If you write apps for Google's Android platform, get thee to the Android Developers site and download Android Studio 1.0, the official integrated development environment from the Android team. The 1.0 release, which replaces the previous beta, has all the tools Android developers need to code killer apps.
According to Google, the Android Studio is offered in several forms: stable (1.0), beta, dev and canary. The stable version is the most recent and fully tested, while canary releases are "at the bleeding edge of development." In addition to the Studio itself, Google published extensive tutorials to explain all the tools contained therein. Here are some of the basics.
To begin, the startup experience is dead simple to use. The first time users boot Android Studio 1.0, the wizard automatically installs the right Android SDK, sets up user development environment settings and creates an optimized emulator for testing apps. It offers new project templates or makes it a snap to import Google code samples.
Next up, the Studio provides code and resource editing and tools for managing user interface design. For example, Android Studio uses the intelligent code editing powers of IntelliJ IDEA, such as advanced code completion, refactoring and code analysis. Developers can also manage string translations, as well as preview and edit Android Layouts across multiple screen sizes, languages and Android API levels.
Other tools include a memory monitor to help analyze app performance, access to Google's cloud services and a unified build system. The build system, for example, makes it simple to handle different build types or versions of the same app, such as final release or debug variants.
Google says now is the time to snag Android Studio 1.0 — if not for the new features, then at least for the bug fixes. Seasoned Android Studio developers should notice smoother performance in the 1.0 release across platforms. Eclipse users can take advantage of Google's migration tools to port their app projects or use the Studio's built-in import wizard.
In coordination with the release of Android Studio 1.0, Google also recently released the Play Services 6.5 SDK. Google rolled out Play Services 6.5 to most Android devices during the last two weeks. With the rollout complete, the latest version of the SDK is now available. It has new APIs for Google Fit, Google Wallet and Google Drive that should open new doors for developers.