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Android Studio 2.3 Releases Across the World, Adds WebP Support and More

Android Studio 2.3 brings in quality improvements across the IDE making it fast & seamless along with new features that well integrate into each phase of developement flow including: updated WebP support for app images, ConstraintLayout library support and widget palette in the Layout Editor.

The new Studio sporting a new App Link Assistant helps to build a consolidated view of URIs in app. And use updated run buttons for a more intuitive and reliable Instant Run experience while building and deploying app. Lastly, Android Emulator now have proper copy & paste text support.

The emulator is moved from SDK Tools folder into a separate emulator directory and “android avd” command is deprecated and replaced with a standalone avdmanager command in Android SDK Tools 25.3. The previous command line parameters for emulator and “android avd” will work with the updated tools.

A new location redirects for emulator command is added, however, when Android Virtual Devices (AVDs) created through command line should also update any corresponding scripts.

Here is a list of new features in the Studio 2.3:

  • Instant Run action will now always cause an application restart to reflect changes in the code that may require restart. The new Apply Changes action will swap the code while the app keeps running.
  • Android Studio 2.3 Instant Run Button Actions
    Android Studio 2.3 Instant Run Button Actions
  • Also, underlying implementation significantly improves on reliability, and also eliminated startup lag for Instant Run enabled apps.
  • Build Cache disabled by default, when enabled cache exploded AARs and pre-dexed external libraries, leading to faster clean builds.
  • With ConstraintLayout, you can now chain two or more Android views bi-directionally together to form a group on one dimension.
  • Ratios, is helpful to maintain aspect ratio of widget as the containing layout expands and contracts. Additionally, “both Chains and Ratios in ConstraintLayout can support programmatic creating with ConstraintSet APIs.”
  • Layout Editor Palette helps search, sort and filter to find widgets for layouts, plus gives you a preview of the widget before dragging on to the design surface.
  • Layout favorites per widget can now be save in the Layout Editor properties panel.
  • Android Studio now generate lossless WebP images from PNG assets through a new wizard and also let inspect lossy WebP encoding as well. Just right-click any non-launcher PNG file for converting to WebP. Just right-click on any WebP file in the project to convert back to PNG.
  • Android Studio 2.3 WebP Image Conversion Wizard
    Android Studio 2.3 WebP Image Conversion Wizard
  • Material icon vector asset wizard now supports search and filtering, plus it includes labels for each icon asset.
  • You can set unresolved lint warnings as a baseline for reporting only new issues.
  • Android Studio 2.3 Lint Baseline Support
    Android Studio 2.3 Lint Baseline Support
  • App Links Assistant help create new intent filters for URLs, declare your app’s website association through a Digital Asset Links file, and test Android App Links support. App Link Assistant can be access from the Tools → App Link Assistant.
  • Android Studio 2.3 App Links Assistant
    Android Studio 2.3 App Links Assistant
  • By default, all templates now use ConstraintLayout. Also a new Bottom Navigation Activity template added, implements Bottom Navigation Material Design guideline.
  • IntelliJ platform update include enhancements such as an updated inspection window and a notifications system.
  • Android Emulator copy & paste now work between both Emulator and host operating system. Copy & Paste works with x86 Google API Emulator system images API Level 19 (Android 4.4 – Kitkat) and higher.

For more details about what’s new in Android Studio 2.3, watch this video:

If you are new, Android Studio 2.3 can be downloaded here, or check for updates on the Stable channel from the navigation menu Help → Check for Update [Windows/Linux] , Android Studio → Check for Updates [OS X]).

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