Google Releases Android Studio 3.0

Posted on October 25, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Dev with 5 Comments

Google today released the next major version of its Android Studio development environment. Android Studio 3.0 supports Android 8 Oreo and the Kotlin programming language, and provides updated Android app performance tools.

“Announced at Google I/O 2017, Android Studio 3.0 is a large update focused on accelerating your app development on Android,” Android product manager Jamal Eason explains. “If you are looking for high stability, want to build high quality apps for Android Oreo, develop with the Kotlin language, or use the latest in Android app performance tools, then you should download Android Studio 3.0 today.”

Key new features include:

Kotlin programming language support. “Kotlin is an expressive and concise language that is interoperable with existing Android languages and runtimes, which means you can use as little or as much of the language in your app as you want,” Google says. “Kotlin is a production-ready language used by many popular Android apps on Google Play today.” So kind of like Swift on iOS, I guess.

Java 8 support. Naturally, Android Studio also supports the latest version of Java as well.

Layout editor improvements. The component tree in the Layout Editor has been updated with better drag-and-drop view insertions and a new error panel.

Adaptive Icon wizard. This new wizard helps you build icons that scale well and support different launchers.

XML and downloadable fonts. If you target Oreo with an app, you can now use custom fonts and downloadable fonts using XML.

Instant app support. You can now add Instant Apps features to your Android Studio projects. As Google notes, Instant apps are lightweight Android apps that your users can immediately run without installation. (I’ll be writing about this Android 8.0 Oreo feature soon.)

Google Play system images. The Android emulator in Android Studio now provides system images for Android Oreo that include the Google Play Store and, more important, Google Play services.

Android emulator Quick Boot (Canary). Responding to what I assume is the number one complaint about Android Studio—the slowness of the Android emulators—Google is offering a preview version of Quick Boot, which it says will significantly speeds up emulator start times. You need to be on the canary update release channel to access this functionality for now.

There’s more, of course, but check out the Google post for the full list. Android Studio 3.0 can be downloaded from the Android Studio website. If you’re using a pre-release version of the product, you can update directly from Android Studio.

 

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