Although Android Studio 2.0 was just declared ready to go, the news has been overshadowed somewhat by some scurrilous claims that Google is planning on hooking up Swift to Android as a “first class” language.
With the endless litigation between Oracle and Google continuing to churn on (the latest on this front is that Oracle is demanding a cool $9.3 billion dollar chunk of Google’s change for its pain) there’s been consistent speculation that Google will seek to disentangle itself from the Java ecosystem entirely. Google is already moving away from using the dastardly APIs at the root of the case by unleashing OpenJDK in future versions of Android, but should these rumours carry weight, rest assured that it would be some time before Swift as a core Android language was anywhere near a viable proposition.
Back in the real world though, let’s take a look at what’s new in Android Studio 2.0. The IntelliJ based official IDE for Android app development, Android Studio comes packed with a range of add-ons to help accelerate the Android app build process. The big news with the launch of Android Studio 2.0 is the addition of Cloud Test Lab integration. Offering app testing on tap with cloudy scalability, with Google Cloud Test Lab in the mix, developers can interface with Google’s suite of Android devices for testing – a very handy thing to have when you consider the huge diversity of devices within this fragmented ecosystem.
Other new features include Instant Run, which should help speed up the build process for the average dev, allowing them to see any changes they make live in their running app. There’s also a new Android Emulator in the mix, which Google claims runs three times faster than its predecessor, and, thanks to a number of ADB enhancements, allows you to push apps and data to it at ten times the speed it would take to do so for a physical device.
App Indexing Code Generation and Test now comes as standard, and by auto-generating URLs with Android Studio’s App Indexing feature, should help make apps more visible in Google Search.
For a fuller look at everything that’s new in Android Studio, check out this video created by Team ‘Droid: