What’s new in Google’s Android Studio 3.0

Google's development suite for mobile apps adds Kotlin, improves Java 8 and other build and debug tools, and supports Instant Apps

Credit: Google

Google’s Android Studio 3.0 IDE adds support for the Kotlin language as a mechanism for building Android applications, as well as better Java 8 support and enhancements to its build system and debugging.

Where to download Android Studio 3.0

You can download Android Studio 3.0 from the Android Studio website. It is available now.

Android Studio 3.0 supports Kotlin for development

Kotlin interoperates with existing Android languages and runtimes. Developers can add Kotlin to a project using the conversion tool found in the Android Studio IDE via the menu sequence Code > Convert Java File to Kotlin File. Developers can also create a Kotlin-enabled using the New Project Wizard.

Other new features in Android Studio 3.0

Besides Kotlin support, Android Studio 3.0 offers these new capabilities:

  • Improved support of Java 8 language features via migration to the javac tool chain. The Jack tool chain is being deprecated. The latest Android Gradle build system plugin enables use of Java 8 features in developers’ code and libraries
  • A breaking API change in the Android Gradle plugin improves scalability and build times. Depending on APIs provided by the previous Gradle plugin, developers are advised to validate compatibility with the new plugin and migrate to new APIs.
  • For smaller and faster updates, the Maven repository is used by default instead of the Android SDK Manager for finding updates to dependencies in Android Support Library, Google Play Services, and Firebase Maven.
  • A suite of tools, named Android Profiler, have been added to debug performance problems. Android Profiler replaces Android Monitor.
  • The Adaptive Icon Wizard creates launcher icon assets and previews how an adaptive icon will look with different launcher screen icon masks.
  • Features of Instant Apps, which are native Android apps that don’t require a user installer, can be added to projects.
  • Custom and downloadable fonts using XML can be used for apps targeting the Android Oreo release (API level 26 or higher).
  • The app bug reporter in Android Emulator helps document bugs. Android Emulator also supports the OpenGL ES 3.0 advanced graphics standard.
  • Templates in the New Project wizard and the New Module wizard support the Android Things embedded device platform.
  • To optimize the size of APK files, the APK Analyzer has been fitted with additional enhancements. Also, arbitrary APKs can be debugged.
  • Support was added for the JetBrains IntelliJ Idea 2017.1 IDE, with capabilities such as Java 8 refactoring and enhanced version control search. IntelliJ has been the basis for Android Studio.
  • Emulator system images for Android Oreo now include the Google Play store, to enable testing of apps with Google Play.

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