Android Studio 3.0 Released
Written by Mike James   
Friday, 27 October 2017

After a very long process of improvement we have the final version of Android Studio 3 and this is the moment that Kotlin enters the arena as the default way to create an app.





There are lots of improvements in Android Studio 3, but one is more important that the rest put together - Kotlin. The official announcement may down play it as just one of the list of features, but the introduction of a whole new development language is no small thing. We already have some evidence that Kotlin was taking over from Java -  Kotlin Begins Its Takeover Of Android - and this is while Android Studio 3 was still in beta. Now every user will be offered Kotlin support as they start a new project; they will be able to add Kotlin to existing Java projects; and even convert Java to Kotlin. All this in the official Android development environment. 

My personal opinion is that Kotlin is preferable to Java and making the switch is very painless and low risk. 

If Kotlin isn't for you then the good news is that you can now write Java 8 code and, let's face it, the most important change here is the availability of lambdas so that you can stop having to jump through hoops just to pass a function to another function. 

The other big change is that the layout editor is much more usable. The switch to the Constraint Layout may turn out to be a good idea in the longer term, but in the short term it has been a mess. Removing many of the useful features from the editor made it much harder to use with the existing layouts and in most cases the Constraint Layout just wasn't up to the job of replacing them. In this version the layout editor has been improved to the point where it is fairly usable and the Constraint Layout is workable. The speed of the layout editor has improved and there are far fewer glitches that have in the past made it easier to start over rather than attempt to recover the layout. In short, it feels as if there has been some spare capacity to polish the way it works rather than having to spend it all on new features. You still need a powerful machine with plenty of memory to make it all work fast enough, however. 

After this we start to reach minor tweaks in the list of what is new. 

  • The adaptive Icon Wizard will create a set of launcher icons for you.

  • XML fonts that work with Oreo.

  • Android Things projects are now available as templates in the New Project Wizard.

  • You now have the option of builiding for instant app support. In case you missed it this allows users to run your program on a Google server without having to install it.

  • In order to improve build speed, the Gradle Pluigin isn't backward compatible with that used in 2.4. This could be a problem if you want to use a Gradle plugin that isn't compatible.

  • The emulator has recieved a makeover in that it has a Quick Boot features which speed its startup after the first time it starts an AVD. There is also a new bug reporter. 

  • There are also lots of improvements to test and debug tools including a brand new profiler. 

Here is Google's offical video outlining what is new - but the shorter version is Kotlin, Java 8 and a usable Constraint Layout.



What next?

A very good question. 



  • Mike James is the author of The Programmer's Guide To Kotlin (I/O Press) some chapters of which are already published on I Programmer.


More Information

Android Studio 3.0

Related Articles

Kotlin Begins Its Takeover Of Android

Kotlin - New Language For Android

Android Studio Moves Toward Java 8

Android 8.1 Introduces Neural Networks API

Google's Jack & Jill Android Java Compiler Project Is Dead

The New Android Compilers - Meet Jack And Jill 

Android Studio 2.3 - In Need Of Direction

Android Studio 2.2 Preview Big Changes! 



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Last Updated ( Friday, 27 October 2017 )