Android Studio 2.0 brings new emulator, more tools to speed app creation

After nearly four months in beta, Google's official app creation suite is ready for the masses.

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Google’s official development tool, Android Studio, is now out of beta and primed with new capabilities for faster app building.

The most prominent piece to the 2.0 update is Instant Run, which Google has been working on as part of its Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for the last year. With this, you’re able to see how a change in code affects the app instantly. Otherwise you’re stuck re-compiling or installing the APK, which can be a laborious process.

Additionally, the device emulator is said to be three times faster than before thanks its ability to tap into multi-core CPUs. Google says the emulator will typically be faster than testing on a real device and taps into a new Instant Run feature that fires up a new virtual device for each test build.

Android Studio also gives developers a better idea about how their app may perform on multiple devices with its Cloud Test Lab. This lets you try out how the app looks on a variety of phones, tablets, and other hardware, which is critical given the far-flung landscape of Android fragmentation.

You can download Android Studio 2.0 now if you want to check it out. Google has also partnered with Udacity on a series of online courses for those who want to learn about how to build Android apps.

Why this matters: The quality of tools available to developers greatly enhances the type of apps they can build. The new features in Android Studio should give developers a better handle on working with multiple devices and versions of Android, which are the main challenges in building for Google’s operating system. This won’t address the underlying problem of why some apps launch first, or sometimes only, on iOS. But it will help developers build more quality apps that take advantage of Android’s specific features.

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