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development tools

31

Android N Feature Spotlight: Jack Compiler Gains Support For Many Java 8 Language Features Including Lambdas, Streams, Functional Interfaces, And More

Developers have plenty of great new APIs and features coming with Android N, but perhaps the best thing to look forward to is at the language level itself. Starting with the preview SDK due out today, some of the language features of Java 8 will be supported by the Jack compiler. This will bring things like support for lambdas, default and static methods, streams, and functional interfaces. Google is also declaring that the Jack compiler will also be able to remain more up-to-date with Java language features in the future.

One of the top requests from developers over the last few years has been for a more rapid uptake of new language features for Java, many of which would allow for more efficient use of development time and ultimately easier to read code.

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25

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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81

Microsoft Releases Standalone Android Emulator With Easy Instructions To Use It With Android Studio And Eclipse With ADT

Microsoft surprised Android developers last year with the launch of a brand new emulator designed for performance and features that aren't available anywhere else. While the initial Preview release only included an image for KitKat, subsequent updates introduced an expanded set of emulator images and some valuable new features. While a high-speed emulator is certainly compelling, many developers still didn't adopt it because it had to be downloaded and installed alongside a very large Visual Studio package, not to mention it was also frustrating to set up for use with other IDEs. Last week, Microsoft unburdened the emulator and released it as a standalone download along with step-by-step instructions to set it up to easily run with Android Studio and Eclipse with ADT.

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14

Android Studio v1.3 RC1 Enters Canary Release Channel, Adds Full Preview Support For C/C++ And NDK

A large part of the What's New in Android Development Tools session at Google I/O 2015 focused on one particular feature, or rather, group of features coming to Android Studio: upcoming support for C/C++ and the Android NDK. Version 1.3 RC1 of the IDE hit the canary channel late yesterday, finally enabling developers of native apps and games to begin transitioning from Eclipse (or another IDE) to Android Studio, if they choose to. Functionality is described as "preview quality," so there are still some known issues and probably quite a few bugs.

Screen Shot 2015-07-10 at 3.06.13 AM

With the addition of NDK support, this release brings a number of internal and organizational changes, some of which will affect all developers.

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12

Microsoft Releases Updated Visual Studio Emulator for Android With New Device Profiles And Wi-Fi Simulation

Microsoft is in the midst of its annual Build conference. This is sort of like Google I/O or WWDC, but with fewer online viewers. Wednesday's keynote presentation was filled with announcements about Windows 10, the Microsoft Edge browser, an augmented reality headset, and quite a bit more. One product failed to earn stage time: the Visual Studio Emulator for Android, but developers may find renewed interest since the latest version is showing maturity as it expands through the addition of Device Profiles and a number of other recent enhancements.

We originally covered Microsoft's emulator for Android after a mid-November release during the Connect() conference.

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91

Microsoft Releases Visual Studio Preview With Android Support, Includes A Lightning Fast Emulator With Some Super Cool Features

When it comes to software development, there are two very distinct camps on the subject of tools: those who prefer to keep it simple with just a text editor and a compiler, and then those who go straight for a fully-featured IDE with all the bells and whistles. For more than a decade, the undisputed champion of IDEs is Microsoft with its assorted versions of Visual Studio. Having come from years of work on Visual Studio, nothing pained me more than the first (several) times I started up Eclipse. While Android Studio goes a long way towards a streamlined development experience, it still lacks much of the fit and finish of Visual Studio.

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