Yesterday's Google I/O keynote gave an introduction to some of the great new improvements to Android Studio 2.2, but it only scratched the surface. Today, the Android Tools Team took to the stage again to detail even more about the things they've been doing to make work easier for developers. Topics ranged from new tools like the APK Analyzer and Espresso Test Recorder to big improvements in the code editor and inspectors. We can't cover everything, but here is a summary of the main topics presented today.
New Layout Editor
One of the two hot topics introduced during the keynote is a brand new layout editor. Read More
Kotlin has been emerging as a programming language to keep a close eye on. It started as an internal project at JetBrains back in 2011 and was released early the next year. Taking inspiration from both classic C-based languages and a number of modern alternatives like Scala, Kotlin is branded as a "pragmatic" language and modeled to encourage smarter coding and easier readability. JetBrains has been tiptoeing up to an official v1.0 release for a few months, and today, it's finally here.
While it's still a fledgling language, Kotlin has earned some enthusiastic supporters among the Android development community, even a few Googlers have discussed using it in projects. Read More
A preview of Android Studio v1.3 made its first appearance at the Google I/O 2015 session What's New in Android Development Tools, which introduced a number of significant improvements and additions. The biggest announcement was about the integration of JetBrains Clion, enabling Android Studio to be used for C/C++ development, and ultimately support app development with the Native Development Kit (NDK). After a few months in development and about 3 weeks in the Canary channel, version 1.3 has been promoted to a Stable release.
Support for C/C++ development is still considered an "Early Access Preview," so it's probably not quite ready for larger projects. Read More
Google I/O is first and foremost a developer conference. New products may be announced at the keynote, but just about everything is really meant for the people that build the apps. For Android developers, there are few things that matter more than their tools. Today, a fresh release of Android Studio hit the Canary channel, and it brings one of the most often requested features: C/C++ support.
Android apps, as most people think of them, are usually written in Java and have a runtime environment that imposes some additional overhead on execution. Games and other performance-critical software are usually built with C or C++ and the Native Development Kit (NDK) so that they can avoid most of that overhead. Read More
I'm not going to pretend to be a developer here, and I'll openly admit that the bulk of what IDEA 12 does is over my head. However, I do understand its importance and relevance. Still, for the sake of correctness, we'll keep this one short and sweet.
When it comes to Android app development, there's Eclipse, then there's IDEA. IDEA 12 is, naturally, the newest incarnation of the application, and it brings a slew of new stuff that developers can make use of:
- New interface and "Darcula" theme
- New compiler mode
- Support for Java 8, Spring Framework, and Play 2.0 for Java and Scala
- Android UI designer
- Database Development tools
- ...and more
Like I said - I'm no dev. Read More
Android developers take note: Eclipse with the Android Development Tools (ADT) is no longer the only player in town when it comes to developing Android applications. JetBrains, the maker of IntelliJ IDEA, which was open sourced about a year ago, today released version 10 of their IDE, which, among other improvements, includes support for Android in the free Community Edition. All versions of the Android SDK are supported, including the recently released Gingerbread.
As an Android developer myself, I am constantly frustrated with Eclipse, constant IDE crashes, and millions of quirks that ADT seems to have. Therefore, I welcome the competition and will definitely be trying it out. Read More