App Developers UK: Google Android Studio

30th May 2013

Google’s I/O conference was held recently, and whilst a lot of interesting stuff was announced like a Nexus version of the Galaxy SIV, the most interesting thing for app developers was the reveal of Google Android Studio.

Google Android Studio

Essentially Google Android Studio is Android development 2.0 and it’s got us quite excited. There’s got a whole suite of useful tools that Eclipse doesn’t currently have, with one of the coolest being “live layout”, which renders your apps in real time onto a virtual mobile screen so you can see what it looks like as you work rather than having to create, test, and then return to editing. Finally gone will be the days of the much maligned Eclipse Emulator and also vastly improved options for on-the-fly testing which should make more experimental or off the wall ideas much more viable.

Also included is the ability to change layouts and screen sizes of the virtual devices you can see, enabling you to get a good idea of what your apps is going to look like on anything from a 3.7” screen to a full 10” tablet. With Android having so many different screen sizes, being able to see these different sizes and test different layouts as you go is, again, something that Android developers like ourselves are going to really appreciate.

Developer Console for Google Play Update

Included in this Christmas package from Google was a fairly substantial update to the developer console for Google Play. This has been primarily targeted towards the beta phase of an app and helping developers get their beta app into the hands of testers. This has been tricky in the past for developers but this new system hopes to really help along the process of getting your app out there to be tested as thoroughly as it can be. The console also lets you manage a staged roll out process, which will be very useful to many developers who are looking to regulate how quickly features and versions of their apps go public. After all, extra control of your apps reveal to the world can mean that you run less risk of putting out unfinished or bugged versions.

Integration of Translation Services

Lastly in this box of tricks is the integration of translation services into the tools.What this does is give you an option to say that you want, perhaps, your app to be translated into Spanish for that particular market. Google will then bring up a list of companies who offer app translation services and once you’ve chosen one, will act as a middle-man to get your app translated, with the results arriving directly into your console.

More than anything else this will be a great step forward for Android development because it’s finally bringing a proper IDE for the OS onto the market. Reading comments around the net about this, it seems that developers are very excited and eager to test it out.

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