Android’s development studio is getting a new update as Google rolls out Android Studio 3.2 Canary, adding new tools for visual navigation editing and Jetpack.
The new release includes build tools for the new Android App Bundle format, Snapshots, a new optimizer for smaller app code and a new way to measure an app’s impact on battery life. The Snapshots tool is baked into the Android Emulator and is geared toward getting the emulator up and running in two seconds. All this is geared toward making Android app development easier as the company looks to woo developers — especially potentially early ones — into an environment that’s built around creating Android apps.
The visual navigation editing looks a bit like a flow chart, where users can move screens around and connect them. You can add new screens, position them in your flow, and under covers will help you manage the whole stack in the background. Google has increasingly worked to abstract away a lot of the complex elements of building applications, whether that’s making its machine learning framework TensorFlow more palatable by letting developers create tools using their preferred languages or trying to make it easier to build an app quickly. Visual navigation is one way to further abstract out the complex process of programming in different activities within an app.
As competition continues to exist between Apple and Google, it’s important that Google ensures that the apps are launching on Google Play in order to continue to drive Android device adoption. The sped-up emulator, in particular, may solve a pain point for developers that want to rapidly test parts of their apps and see how they may operate in the wild without having to wait for the app to load in an emulator or on a test device.