoyable to use.
It’s also completely inter-operable with existing Java code with no work required by the developer. You can add 1 Kotlin class to a project with thousands of other Java ones and it just works.
So it could lead to more people choosing Android as a platform to learn development on. Especially because unlike iOS it doesn’t require an expensive Mac to develop on. Any windows, Mac or Linux computer can run Android Studio and test phones are much cheaper to buy
Lastly it makes Android a much friendlier first development environment to learn, because Kotlin is a far more approachable language than Java for first time developers.
This release also signals the start of Project Marble which has been in the works for a while, aiming to refine and polish much of the Android Development platform – offering the developers who are working hard for the Android faithful, an overall improved experience by reducing crashes, hangs and memory leaks. Reducing user impacting bugs and investing in the Google Infrastructure is also part of the project.
The wider development community as well as new starters will take to this well with the improved functionality and stability, let’s hope it leads to some new innovations in the app market.