Posted by Ariana Palombo, Online Hiring & Insights Team
Posted by Ariana Palombo, Online Hiring & Insights Team
Posted by, Jamal Eason, Product Manager, Android
Today we are releasing the 1.4 update to the Android Studio stable release channel. Most of the work and enhancements for Android Studio 1.4 are under the hood. However we have a handful of new features that we hope you enjoy and integrate into your workflow.
Starting with API 21, you can use Vector Drawables for image assets. For most apps, using VectorDrawables decreases the amount of density dependent drawables you need to maintain, and will also give you sharp image assets regardless of the screen device densities your app supports.
With Android Studio 1.4, we are making the process of importing SVG images or Material icons much easier. If you update your gradle android plugin to 1.4.0-beta3 (or higher) in the project structure dialogue or your project
build.gradle file ( 'com.android.tools.build:gradle:1.4.0-beta3'
), you can now use the new Vector Asset Studio by right-clicking the res/drawable folder in your project and selecting New → Vector Asset from the content menu.
We are also excited to offer backwards compatibility for your vector assets in Android Studio 1.4. Once you have a vectorDrawable image in your res/drawable, Android Studio will automatically generate raster PNG images for API level 20 and below during build time. This means you only need to update and maintain your vector asset for your app project and Android Studio can take care of image conversion process. Note, it is still best practice to create density dependent launcher icons in your res/mipmap folder. Learn more by watching the DevByte video on the new Vector Asset Studio tool.
We understand that managing your app theme and style can be a bit complex. With Android Studio 1.4, we are releasing a preview of the Theme Editor to help with this task. This first version of the Theme Editor is focused on editing and updating the material theme colors (
colors.xml) in your app project. In future releases, we will cover more attributes of your app theme and styles files. To access the editor, navigate from top level menu Tools → Android → Theme Editor.
We know many of you use the New Project Wizard app templates to start a new app project or to quickly add an activity to an existing app. To help with the visual design of your apps, we updated the app templates to include the Android Design Support Library alongside the AppCompat Support library.
From the template wizard you can start projects with a basic blank template with a floating action button or start from a range of user interface components such as the navigation drawer, or AppBar with scrolling view. We also re-introduced the empty app template for those who want minimum code generation when adding an activity to your project.
With Android Studio 1.4, you can also validate your apps on the new Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P screen sizes.
Now it is possible to quickly inspect the GPU rendering performance of your app. To enable GPU monitoring, make sure you turn on monitoring for your Android hardware device or emulator under Setting → Developer Options → Profile GPU rendering → In adb shell dumpsys gfxinfo . To learn more about the GPU rendering results, check out the developer documentation.
With Android Studio 1.4, you can also monitor the network usage of your app. With the monitor you can track the transmit and receive rates of your app over time.
It is now even easier to add a Firebase mobile backend to your Android app. Firebase includes data storage, user authentication, static hosting, and more. To access the feature, navigate from the top level menu and select File → Project Structure → Cloud. Learn more about Firebase in this tutorial.
For current developers on Android Studio, you can check for updates from the navigation menu (Help → Check for Update [Windows/Linux] , Android Studio → Check for Updates [OS X]) . For new users, you can learn more about Android Studio on the product overview page or download the stable version from the Android Studio download site.
We welcome feedback on how we can help you. Connect with the Android developer tools team on Google+.
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Posted by, Dave Burke, VP of Engineering, Android
Starting next week, Android 6.0 Marshmallow will begin rolling out to supported Nexus devices around the world, including Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 7 (2013), Nexus 9, Nexus Player, and Android One. At the same time, we’ll be pushing the Android 6.0 source to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), which marks the official beginning of public availability.
Today we also introduced two great new Nexus devices that will be among the first to run the Android 6.0 Marshmallow platform. These devices let your apps use the latest platform features and take advantage of the latest hardware optimizations from our partners. Let’s take a look at how to make sure your apps look great on these new devices.
