Android Studio Moves From Alpha to Beta, Now Supports Android TV, Wear, and Android L

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Google I/O is a developer’s conference, first and foremost. As blogger types and general Android enthusiasts, we sometimes forget that. One of the coolest developer tools that Google has released is Android Studio, their Android-specific development environment. It’s intended to replace Eclipse ADT, which has been the standard IDE for who knows how long. At I/O this year, Google moved Android Studio from alpha to beta status, bringing it one step closer to fully replacing Eclipse. The update to beta also added support for Android Wear, Android TV, and the Android L developer preview. Devs can get right to work on some of the new Android platforms announced at this year’s conference.

The update includes layout rendering, build variants and multiple APK generation, the new templates you’ll need to get started, pretty much everything. “Android Studio is a new Android development environment based on IntelliJ IDEA. It provides new features and improvements over Eclipse ADT and will be the official Android IDE once it’s ready.” Google did a session at I/O centered on the new Android development tools in Android Studio. The session was recorded and is up on YouTube for you to watch. It’s just a little over 45 minutes long. Whether you missed this session at Google I/O and want to get in on some of the learning, or you just want a refresher, you can stream it below. The full change log can be found here as well, if you want to comb through everything that has been updated in the newest version of Android Studio.

If you have no idea what any of this means, that’s ok. Here’s what you need to know. Android Studio is an integrated development environment, or IDE, that is specifically designed for building on the Android platform. Google first announced it at Google I/O 2013 in May of last year. It’s free to try out, and for the past year has been in an alpha build status. Now it’s in beta, and it’s moving ever closer to a full release. The environment is based on JetBrains’ IntelliJ IDEA software. It’s cross platform too, and can be downloaded for Linux, Mac, and Windows.