Tag Archives: Android Studio

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.

Announcing Jetpack Compose Alpha!

Posted by Karen Ng, Director, Product Management

Today, we’re releasing the alpha of Jetpack Compose, our modern UI toolkit designed to help you quickly and easily build beautiful apps across all Android platforms, with native access to the platform APIs. Bring your app to life with dramatically less code, interactive tools, and intuitive Kotlin APIs.

No matter where you’re working from -- whether it’s your kitchen table or an office, we know you need a programming language, an IDE and a powerful UI framework that can save you time and reduce how much code you need to write. So we built Jetpack Compose to make you (and us!) more productive with building UI.

We started with Android Jetpack — taking the hardest, most common developer problems on Android and creating a suite of libraries that ensure high quality apps that work across all versions of the platform. Today, 84% of the top 10,000 apps in the Play store are using a Jetpack library.

Then we heard how developers love Kotlin, with over 70% of the top 1000 apps and 60% of pro Android developers using Kotlin today. The Google Home app saw, in certain instances, an 80% reduction in lines of code by using Kotlin and a decrease of NullPointerExceptions by 33% compared to a similar past period. Duolingo, saw reduced line count by an average of 30%.

Finally, we heard strong feedback from the community that developers like the simplicity of declarative APIs for building UI. Jetpack Compose combines all three of these: APIs for high quality apps at scale, an intuitive language, and a reactive programming model.

Jetpack

Jetpack Compose: Now in Alpha

Jetpack Compose Alpha has what you need to build full-fledged Android apps, including powerful tools and interoperability with existing Android views so you don’t need to rewrite your app. Compose APIs are designed and developed hand-in-hand with a set of canonical sample apps that use Material Design that we’re excited to release today! You can import and explore the latest samples directly in Android Studio as well.

compose

The alpha release includes:

  • Animations
  • Constraint Layout
  • Initial A11Y support
  • Input and Gestures
  • Interoperability with Views (start mixing Composable functions in your existing app)
  • Lazy Lists
  • Material UI components
  • Performance optimizations
  • Testing
  • Text and editable Text
  • Theming and Graphics
  • Window management

We've also added a number of new capabilities to Android Studio 4.2 canary, in close partnership with the JetBrains Kotlin team, to help you build apps with Compose:

  • Compose Code completion
  • Compose Preview Annotations
  • Deploy individual composables to any device
  • Interactive Compose previews
  • Kotlin compiler plugin for code generation
  • Sample Data API for Compose

Thinking in Compose

Compose uses a programming model that is quite different from the existing model of building UI on Android. Historically, an Android view hierarchy has been represented as a tree of UI widgets. As the state of the app changes, the UI hierarchy needs to be updated to display the current data. The most common way of updating the UI is to walk the tree using functions like findViewById(), and change nodes by calling methods like:

 button.setText(String) 
container.addView(View) 
 img.setImageBitmap(Bitmap) 
These methods change the internal state of the widget. Not only can this be tedious, but updating views manually increases the likelihood of errors (e.g. forgetting to update a view).

Jetpack Compose is a fully declarative component-based approach, meaning you describe your UI as functions that transform data into a UI hierarchy. When the underlying data changes, the Compose framework automatically updates the UI hierarchy for you, making it simple to build UIs easily and quickly.

Full interop with existing Android views

Adopting any new framework is a big change for existing projects and codebases, which is why we’ve designed Compose to be as easy to adopt as Kotlin — it is fully interoperable with existing Android code, from day one.

Migrating to Compose depends on you and your team. If you're building a new app, the best option might be to implement your entire UI with Compose. We know that most of you have large existing codebases, so rather than rewriting your app, you can combine Compose with your existing UI design.

There are two main ways you can combine Compose with a view-based UI:

  • You can add Compose elements into your existing UI, either by creating an entirely new Compose-based screen, or by adding Compose elements into an existing fragment or view layout.
  • You can add a view-based UI element into your composable functions. Doing so lets you add non-Compose widgets, such as MapView or WebView, into a Compose-based design.

We’ve also published a new library, MDC Compose Theme Adapter, which allows you to reuse your existing Material Components themes within your Compose UI.

To learn more, try the Compose for existing apps codelab or check out these two samples:

  • Tivi and Sunflower are existing apps which are being integrated with Compose
  • Crane sample app, embeds a MapView in Compose

Powerful Tools

Jetpack Compose is built with powerful tooling in Android Studio, designed to help you iterate quickly on the piece of UI you’re working on.

The Compose layout preview enables you to preview your Compose components without having to deploy your app to a device or emulator. As you develop your app, your previews update to help you review your changes faster. To create a layout preview, write a composable function that does not take any parameters, and add the

 @Preview annotation 
After you build your app, the preview function's UI appears in Studio's Preview pane.

Jetpack

Android Studio provides an interactive preview mode. While you're in interactive preview mode, you can click or type in your UI elements, and the UI responds as if it were in the installed app.

