Android Studio Arctic Fox

8 Jun 2021

Android Studio Arctic Fox (2020.3.1) Beta- Everything You Need To Know!

The recent launch of Android Studio Arctic Fox (2020.3.1) Beta has created an exciting buzz amongst the global developer community. If you want to fetch more insight about this recent release, then keep reading further. 

Today, with the help of this blog post, we will be sharing all the official updates that Android IDE has for you. So without any further ado, let’s get started!     

The latest release of official Android IDE focuses on-

  • Design
  • Devices 
  • Developer Productivity

It is a promising update for the developer community. But this is not all. There are many more improvements and features in the Beta version surrounding these themes. Let us develop a thorough understanding of them. 

1. Design

Creating modern User Interfaces with Jetpack Compose has never been easy. But since we now have tools to bridge that gap, we can- 

  • Create previews in different configurations
  • Navigate the code with Compose Preview
  • Test it in isolation with Deploy Preview to Device
  • Inspect the entire app with the Layout inspector

One can easily edit strings and numbers throughout the iterations and check updates immediately. With the help of Accessibility Scanner in Layout Editor, View-based layouts can be audited for accessibility problems.  

Live Edit of literals- It allows developers to edit literals like numbers, booleans, and strings, in the code. It is easy to view the results instantly, as there is no need to wait for compilation. 

Deploy Preview to Device- This feature deploys a snippet of UI to the emulator or device. One can test small parts of the code in the device, and there’s no need to start the complete app.

Accessibility Scanner for Layout Editor- Now, the Android Studio integrates with Android Accessibility Test Framework. This helps in finding accessibility issues in the layouts. While using Layout Editor, one can click on the error report button to launch the panel. It then reports accessibility-related issues and suggests possible fixes.     

Compose Preview- It can be used to create previews of Compose UI. 

Layout Inspector for Compose- It helps users understand how layouts are rendered on an emulator or running device. 

2. Devices

Android app developers can now extend and reimagine apps beyond phones. For example, Google TV, Wear OS, and Android Auto. We now have system images, new emulators, and authentic simulations for different testing scenarios like-   

  • The paring of watch and phone emulators with Wear OS Pairing
  • Taking a virtual run with Wear OS heart rate sensors
  • Switching channels with GoogleTV Remote Control
  • Driving with Automotive OS Sensor Replay

New Wear OS System Images- Users can now play and use the latest version of Wear OS. 

Wear OS Paring- This guides developers through step-by-step paring of physical/virtual phones with Wear OS emulators directly in Android Studio. 

Google TV Remote Control- The updated remote control panel has a mapping for new Google TV remote control features, like settings, user profile. 

Heart Rate Sensor for Wear OS Emulators- This feature will help to test the Wear OS applications. 

Automotive OS Sensor Replay- It helps in stimulating driving scenarios. 

New Google TV System Images- This update helps in freely exploring the User Interface.      

3. Developer Productivity

It ensures that the developer’s workspace and environment are completely ready for the latest systems and thoroughly optimized for quality and speed. The platform gives a significant boost to developer’s productivity. With a major update to Intellij 2020.3, developers can now rejoice new improvements and features like-   

  • Testing app with what Android 12 has to offer
  • Improving app performance with the updated UI for Memory Profiler
  • Understanding background task relationships with WorkManager Inspector
  • Using Non-Transitive R classes IDE Refactoring to increase build speed

Android 12 lint checks- This update offers the right guidance in context, like custom declarations, coarse location permission, media formats, and high sensor sampling rate permission.

IntelliJ Platform Update- It has features like a new Welcome screen, Debugger interactive hints, and various code editor enhancements. These additions will help in speeding up the workflow.   

Extended controls in the Emulator tool window- The update is now providing access to all extended emulator controls. With Android Studio, the developers now have efficient tools for testing their applications like snapshots, navigation playback, and virtual sensors. 

Apple Silicon Support Preview- Android Studio Arctic Fox provides preview support for the new architecture of macOS on Apple Silicon.  

Parallel device testing with Test Matrix- It can be used to run instrumentation tests across multiple devices. 

Non-transitive R classes Refactoring- This will initiate faster builds for apps with multiple modules. It also ensures to prevent resource duplication.

Background Task Inspector- It can be used to monitor, visualize, and debug the app’s background workers. 

Memory Profiler new recording UI- It can be utilized for different recording activities like native memory allocation, capturing a heap dump. 

Download Android Studio Arctic Fox (2020.3.1) Beta and try these features yourself today. Don’t forget to share your experience with us. But until then, for more buzz from the tech world, stay tuned to this space! 

Happy reading!    

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