The Android Studio team has been kicking out preview builds at a fevered pace since the first 2.0 preview hit the scene near the end of November, and it's finally paying off as the first real Beta is now rolling out. (The first beta has an issue, so this is actually labeled Beta 2). The jump from v1.5 to v2.0 is enough to suggest that this could be the most ambitious update to the IDE since it was launched, but the feature list confirms it. We've already covered some of the biggest features: instant run, GPU profiling, and a massively faster and more functional emulator.
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.
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.
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.
The Instant Run feature has been mentioned previously during Google I/O 2015, but it has been under wraps until now.
It seems like the only thing anybody can talk about is Android M, but we should remember that we've got about 4 more months with Lollipop v5.1.1 as the current version until Mango Mojito (probably not) is officially released in October. This is no more apparent than when an update appears on AOSP and brings with it thousands of changes. In fact, this update is large enough it probably deserved more than a barely noticeable revision bump.
The code drop for LYZ28E comes a bit later than expected, since the build number was first seen in a Nexus 6 update that began rolling out a month ago.
When Android Studio v1.1 entered the Stable channel, about 6 weeks ago, the Dev Tools team gave word that v1.2 was already well underway and that it would be based on the newly released IntelliJ 14. A couple of weeks later, the first preview build turned up, and it had already been upgraded to include IntelliJ 14.1, as well. Developers on the Canary channel have been testing and playing with the new features since early March, and now it's time to bring the goods to a larger audience. Android Studio v1.2 has just been released to the Beta channel with a mindboggling list of improvements.
Google is progressively rolling out the full array of releases for Android 5.1, and the SDK is now joining the ranks. If developers open up the SDK Manager today, they will find a brand new software development kit for API 22. The SDK package is there, along with the typical documentation, samples, source code, and an assortment of system images for each of the major hardware architectures. All is ready to start updating apps to take advantage of everything Android 5.1 has to offer.
To download the latest version, first launch the Android SDK Manager. This can be done from the command line by navigating to the root folder of the SDK, then to the /tools folder, where you can then run the 'android' executable.
December brought us many gifts, not least of which was the official release of Android Studio v1.0. While things have been fairly quiet for developers sticking to Stable releases, the Android Tools team has been busy with a steady stream of updates for those of us on the Canary builds. After two months in development, v1.1 is finally ready to roll out to the masses. This version is mostly dedicated to bug fixes, but there are a few features added in test builds that will feel new to users that are just now receiving the update.
A couple of weeks ago, a release candidate for Android Studio 1.0 rolled out to the Canary development channel to allow users a chance to poke and prod at it before an official launch. The serious issues have been worked out and Android Studio has been given its first official release to the stable channel. Alongside the title change, Android Studio has also been declared the "official Android IDE." ADT with Eclipse is still available, but is no longer considered to be in active development.
Aside from a few bug fixes, this version doesn't contain any significant changes from the recent release candidates.