Around November last year (2015), Google had announced a preview of Android Studio 2.0, the newest version of the official integrated development environment (IDE) for developing for the Android platform. This past weekend, I decided to try out the latest version (Beta 4).
The updated studio’s biggest feature was Instant Run, which aims to improve your app development workflow. It allows you to quickly see any changes you make in your code, whether you’re using an emulator or an actual device. See the demo below.
Another big feature in the IDE’s update is the Android Emulator. According to the official blog post, the two main benefits of the new emulator are Speed & Performance and Usability & User Interface. Below are some of the User Interface features of the new Emulator.
The new toolbar exposes some of the most common emulator actions instead of solely relying on command line options. Some of the actions include volume control, screen rotation, and screen-shots of the emulator window.
Window Zooming and Scaling
You can resize your window simply by dragging a corner. I’m really glad that this has been finally added. I’ve always complained about the Emulator window size and prior to this update, it was almost, if not completely, impossible to resize your window (on Linux, I’m not sure about other OSes). You can also zoom and scroll to get a closer look at a portion of your screen.
Drag and Drop
This. This is just brilliant. Thank you, Google. Drag and drop any file to your emulator’s internal SD card. Drag and drop APKs for quick installation. How awesome is that?!
Extended UI Controls
The extended controls window has a range of emulator actions such as making a virtual call, sending a virtual SMS, or controlling the power level of the emulator. You can also send a single GPS location point to the emulator.
Check out the new Android Studio (and Emulator) in action, in this video.
Also check out the official blog posts: