Tag Archives: Android Developer

Android Studio Bumblebee (2021.1.1) Stable

Posted by Adarsh Fernando, Product Manager, Android

Bumblbee Android Studio

The Android Studio team has been abuzz with the stable release of Android Studio Bumblebee (2021.1.1) 🐝 and Android Gradle plugin (AGP) 7.1.0; the latest versions of Android official IDE and build system. We’ve improved functionality across a broad area of the typical developer workflow: Build and Deploy, Profiling and Inspection, and Design.

Some notable additions include a unified test execution between Android Studio and your continuous integration (CI) server ✅, convenient pairing flows to support ADB over Wi-Fi 📲, Improved Profiler tools to help you identify and analyze jank in your app 🕵️, and new ways to preview animations 🎥 and UI interactions without deploying your app to a device.

As always, this release wouldn’t be possible without the early feedback from our Preview users. So read on or watch below for further highlights and new features you can find in this stable version. If you’re ready to jump in and see for yourself, head over to the official website to download Android Studio Bumblebee (2021.1.1).


What’s in Android Studio Bumblebee (2021.1.1)

Below is a full list of new features in Android Studio Bumblebee (2021.1.1), organized by the three major themes.

Build and Deploy

  • New Device Manager: This new tool window in Bumblebee makes it easier to see and manage your virtual and physical test devices, and you can open it by selecting View > Tool Windows > Device Manager from the main menu bar. In the Virtual tab, create a new device, review device details, delete a device, or anything else you used to do from the now removed AVD Manager. In the Physical tab, quickly pair to a new device using ADB Wi-Fi and see details of each physical device at a glance, or quickly inspect each device’s file system using the Device File Explorer with a click of a button. Learn more about the New Device Manager in the release notes.
Device Manager

Device Manager


  • ADB over Wi-Fi: Bumblebee includes a simplified flow to connect to your Android 11 and higher devices over Wi-Fi for deployment and debugging using ADB. After you enable debugging over Wi-Fi on your device, select the Pair using Wi-Fi action in the Physical tab of the new Device Manager to open the pairing wizard. Then follow the steps provided to pair to a device connected over the same network. Learn more.
Pairing a device with ADB over Wifi

Pairing a device with ADB over Wifi


  • Run Instrumented Tests in Android Studio using Gradle: Have you ever run tests in Android Studio with different results than the same tests running on your CI? This can be a frustrating issue that leads to lost productivity. To resolve this issue, we’ve introduced a new test runner to Android Gradle plugin (AGP) 7.1.0 that Android Studio Bumblebee uses by default when running instrumentation tests, so all your tests run through a unified test runner. This is a similar improvement to Android Studio Arctic Fox, where we started running all unit tests via Gradle by default. And, similarly, this improvement doesn’t require you to change how you write or run your tests!

Using different runners lead to inconsistent results

Using different runners lead to inconsistent results


Android Studio now runs instrumentation tests via Gradle

Android Studio now runs instrumentation tests via Gradle


  • Android Gradle Plugin Upgrade Assistant now updates API usage: Originally introduced in Android Studio 4.2, the AGP Upgrade Assistant helped users update their projects to the latest version, and improvements in Arctic Fox provided a new UI with the ability to review and select the upgrade version and steps. In Bumblebee, the Upgrade Assistant now also checks for and offers to update your DSL to help you avoid using deprecated APIs before they are deleted. For more information see the Android Gradle Plugin DSL/API migration timeline.
  • Non-Transitive R classes on for new projects: Android Studio Arctic Fox introduced new refactoring tools to help you use non-transitive R classes to enable faster builds for applications with multiple modules. When creating new projects using Bumblebee, the IDE configures your project to use non-transitive R classes, by default. While this does bring performance improvements, you now have to refer to R classes by their proper package name, and not by the package names of their parent modules, as they will no longer resolve transitively. For more information see Use non-transitive R classes.
  • Emulator tool window enabled by default: Introduced in Android Studio 4.1, the Emulator launches within an Android Studio tool window and allows you to deploy and interact with virtual Android devices while fully remaining within the context of the IDE. The changes ads an improved UX for extended controls and snapshot management. For more information see Run the Android Emulator directly in Android Studio.
  • Apple Silicon Support Update - For those using macOS on Apple Silicon (arm64) hardware, Android Studio Arctic Fox and the Android Emulator have supported this new architecture since last year. However, with this release, we have now updated the Android SDK platform tools v32.0.0 (which includes ADB and fastboot) and build tools v32.1.0 (which includes aapt) to be universal binaries so that your Android developer tools no longer need the Rosetta binary translator to run. Based on community feedback, those developers on this hardware platform have seen notable performance improvements. See release notes.


