Microsoft surprised Android developers last year with the launch of a brand new emulator designed for performance and features that aren't available anywhere else. While the initial Preview release only included an image for KitKat, subsequent updates introduced an expanded set of emulator images and some valuable new features. While a high-speed emulator is certainly compelling, many developers still didn't adopt it because it had to be downloaded and installed alongside a very large Visual Studio package, not to mention it was also frustrating to set up for use with other IDEs. Last week, Microsoft unburdened the emulator and released it as a standalone download along with step-by-step instructions to set it up to easily run with Android Studio and Eclipse with ADT. Read More
It's been a long and winding road, but the days of Eclipse with ADT are over. In a post on the Android development blog, Google has announced that development and official support for the Android Development Tools plugin for Eclipse will be shut down at the end of this year. Google intends to focus all of its effort on improving Android Studio and advises developers move their active projects to Android Studio using the included migration tool.
This news comes about six months after Google declared the ADT plugin was no longer in active development. The change in status meant the tools would only receive bug fixes and updates necessary to remain functional, but there would be no more improvements or new features. Read More
Looking to create a more versatile and powerful build system for Android developers, Google has been working on what is currently called "New Build System," a tool that aims to (one day) replace, unify, and build upon the functionality of Eclipse's ADT and Ant build systems.
While the new build system is still in very early stages (just reaching build 0.1 today) and not yet ready to build ship-able apps, it's already proving useful. Our own Artem cites the ability to build both dev and production versions of apps simultaneously and the ability to use the same build process between ADT and Linux as signs that the project is already showing great potential. Read More
For some time, Motorola Mobility has offered its MOTODEV Studio for Android suite as a standalone alternative build on Eclipse. A lot of developers seemed to like the additional tools Moto built into Studio, but weren't exactly keen on dropping Eclipse in exchange for Moto's less open solution.
Now that Motorola is a part of Google, it seems that state of affairs just won't do. Earlier today, on the official Motorola blog, the company announced it was open sourcing key parts of MOTODEV Studio and merging them into the Android Open Source Project. Looking at the commits (here), head of the ADT/Tools team at Google, Xavier Ducrohet, seems to have been involved extensively in the process. Read More
The Android developers' tools team, headed by the usual suspects Xavier Ducrohet and Tor Norbye, led a session at I/O 2012 today dedicated to improvements and new features coming to the tools devs use to make apps - ADT for Eclipse and SDK Tools.
Everything they showed took around an hour of nonstop talking, arm flailing, and cracking jokes about the French, but among all the new goodies one prominently stood out - multi-configuration editing. The developer in me got incredibly excited and wished this tool was available years ago, because the potential time savings it brings are immense.
Basically, multi-configuration editing is a way to visualize your layout on multiple configurations at once. Read More
Coinciding with the announcement of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, Android developers can now pull down a new revision of Android's SDK tools – revision 20, along with a new version of the ADT Plugin, also r20 (which Eclipse users will need to use SDK r20).
The revised SDK tools bring several improvements. One of the notable additions to the SDK tools is System Trace (otherwise known as systrace), a tool (included in Project Butter) that helps monitor system activities, allowing developers to pinpoint graphical rendering or other issues. For those wondering just what else is new, take it from the revision notes found at Android's Developer site:
- Added new Device Monitor application, grouping Android debugging tools into a single application, including ddms, traceview, hierarchyviewer and Tracer for GLES.
As an Android developer, I like to keep tabs on the tools I use every day, especially ones as important as ADT for Eclipse and SDK Tools. As was the case several times before, the Android team in charge of both of them posted previews of upcoming releases of ADT 20 and SDK Tools r20, available for manual download ahead of the final releases.
Yup, you heard me correctly - 20, not 18 or 19. Even though the previous major release was 17, 18 followed up shortly after with some minor changes, and 19, even more minor, wasn't even posted to the downloads page (see here for the reason). Read More
In preparation for the upcoming final releases, the Android team today released ADT 17-preview (Android Developer Tools plugin for Eclipse) and SDK Tools r17-preview with the following improvements that eager developers can try out without waiting any longer.
Out of all the additions and changes, I'm mostly excited about the new network usage tool, the fix for the dreaded "Conversion to Dalvik format failed with error 1" error when trying to use Proguard (oh, how many hours I wasted on this one), and the end to default ids for various layout elements. Sweet deal.
Here's the full changelog:
- DDMS can now show the live detailed network usage of an app (More Info)
- Bundled ProGuard updated to version 4.7.
As an Android developer, the first thing I do when I set up Eclipse with ADT on a new machine is hunt down the Android source for the API level I'm working on.
Earlier this month, I added a request for Android 4.0
source to be added to the plugin, and I'm pleased to report that the plugin maintainer just added it to the latest version.
Honeycomb sources are being worked on.
Note: If you already have the plugin installed, you'll need to re-install for this addition to show up.
Developers should understand what I'm talking about, but for the rest of you - this priceless little addition to our development process means whenever we want to see just what exactly Android is doing at a certain point in our programs, we can actually take a peek. Read More
To help Android developers automate some things and catch certain errors early on, the Android Tools team is pushing ahead with a new dev tool called Android Lint. Android Lint will be available in the next release of ADT (16) and Tools (r16).
If you're not familiar with the "lint" paradigm, a lint tool generally helps you validate your code using a certain set of rules in order to avoid common pitfalls. For example, PHP has PHPLint, JSON has jsonlint and so on.
As for Android Lint, its features at launch will include the following:
- Missing translations (and unused translations)
- Layout performance problems (all the issues the old
layoutopt tool used to find, and more)
- Unused resources
- Inconsistent array sizes (when arrays are defined in multiple configurations)
- Accessibility and internationalization problems (hardcoded strings, missing contentDescription, etc)
- Icon problems (like missing densities, duplicate icons, wrong sizes, etc)
- Usability problems (like not specifying an input type on a text field)
- Manifest errors
- and many more
You can find all the current checks Android Lint performs here. Read More