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Android Studio Giraffe Now Stable

Android Studio Giraffe is now stable, bringing in the new IntelliJ 2022.3, a new IDE look and feel, improved Live Edit, Compose animation previews, and more.

Ten years after its initial release in 2013, Android Studio remains the IDE to go for Android development. Its latest release introduces a number of changes in distinct areas, including IDE enhancements, coding productivity, and build system improvements.

Android Studio Giraffe sports a new opt-in IDE look and feel aimed at reducing visual complexity. It strives to simplify access to the most commonly used features while making more complex functionality easily accessible when needed but less prominent in normal use. In addition, it provides a new theme that makes the IDE visual look more modern:

With the Giraffe release, we’ve started adopting the new UI, with several Android Studio specific changes, such as optimizing the default main toolbar and tool windows configurations for Android and refreshing our iconography in the style.

The new IDE also includes an updated Device Explorer, which enables inspecting files and processes of any connected device, including the possibility of copying or deleting files, killing processes or attaching the debugger to a running process.

On the front of code productivity, Android Studio Giraffe offers the possibility of previewing UI changes in composables without re-deploying the app to the simulator or physical device. This feature can be enabled via Settings / Editor / Live Edit and requires the Android Gradle Plugin (AGP) 8.1 or higher and Jetpack Compose Runtime 1.3.0 or higher.

Related to preview facilities, Compose animation preview has got support for a number of additional Compose APIs, including animate*AsState, CrossFade, rememberInfiniteTransition, and AnimatedContent. Animations can be played, paused, scrubbed, and so on.

A final help to code productivity comes from the new Android SDK Upgrade Assistant.

The new Android SDK upgrade assistant lets you see the steps required to upgrade the targetSdkVersion, or the API level that your app targets, directly in the IDE.

The assistant will show all information related to the upgrade option you select, so you won't need to browse that information separately and is able to highlight the major breaking changes for each migration step.

Speaking of the build system, you can now use Kotlin DSL in Gradle build scripts and leverage its compile-time checking as well as consolidate all of your project code under one single language.

Additionally, we’ve also added experimental support for TOML-based Gradle Version Catalogs, a feature that lets you manage dependencies in one central location and share dependencies across modules or projects.

As a final note, Android Studio Giraffe can show dependency download info while Gradle is syncing. This will allow you to detect inefficiencies in your repository configuration.

There is much more to Android Studio Giraffe than what can be covered here. If interested in the full details, do not miss the official announcement.

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