Google Revamps Its IDE With Android Studio 2.2 Preview Launch

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A mere three weeks after it launched Android Studio 2.1, Google today launched Android Studio 2.2 preview at its annual I/O Conference in Mountain View, boosting its integrated development environment (IDE) which saw the light of the day only a year and a half ago. Android Studio 2.2 preview brings in several updates to the existing platform which now hosts up to 94 percent of the top 125 apps on Google Play store. The list of features that Android 2.2 preview has introduced to Google's IDE includes a new-look Layout Editor, a Constraint Layout, a Layout Inspector, a Firebase Plugin, an APK Analyser, Improved Jack Tools, an Espresso Test Recorder and a Merged Manifest Viewer.

The set of new features will now let app developers drag and drop widgets to the design surface, inspect the arrangement and positioning of a layout, edit widgets, work on dynamic interfaces without dealing with too many layouts, inspect each component of a layout to squeeze out bugs and access Google-provided Android code samples to perfect existing layouts quicker than ever. The new APK Analyzer will also let developers reduce the size of their respective app APKs using functionalities like viewing merged AndroidManifest.xml files, inspecting the compiled resources file, avoiding 64K referenced method limit issues with Dex files and diagnosing ProGuard configuration issues. Thanks to such features, the download sizes of existing apps, if exploited by developers, will be much lesser than their existing versions. The upgrade also brings in build and full support for annotation processing which will let developers explore build files using Java 8.

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The comprehensive update to Android Studio will let developers have a peek at how Android N will allow apps to function and what new features they will be able to incorporate in their apps. Last month, the Android Studio 2.1 preview, which gave developers their first look at Android N, introduced support for Java 8, a new Android Emulator 2.0 and support for Jack Compiler in Android N. Android Studio has grown by leaps and bounds since it was introduced in December of 2014 to help developers create and build new Android apps easier than before, and the launch of new previews will give developers and OEMs enough time to understand Android N and develop apps and features accordingly. If you're a developer, you can download Android Studio 2.2 preview for Windows, Linux and Mac from the Canary page or look for the latest update on your Android Studio software.