Android Studio 3.1 Builds On C++, Kotlin, API Level 27

Google this week released a stable build of Android Studio 3.1, its core Platform for Android app developers. This new version of Android Studio packs in tons of new features that developers can put to use designing and fine-tuning their mobile apps.

Android Studio 3.1 introduces a C++ performance profiler. Google says this can help developers troubleshoot performance glitches in their code. It relies on the simpleperf backend and can record C++ method traces. Further, the profiler includes a Network Thread view so devs can check multithreaded network traffic. This gives developers more ways to trace network traffic as it runs through each thread.

Kotlin features prominently in Android Studio 3.1. For example, it includes Kotlin Lint Checks. Developers can run checks on the quality of their Lint code via the command line or IDE. The command line tool supports editing inline SQL/Room Database Code, in addition to better SQ statement refactoring and SQL code navigation. Android Studio 3.1 offers up the IntelliJ 2017.3.3 platform release, which Google says includes a Kotlin language  intention and image preview Function.

Developers have access to new features when building their apps. For example, D8 is now the default dex compiler in Android Studio 3.1. It replaces the legacy DX compiler. It uses APK compilation that makes app sizes smaller and ensures accurate debugging. Further, a new build output window helps developers organise build status and errors in a new tree view. This helps with visibility.

On the app testing front, Android Studio 3.1 integrates Quick Boot. Google says this lets developers resume their Android Emulator session in under 6 seconds. This change is a response to developer feedback (apparently lots of devs called reboot speeds a "major pain point"). This feature is enabled by default when using Android Virtual Devices. The Quick Boot function provides fine-grain controls over when Quick Boot is put to use and can save the Quick Boot state via the emulator.

Speaking of the emulator, it now supports the Google Play Store and Google API Levels 24 (Nougat) and 27 (Oreo). Adding in support for these new API levels lets developers test apps with 18:9 screen aspect ratios. Moreover, it includes emulator images for the Android P Developer Preview with support for display cutouts. Info on the Display Cutout API is available here.

Google says developers can download Android Studio 3.1 directly from its developer web site, or from within any previous version of Android Studio. As always, Google hopes early adopters will provide feedback on the performance of Android Studio 3.1, so don't be shy if you run into bugs.


Be sure to read the next Mobile article: Instead of MacOS and iOS Convergence, Expect Declarative APIs from Apple