Jetpack

You can also deploy a single composable to your physical device or Android Emulator. Android Studio creates a new activity containing the UI generated by that function, and deploys it to your app on the device. This lets you try out the UI on an actual device without needing to reinstall the entire app or navigate to its location.

Jetpack

Get started with Jetpack Compose

To get started with Jetpack Compose, try the Compose Tutorial and get setup. Or dive right into the sample apps and walk through those apps in ‘Compose by Example’:

To find a comprehensive set of Compose resources, from new codelabs and expanded documentation, see the Compose pathway.

Since we open-sourced Jetpack Compose last year, so many of you have given us invaluable feedback, logged bugs, or contributed CLs and have gotten us where we are today. Thank you!

Compose isn’t recommended for full production use yet, in particular as we work towards API stability and finish performance optimizations, but we’d love you to give it a try and share feedback. Join us in the discussion on the #compose channel at Kotlin Slack. Compose 1.0 is expected in 2021.

Happy Composing!

New language features and more in Kotlin 1.4

Posted by Wojtek Kaliciński, Developer Advocate, Android

When we adopted Kotlin as a supported language on Android, and then shifted to a Kotlin-first approach, one of the main drivers was the excitement and adoption from the developer community. As Kotlin has grown, we’ve seen continued investment in the language from JetBrains (Kotlin's creators), the open source community, and increasingly our own teams at Google.

Today we are excited to share the news about the Kotlin 1.4 release, the next milestone in the evolution of Kotlin, which contains new language features, improved compilers and tools. Below you'll find a brief rundown of some exciting new features in this release. You can read more about Kotlin 1.4 in the official announcement.

New language features

New language features introduced in Kotlin 1.4 improve the ergonomics of writing Kotlin code. Here's just one example:

SAM conversions for Kotlin interfaces

Previously, only functional interfaces (i.e. having just a Single Abstract Method - SAM) defined in the Java programming language benefited from the shorthand syntax in Kotlin:

executor.execute { println("This is shorthand for passing in a Runnable") }

In Kotlin 1.4 you can now mark your Kotlin interfaces as functional and get them to work in a similar manner by adding the fun keyword:

fun interface Transformer<T, U> {
   fun transform(x: T): U
}
val length = Transformer {
   x: String -> x.length
}

You can read more about new language features such as: mixing named and positional arguments, trailing comma, callable reference improvements, and using break and continue inside when included in loops on the Kotlin 1.4 release notes page.

Explicit API mode

One additional feature is the new Explicit API mode for authors of libraries written in Kotlin.

It enforces certain language properties of Kotlin that are normally optional, such as specifying visibility modifiers, as well as explicit typing for any public declarations, in order to prevent mistakes when designing the public API of your library. Refer to the linked documentation for instructions how to enable Explicit API mode and start using these additional checks.

Compiler improvements

The language features mentioned above are some of the most developer-facing changes in Kotlin 1.4, however the bulk of work went into improving the overall quality and performance of the Kotlin compiler.

One of the benefits all developers can take advantage of right now is the new, more powerful type inference algorithm, which is now enabled by default. It will help developers be more productive by supporting more smart-casts and cases where types can be inferred automatically.

Other than the type inference algorithm, Kotlin 1.4 also brings in optional, Alpha stability compiler backends for Kotlin/JVM and Kotlin/JS, which generate code in what's called internal representation (IR) also used in the Kotlin/Native backend.

The Kotlin/JVM IR backend is a requirement for Jetpack Compose, and Google engineers are working together with JetBrains to make it the default JVM compiler backend in the future.

That's why, even if you're not currently developing with Jetpack Compose, we encourage you to try out the new Kotlin/JVM backend, currently in alpha, and to file any issues and feature requests to the issue tracker.

To enable the new JVM IR backend, specify an additional compiler option in your Gradle build script:

kotlinOptions.useIR = true

Try Kotlin 1.4 now!

There are two steps to updating your projects and IDE to Kotlin 1.4.

First, make sure you are on the latest version of Android Studio to maximize the performance benefits and compatibility with the newest Kotlin plugin. Android Studio will prompt you when a Kotlin 1.4.0 plugin that is compatible with your IDE version is available. Alternatively, you can go to Preferences | Plugins and manually trigger the update.

Once the plugin is enabled, you can upgrade your app project to use Kotlin 1.4 by updating the Kotlin Gradle plugin version in your build.gradle scripts. Depending on how you manage your plugins, you either have to update the version in the top-level project's buildscript block:

buildscript {
    dependencies {
        classpath "org.jetbrains.kotlin:kotlin-gradle-plugin:1.4.0"
    }
}

Or change the version number in the plugins block in a module level build.gradle file:

plugins {
    id 'org.jetbrains.kotlin.android' version '1.4.0'
}

Make sure to read the language changes carefully and update your project's code to ensure compatibility with the latest release. Enjoy Kotlin 1.4!

