Android Studio 3.2 beta is now available. Apart from fixes for some memory leak issues, the new version includes support for App Bundles, Emulator Snapshots, Energy Profiler, and over 450 bug fixes from the previous version. Let’s break down the main features of the new release.
Android App Bundle support
When building an app and uploading it to the Google Play Store, you have to support a lot of devices. Your app might have optimizations for different architectures like ARM, ARM64, or x86, not to mention different screen resolutions, densities, languages, and more. Putting all this into a single APK may cause end up taking a lot of space on the user’s phone.
With Android App Bundles, you can still put everything into a single APK but after uploading your application to the Play Store, Google Play Dynamic Delivery will compile the APK containing only what the user’s particular device requires. In the latest Android Studio, you can build a bundle by going to Build –> Build Bundle(s)/APK(s) –> Build Bundle(s).
Android Studio 3.2 now has the ability to save emulator snapshots. This feature helps you basically save the state of the emulator. You’ll be able to instantly (in under 2 seconds, as Google states) open these saved snapshots at any time. Currently, a snapshot contains opened applications, their data, and other settings.
Energy Profiler helps you estimate how much of an impact your application causes to the device’s health. You can also visualize energy usage of the system components and insert any other background events. Keep in mind that Energy Profiler is only for estimating the impact. Nevertheless, it’ll definitely make some developers’ lives easier. Energy Profiler requires the device or an emulator running Android 8.0 or later.
That’s basically it for the main headlines of the new Android Studio 3.2. Of course, the new version also includes many other changes. Here they are, organized by category:
- Navigation Editor
- AndroidX Refactoring
- Sample Data
- Material Design Update
- Android Slices
- CMakeList editing
- What’s New Assistant
- New Lint Checks
- IntelliJ Platform Update
- Android App Bundle
- D8 Desugaring
- R8 Optimizer
- Android Emulator Snapshots
- Screen Record in Android Emulator
- Virtual Scene Android Emulator Camera
- ADB Connection Assistant
- Energy Profiler
- System Trace
- Profiler Sessions
- Automatic CPU Recording
- JNI Reference Tracking
It’s good to know that Google is not rushing to add as many features to Android Studio as they can. Instead, the search giant has realized that stability and quality of the app are much more important than rich functionality. In the end, it’s the instability and poor performance that may drive the users away. Fortunately, the company keeps fixing all the weird bugs Android Studio has, like previously mentioned memory leaks. The next version of Android Studio will be entirely focused on stability and optimization of the software, according to Google.
You can download the beta version of the Android Studio 3.2 from the preview releases page. If you’re already on the beta channel, you’ll get an OTA update. If you want to try all the bleeding-edge features but still have a stable IDE, you can run the beta and the stable versions at the same time on your PC. Keep in mind that features like Emulator Snapshots requires updating Android Emulator to version 27.3+ from the Android Studio SDK Manager.
Google also states some features, like Navigation Editor, are not enabled by default because of their unstable behavior. To enable them, just head to File > Settings > Experimental > Editor and enable the feature you want (e.g. Navigation Editor). You can report any bugs at this link.