On September 3, 2019, Google launched its latest iteration of Android Studio, released as Android Studio 3.5
. Android Studio has been one of the most popular platforms for developing Android applications.
However, Android Studio has had its fair share of issues over the years. One of the most prominent problems associated with Android Studio was its speed. While the platform itself was quite robust, it was not among the fastest IDEs available for Android apps.
To deal with this issue, Google had launched ‘Project Marble’ by the end of 2018. The focus of the project was to improve the overall product quality of the Android Studio platform.
Google engineers spent around eight months on improving various aspects of the platform, including its memory settings and build speed. Besides that, the experts managed to come up with many other updates in the IDE.
In this article, we look at what’s new in Android Studio 3.5.
As discussed before, the poor build speed in Android Studio was one of the IDE’s biggest problems. Regardless of whether you were a new developer or an Android app developers
with a decade of experience, the build speed was a longstanding problem for everyone.
Most of the time, the compilation of each project took almost 3 minutes, at the very least. Android developers had to use high-end systems to lessen the compilation time.
While 3 minutes of compilation might not seem much, only an Android developer could understand how much time was wasted. Imagine waiting for three minutes after each small change you made in the application’s code.
In order to take care of this issue, Google made various build speed enhancements in its latest release. However, one of the most significant changes in these enhancements was the optimization of critical annotation processes in the IDE with the help of incremental support.
These annotation processes included AndroidX data binding, Kotlin (KAPT), Dagger, Glide, and Realm. Consequently, the build speed for the Android Studio IDE improved significantly.
If you have had the chance to work on Android Studio, then you might be familiar with the application’s tendency to freeze unexpectedly. This lag generally lasted from 1 second to 1 minute and sometimes continued until the application needed to be closed.
This happened most often when the developer was writing code in XML files. Working with those files slowed down the IDE significantly. However, under Project Marble, Google addressed this issue, upgrading the typing latency of the code editor.
This allowed the developers to make the process of editing data binding expressions smoother. While Google has still not resolved the issue completely, it has made a major improvement by reducing it to a great extent.
Auto-Recommended Memory Settings
Although the major issue behind these updates was to address build speed for Android app projects, Google managed to chip in a few upgrades as well. One of the most prominent upgrades in this regard was the feature to recommend memory settings for a project automatically.
This new feature allows Android Studio to anticipate whether a project needs more RAM or not. If your machine has a higher capacity of RAM, the application will automatically the memory heap size for that specific project.
Android Studio will then notify the user about this change. Moreover, now you can adjust the memory heap size manually as well by clicking ‘Appearance & Behavior’ > ‘Memory Settings’ options on your screen.
Google also introduced the ‘Apply Changes’ feature in the new release of Android Studio 3.5. Experts consider this addition as the modern replacement of the ‘Instant Run’ framework. This feature allows app developers
to make minor changes and test them within seconds.
In the past, the Instant Run framework had created more problems than solve them. Therefore, experts in Project Marble eliminated the depreciated feature altogether and replaced it with ‘Apply Changes’ from scratch.
Chrome OS support
In Google’s 2019 I/O Developer event, the company had proposed launching a preview version of Android Studio for its own operating system, Chrome OS. After the release of Android 3.5, Chromebooks will fully support Android Studio, which will make Chrome OS a great platform for Android app development.
File access Speed in Disk I/O
Some users who ran Android Studio on Windows operating system reported that they experienced higher access time for Disk I/O.
Google investigated this problem and found that the folders created for the project build output were not excluded by the default configuration of scanners in Android Studio.
As a result, Google resolved those problems in Android Studio 3.5. Now the Android Studio 3.5 has improved access time for Disk I/O in Windows operating system.
Although Android Studio still has some problems, we hope that Google will keep on improving its further releases. Back