Java is a registered trademark of Oracle and/or its affiliates.

11 Weeks of Android: Android Developer Tools

Posted by Jamal Eason, Product Manager, Android

11 Weeks of Android, Week 7 with badge

This blog post is part of a weekly series for #11WeeksOfAndroid. For each of the #11WeeksOfAndroid, we’re diving into a key area so you don’t miss anything. This week, we spotlighted Android Developer Tools; here’s a look at what you should know.

The big news

During the 11 weeks of Android, we launched a range of developer tool updates in Android Studio. As of today, you can find version 4.0 of Android Studio on the stable release channel, version 4.1 on the beta channel, and the very latest features of version 4.2 on the canary channel. The focus across each of these versions is a balance of app productivity and delivery of a high quality product that you can rely on for app development. For each day of this past week we highlighted improvements and tips in the key points of your development flow from app design, coding, deployment, build, app testing with the emulator, to app performance profiling. This blog highlights the content that we released during the Android Developer Tools week of 11 Weeks of Android.

What to watch and read

To see an overview of what is new in Android Developer Tools across the recent releases of Android Studio, check out this video from the #Android11 Beta launch which includes an exciting and in-depth demo.

What’s New in Android Development Tools

Design

At the beginning of the week we had a day of content focused on app design tools for developers. To start, watch this overview video of the latest updates in design tools:

What’s new in Design Tools

We also posted two in-depth blog posts for the design tools day:

  • Introducing the Motion Editor - provides a quick tour of the new Motion Editor and how to use the latest features to create animations for your app.

To debug your layouts, watch our video on the updates to the layout inspector:

Debugging UI issues with Layout Inspector

And lastly for design tools, we released a video about the latest developments for Jetpack Compose Design tools:

What's new in Compose Design Tools

Coding & Deployment

During the week, we posted tips and tricks to improve your coding experience and app deployment flow in Android Studio. Check out the following social media channels to review the latest postings:

  • @androidstudio - the Twitter channel for the official IDE for Android app development.
  • @androiddev - delivers news and announcements for developers from the Android team at Google

We also shared a new video on how to use the new database inspector in Android Studio:

Database Inspector

Additionally, you will find an updated blog on the development tools we have in place for Jetpack Hilt:

Build

In the middle of the week, we released four blogs posts around the build system in Android developer tools, which included:

  • Configuration Caching deep dive - a technical explanation on this new preview feature from Gradle and how to try it out in your project to speed up your builds.
  • Shrinking Your App with R8 - provides an overview of the features available in R8, the reduction in code size you might expect, and show how to enable these features in R8.

Android Emulator

On top of sharing a series of best practices and tips on social media about using the Android Emulator during the week, you can also a full summary in the following in-depth article:

Performance Profilers

We know improving app performance is critical for a great user experience. Therefore, we ended the week with a day on performance profilers content. To start, we posted a video about System Trace and how you can use it to troubleshoot app performance issues:

Troubleshooting app performance issues with System Trace in Android Studio

Plus, we published a blog post on C++ memory profiling:

Learning path

If you’re looking for an easy way to pick up the highlights of this week, check out the Developer Tools pathway. A pathway is an ordered tutorial that allows users to complete a pre-defined module that culminates in a quiz. It includes videos and blog posts. A virtual badge is awarded to each user who passes the quiz. Test your knowledge of key takeaways about Developer Tools to earn a limited edition badge.

Key takeaways

Thank you for tuning in and learning about the latest in Android Development tools. Thanks to all of you who chatted with us during the Reddit AMA this week. Throughout this past week, we showcased features that can be found either in the latest stable release or the canary release channel of Android Studio. If you want to try out what you learned this week, download Android Studio today.

Below, you will find a quick listing of where you will find each of the major features. Note, that features in non-stable versions may not land in a particular version until they have reached our quality bar:

Features found in Android Studio 4.0 (Stable Channel)

  • Motion Editor
  • Layout Inspector
  • Layout Validation
  • Custom View Preview
  • CPU Profiler Update
  • R8 Rules Editing
  • Build Analyzer
  • Dynamic Feature Dependency
  • Clangd support
  • Intellij 2019.3

Features found in Android Studio 4.1 (Beta Channel)

  • Database Inspector
  • Dependency Injection Tools
  • Faster Apply Changes
  • Gradle Configuration Caching (Preview)
  • Custom View Preview
  • Android Emulator in IDE
  • Instrumentation Testing
  • Profiler UI Updates
  • Native Memory Profiling
  • System Trace 2.0
  • New Gradle API
  • MLKit & TFLite Model Import
  • Intellij 2020.1

Features found in Android Studio 4.2 + (Canary Channel)

  • Compose Interactive Preview
  • Compose Animation Visualization
  • Compose Deploy to Device
  • Sample Data API for Compose
  • Compose Editing Support
  • Test Failure Retention
  • Android Emulator- 5G Connectivity and Foldable Support
  • Intellij 2020.2 - coming soon

Resources

You can find the entire playlist of #11WeeksOfAndroid video content here, and learn more about each week here. We’ll continue to spotlight new areas each week, so keep an eye out and follow us on Twitter and YouTube. Thanks so much for letting us be a part of this experience with you!

11 Weeks of Android: Android Developer Tools

Posted by Jamal Eason, Product Manager, Android

11 Weeks of Android, Week 7 with badge

This blog post is part of a weekly series for #11WeeksOfAndroid. For each of the #11WeeksOfAndroid, we’re diving into a key area so you don’t miss anything. This week, we spotlighted Android Developer Tools; here’s a look at what you should know.

The big news

During the 11 weeks of Android, we launched a range of developer tool updates in Android Studio. As of today, you can find version 4.0 of Android Studio on the stable release channel, version 4.1 on the beta channel, and the very latest features of version 4.2 on the canary channel. The focus across each of these versions is a balance of app productivity and delivery of a high quality product that you can rely on for app development. For each day of this past week we highlighted improvements and tips in the key points of your development flow from app design, coding, deployment, build, app testing with the emulator, to app performance profiling. This blog highlights the content that we released during the Android Developer Tools week of 11 Weeks of Android.

What to watch and read

To see an overview of what is new in Android Developer Tools across the recent releases of Android Studio, check out this video from the #Android11 Beta launch which includes an exciting and in-depth demo.

What’s New in Android Development Tools

Design

At the beginning of the week we had a day of content focused on app design tools for developers. To start, watch this overview video of the latest updates in design tools:

What’s new in Design Tools

We also posted two in-depth blog posts for the design tools day:

  • Introducing the Motion Editor - provides a quick tour of the new Motion Editor and how to use the latest features to create animations for your app.

To debug your layouts, watch our video on the updates to the layout inspector:

Debugging UI issues with Layout Inspector

And lastly for design tools, we released a video about the latest developments for Jetpack Compose Design tools:

What's new in Compose Design Tools

Coding & Deployment

During the week, we posted tips and tricks to improve your coding experience and app deployment flow in Android Studio. Check out the following social media channels to review the latest postings:

  • @androidstudio - the Twitter channel for the official IDE for Android app development.
  • @androiddev - delivers news and announcements for developers from the Android team at Google

We also shared a new video on how to use the new database inspector in Android Studio:

Database Inspector

Additionally, you will find an updated blog on the development tools we have in place for Jetpack Hilt:

Build

In the middle of the week, we released four blogs posts around the build system in Android developer tools, which included:

  • Configuration Caching deep dive - a technical explanation on this new preview feature from Gradle and how to try it out in your project to speed up your builds.
  • Shrinking Your App with R8 - provides an overview of the features available in R8, the reduction in code size you might expect, and show how to enable these features in R8.

Android Emulator

On top of sharing a series of best practices and tips on social media about using the Android Emulator during the week, you can also a full summary in the following in-depth article:

Performance Profilers

We know improving app performance is critical for a great user experience. Therefore, we ended the week with a day on performance profilers content. To start, we posted a video about System Trace and how you can use it to troubleshoot app performance issues:

Troubleshooting app performance issues with System Trace in Android Studio

Plus, we published a blog post on C++ memory profiling:

Learning path

If you’re looking for an easy way to pick up the highlights of this week, check out the Developer Tools pathway. A pathway is an ordered tutorial that allows users to complete a pre-defined module that culminates in a quiz. It includes videos and blog posts. A virtual badge is awarded to each user who passes the quiz. Test your knowledge of key takeaways about Developer Tools to earn a limited edition badge.

Key takeaways

Thank you for tuning in and learning about the latest in Android Development tools. Thanks to all of you who chatted with us during the Reddit AMA this week. Throughout this past week, we showcased features that can be found either in the latest stable release or the canary release channel of Android Studio. If you want to try out what you learned this week, download Android Studio today.

Below, you will find a quick listing of where you will find each of the major features. Note, that features in non-stable versions may not land in a particular version until they have reached our quality bar:

Features found in Android Studio 4.0 (Stable Channel)

  • Motion Editor
  • Layout Inspector
  • Layout Validation
  • Custom View Preview
  • CPU Profiler Update
  • R8 Rules Editing
  • Build Analyzer
  • Dynamic Feature Dependency
  • Clangd support
  • Intellij 2019.3

Features found in Android Studio 4.1 (Beta Channel)

  • Database Inspector
  • Dependency Injection Tools
  • Faster Apply Changes
  • Gradle Configuration Caching (Preview)
  • Custom View Preview
  • Android Emulator in IDE
  • Instrumentation Testing
  • Profiler UI Updates
  • Native Memory Profiling
  • System Trace 2.0
  • New Gradle API
  • MLKit & TFLite Model Import
  • Intellij 2020.1

Features found in Android Studio 4.2 + (Canary Channel)

  • Compose Interactive Preview
  • Compose Animation Visualization
  • Compose Deploy to Device
  • Sample Data API for Compose
  • Compose Editing Support
  • Test Failure Retention
  • Android Emulator- 5G Connectivity and Foldable Support
  • Intellij 2020.2 - coming soon

Resources

You can find the entire playlist of #11WeeksOfAndroid video content here, and learn more about each week here. We’ll continue to spotlight new areas each week, so keep an eye out and follow us on Twitter and YouTube. Thanks so much for letting us be a part of this experience with you!

