Google unveils Android Studio 2.0, with new Instant Run feature and speedier performance

The new build is in the Canary channel, so it will take several rounds of bug fixes before a stable release is ready.

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Credit: Adam Patrick Murray

Android Studio, Google’s official development tool for its mobile platform, is getting its biggest update yet.

Google announced on the Android Developers Blog that version 2.0 is now available in the Canary channel, with a promise of speedier performance and new features to improve the process of Android app creation. 

Like it does with Chrome, the Canary channel is for bleeding-edge new features and testing. The build then moves to a beta and finally stable channel for general release. In other words: Canary is pre-beta, so expect bugs.

The headline feature for developers is what’s called “Instant Run.” With this, you’ll be able to see the changes you make to the code or emulator much closer to real-time. In the current build of Android Studio it can be quite the wait to see how your changes impact the app’s performance.

Another update is to the GPU Profiler. Google says this will assist those building graphics-intensive apps and games to see what’s happening with each screen draw. This can create better tracking for image and trace performance issues. Given the vast number of Android devices out there, emulator testing is key for shipping an app with minimal bugs.

The announcement was a key part of the inaugural Android Developer Summit, taking place today and Tuesday at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. Google is livestreaming the event if you want to check it out.

The story behind the story: Android Studio only came out of beta a year ago, but the development pace has been pretty rapid since then. With this software, Google can better guide developers to making apps that take advantage of all the platform’s new features. Google also is a backer of a Udacity course to try and lower the learning curve for getting started with Android app development.

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