Profile and Inspect

  • Jank detection track in Profilers: When profiling your app using devices running Android 11 (API level 30) or higher, the CPU profiler now shows a new group of tracks that illustrate the stages of each frame under Frame Lifecycle: Application, Wait for GPU, Composition and Frames on display. Each track labels the frames with a frame number and color-codes the rectangle to make it easy for you to visualize where a particular frame is in its lifecycle, along with guides you can toggle to compare with Vsync events. You can use this data to understand where Jank might occur in your app and investigate the root causes. In the Analysis panel, there is now a Frames tab, which conveniently summarizes rendering information for all frames. For more information, see UI jank detection.

Detailed frame lifecycle information in the CPU Profiler

Detailed frame lifecycle information in the CPU Profiler


  • Profileable app profiling support in Studio Profilers: When profiling your app, it’s important to generate accurate data with the version of your app that most closely resembles what your users will install. To do so, you can now include the <profileable> property in your app’s manifest to profile apps that are not debuggable, as shown below.

    <profileable android:shell="true"/>

    Profileable is a manifest configuration introduced in Android 10, and is available for CPU and Memory profiling tasks. Using the profileable flag instead of the debuggable flag has the key advantage of lower overhead for performance measurement; however, certain profiling features are not available for Profileable builds, such as the Event timeline, API initiated CPU profiling, heap dumps, or live location recordings. For more information, see Profileable applications.
  • Inspect Jobs, Alarms, and Wakelocks: The Background Task Inspector has been expanded to allow you to inspect Jobs, Alarms, and Wakelocks. You can see live information on how these background tasks are being scheduled, and see detailed information about their execution, similar to how you can inspect Workers. Additionally, when inspecting Workers, you can track and inspect Jobs that your Workers schedule for you. If you used to use the Energy Profiler in previous versions of the IDE, you should now navigate to View > Tool Windows > App Inspection from the menu bar and select the Background Task Inspector to inspect Jobs, Alarms, and Wakelocks.

Inspect Jobs, Alarms, and Wakelocks in the Background Task Inspector

Inspect Jobs, Alarms, and Wakelocks in the Background Task Inspector


  • Network Inspection: The Network Profiler has now migrated to the App Inspection tool window, to allow for a lighter-weight experience for inspecting network traffic in your app. The look and feel of the Network Profiler has been maintained and works with any debuggable app on devices running API level 26 and higher. To use the new inspector, select View > Tool Windows > App Inspection from the menu bar and select the Network Inspector. For more information, see Inspect network traffic with the Network Inspector.
  • Capture Layout Inspector snapshots: You can now capture snapshots of your app’s layout hierarchy to save, share, or inspect later. Snapshots capture the data you would typically see when using the Layout Inspector, including a detailed 3D rendering of your layout, the component tree of your View, Compose, or hybrid layout, and detailed attributes for each component of your UI. When inspecting the layout of a live running app, click Export snapshot from the Layout Inspector toolbar and save the snapshot with an *.li extension. You can then load a Layout Inspector snapshot by selecting File > Open from the main menu bar, and opening a *.li file. The snapshot appears in a tab in the Editor window, so that you can easily compare it with your running app. Learn more at Capture layout hierarchy snapshots.

GIF  
  • Support for Compose semantics in the Layout Inspector: In Compose, Semantics describe your UI in an alternative manner that is understandable for Accessibility services and for the Testing framework. In Android Studio Bumblebee, you can now use the Layout Inspector to inspect semantic information in your Compose layouts. When selecting a Compose node, use the Attributes window to check whether it declares semantic information directly, merges semantics from its children, or both. To quickly identify which nodes include semantics, either declared or merged, use select the View options dropdown in the Component Tree window and select Highlight Semantics Layers.

Design

  • Interactive Preview: Android Studio Arctic Fox launched with support to statically preview your composable functions in the Design / Split window of the Editor. In Bumblebee, we’ve expanded functionality to allow you to interact with certain components of your Compose layouts, to validate behavior without building and deploying the full app to a running device! To get started, navigate to a previewable compose function and click Start Interactive Mode in the Design / Split window. For more information see Interactive mode.

Interact with the Compose Preview to validate behavior

Interact with the Compose Preview to validate behavior


  • Animated Vector Drawables Preview: The Preview window is now also available when viewing vector drawables. When viewing a static drawable, you can use the preview window to change background options between “None”, “White”, “Black”, “Checkedered”, to view your drawable against different conditions. Animated drawables also provide the option to preview the animation at different speeds as well as backgrounds, to help you test animations before using them in your app. To learn more, see Animated Vector Drawables (AVD) preview.

Preview your animated vector drawables

Preview your animated vector drawables


  • Updated Device picker for design tools: To simplify designing your app for the diverse number of Android devices, we’ve updated the device picker in various design tool windows, such as Layout Editor and Layout Validation, with reference devices that reflect popular sizes of each device form factor. From phones to tablets, and Wear devices to Android TVs, it’s now easier to preview, validate, or edit your layout on screen sizes that are most representative of popular real-world devices. To learn more, see Change the preview appearance.

ALT TEXT GOES HERE

To recap, Android Studio Bumblebee (2021.1.1) includes these new enhancements & features:

Build and Deploy
  • Run Instrumented Tests in Android Studio using Gradle
  • Android Gradle Plugin Upgrade Assistant now updates API usage
  • Non-Transitive R classes on for new projects
  • New Device Manager
  • ADB over Wi-Fi
  • Emulator tool window enabled by default
  • Apple Silicon Support Update
Profile and Inspect
  • Jank detection track in Profilers
  • Profileable app profiling support in Studio Profilers
  • Inspect Jobs, Alarms, and Wakelocks in the Background task Inspector
  • Capture Layout Inspector snapshots
  • Support for Compose semantics in the Layout Inspector
Design
  • Interactive Preview
  • Animated Vector Drawables Preview
  • Updated Device picker for design tools

Creating custom Tiles on Wear OS by Google with the Jetpack Tiles library

Posted by Jolanda Verhoef, Developer Relations Engineer

Wear OS header

We introduced Tiles in 2019, and since then, Tiles have become one of the most helpful and useful features on Wear OS by Google smartwatches. They are fast to access, convenient, and designed to provide users with swipeable access to the things they need to know and get done right from their wrist. This also gives users control over what information and actions they want to see.

Today, we're excited to announce that the Jetpack Tiles library is in alpha. This library enables developers to create custom Tiles on Wear OS smartwatches. These custom Tiles will become available to users later this Spring when we roll out the corresponding Wear OS platform update.

Wear OS interface

Tiles can be designed for many use cases, like tracking the user’s daily activity progress, quick-starting a workout, starting a recently played song, or sending a message to a favorite contact. While apps can be immersive, Tiles are fast-loading and focus on the user's immediate needs. If the user would like more information, Tiles can be tapped to open a related app on the watch or phone for a deeper experience.

Tile designs from Figma

Getting started

Tiles are built using Android Studio, as part of your Wear OS application. Start by adding the Wear OS Tiles dependencies:

dependencies {
  implementation "androidx.wear:wear-tiles:1.0.0-alpha01"
  debugImplementation "androidx.wear:wear-tiles-renderer:1.0.0-alpha01"
}

The first dependency includes the library you need to create a Tile, while the second dependency lets you preview the Tile in an activity.

Next, provide the information to render the Tile using the TileProviderService:

class MyTileService : TileProviderService() {
  override fun onTileRequest(requestParams: RequestReaders.TileRequest) =
    Futures.immediateFuture(Tile.builder()
      .setResourcesVersion("1")
      .setTimeline(Timeline.builder().addTimelineEntry(
         // For more information about timelines, see the docs
         TimelineEntry.builder().setLayout(
           Layout.builder().setRoot(
             Text.builder().setText("Hello world!")
           )
         )
      )
    ).build())

  override fun onResourcesRequest(requestParams: ResourcesRequest) =
    Futures.immediateFuture(Resources.builder()
      .setVersion("1")
      .build()
    )
}

There are two important parts to this code:

  • onTileRequest() creates your Tile layout. This is where most of your code goes. You can use multiple TimelineEntry instances to render different layouts for different points in time.
  • onResourcesRequest() passes any resources needed to render your Tile. If you decide to add any graphics, include them here.

Create a simple activity to preview your Tile. Add this activity in src/debug instead of src/main, as this activity is only used for debugging/previewing purposes.

class MainActivity : ComponentActivity() {
  override fun onCreate(savedInstanceState: Bundle?) {
    super.onCreate(savedInstanceState)
    setContentView(R.layout.activity_main)
    val rootLayout = findViewById<FrameLayout>(R.id.tile_container)
    TileManager(
      context = this,
      component = ComponentName(this, MyTileService::class.java),
      parentView = rootLayout
    ).create()
  }
}

Now you’re ready to publish your Tile. For more information on how to do that, and to learn more about Tiles, read our new guide and take a look at our sample Tiles to see them in action.

The Jetpack Tiles library is in alpha, and we want your feedback to help us improve the API. Happy coding!

Students Learn Android App Development with Google Developer Student Clubs

Posted by Erica Hanson, Global Program Manager, Google Developer Student Clubs

Google Developer Student Clubs, a program of university based community groups for students interested in Google developer technologies, recently started hosting study groups called Android Study Jams. The goal? Learn Android app development through hands-on codelabs in an online curriculum provided by Google. There are two tracks: one for students who are new to programming, and one for those who already have experience. Interested in participating? Facilitator materials are available for anyone to host Android Study Jams in their community - take a look and get to building.

Google Developer Student Clubs are dedicated to helping students learn programming together, among peers, in a fun and interactive setting. While over 50 thousand students from all over the world have participated in these Android workshops, we wanted to highlight the exciting work from groups in Indonesia, Turkey, and Nigeria. From programming in Kotlin to building a series of apps, these students have put their minds to work.

Learn more about what these three clubs have been up to below.

Indonesia

(Image from UNPNVJ’s Android Study Jams where students are learning Kotlin)

Club members from Universitas Pembangunan Nasional Veteran Jakarta in Indonesia recently came together to host a virtual Android Study Jams session with over 60 students to learn the basics of building Android apps. Their student-run learning session covered several topics, including:

  • An introduction to developing for Android
  • An introduction to coding in the Kotlin programming language
  • A tutorial on setting up and working in Android Studio

After the students felt comfortable with the basics of Kotlin and Android Studio, they combined their new skills to create their own layouts for a birthday card app.

(Image of Birthday cake app)

We can’t wait to see what the students from UPNVJ build next on Android thanks to their new programming skills.

Turkey

(Image from Medipol University where Nelson Glauber is teaching students the basics of Android App Development)

Medipol University in Turkey also hosted their own Android Study Jams by organizing a livestream with over 500 participants. Nelson Glauber, who was the first Google Developer Expert for Android in Latin America, led the event and helped students learn more about topics like:

  • How to display text and images in an app
  • Adding a button to an app and making it interactive
  • Learning more programming concepts in Kotlin like classes, objects, and conditionals

After taking students’ questions, Nelson worked with them to build an interactive dice roller app that updates the screen after the results of a roll.

(Image of Dice Roller app)

Nigeria

The Google Developer Student Club at Kaduna State University in Nigeria tackled different codelabs and learning pathways in their Android Study Jams. In particular, the group worked on the following topics:

  • Adding an additional screen to an app
  • Learning how the Jetpack Navigation Component makes it easier to manage navigation in an app
  • Learning the best practices of app architecture

With these new skills, the group is now able to start working on building more advanced apps that allow users to navigate between multiple screens.

(Gif of Cupcake app)

How to join a Google Developer Student Club and Android Study Jams

If you’re a university student looking to learn more about programming alongside a community of your peers, sign up for a Google Developer Student Club near you here. As a part of the community, you’ll have access to special learning opportunities, including Android Study Jams, on many of Google’s developer products.

If you want to lead your own Android Study Jams or explore other free resources for learning Android development, click here.

Students Learn Android App Development with Google Developer Student Clubs

Posted by Erica Hanson, Global Program Manager, Google Developer Student Clubs

Google Developer Student Clubs, a program of university based community groups for students interested in Google developer technologies, recently started hosting study groups called Android Study Jams. The goal? Learn Android app development through hands-on codelabs in an online curriculum provided by Google. There are two tracks: one for students who are new to programming, and one for those who already have experience. Interested in participating? Facilitator materials are available for anyone to host Android Study Jams in their community - take a look and get to building.

Google Developer Student Clubs are dedicated to helping students learn programming together, among peers, in a fun and interactive setting. While over 50 thousand students from all over the world have participated in these Android workshops, we wanted to highlight the exciting work from groups in Indonesia, Turkey, and Nigeria. From programming in Kotlin to building a series of apps, these students have put their minds to work.

Learn more about what these three clubs have been up to below.

Indonesia

(Image from UNPNVJ’s Android Study Jams where students are learning Kotlin)

Club members from Universitas Pembangunan Nasional Veteran Jakarta in Indonesia recently came together to host a virtual Android Study Jams session with over 60 students to learn the basics of building Android apps. Their student-run learning session covered several topics, including:

  • An introduction to developing for Android
  • An introduction to coding in the Kotlin programming language
  • A tutorial on setting up and working in Android Studio

After the students felt comfortable with the basics of Kotlin and Android Studio, they combined their new skills to create their own layouts for a birthday card app.

(Image of Birthday cake app)

We can’t wait to see what the students from UPNVJ build next on Android thanks to their new programming skills.

Turkey

(Image from Medipol University where Nelson Glauber is teaching students the basics of Android App Development)

Medipol University in Turkey also hosted their own Android Study Jams by organizing a livestream with over 500 participants. Nelson Glauber, who was the first Google Developer Expert for Android in Latin America, led the event and helped students learn more about topics like:

  • How to display text and images in an app
  • Adding a button to an app and making it interactive
  • Learning more programming concepts in Kotlin like classes, objects, and conditionals

After taking students’ questions, Nelson worked with them to build an interactive dice roller app that updates the screen after the results of a roll.

(Image of Dice Roller app)

Nigeria

The Google Developer Student Club at Kaduna State University in Nigeria tackled different codelabs and learning pathways in their Android Study Jams. In particular, the group worked on the following topics:

  • Adding an additional screen to an app
  • Learning how the Jetpack Navigation Component makes it easier to manage navigation in an app
  • Learning the best practices of app architecture

With these new skills, the group is now able to start working on building more advanced apps that allow users to navigate between multiple screens.

(Gif of Cupcake app)

How to join a Google Developer Student Club and Android Study Jams

If you’re a university student looking to learn more about programming alongside a community of your peers, sign up for a Google Developer Student Club near you here. As a part of the community, you’ll have access to special learning opportunities, including Android Study Jams, on many of Google’s developer products.

If you want to lead your own Android Study Jams or explore other free resources for learning Android development, click here.

Here’s how to watch #TheAndroidShow in just under 24 hours

Posted by The Jetpack Compose Team

In less than 24 hours, we're giving you a backstage pass to Jetpack Compose, Android's modern toolkit for building native UIs, on #TheAndroidShow. Hosted by Kari Byron, you'll hear the latest on Jetpack Compose from the people who built it, plus a fireside interview with Android's Dave Burke.

The show kicks off live at 9AM PT!

Broadcasting live on February 24th at 9AM PT, you’ll be able to watch the show at goo.gle/TheAndroidShow, where you’ll also be able to find more information and links to all of the things we covered in the show. Or if you prefer, you can watch directly on YouTube or Twitter.

There’s still time to ask your Jetpack Compose questions, use #TheAndroidShow

Got a burning Jetpack Compose question? Want to learn about annotating a function type with @ Composable? Or how to add a static parameter to Composable functions at the compiler level? Tweet us your Jetpack Compose questions now, using #TheAndroidShow. We’ve assembled a team of experts, ready to answer your questions live on #TheAndroidShow; tune in on February 24 to see if we cover your question!

Expanding the reach of your Android Auto apps

Posted by Eric Bahna, Product Manager

In December, we opened the Google Play Store for publishing new Android Auto apps to closed testing. Today, you can reach more drivers by publishing navigation, parking, and charging apps to open testing tracks in the Google Play Store. With open testing, there’s no limit to the number of users who can download your app and you don’t need to manage lists of email addresses. This is an important milestone that gets us closer to making these apps available to all users in production. Get started with the Android for Cars App Library and choose an open testing track in the Play Console.

TomTom AmiGO, one of our early access partners

To give you a peek at what’s ahead, we’re working on adding the library to Android Jetpack! This will give you more consistency with other Jetpack APIs and visibility into new features. When the Jetpack library is ready, migrating your app from the existing library will be straightforward - change the namespace and tweak some API calls. After we stabilize the library in Jetpack, we’ll prepare the Google Play Store to publish these new apps to production tracks.

You can get started today - you don’t need to wait for the Jetpack library.

  1. Design your app’s experience using our developer guide and app quality guidelines.
  2. Develop using today’s beta library so you can get user feedback from now.
  3. Test using the desktop head unit.
  4. Publish to the Google Play Store, now up to open testing tracks.

We’re excited to see what you’ve built and take it for a spin!

Expanding the reach of your Android Auto apps

Posted by Eric Bahna, Product Manager

In December, we opened the Google Play Store for publishing new Android Auto apps to closed testing. Today, you can reach more drivers by publishing navigation, parking, and charging apps to open testing tracks in the Google Play Store. With open testing, there’s no limit to the number of users who can download your app and you don’t need to manage lists of email addresses. This is an important milestone that gets us closer to making these apps available to all users in production. Get started with the Android for Cars App Library and choose an open testing track in the Play Console.