11 Weeks of Android: Android Developer Tools

Posted by Jamal Eason, Product Manager, Android

11 Weeks of Android, Week 7 with badge

This blog post is part of a weekly series for #11WeeksOfAndroid. For each of the #11WeeksOfAndroid, we’re diving into a key area so you don’t miss anything. This week, we spotlighted Android Developer Tools; here’s a look at what you should know.

The big news

During the 11 weeks of Android, we launched a range of developer tool updates in Android Studio. As of today, you can find version 4.0 of Android Studio on the stable release channel, version 4.1 on the beta channel, and the very latest features of version 4.2 on the canary channel. The focus across each of these versions is a balance of app productivity and delivery of a high quality product that you can rely on for app development. For each day of this past week we highlighted improvements and tips in the key points of your development flow from app design, coding, deployment, build, app testing with the emulator, to app performance profiling. This blog highlights the content that we released during the Android Developer Tools week of 11 Weeks of Android.

What to watch and read

To see an overview of what is new in Android Developer Tools across the recent releases of Android Studio, check out this video from the #Android11 Beta launch which includes an exciting and in-depth demo.

What’s New in Android Development Tools

Design

At the beginning of the week we had a day of content focused on app design tools for developers. To start, watch this overview video of the latest updates in design tools:

What’s new in Design Tools

We also posted two in-depth blog posts for the design tools day:

  • Introducing the Motion Editor - provides a quick tour of the new Motion Editor and how to use the latest features to create animations for your app.

To debug your layouts, watch our video on the updates to the layout inspector:

Debugging UI issues with Layout Inspector

And lastly for design tools, we released a video about the latest developments for Jetpack Compose Design tools:

What's new in Compose Design Tools

Coding & Deployment

During the week, we posted tips and tricks to improve your coding experience and app deployment flow in Android Studio. Check out the following social media channels to review the latest postings:

  • @androidstudio - the Twitter channel for the official IDE for Android app development.
  • @androiddev - delivers news and announcements for developers from the Android team at Google

We also shared a new video on how to use the new database inspector in Android Studio:

Database Inspector

Additionally, you will find an updated blog on the development tools we have in place for Jetpack Hilt:

Build

In the middle of the week, we released four blogs posts around the build system in Android developer tools, which included:

  • Configuration Caching deep dive - a technical explanation on this new preview feature from Gradle and how to try it out in your project to speed up your builds.
  • Shrinking Your App with R8 - provides an overview of the features available in R8, the reduction in code size you might expect, and show how to enable these features in R8.

Android Emulator

On top of sharing a series of best practices and tips on social media about using the Android Emulator during the week, you can also a full summary in the following in-depth article:

Performance Profilers

We know improving app performance is critical for a great user experience. Therefore, we ended the week with a day on performance profilers content. To start, we posted a video about System Trace and how you can use it to troubleshoot app performance issues:

Troubleshooting app performance issues with System Trace in Android Studio

Plus, we published a blog post on C++ memory profiling:

Learning path

If you’re looking for an easy way to pick up the highlights of this week, check out the Developer Tools pathway. A pathway is an ordered tutorial that allows users to complete a pre-defined module that culminates in a quiz. It includes videos and blog posts. A virtual badge is awarded to each user who passes the quiz. Test your knowledge of key takeaways about Developer Tools to earn a limited edition badge.

Key takeaways

Thank you for tuning in and learning about the latest in Android Development tools. Thanks to all of you who chatted with us during the Reddit AMA this week. Throughout this past week, we showcased features that can be found either in the latest stable release or the canary release channel of Android Studio. If you want to try out what you learned this week, download Android Studio today.

