Tag Archives: Tools

Support Ended for Eclipse Android Developer Tools

By Jamal Eason, Product Manager, Android

With the release of Android Studio 2.2, the time has now come to say goodbye to the Eclipse Android Developer Tools. We have formally ended their support and development. There's never been a better time to switch to Android Studio and experience the improvements we've made to the Android development workflow.

Android Studio

Android Studio, the official IDE for Android, features powerful code editing with advanced code-completion and refactoring. It includes robust static analysis, bringing the intelligence of the Android engineering team to you to help you easily apply Android coding best practices, and includes simultaneous debugging in both Java and C++ to help fix any bugs that slip through. When you combine this with performance tooling, a fast, flexible build system, code templates, GitHub integration, and its high-performance, feature-rich emulator, you get a deeply Android-tailored development environment for the many form factors of the OS. It's the development environment used by 92% of the top 125 Google Play apps and games, and we're constantly innovating it to handle every Android development need.

What's New in Android Studio 2.2

Android Studio 2.2 builds on the great features from Android Studio 2.0. There are over twenty new features that improve development whether you are designing, iterating, or testing. Notable changes include:

  • Instant Run - The super-fast iteration engine now is both more reliable and available for more types of changes
  • Layout Editor - The new user interface designer that makes it easier than ever to create beautiful app experiences
  • Constraint Layout - A new flexible layout engine for building dynamic user interfaces - designed to work with the new layout editor
  • C++ Support - CMake and ndk-build are now supported alongside improved editing and debug experiences
  • APK Analyzer - Inspects APKs to help you streamline your APK and debug multi-dex issues
  • GPU Debugger (beta) - Captures a stream of OpenGL ES commands and replays them with GPU state inspection
  • Espresso Test Recorder (beta) - Records interactions with your app and outputs UI test code
Top Developers Love Android Studio

For our ADT Fans

All of your favorite ADT tools are now part of Android Studio, including DDMS, Trace Viewer, Network Monitor, and CPU Monitor. We've also improved Android Studio's accessibility, including keyboard navigation enhancements and screen reader support.

We announced that we were ending development and official support for the Android Developer Tools (ADT) in Eclipse at the end of 2015, including the Eclipse ADT plugin and Android Ant build system. With the latest updates to Studio, we've completed the transition.

Migrating to Android Studio

To get started, download and install Android Studio. For most developers, including those with C/C++ projects, migration is as simple as importing your existing Eclipse ADT projects in Android Studio with the File > New > Import Project menu option. For more details on the migration process, check out the migration guide.

Feedback and Open Source Contributions

We're dedicated to making Android Studio the best possible integrated development environment for building Android apps, so if there are missing features or other challenges preventing you from switching to Android Studio, we want to hear about it [survey] ! You can also file bugs or feature requests directly with the team, and let us know via our Twitter or Google+ accounts.

Android Studio is an open source project, available to all at no cost. Check out our Open Source project page if you're interested in contributing or learning more.

Introducing the Google Sheets API v4: Transferring data from a SQL database to a Sheet

Posted by Wesley Chun (@wescpy), Developer Advocate, Google Apps

At Google I/O 2016, we launched a new Google Sheets API—click hereto watch the entire announcement. The updated API includes many new features that weren’t available in previous versions, including access to functionality found in the Sheets desktop and mobile user interfaces. My latest DevBytevideo shows developers how to get data into and out of a Google Sheet programmatically, walking through a simple script that reads rows out of a relational database and transferring the data to a brand new Google Sheet.

Let’s take a sneak peek of the code covered in the video. Assuming that SHEETS has been established as the API service endpoint, SHEET_ID is the ID of the Sheet to write to, and datais an array with all the database rows, this is the only call developers need to make to write that raw data into the Sheet:


SHEETS.spreadsheets().values().update(spreadsheetId=SHEET_ID,
range='A1', body=data, valueInputOption='RAW').execute()
Reading rows out of a Sheet is even easier. With SHEETS and SHEET_ID again, this is all you need to read and display those rows:
rows = SHEETS.spreadsheets().values().get(spreadsheetId=SHEET_ID,
range='Sheet1').execute().get('values', [])
for row in rows:
print(row)

If you’re ready to get started, take a look at the Python or other quickstarts in a variety of languages before checking out the DevByte. If you want a deeper dive into the code covered in the video, check out the post at my Python blog. Once you get going with the API, one of the challenges developers face is in constructing the JSON payload to send in API calls—the common operations samples can really help you with this. Finally, if you’re ready to get going with a meatier example, check out our JavaScript codelab where you’ll write a sample Node.js app that manages customer orders for a toy company, the database of which is used in this DevByte, preparing you for the codelab.

We hope all these resources help developers create amazing applications and awesome tools with the new Google Sheets API! Please subscribe to our channel, give us your feedback below, and tell us what topics you would like to see in future episodes!

Introducing the Google Sheets API v4: Transferring data from a SQL database to a Sheet

Posted by Wesley Chun (@wescpy), Developer Advocate, Google Apps

At Google I/O 2016, we launched a new Google Sheets API—click hereto watch the entire announcement. The updated API includes many new features that weren’t available in previous versions, including access to functionality found in the Sheets desktop and mobile user interfaces. My latest DevBytevideo shows developers how to get data into and out of a Google Sheet programmatically, walking through a simple script that reads rows out of a relational database and transferring the data to a brand new Google Sheet.

Let’s take a sneak peek of the code covered in the video. Assuming that SHEETS has been established as the API service endpoint, SHEET_ID is the ID of the Sheet to write to, and datais an array with all the database rows, this is the only call developers need to make to write that raw data into the Sheet:


SHEETS.spreadsheets().values().update(spreadsheetId=SHEET_ID,
range='A1', body=data, valueInputOption='RAW').execute()
Reading rows out of a Sheet is even easier. With SHEETS and SHEET_ID again, this is all you need to read and display those rows:
rows = SHEETS.spreadsheets().values().get(spreadsheetId=SHEET_ID,
range='Sheet1').execute().get('values', [])
for row in rows:
print(row)

If you’re ready to get started, take a look at the Python or other quickstarts in a variety of languages before checking out the DevByte. If you want a deeper dive into the code covered in the video, check out the post at my Python blog. Once you get going with the API, one of the challenges developers face is in constructing the JSON payload to send in API calls—the common operations samples can really help you with this. Finally, if you’re ready to get going with a meatier example, check out our JavaScript codelab where you’ll write a sample Node.js app that manages customer orders for a toy company, the database of which is used in this DevByte, preparing you for the codelab.

We hope all these resources help developers create amazing applications and awesome tools with the new Google Sheets API! Please subscribe to our channel, give us your feedback below, and tell us what topics you would like to see in future episodes!

Get your hands on Android Studio 1.3

Posted by Jamal Eason, Product Manager, Android

Previewed earlier this summer at Google I/O, Android Studio 1.3 is now available on the stable release channel. We appreciated the early feedback from those developers on our canary and beta channels to help ship a great product.

Android Studio 1.3 is our biggest feature release for the year so far, which includes a new memory profiler, improved testing support, and full editing and debugging support for C++. Let’s take a closer look.

New Features in Android Studio 1.3

Performance & Testing Tools

  • Android Memory (HPROF) Viewer

    Android Studio now allows you to capture and analyze memory snapshots in the native Android HPROF format.

  • Allocation Tracker

    In addition to displaying a table of memory allocations that your app uses, the updated allocation tracker now includes a visual way to view the your app allocations.

  • APK Tests in Modules

    For more flexibility in app testing, you now have the option to place your code tests in a separate module and use the new test plugin (‘com.android.test’) instead of keeping your tests right next to your app code. This feature does require your app project to use the Gradle Plugin 1.3.

Code and SDK Management

  • App permission annotations

    Android Studio now has inline code annotation support to help you manage the new app permissions model in the M release of Android. Learn more about code annotations.

  • Data Binding Support

    New data brinding features allow you to create declarative layouts in order to minimize boilerplate code by binding your application logic into your layouts. Learn more about data binding.

  • SDK Auto Update & SDK Manager

    Managing Android SDK updates is now a part of the Android Studio. By default, Android Studio will now prompt you about new SDK & Tool updates. You can still adjust your preferences with the new & integrated Android SDK Manager.

  • C++ Support

    As a part of the Android 1.3 stable release, we included an Early Access Preview of the C++ editor & debugger support paired with an experimental build plugin. See the Android C++ Preview page for information on how to get started. Support for more complex projects and build configurations is in development, but let us know your feedback.

Time to Update

An important thing to remember is that an update to Android Studio does not require you to change your Android app projects. With updating, you get the latest features but still have control of which build tools and app dependency versions you want to use for your Android app.

For current developers on Android Studio, you can check for updates from the navigation menu. For new users, you can learn more about Android Studio on the product overview page or download the stable version from the Android Studio download site.

We are excited to launch this set of features in Android Studio and we are hard at work developing the next set of tools to make develop Android development easier on Android Studio. As always we welcome feedback on how we can help you. Connect with the Android developer tools team on Google+.

Android M Developer Preview & Tools

By Jamal Eason, Product Manager, Android

Today at Google I/O, we announced a developer preview of the next version of Android, the M release. Last year’s developer preview was a first for Android and we received great feedback. We want to continue to give you developers early access to Android so you have time to get your apps ready for the next version of Android. This time with the M Developer Preview, we will provide a clear timeline for testing and feedback plus more updates to the preview build.

Visit the M Developer Preview for downloads and documentation

The Android M release: improving the fundamentals

For the M release, we focused on improving the core user experience of Android, from fixing thousands of bugs, to making some big changes to the fundamentals of the platform:

  • Permissions - We are giving users control of app permissions in the M release. Apps can trigger requests for permissions at runtime, in the right context, and users can choose whether to grant the permission. Making permission requests right when they’re needed means users can get up and running in your app faster. Also, users have easy access to manage all their app permissions in settings. On M, as a developer, you should design your app to prompt for permissions in context and account for permissions that don’t get granted. As more devices upgrade to M, app permission behavior will be a critical development flow to test.
  • Runtime App Permissions

  • App links - We are making it even easier to link between apps. Android has always allowed apps to register to natively handle URLs. Now you can add an autoVerify attribute to your app manifest so that users can be linked deep into your native app without any disambiguation prompt. App links, along with App Indexing for Google search, make it easier for users to discover and re-engage with your app.
  • Battery - We’re making Android devices smarter about managing power through a new feature called Doze. With M, Android uses significant motion detection to learn if a device has been left unattended for a while. In this state, Android will exponentially back off background activity, trading off a little bit of app freshness for longer battery life. Consider how this may affect your app; for instance, if you’re building a chat app, you may want to make use of high priority messages to wake your app when the device is dozing.

The Android M release: advancing assistance and payments

We are also delighted to announce a couple of big new features:

  • Now on tap - We are making it even easier for Android users to get assistance with Now on tap -- whenever they need it, wherever they are on their device. For example, if your friend texts you about dinner at a new restaurant, without leaving the app, you can ask Google Now for help. Using just that context, Google can find menus, reviews, help you book a table, navigate there, and deep link you into relevant apps. As a developer, you can implement App Indexing for Google search to let users discover and re-engage with your app through Now on tap.
  • Now on tap

  • Android Pay & Fingerprint - We’ve built on our work with Near Field Communications (NFC) in Gingerbread and Host Card Emulation in Kitkat to develop Android Pay. Android Pay will enable Android users to simply and securely use their Android phone to pay in stores or in thousands of Android Pay partner apps. With M, native fingerprint support enhances Android Pay by allowing users to confirm a purchase with their fingerprint. Moreover, fingerprint on M can be used to unlock devices and make purchases on Google Play. With new APIs in M, it’s easy for you to add fingerprint authorization to your app and have it work consistently across a range of devices and sensors.

These are just a few highlights from the M Developer Preview that we announced today. The M preview will be available for download right after the keynote.

Android Developer Tools

In addition to the developer preview, we are launching new tools to help you in the development of your Android App:

  • Android Studio v1.3 Preview - To help take advantage of the M Developer Preview features, we are releasing a new version of Android Studio. Most notable is a much requested feature from our Android NDK & game developers: code editing and debugging for C/C++ code. Based on JetBrains Clion platform, the Android Studio NDK plugin provides features such as refactoring and code completion for C/C++ code alongside your Java code. Java and C/C++ code support is integrated into one development experience free of charge for Android app developers. Update to Android Studio v1.3 via the Canary channel and let us know what you think.
  • Android Studio 1.3 with Android NDK Support

  • Android Design Support Library - Making Material design apps gets even easier with the new Android Design support library. We have packaged a set a key design components (e.g floating action button, snackbar, navigation view, motion enabled Toolbars) that are backward compatible to API 7 and can be added to your app to create a modern, great looking Android app without building everything from scratch.
  • Google Play Services - Today we also are releasing v7.5 of Google Play services which includes new features ranging from Smart Lock for Passwords, new APIs for Google Cloud Messaging and Google Cast, to Google Maps API on Android Wear devices.

Get Started

The M Developer Preview includes an updated SDK with tools, system images for testing on the official Android emulator, and system images for testing on Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 9, and Nexus Player devices. We are excited to expand the program and give you more time to ensure your apps support M when it launches this fall. Based on your feedback, we plan to update the M Developer preview system images often during the developer preview program. The sooner we hear from you, the more feedback we can integrate, so let us know!

To get started with the M Developer Preview and prepare your apps for the full release, just follow these steps:

  1. Update to Android Studio v1.3+ Preview
  2. Visit the M Developer Preview site for downloads and documentation.
  3. Explore the new APIs & App Permissions changes
  4. Explore the Android Design Support Library & Google Play Services APIs
  5. Get the emulator system images through the SDK Manager or download the Nexus device system images.
  6. Test your app with your supported Nexus device or emulator
  7. Give us feedback

Hello World, meet our new experimental toolchain, Jack and Jill

Posted by Paul Rashidi, Developer Programs Engineer

We've been working on a new toolchain for Android that’s designed to improve build times and simplify development by reducing dependencies on other tools. Today, we’re introducing you to Jack (Java Android Compiler Kit) and Jill (Jack Intermediate Library Linker), the two tools at the core of the new toolchain.

We are making an early, experimental version of Jack and Jill available for testing with non-production versions of your apps. This post describes how the toolchain works, how to configure it, and how to let us know of your feature requests and any bugs you find.

So how does it work?

When the new tool chain is enabled, Jill will translate any libraries you are referencing to a new Jack library file (.jack). This prepares them to be quickly merged with other .jack files. The Android Gradle plugin and Jack collect any .jack library files, along with your source code, and compiles them into a set of dex files. During the process, Jack also handles any requested code minification. The output is then assembled into an APK file as normal. We also include support for multiple dex files, if you have enabled that support.

How do I use it?

Jack and Jill are already available in the 21.1.1+ Build Tools for Android Studio. Complementary Gradle support is also currently available in the Android 1.0.0+ Gradle plugin. To get started, all you need to do is make sure you're using these versions of the tooling and then add a single line in your build.gradle file. Perform a build of your application to receive a newly built APK.

android {
    ...
    buildToolsRevision '21.1.1'
    defaultConfig {
      // Enable the experimental Jack build tools.
      useJack = true
    }
    ...
}
If you want to build your app with both toolchains, Product Flavors are a great way to do this. Your build.gradle file might look something like the snippet below.
android {
    ...
    productFlavors {
        dev {
            ...
        }
        experimental {
            useJack = true
        }
        prod {
            ...
        }
    }
    ...
}

How do I configure my build?

We are making the transition to Jack as smooth as possible by supporting minification (shrinking and/or obfuscation), as well as repackaging (i.e. similar to tools like jarjar), while using the same input files as you are used to. Minification is available in the Gradle plugin immediately and repackaging will follow. You should continue to use the "minifyEnabled true" directive to reduce the size of your app among all other optimizations you would normally use. There are more details on our reference page (linked below) regarding the level of support for each type of optimization. We encourage you to provide feedback there if your current configuration isn't supported.

Give us your feedback

We are attempting to make the toolchain as easy to test out as possible and we're looking for your help to fine tune it. Use the reference page to find known issues, file feature requests, and report bugs. Happy building!