TomTom AmiGO, one of our early access partners

To give you a peek at what’s ahead, we’re working on adding the library to Android Jetpack! This will give you more consistency with other Jetpack APIs and visibility into new features. When the Jetpack library is ready, migrating your app from the existing library will be straightforward - change the namespace and tweak some API calls. After we stabilize the library in Jetpack, we’ll prepare the Google Play Store to publish these new apps to production tracks.

You can get started today - you don’t need to wait for the Jetpack library.

  1. Design your app’s experience using our developer guide and app quality guidelines.
  2. Develop using today’s beta library so you can get user feedback from now.
  3. Test using the desktop head unit.
  4. Publish to the Google Play Store, now up to open testing tracks.

We’re excited to see what you’ve built and take it for a spin!

Expanding the reach of your Android Auto apps

Posted by Eric Bahna, Product Manager

In December, we opened the Google Play Store for publishing new Android Auto apps to closed testing. Today, you can reach more drivers by publishing navigation, parking, and charging apps to open testing tracks in the Google Play Store. With open testing, there’s no limit to the number of users who can download your app and you don’t need to manage lists of email addresses. This is an important milestone that gets us closer to making these apps available to all users in production. Get started with the Android for Cars App Library and choose an open testing track in the Play Console.

TomTom AmiGO, one of our early access partners

To give you a peek at what’s ahead, we’re working on adding the library to Android Jetpack! This will give you more consistency with other Jetpack APIs and visibility into new features. When the Jetpack library is ready, migrating your app from the existing library will be straightforward - change the namespace and tweak some API calls. After we stabilize the library in Jetpack, we’ll prepare the Google Play Store to publish these new apps to production tracks.

You can get started today - you don’t need to wait for the Jetpack library.

  1. Design your app’s experience using our developer guide and app quality guidelines.
  2. Develop using today’s beta library so you can get user feedback from now.
  3. Test using the desktop head unit.
  4. Publish to the Google Play Store, now up to open testing tracks.

We’re excited to see what you’ve built and take it for a spin!

Introducing the Android for Cars App Library

Posted by Eric Bahna, Product Manager

In August, we announced plans to expand Android Auto’s app ecosystem to enable new navigation, parking, and electric vehicle charging apps. We’ve been hard at work collaborating with our early access partners to test and refine the Android for Cars App Library. Today, we’re releasing the library into an open beta, for any developer to use. This means you’ll now be able to design, develop, and test your navigation, parking or charging app on Android Auto. We’re looking forward to enabling Google Play Store publishing for your beta apps in the coming months.

Android

Three of our early access partners: ChargePoint, SpotHero, and Sygic

The design phase is the time to familiarize yourself with our design guidelines and app quality guidelines. Driver safety is core to our mission and we want to help you optimize your app for the car.

When it comes time to build your app, our new library will hopefully make development easy. Get started with the developer guide and please give us feedback via our public issue tracker.

In the testing phase, see your app come alive on the Desktop Head Unit (DHU), our emulator that lets you simulate a car infotainment display. The DHU now supports multiple screen sizes, displaying information in the instrument cluster, and simulating vehicles with touchpad input.

Android for cars image

The DHU simulating an instrument cluster, a widescreen head unit, and a touchpad

You can get started with the Android for Cars App Library here. We’re excited to see what you build next!

Android Studio 4.1

Posted by Scott Swarthout, Product Manager

Android Studio logo

Today, we’re excited to release the stable version of Android Studio 4.1, with a set of features addressing common editing, debugging, and optimization use cases. A major theme for this release was helping you be more productive while using Android Jetpack libraries, Android’s suite of libraries to help developers follow best practices and write code faster. Based on your feedback we made a number of improvements to the code editing experience with IDE integrations for popular Android libraries.

Some highlights of Android Studio 4.1 include a new Database Inspector for querying your app’s database, support for navigating projects that use Dagger or Hilt for dependency injection, and better support for on-device machine learning with support for TensorFlow Lite models in Android projects. We’ve also made updates to Apply Changes to make deployment faster. Based on your feedback, we’ve made several changes to help game developers with a new native memory profiler and standalone profiling tools.

Product quality continues to be a major focus for the team, and we’ve been hard at work tracking down bugs and performance issues. We’ve heard from many developers that they liked the focus on better performance and reliability, so we’re happy to report that during this release cycle we’ve fixed 2,370 bugs and closed 275 public issues. We stay committed to maintaining high quality since we know that is key to your developer productivity.

