Google Honed Its Own Code in Android Studio 3.3 so You Can Hone Yours

Google has released a stable version of Android Studio 3.3 that the company says is focused on delivering a refined experience and higher quality and stability. By taking developer feedback to heart, Google believes Android Studio 3.3 will help keep application writers productive. 

Android Studio 3.3 addresses more than 200 bugs that were reported by users. That's a lot of bug stomping. Google says developers can expect more bug extermination throughout the year via Project Marble. Marble, first announced in November 2018, is Google's deep dive on quality.

"In Project Marble, we are specifically looking at reducing the number of crashes, hangs, memory leaks, and user-impacting bugs," said Jamal Eason, product manager, in a blog post. "We are also investing in our measurement infrastructure to prevent these issues from occurring."

Even though this release targets quality over quantity, Google did manage to slip in some new features. Google tackled four main pillars: develop, build, test, optimize.

Under the "develop" tentpole, Google focused on updates to the IntelliJ 2018.2.2 Platform, Kotlin 1.3.11, and New Project Wizard. For example, IntelliJ includes new previews for the code editor, updated icons, and MacBook Touch Bar support. Kotlin adds support for Kotlin coroutines, and the New Project Wizard adds support for a range of device types, programming languages, and new frameworks. Google also added support for Clang-Tidy for C++ static code analysis and gave developers the ability to clean up unused IDE settings & cache directories.

When building apps, developers will find that Android Studio 3.3 offers improved incremental Java compilation when using annotation processor. This speeds up build time. Lazy task configuration is a plugin that takes advantage of the Gradle Task Creation API. This lets developers avoid unnecessary or repetitive steps. Google says the Android Gradle plugin (v3.3.0) lets developers limit syncing to only the active build variant. This helps avoid the development bottleneck that sometimes forms when large projects with multiple versions need to be synced. Last in the build category, Android App Bundles now support Instant Apps. This lets developers  build and deploy Google Play Instant experiences from a single Android Studio project.

For testing purposes, Android Emulator 28.0 now supports the ability to launch multiple instances of the same Android Virtual Device with minimal Resource requirements. Google says developers can download Android 9 Pie system images for their emulator testing. The Android Compatibility Test Suite now supports peer-to-peer WiFi direct connections. Last, Google addressed a speed issue when using the emulator to save snapshots.

As you optimize your apps, you'll find that Google made improvements to the profiler performance. Google claims its cleaned-up code generated a 2x speed improvement in frame rates. Google also changed the default memory profilers in capture mode for Android 8.0 Oreo.

Android Studio 3.3 is available from the download page within the app itself. Google says developer scan run both the stable and canary versions of Android Studio at the same time if they wish. Google further suggests that developers are running at least Android Emulator v28.0.22, which can be downloaded through the Android Studio SDK Manager. 


Be sure to read the next Mobile article: Google Lays Out Schedule for Transition to 64-Bit Apps