Below, you will find a quick listing of where you will find each of the major features. Note, that features in non-stable versions may not land in a particular version until they have reached our quality bar:

Features found in Android Studio 4.0 (Stable Channel)

  • Motion Editor
  • Layout Inspector
  • Layout Validation
  • Custom View Preview
  • CPU Profiler Update
  • R8 Rules Editing
  • Build Analyzer
  • Dynamic Feature Dependency
  • Clangd support
  • Intellij 2019.3

Features found in Android Studio 4.1 (Beta Channel)

  • Database Inspector
  • Dependency Injection Tools
  • Faster Apply Changes
  • Gradle Configuration Caching (Preview)
  • Custom View Preview
  • Android Emulator in IDE
  • Instrumentation Testing
  • Profiler UI Updates
  • Native Memory Profiling
  • System Trace 2.0
  • New Gradle API
  • MLKit & TFLite Model Import
  • Intellij 2020.1

Features found in Android Studio 4.2 + (Canary Channel)

  • Compose Interactive Preview
  • Compose Animation Visualization
  • Compose Deploy to Device
  • Sample Data API for Compose
  • Compose Editing Support
  • Test Failure Retention
  • Android Emulator- 5G Connectivity and Foldable Support
  • Intellij 2020.2 - coming soon

Resources

You can find the entire playlist of #11WeeksOfAndroid video content here, and learn more about each week here. We’ll continue to spotlight new areas each week, so keep an eye out and follow us on Twitter and YouTube. Thanks so much for letting us be a part of this experience with you!

Introducing the Motion Editor

Posted by Scott Swarthout, Product Manager

We spoke with the Android developer community and learned that animations are important for making UIs more intuitive and memorable. However, we also heard that adding complex animation to Android apps has been a difficult task.To address this problem, we created a powerful set of APIs with Motion Layout and a corresponding tool – Motion Editor, that when combined make it easier to build pixel-perfect animations. This blog is a quick tour of the new Motion Editor and how to use the latest features during your animation development. Additionally today, you can now watch a new video series specifically created to teach you about the various APIs included with MotionLayout. Watch here.

Motion Editor is a visual design editor for the MotionLayout layout type, making it easier to create and preview animations. We just released the stable version Motion Editor in Android Studio 4.0 and we already see many developers using it to build animations.

Animation running in the Motion Editor

The Motion Editor is an extension of Android Studio’s layout editor, and automatically opens when you select the Design or Split view on an XML file containing a MotionLayout. From there, you can edit your layout and Motion Scene files using the familiar interactive tools of the Layout Editor as well as preview your animations right from the Android Studio preview pane.

Motion Editor

The Motion Editor is broken up into several panels which we will describe in this article. The main panels are: Overview, Selection, Attribute, and Preview.

The Motion Editor has four main panels


Overview panel

MotionLayout helps you animate layout changes, which you specify as transitions between ConstraintSets. The Motion Editor helps you visualize these states with the Overview panel. To edit constraints in a ConstraintSet, click on the corresponding box in the Overview panel.

MotionLayout Scene with two ConstraintSets, start and end, and a Transition between them


Selection panel

The Selection panel provides detailed controls based on the state of the Overview panel. It has three modes:

  1. Motion Layout selected
  2. ConstraintSet selected
  3. Transition selected

The selection panel has three modes depending on the state of the Overview panel

MotionLayout selected

The Motion Editor supports editing of the base Motion Layout. When Motion Layout is selected in the Overview panel, you can select components to see if they are properly constrained.

Check if components are properly constrained with the Selection panel

ConstraintSet selected

When a ConstraintSet is selected, the Selection panel displays the list of components and a checkmark to indicate if the component is constrained in this ConstraintSet.

Select components to be included in the ConstraintSet


Transition selected

When a transition is selected, you can control the playback of the animation with the animation toolbar. When an animation is selected, click Play ▶️ above the timeline to preview the animation.

Preview animations on the Motion Editor timeline

Keyframes

Sometimes you want to modify the path a view takes during an animation. To do this, MotionLayout uses keyframes. We build keyframe editing into the editor to make it easy to tweak animations. To create a new keyframe, click on the new keyframe icon in the top right of the selection panel. This action opens a dialog where you can set attributes for the keyframe. To edit a keyframe, click on the diamond ◆ icon to open the KeyFrame attribute panel.

Create keyframes with the selection panel


Attribute panel

Creating animations in MotionLayout involves editing lots of view parameters, so we brought the Attribute panel from the Layout Editor into the Motion Editor. The Attribute panel includes handy visualizations for Constraints as well as all the attributes set on each view in the Motion Scene file.

Constraint visualization in the Attribute panel

The Attribute panel is also where you can create custom attributes. You use custom attributes when you want to animate view properties that are not part of the ConstraintLayout or MotionLayout APIs, such as backgroundColor. We made it easy to create custom attributes with autocomplete and input validation for all view properties.

Preview panel

We wanted to make it easy to quickly edit and get immediate feedback when working on animations, so you can view animations right from the Preview panel. Now you don’t have to recompile and redeploy your app every time you want to make a small tweak to your animation.

We also added a number of features to the Preview panel to make it easier to understand how views are animating. You can preview animations with the Design view and Blueprint view to get a clearer idea of how your views are moving with fewer visual distractions.



We also added visualizations for the paths views take across the screen, including markers for keyframes. We hope these features make it easier to parse complex transitions and simplify the creation experience.



