The Android Tools Team has been hard at work on version 2.2 of Android Studio, and it's finally ready to step up to a stable release. Demonstrated at Google I/O, the preview release of v2.2 introduced a plethora of great new features and improvements intended to make app development faster and easier. Over the last four months, Studio has been continually tested and refined to get it ready for all developers, regardless of which development channels they're normally following. For anybody that hasn't been following along with the canary or dev builds, the video below summarizes many of the new improvements in this release.
In terms of features, this is surely the most fully loaded update to ever come out for Android Studio. Key additions have been made to every aspect of development, from interface design and writing code, all the way up to packaging and testing. Among the leading additions, there's a significantly improved layout editor with support for the brand new ConstraintLayout container, an activity recorder that generates Espresso code for performing automated testing, an emulator with the ability to simulate data from many different types of sensors, a very powerful GPU debugger, and an APK analyzer for inspecting, diagnosing, and optimizing packages. Here's the full list of improvements:
- Layout Editor
- Constraint Layout
- Layout Inspector (Experimental)
- PSD File Support in Vector Asset Studio
- Jack Compiler Improvements
- Java 8 Language Support
- C++ ndk-build or CMake
- Merged Manifest Viewer
- Build cache (Experimental)
- OpenJDK Support
- Instant Run Improvements
If you've been following along with the latest builds on the canary release channel, it should be possible to use the built-in updater for stepping up to the official stable build; however, it seems that older versions, regardless of channel, will probably necessitate a download of the latest IDE installer. This may be intentional because many older projects were reported to have some hiccups while upgrading to more recent versions of Gradle.
Also be sure to update to the latest version of the SDK. In addition to all of the new APIs released for API 24 (Nougat), there have been quite a few changes to the ConstraintLayout to fix bugs, add new features, and adjust syntax.