Android Studio 3.0: Kotlin Support, Java 8 Libraries, and Instant Apps

The latest Android Studio 3.0 features full out-of-the-box Kotlin support, newest Android Gradle plugin with Java 8 libraries, performance enhancements, smoother build process and easier performance debugging. Additionally, developers will now be able to create Instant Apps, and all of this with almost the same system requirements (with only a little bumped up disk space demands).

Why Kotlin?

Kotlin Android Studio Logo

Kotlin is a modern Java alternative developed by JetBrains (yep, same guys) that is quickly rising on the scene. It’s cleaner, safer, open source, and 100% interoperable with the existing Android languages. It offers significant advantages for JVM and Android development and works well with Java in the same projects.

Google first announced Kotlin compatibility back in May at the I/O conference. And now Android Studio fully support hustle-free automatic conversion of any Java code into Kotlin on-the-go.

For more info on this language, refer to the official Android Developers’ page: Link

Android Plugin for Gradle 3.0.0

Android Plugin for Gradle logo

Google promises that new Gradle plugin will improve build configuration times and sync speed for large modular projects. It also features a wide variety of minor updates and features, most of which are centered around build performance.

Java 8 Support

Java 8 logo advanced streams

Now Android Studio supports more of useful Java 8 libraries and language features like Lambda expressions, static and default interface methods, and references. Experimental Jack compiler is no longer required.

New Android Profiler

Android Studio - New Android Profiler

Profiler is a replacement for the old Monitor tool that includes a set of real-time measurement features like CPU, memory, and network usage, and some in-depth performance analytics, allowing to spot memory leaks and performance issues on the early production stages.

Other Neat Updates

  • Android 8.0 Support
  • Ability to debug APKs without building them from projects
  • Support for building APKs separately based on language resources
  • Support for Android Test Support Library 1.0 (Android Test Utility and Android Test Orchestrator).
  • Improved incremental resource processing using AAPT2 is now turned on by default
  • Two new module types for building Instant Apps
  • App Indexing in Firebase Assistant
  • Improved file explorer panel

The full list of the new changes can be found in the official Android Studio Release Notes.

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