The Motion Editor is available in Android Studio 4.0, give it a try and let us know what you think! We are eager to see what the community builds with MotionLayout and the Motion Editor. The Android Studio team is constantly gathering feedback to improve the experience of using our tools, so if you have any ideas for new features or run into any issues using these tools, please file a bug.

The code used in this example, along with several other MotionLayout examples, are available on our GitHub sample page, found here.

For more information on MotionLayout, see the following links:

Introducing the Motion Editor

Posted by Scott Swarthout, Product Manager

We spoke with the Android developer community and learned that animations are important for making UIs more intuitive and memorable. However, we also heard that adding complex animation to Android apps has been a difficult task.To address this problem, we created a powerful set of APIs with Motion Layout and a corresponding tool – Motion Editor, that when combined make it easier to build pixel-perfect animations. This blog is a quick tour of the new Motion Editor and how to use the latest features during your animation development. Additionally today, you can now watch a new video series specifically created to teach you about the various APIs included with MotionLayout. Watch here.

Motion Editor is a visual design editor for the MotionLayout layout type, making it easier to create and preview animations. We just released the stable version Motion Editor in Android Studio 4.0 and we already see many developers using it to build animations.

Animation running in the Motion Editor

The Motion Editor is an extension of Android Studio’s layout editor, and automatically opens when you select the Design or Split view on an XML file containing a MotionLayout. From there, you can edit your layout and Motion Scene files using the familiar interactive tools of the Layout Editor as well as preview your animations right from the Android Studio preview pane.

Motion Editor

The Motion Editor is broken up into several panels which we will describe in this article. The main panels are: Overview, Selection, Attribute, and Preview.

The Motion Editor has four main panels


Overview panel

MotionLayout helps you animate layout changes, which you specify as transitions between ConstraintSets. The Motion Editor helps you visualize these states with the Overview panel. To edit constraints in a ConstraintSet, click on the corresponding box in the Overview panel.

MotionLayout Scene with two ConstraintSets, start and end, and a Transition between them


Selection panel

The Selection panel provides detailed controls based on the state of the Overview panel. It has three modes:

  1. Motion Layout selected
  2. ConstraintSet selected
  3. Transition selected

The selection panel has three modes depending on the state of the Overview panel

MotionLayout selected

The Motion Editor supports editing of the base Motion Layout. When Motion Layout is selected in the Overview panel, you can select components to see if they are properly constrained.

Check if components are properly constrained with the Selection panel

ConstraintSet selected

When a ConstraintSet is selected, the Selection panel displays the list of components and a checkmark to indicate if the component is constrained in this ConstraintSet.

Select components to be included in the ConstraintSet


Transition selected

When a transition is selected, you can control the playback of the animation with the animation toolbar. When an animation is selected, click Play ▶️ above the timeline to preview the animation.

Preview animations on the Motion Editor timeline

Keyframes

Sometimes you want to modify the path a view takes during an animation. To do this, MotionLayout uses keyframes. We build keyframe editing into the editor to make it easy to tweak animations. To create a new keyframe, click on the new keyframe icon in the top right of the selection panel. This action opens a dialog where you can set attributes for the keyframe. To edit a keyframe, click on the diamond ◆ icon to open the KeyFrame attribute panel.

Create keyframes with the selection panel


Attribute panel

Creating animations in MotionLayout involves editing lots of view parameters, so we brought the Attribute panel from the Layout Editor into the Motion Editor. The Attribute panel includes handy visualizations for Constraints as well as all the attributes set on each view in the Motion Scene file.

Constraint visualization in the Attribute panel

The Attribute panel is also where you can create custom attributes. You use custom attributes when you want to animate view properties that are not part of the ConstraintLayout or MotionLayout APIs, such as backgroundColor. We made it easy to create custom attributes with autocomplete and input validation for all view properties.

Preview panel

We wanted to make it easy to quickly edit and get immediate feedback when working on animations, so you can view animations right from the Preview panel. Now you don’t have to recompile and redeploy your app every time you want to make a small tweak to your animation.

We also added a number of features to the Preview panel to make it easier to understand how views are animating. You can preview animations with the Design view and Blueprint view to get a clearer idea of how your views are moving with fewer visual distractions.



We also added visualizations for the paths views take across the screen, including markers for keyframes. We hope these features make it easier to parse complex transitions and simplify the creation experience.



The Motion Editor is available in Android Studio 4.0, give it a try and let us know what you think! We are eager to see what the community builds with MotionLayout and the Motion Editor. The Android Studio team is constantly gathering feedback to improve the experience of using our tools, so if you have any ideas for new features or run into any issues using these tools, please file a bug.

The code used in this example, along with several other MotionLayout examples, are available on our GitHub sample page, found here.

