Android Studio is Google’s official development environment for creating Android applications. The past few updates have been relatively minor, mostly focusing on quality-of-life improvements and bug fixes, but Google has also been cooking up a larger upgrade. Android Studio 4.0 leaves beta today, and it’s full of changes that should make creating apps a lot easier.
First up is the new Motion Editor, an interface for creating complex motion and widget animations in their apps using the MotionLayout API. “You no longer have to create and modify complex XML files,” Google wrote in a blog post, “the Motion Editor generates them for you, with support for editing constraint sets, transitions, keyframes, and view attributes.” Android Studio can also automatically convert older ConstrantLayout animations to the newer MotionLayout standard for use with the new editor.
There are also improvements to the Layout Inspector, like a new live 3D representation of nested views, and the new Layout Validation window gives you an idea of what app designs look like on multiple screen sizes at once. Maybe Google can use that to create tablet versions of its apps — just throwing that out there.
Android Studio 4.0 also includes changes for writing code. Features from IntelliJ IDEA 2019.3 and 2019.3.3 have now been integrated (most of which focus on IDE performance), live templates for Kotlin apps are now available, and clangd is now used for analyzing C++ code. The Android Gradle plugin also now supports using all Java 8 language features across all versions of Android, instead of limiting certain functions (like java.util.stream, java.util.function and java.time) to newer Android API levels.
If you already have Android Studio, you should be able to check for updates to get version 4.0. You can also download Studio from the official website.