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development

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Android Tools Team Releases New Emulator With Vastly Better Performance And User Interface Features

Now that Android Studio is faring quite well for its core necessities, the tools team is tackling some of the bigger challenges. A couple of weeks ago, they featured a new ability to deploy a limited set of changes to apps without fully restarting them. This week they're shooting to take on one of the longest and most requested items on the list: a faster and more useful emulator.

Performance

The biggest boost to speed can be seen while running Android 6.0 on the new emulator. This comes from newly added support for Symmetric Multi-Processing (SMP), which allows the emulator to take full advantage of multiple processor cores on a computer.

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Android Studio 2.0 Preview Introduces Instant Run For Debugging And Brand New GPU Profiler

Every developer has gone through a long afternoon of making a bunch of tiny changes to their app, rebuilding and running it, then repeating the same steps just to get back to a point where they can test the changes they just made. Forget it, those days are done! Android Studio 2.0 just hit the Canary channel and its headlining feature allows you to push changes from your computer to an app while it's running and see results right away. Also joining the latest release is a brand new GPU Profiler tool that can make OpenGL ES development significantly easier.

Instant Run

The Instant Run feature has been mentioned previously during Google I/O 2015, but it has been under wraps until now.

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Chrome Dev 48 Rolls Out With Early Bluetooth Web API Support On Chrome OS Dev Channel And Android Marshmallow

Google's Chrome development team regularly implements new APIs to extend the possibilities for web apps to behave more like their native counterparts. The most recent addition to the Chrome dev channel allows web developers to use Bluetooth to communicate with nearby hardware. This could be used for things like an online fitness tracker that gets data from a heart rate monitor or for a controller to drive a Sphero, all without installing a native app.

These things are possible with the new Web Bluetooth API. Still in the early stages of development, this allows a web application to query for Bluetooth devices based on their capabilities, then pass messages back and forth with little or no friction.

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Android Studio v1.5 Hits Stable Channel With Improved Leak Checking And Some Major Bug Fixes

Android Studio v1.5 just rolled out to the stable channel today and it's absolutely packed with a feature. Truth is this release was mostly focused on bug fixes, performance improvements, and other fine tuning. Of course, for a tool used in professional software development, those certainly aren't bad things. Take a look as Reto Meier explains the changes and trolls teases Android developers with a mystery box that surely must include new language support, or a fully functional theme editor, or... something more likely.

The one notable addition can be found in the Memory Profiler. It's now capable of detecting leaked activities while testing.

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Unreal Engine 4.10 Adds Marshmallow Support, Better Graphics Scaling, Refraction Effects, Web Browser Widgets, Support For Additional Gamepads, And More

The Unreal Engine serves as the core for any number of games across PCs, consoles, and mobile phones alike. When a new version comes out, the changelog is big. Really, really big. Not all of the changes introduced in version 4.10 affect Android, but a solid number of them do.

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Nick Butcher's Plaid App Is A Gorgeous (Open Source) Showcase For Material Design

Nick Butcher (Developer Advocate at Google) recently published the source code for Plaid, an app meant to showcase material design on Android with playful animations, impeccable typography, and a simple, bold aesthetic. The code will provide useful examples for developers, but the app itself is worth keeping installed too - Plaid pulls stories from Designer News, Dribbble, and Product Hunt to serve up design news and inspiration, catered to your preferences.

plaid_demo

Besides more standard material elements, the app has a few unique tricks. Specifically, the toolbar is behind the content rather than lying on top of it, making the scrolling action on the main grid a little more elegant.

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Google I/O 2015 App's Source Code Hits GitHub To Inspire And Educate Android Developers

Google releases an Android app each year providing Google I/O attendees with the schedule for the upcoming conference, and it uses the opportunity to show off how an Android app is supposed to feel. Then a couple months later it releases the source code, providing developers with a look at best practices. The source code for 2015's app has taken longer to arrive than last year's, but at last, it's here.

The Google I/O 2014 app arrived during the pre-Lollipop time when full material design wasn't yet possible on most Android devices due to the lack of the necessary APIs.

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Android Studio v1.4 Passes Into The Stable Channel With Improved Vector Drawable Support, New Theme Editor, Performance Monitors, And More

The first Android Studio v1.4 preview release came out just a short six weeks ago, and now it's moving into the Stable channel, right on schedule. The features remain largely the same as the original v1.4 preview, but a ton of bugs have been fixed and a few of the capabilities have been improved in some awesome ways.

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Google Play Store Increases Maximum APK Size To 100 MB

It's Nexus Eve Day, and let's be honest, nobody is getting any work done because we're reading all of the exciting news about tomorrow's announcements. Your wish list may already be written and tucked beneath your pillow waiting for St. Matias to give it a look. While we await the big event, Google actually has some of its own official news to share today. As it turns out, Google is raising the maximum apk file size on the Play Store from 50 MB to 100 MB.

The change is largely a formality since the file size restriction is an artificial cap.

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