The Nexus 5X is built in partnership with LG. It’s equipped with a 5.2-inch FHD LCD 1080p display, a Snapdragon™ 808 processor (1.8 GHz hexa-core, 64-bit), and a 12.3 MP rear camera. Offering top-line performance in a compact, lightweight device.
The Nexus 6P, built in partnership with Huawei, has a 5.7-inch WQHD AMOLED display, Snapdragon™ 810 v2.1 processor (2.0 GHz octa-core 64-bit), front-facing stereo speakers, and a 12.3 MP rear camera, all housed in a diamond-cut aluminum body.
Both devices have USB Type-C ports and fingerprint sensors, and include the latest hardware features for Android, such as: Android Sensor Hub, low-power Wi-Fi scanning with channel selection, batching, and BSSID hotlists, Bluetooth 4.2 with ultra low-power BLE notifications, and more.
Take some time to make sure your apps and games are ready to give your users the best mobile experience on these devices.
Check your assets
|Nexus 5x||1920 x 1080 px (730 x 410 dp)||
|Nexus 6P||2560 x 1440 px (730 x 410 dp)||
Nexus 5X has a quantized density of 420 dpi, which falls in between the
xxhdpi primary density buckets. Nexus 6P has a density of 560 dpi, which falls in between the
xxxhdpi buckets. The platform will scale down any assets from a higher resolution bucket, but if those aren’t available, then it will scale up the assets from a lower-density bucket.
For best appearance in the launcher, we recommend that you provide at least an
xxxhdpi app icon because devices can display large app icons on the launcher.
For the rest of your assets, you can consider using vector assets or optionally add versions for the next-higher density bucket. This provides a sharper visual experience, but does increase apk size, so you should make an appropriate decision for your app.
Make sure you are not filtered on Google Play
If you are using the <compatible-screens>: element in your AndroidManifest.xml file, you should stop using it because it’s not scalable to re-compile and publish your app each time new devices come out. If you must use it, make sure to update your manifest to add a new configuration for Nexus 5X, since it uses a new density bucket (420). Otherwise, your app may be filtered from Google Play on these devices.
After three preview releases, and with the final OTA coming soon, it’s time to wrap up the Android M Developer Preview. The feedback you’ve provided has helped make Android 6.0 a great platform for apps and games. Developers in more than 200 countries have been using the Developer Preview to get their apps ready for Android 6.0 Marshmallow users everywhere.
More developer resources
If you haven’t taken a look at Android 6.0 Marshmallow yet, visit developer.android.com/mm for complete information about about what’s new for developers and important changes to plan for in your apps — runtime permissions, Doze and App Standby idle modes, Auto Backup for Apps, fingerprint support, and others.
We’ve also produced a playlist of developer videos to help you get the most out of all the new features in Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Check it out below.
Final testing and updates
Now is the time to finish up testing and prepare for publishing. You can use the Developer Preview 3 system images for final testing until early October. After the Android 6.0 public release, you’ll be able to download final images from the Nexus factory images page, and final emulator images from Android Studio.
Reminder: Devices flashed with an M Developer Preview build won’t receive the Android 6.0 update automatically. You’ll need to manually flash those devices to a public released image first.
Upload your apps to Google Play
When your apps are ready, you can update them to Google Play via the Developer Console on all release channels (Alpha, Beta & Production). For apps that target API level 23, Google Play will provide the new optimized download and autoupdate flow based on the runtime permissions model in Android 6.0. Give it a try!
To make sure that your updated app runs well on Android 6.0 Marshmallow and older versions, we recommend that you use the newly improved beta testing feature on Google Play to get early feedback. You can then do a staged rollout as you release the new version to all users.
In mid-October, we’ll be turning down the M Developer Preview community and the M Developer Preview issue tracker. If the you filed bugs against the preview that you want to leave open against the Android 6.0 final builds, you can file a new issue in the AOSP issue tracker.
Thanks to everyone who participated in the Android M Developer Preview. Let us know how this year’s preview met your needs by taking a short survey. Your feedback helps shape our future releases.
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