It's been a little over a month since Google announced that it would be releasing a second major upgrade to Android's integrated development environment (IDE) and now it's finally here.
Android Studio 1.0 was released in December 2014 after being in development for two years. It's taken about the same amount of time to finally remove the wraps off of Android 2.0 which has officially been released in beta form.
The standout feature of Android's latest IDE is what Google calls Instant Run. Instant Run allows Android developers to instantaneously view any changes they make to their app's code on a device or on the Android Emulator.
Instead of waiting for the whole app to rebuild itself and restart after a code change, Android Studio 2.0 will only adjust to the changes that were made and allow viewing of those changes in under a second. This has been a part of the build since the updated IDE was only available on the Canary channel.
In the Beta channel, Instant Run comes equipped with a new function called Cold Swap. Cold Swap allows an app to quickly restart in cases where there are major structural changes to its code base such as those to the class hierarchy, static initializers and method signatures.
Another feature building more improvements into Android Studio is App Indexing. At first, App Indexing enabled the addition of indexing code stubs into an app's code. This allows for a developer to push their app in front of more users via Google Search.
By indexing URL patterns the app manifest and supporting URLs for an app's content, users can go directly to those links from Google Search results on their Android devices. The beta additions equip developers with the ability to test and validate those URL links using a built-in validation tool.
Finally, the last major addition to Android 2.0 in beta is a new emulator. The Android Emulator now allows for more rotation controls as shown in the video below and for multi-touch support for apps that use gestures like pinch and zoom to navigate around an app.