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Google releases an updated, faster version of Android Studio

TechCrunch TechCrunch 18/05/2016 Matthew Lynley

Google is updating its Android Studio developer environment with a whole slew of upgrades under the hood that’ll make it faster. The company unveiled the new tool at its Google I/O developer conference in Mountain View.

Making the developer experience easier is critical to companies like Google to encourage developers to build apps Android-first, which is important to capture moments of exclusivity over the App Store. That could, in the end, convince people to go for Android devices before an iPhone or iPad — and it’s all riding on which app store has the best apps.

Here’s what’s new under the hood:

  • Emulators are three times faster than they used to be in Android Studio 2.1. This is a huge pain point for developers, who need to monitor the experience and tune the app constantly.
  • Build speeds are getting faster. Again, this is another big pain point for developers, because every second wasted building the application is a second that isn’t spent tweaking the code or building new features.
  • The coolest part of this is probably Test Recording, where Android Studio will automatically build tests as the developer clicks around the app, reducing development times. Tests are critical for ensuring that new deploys don’t break the app before shipping it off to devices and quickly identify issues with the application.
  • There’s a new layout designer that has more features, making it easier to lay out what developers want the app experience to be like.
  • Naturally, this includes support for Android N.

These all appear to be a lot of under-the-hood upgrades, but again, these kinds of upgrades are critical for convincing developers to stick with Android Studio as their go-to IDE. 92% of applications on the Google Play store are built using Android Studio, the company said.

Developers can pick up the beta version today.

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