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Almost Stable Android Studio 2.0 Beta Improves Instant Run, Emulator, Indexing

by Sergio De Simone on Feb 16, 2016 |

After hitting the canary channel a few months ago, Android Studio enters now beta, writes Android product manager Jamal Eason. Android Studio 2.0 beta improves the recently introduced Instant Run feature, app indexing and sports a brand new emulator.

Instant Run, one of the most significant features in Android 2.0, aims to make the edit/deploy cycle faster by allowing developers to quickly make changes to their apps’ code while the app is running and redeploy those changes without having to rebuild and relaunch the app. Android Studio 2.0 beta introduces a new Cold Swap mode for Instant Run that adds itself to Hot Swap and Warm Swap, previewed last November. While Hot Swap and Warm Swap handle, respectively, changes in method implementation and resources that can be injected directly into the running app, Cold Swap targets structural changes, such as changes to the class hierarchy, method signatures, etc., that require to quickly restart the whole app. Additionally, Google made major changes to the whole Instant Run implementation to make it work in more cases.

The new and faster Android emulator that will ship will Android 2.0 has also been improved for this beta release, namely by adding support for multi-touch emulation. This will be a welcome feature for all developers that use pinch & zoom gestures in their apps. Additionally, the rotation controls on the emulator toolbar have been updated.

On the app indexing side, a 2.0 feature meant to made an app’s content accessible from Google Search results on the same device, support has been added for URL Testing & Validation. This aims to allow developers to test the results of the URLs they added to their apps.

According to Eason, Android Studio 2.0 beta is now near stable release quality and it can be effectively used to incorporate its new features into developers’ workflows. It is available for download in the Beta release channel.

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