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:

General notes:

  • Added new Device Monitor application, grouping Android debugging tools into a single application, including ddms, traceview, hierarchyviewer and Tracer for GLES. (more info)
  • Added new System Trace new tool for tracing Android system activity. This tool allow you to capture a slice of system activity, plus additional information tagged from the Settings > Developer Options > Monitoring: Enable traces or with specific calls added to your application code. (more info)
  • Build System
    • Added automatic merging of library project manifest files into the including project's manifest. Enable this feature with the manifestmerger.enabled property.
    • Added automatic ProGuard support for the aapt -G flag. This change causes the build system to generate a temporary ProGuard keep-rules file containing classes that are referenced from XML files (such as custom views) and pass this to ProGuard at shrink-time. This can make the resulting APK much smaller when using just a small portion of a large library project (such as the Android Support library), since the catch-all rules to keep all custom views from the default ProGuard configuration file have also been removed.
    • Added two ProGuard configuration files for use in projects: proguard-android-optimize.txt which enables optimizations and proguard-android.txt which disables them.
  • SDK Manager
    • Improved caching to reduce downloading of repository definitions.
    • Added Tools > Manage Add-on Sites option to allow deactivation of third-party sites for improved performance (e.g., if one or more sites are temporarily slow to load.)
    • Added settings for the SDK Manager download cache (SDK Manager > Tools > Options).

In addition to these changes, the new SDK tools bring several bug fixes:

Bug fixes:
  • Build
    • Fixed problem where test projects did not have access to the full classpath of tested projects, including Library Projects and third-party jars.
    • Fixed deployment logic so that applications with embedded tests can now be deployed and tested like test applications, including code coverage information.
    • Fixed Ant support for testing projects with libraries.

The ADT Plugin also brings myriad improvements, from Application Templates to Performance, Tracer, and Lint to Layout Editor, Build System and more.

More information can be found on the respective Android Developer pages for the SDK Tools and ADT Plugin. To grab the updates, just fire up Eclipse and your SDK manager.