For more information on MotionLayout, see the following links:

Learn Android and Kotlin with no programming experience

Posted by Kat Kuan, Developer Advocate, Android

Many people today are considering career paths that enable them to work remotely. App development allows for that style of work. For people who want a new opportunity, it’s possible to start learning Android today, even without prior programming experience.

In 2016, we released our Android Basics curriculum, which assumes no programming experience, and the response has been tremendous. Hundreds of thousands of students have been learning Android development and programming concepts simultaneously as they build apps. Since then, there have been big platform changes with four major releases of Android and support added for the Kotlin programming language. We also introduced Jetpack, a suite of libraries that make it easier to build better apps with less code. With all these new updates, it’s time to release the next generation of training content for beginners.

Today we’re announcing the launch of Android Basics in Kotlin, a new online course for people without programming experience to learn how to build Android apps. The course teaches Kotlin, a modern programming language that developers love because of its conciseness and how it increases productivity. Kotlin is quickly gaining momentum in industry. Over a single year from 2018 - 2019, Indeed Hiring Lab found a 76% increase in Kotlin jobs.*

Google announced that Android development is Kotlin-first, and 60% of professional Android developers have already adopted the language. In the Play Store, 70% of the top 1,000 apps use Kotlin. To keep pace and prepare for the future, there has never been a more opportune time to learn Android with Kotlin.

Learning to code for the first time can feel intimidating, but it is possible to learn without a technical background. From a recent Stack Overflow Developer Survey, nearly 40% of the professional developers who studied at university did not receive a formal computer science or software engineering degree.

To build your confidence, the Android Basics in Kotlin course offers step-by-step instructions on how to use Android Studio to build apps, as well as how to run them on an Android device (or virtual device). The goal is to expose you to the tools and resources that professional Android developers use. With hands-on practice, you learn the fundamentals of programming. By the end of the course, you will have completed a collection of Android apps to start building a portfolio.

Object detection & tracking gif Text recognition + Language ID + Translate gif

App screenshots from the course

This course is split up into units, where each unit is made up of a series of pathways. At the end of each pathway, there is a quiz to assess what you’ve learned so far. If you pass the quiz, you earn a badge that can be saved to your Google Developer Profile.
Object detection & tracking gif Text recognition + Language ID + Translate gif

Badges you can earn

The course is free for anyone to take. Basic computer literacy and basic math skills are recommended prerequisites. Unit 1 of the course is available today, with more units being released as they become available. If you’ve never built an app before but want to learn how, check out the Android Basics in Kotlin course.

If you already have programming experience, check out the other free training courses we offer in Kotlin:

We can’t wait to see what you build!

*from US tech job postings on Indeed.com

Preparing your Gradle build for package visibility in Android 11


Posted by David Winer, Product Manager

illustration of mobile device with lock
One of the central themes for Android 11 has been protecting user privacy. On Android 10 and earlier, you could query the full set of installed apps using methods like queryIntentActivities(). Often, however, this approach provides much more access than most apps need to implement their functionality. To better protect user privacy, we updated how apps view and interact with other installed apps on Android 11.
To provide better accountability for access to installed apps, apps targeting Android 11 (API level 30) will see a filtered list of installed apps by default. The new <queries> element in your app or library’s Android manifest allows you to describe which other apps you might need to interact with. For more information about this change, check out our Medium post on package visibility in Android 11.

Android Studio and Gradle support

If you are using Android Gradle plugin 4.1+, your tools should work with the new <queries> declaration. However, older versions of the Android Gradle plugin are not aware of this new element. If you add the <queries> element or if you start relying on a library or SDK that supports targeting Android 11, you may encounter manifest merging errors. For example, when building your app you may see the following error in the Build Output Window:
Android resource linking failed /Users/sample/AndroidStudioProjects/MyApp/app/build/intermediates/merged_manifests/debug/AndroidManifest.xml:18: error: unexpected element <queries> found in <manifest>
Alternatively, you may see an error in the Build Output Window that directs you to the Manifest merger logs:
Manifest merger failed with multiple errors, see logs
Upon expanding the Merged Manifest view you would then see an additional error:
Error: Missing 'package' key attribute on element package

Android Gradle plugin fixes

The best solution to deal with these errors is to upgrade to Android Gradle plugin 4.1 Beta.
We know that not everyone is ready to upgrade to the latest version, though, and you may be relying on old versions of Gradle or libraries that aren’t compatible with 4.1.
So, today we issued a set of dot releases for the Android Gradle plugin that are compatible with <queries>:
For example, if you are currently using Android Gradle plugin version 4.0.0, you can upgrade the version in your project-level build.gradle file:
 buildscript {

    repositories {
        google()
        jcenter()
    }

    dependencies {
        // classpath 'com.android.tools.build:gradle:4.0.0'
        classpath 'com.android.tools.build:gradle:4.0.1'
    }
}

For more information on this new feature in Android 11, check out the package visibility documentation and the Android Gradle plugin release notes.