Android Studio 2.3 Released

Google has currently gone on to release Android Studio 2.3, its latest version of the Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that now comes with some new features integrated along with quality improvements.
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You can directly download the new version for Mac, Windows, and Linux from here. However, if you are already using Android Studio, then you can easily go on to gain the latest version from the navigation menu (Help => Check for Update on Windows/Linux and Android Studio => Check for Updates on OS X).
The company states,
“We are most excited about the quality improvements in Android Studio 2.3 but you will find a small set of new features in this release that integrate into each phase of your development flow. When designing your app, take advantage of the updated WebP support for your app images plus check out the updated ConstraintLayout library support and widget palette in the Layout Editor. As you are developing, Android Studio has a new App Link Assistant which helps you build and have a consolidated view of your URIs in your app. While building and deploying your app, use the updated run buttons for a more intuitive and reliable Instant Run experience. Lastly, while testing your app with the Android Emulator, you now have proper copy & paste text support.”
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The new features which version 2.3 brings are:
  • Improvements in Instant Run Action: Instant Run significantly reduces the time taken in updating your app with code and resource changes. After deploying your app to a target device running Android 5.0 (API level 21) or higher, you can click "Apply Changes" to push certain code and resource changes to your running app without building a new APK—and, in some cases, without even restarting the current activity.

  • Build Cache: This feature was disabled by default in Android Studio 2.2. Now, it has again been enabled. The underlying build optimization results in faster builds by caching exploded AARs and pre-dexed external libraries.

  • Chains and Ratios support in Constraint Layout: The stable release of ConstraintLayout means that you will now be able to chain two or more Android Views bi-directionally together, so as to form a group on one dimension. It also supports ratio, which is quite helpful for maintainig the aspect ratio of widgets as the containing layout expands and contracts.

  • Layout Editor Palette: The all new updated widget palette allows you to search, sort, and filter which enable you to find widgets for your layouts. It would go on to provide you with a preview of the widget before dragging on to the design surface.

  • Layout Favorites: You will now be able to save your favorite attributes per widget in the Layout Editor Properties panel.

  • WebP Support: You can generate the WebP images from the PNG assets in your project and save signifiant pace in your APK.

  • Material Icon Wizard Update: The updated vector asset wizard now supports search and filtering. It also includes labels for each icon asset.

  • Lint Baseline: You will now be able to set unresolved Lint warnings as a baseline in your project. Now, Lint will report only new issues.

  • App Links Assistant: The new assistant (Tools => App Link Assistant) now allows you to create new intent filters for your URLs. It will also declare your app’s website association through a Digital Asset Links file, and test your Android App Links support.

  • Template Updates: Templates which earlier contained RelativeLayout now use ConstraintLayout. In addition to this, a new Bottom Navigation Activity template, which implements the Bottom Navigation Material Design guideline, has also been added.

  • IntelliJ Platform Update: IntelliJ 2016.2 release is now included. This new relaease has enhancements of the updated inspection window and a notifications system.

  • Android Emulator Copy & Paste: This feature is made part of the latest Emulator (v25.3.1). The shared clipboard between the Android Emulator and host OS will now allow you to copy text between both environments.

  • Android Emulator Command Line Tools: The emulator has been moved from the SDK Tools folder into a separate emulator directory. The “android avd” command has been deprecated and replaced with a standalone avdmanager command.
This release also goes on to include numerous stability and performance fixes in addition to the new features. For more information, check the official blog.

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