Thank you to those who gave your early feedback in preview releases. Your feedback helped us iterate and improve features in Android Studio 4.1. If you are ready for the next stable release, and want to use a new set of productivity features, Android Studio 4.1 is ready to download for you to get started.

Below is a full list of new features in Android Studio 4.1, organized by key developer flows.

Design

Material Design Components updates

Android Studio templates in the create New Project dialog now use Material Design Components (MDC) and conform to updated guidance for themes and styles by default. These changes will make it easier to use recommended material styling patterns and support modern UI features like dark themes.

Material Design Components updates

Material Design Components updates in Project Templates

Updates include:

  • MDC: Projects depend on com.google.android.material:material in build.gradle. Base app themes use Theme.MaterialComponents.* parents and override updated MDC color and “on” attributes.
  • Color resources: Color resources in colors.xml use literal names (for example, purple_500 instead of colorPrimary).
  • Theme resources: Theme resources are in themes.xml (instead of styles.xml) and use Theme.<ApplicationName> names.
  • Dark theme: Base application themes use DayNight parents and are split between res/values and res/values-night.
  • Theme attributes: Color resources are referenced as theme attributes (for example, ?attr/colorPrimary) in layouts and styles to avoid hard-coded colors.

Develop

Database Inspector

We wanted to make it easier to inspect, query, and modify your app's databases using the new Database Inspector. To get started, deploy your app to a device running API level 26 or higher and select View > Tool Windows > Database Inspector from the menu bar. Whether your app uses the Jetpack Room library or the Android platform version of SQLite directly, you can now easily inspect databases and tables in your running app or run custom queries.

Because Android Studio maintains a live connection while you’re inspecting your app, you can also modify values using the Database Inspector and see those changes in your running app. If you use the Room persistence library, Android Studio also places run buttons next to each query in the code editor to help you quickly run queries you define in your @Query annotations. Learn more

Database inspector

Inspect, query, and modify your app’s databases with the Database Inspector

Run Android Emulator directly in Android Studio

You can now run the Android Emulator directly in Android Studio. Use this feature to conserve screen real estate, to navigate quickly between the emulator and the editor window using hotkeys, and to organize your IDE and emulator workflow in a single application window. You can manage snapshots and common emulator actions like rotating and taking screenshots from within Studio, but access to the full set of options still requires running the stable emulator. You can opt-in to use this feature by going to File → SettingsToolsEmulator Launch in Tool Window.

Android Emulator in Android Studio

Run the Android Emulator inside of Android Studio

Dagger Navigation Support

Dagger is a popular library for dependency injection on Android. Android Studio makes it easier to navigate between your Dagger-related code by providing new gutter actions and extending support in the Find Usages window. For example, clicking on the go to producer gutter action gutter action next to a method that consumes a given type navigates you to the provider of that type. Conversely, clicking on the go to consumer gutter action gutter action navigates you to where a type is used as a dependency. Android Studio also supports navigation actions for dependencies defined with the Jetpack Hilt library. Learn more.

Gutter actions navigation in Android Studio

Navigate between Dagger-related code with gutter actions

Use TensorFlow Lite models

Android developers are using machine learning to create innovative and helpful experiences. TensorFlow Lite is a popular library for writing mobile machine learning models, and we wanted to make it easier to import these models into Android apps. Similar to view binding, Android Studio generates easy-to-use classes so you can run your model with less code and better type safety. The current implementation of ML Model Binding supports image classification and style transfer models, provided they are enhanced with metadata.

To see the details for an imported model and get instructions on how to use it in your app, double-click the .tflite model file in your project to open the model viewer page. Learn more.

TensorFlow Lite in Android Studio 4.1

View TensorFlow Lite model metadata in Android Studio 4.1

Build & Test

Android Emulator - Foldable Hinge Support

Android Studio

In addition to recently adding 5G cellular testing support, we’ve added support for foldables in the Android emulator. With Android emulator 30.0.26 and above, you can configure foldable devices with a variety of fold designs and configurations. When a foldable device is configured, the emulator will publish hinge angle sensor updates and posture changes, so you can test how your app responds to these form factors. See the Developing for Android 11 with the Android Emulator blogpost to read more.

Extended controls, device pose

Apply Changes updates

Faster builds help developers make changes to their app more easily and quickly. To help you be more productive as you iterate on your app, we've made multiple enhancements to Apply Changes for devices running Android 11 or higher.

We've invested heavily in optimizing your iteration speed by developing a method to deploy and persist changes on a device without installing the application. After an initial deploy, subsequent deploys to Android 11 devices using either Apply Code Changes or Apply Changes and Restart Activity are now significantly faster. We’ve also added support for additional code changes in Apply Changes. Now if you add a method, you can deploy those changes to a running app by clicking either Apply Code Changes or Apply Changes and Restart Activity.

Export C/C++ dependencies from AARs

Android Gradle Plugin 4.0 added the ability to import Prefab packages in AAR dependencies. We wanted to extend the capability of this feature to support sharing native libraries as well. AGP version 4.1 enables exporting libraries from your external native build in an AAR for an Android Library project. To export your native libraries, add the following to the android block of your library project's build.gradle file:

buildFeatures {
    prefabPublishing true
}

prefab {
    mylibrary {
      headers "src/main/cpp/mylibrary/include"
    }

    myotherlibrary {
        headers "src/main/cpp/myotherlibrary/include"
    }
}

Symbolication for native crash reports

When a crash or ANR occurs in native code, the system produces a stack trace, which is a snapshot of the sequence of nested functions called in your program up to the moment it crashed. These snapshots can help you to identify and fix any problems in the source, but they must first be symbolicated to translate the machine addresses back into human-readable function names.

If your app or game is developed using native code, like C++, you can now upload debug symbols files to the Play Console for each version of your app. The Play Console uses these debug symbols files to symbolicate your app's stack traces, making it easier to analyze crashes and ANRs. To include debug symbols in your app bundle, add the following line to your project’s build.gradle file:

android.buildTypes.release.ndk.debugSymbolLevel = 'SYMBOL_TABLE'

Optimize

System Trace UI improvements

In Android Studio 4.1 we’ve overhauled System Trace, an optimization tool that gives you a real-time look at how your app is using system resources. We made it easier to select a trace with box selection mode, added a new analysis tab, and added more frame rendering data to help you investigate rendering issues in your app’s UI. Learn more.

Box selection: In the Threads section, you can now drag your mouse to perform a box selection of a rectangular area, which you can zoom into by clicking the Zoom to Selection button on the top right (or use the M keyboard shortcut). When you drag and drop similar threads next to each other, you can select across multiple threads to inspect all of them at once.

Use box selection to more easily select traces.

Trace selection

Summary tab: The new Summary tab in the Analysis panel displays:

  • Aggregate statistics for all occurrences of a specific event, such as an occurrence count and min/max duration.
  • Trace event statistics for the selected occurrence.
  • Data about thread state distribution.
  • Longest-running occurrences of the selected trace event.
View aggregated statistics in Summary tab of Android Studio 4.1

View aggregated statistics in the Summary tab

Display data: In the Display section, new timelines for SurfaceFlinger and VSYNC help you investigate rendering issues in your app's UI.

Standalone profilers

It's now possible to access the Android Studio Profilers in a separate window from the primary Android Studio window. This is useful when optimizing Android games built with other tools like Unity or Visual Studio.

To run the standalone profilers, do the following:

  1. Make sure the profilers in Android Studio are not already running on your system.
  2. Go to the installation directory and navigate to the bin directory:

Windows/Linux: <studio-installation-folder>\bin

macOS: <studio-installation-folder>/Contents/bin

  1. Depending on your OS, run profiler.exe or profiler.sh

The standalone profiler will allow you to connect to the Android emulator or any connected devices.

Standalone Android Studio profiler

Optimize your app with the Standalone Android Studio Profilers

Native Memory Profiler

Tracking native memory usage is important for game developers and other developers using C++ to understand how to optimize their app’s memory consumption. The Android Studio Memory Profiler now includes a Native Memory Profiler for apps deployed to physical devices running Android 10 or later. The Native Memory Profiler tracks allocations/deallocations of objects in native code for a specific time period and provides information about total allocations and remaining system heap size.

To initiate a recording, click Record native allocations at the top of the Memory Profiler window:

Native Memory Profiler window in Android Studio 4.1

View native memory allocations with the Native Memory Profiler

To recap, Android Studio 4.1 includes these new enhancements & features:

Design

  • Material Design Components updates

Develop

  • Database Inspector
  • Run Android Emulator directly in Android Studio
  • Dagger navigation support
  • Use TensorFlow Lite models

Build & Test

  • Android Emulator - Foldable Hinge Support
  • Apply Changes updates
  • Export C/C++ dependencies from AARs
  • Symbolification for native crash reports

Optimize

  • System Trace UI Improvements
  • Standalone profilers
  • Native Memory Profiler

These materials are not sponsored by or affiliated with Unity Technologies or its affiliates. “Unity” is a trademark or registered trademark of Unity Technologies or its affiliates in the U.S. and elsewhere.