Android Studio 3.0’s First Preview Is Now Out

May 17, 2017 - Written By Daniel Fuller

Google has announced that the initial preview of Android Studio 3.0 is now available in the Canary channel, complete with a number of sweeping changes. The newest version of Android Studio includes full, top-level support for the Kotlin programming language, along with improvements to full-stack integration, speed boosts when using Gradle to compile large projects, and a set of brand new diagnostic tools meant to help catch problems with app performance quickly and easily. Among a number of other, smaller changes, there is also support for Instant Apps, developers will find a number of new wizard systems on board to make workflow easier, and all Android O development images now include the Play Store, allowing developers to conduct related testing with the app they’re developing.

Kotlin support is one of the most sweeping changes in the newest Android Studio, but not the most dramatic; the IDE now fully supports Instant Apps, cloud-fed bits of apps that users can use without permanently downloading them. The push to double down on Instant App compatibility and the new support for Kotlin will make Android Studio 3.0 and Android O development far different than they have been in the past, though developers can stick with the old ways, if they still wish to. Android Studio is now also able to debug apps that weren’t built in it, making it useful to all Android developers, even those who don’t want to use Android Studio.

The smaller changes are quite numerous in this release, and some are at least somewhat major. On the Android Emulator, developers will find that root is no longer supported on factory images with Google services built in, for starters. There is also support for OpenGL ES 3.0, a file explorer, support for proxies, and even simulated bug reports. This, of course, is all on top of full support for the Play Store in the Android emulator. The IntelliJ platform backend has been updated, Android Studio now supports the Android Things IoT framework, additional Java 8 features are on board, and you can even translate snippets of code into Kotlin, which is now one of the premier development languages for Android. There are also changes to the layout editor, a new wizard for  icons, support for downloadable fonts, support for new Android Wear 2.0 features in the emulator, and support for Google’s Maven repository, among other changes.