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Android Studio 2.2: New Layout, Firebase, OpenJDK, Java 8

| by Abel Avram Follow 11 Followers on Sep 20, 2016. Estimated reading time: 1 minute |

Android Studio 2.2 comes with enhancements across all development phases - Design, Development, Build and Test -, including a new Constraint Layout, Layout Editor, Firebase plug-in, Code Sample browser, Java 8 support, OpenJDK, GPU Debugger and others.

Design

  • Constraint Layout – similar to RelativeLayout but more flexible and easier to work with in the layout editor. Useful to create complex layouts without nesting them.
  • Layout Editor – a user interface tool for designing an application’s layout via drag and drop, including a properties editor.
  • Experimental Layout Inspector – used to create a snapshot of the current view hierarchy that is executed on the emulator or an actual device to determine if a layout is rendered as expected.

Develop

  • Firebase services – AdMob, Analytics, Authentication, Notifications – can be easily integrated with an existing or a new application.
  • Code Sample Browser – finds code samples showing how a variable, method or type are used on GitHub.
  • Better Code Analysis & Lint checks – includes 260 Android Lint and code inspections, including Java 8 checks and cross-file analysis.
  • IDE based on IntelliJ 2016.1.3

Build

  • The Jack compiler toolchain supports annotation processing and does incremental builds.
  • A number of Java 8 language features are supported including lambda expressions, type annotations, interface methods, method references.
  • Merged Manifest Viewer – used to see how the manifest merges with dependencies.
  • Experimental build cache – files and directories created in previous builds, even in different projects, are stored and reused to improve build time.
  • OpenJDK is now bundled with Android Studio. A different JDK can be used if desired.

Test

  • Espresso Test Recorder (Beta) – records interactions with a UI to play them in an Espresso test locally or on Firebase.
  • GPU Debugger (Beta) – used to debug OpenGL ES applications.
  • APK Analyzer – provides size information about various components in an APK.

Android Studio 2.2 includes stability fixes and performance improvements. For more details on what is new we recommend reading the release notes.

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