Google has released Android Studio 2.0 beta, the latest version of its integrated development environment (IDE). Until now, preview releases were available in the Canary channel, but Android Studio 2.0 has been promoted to the Beta channel.

In November, Google unveiled Android Studio 2.0, the second major version of its IDE. Version 2.0 brings a slew of improvements, including Instant Run, a faster Android emulator, and a new GPU profiler. Google hasn’t shared when it expects to release Android Studio 2.0 in the stable channel, but we’re still betting it will be ready in time for the company’s I/O developer conference in May.

Google has been hard at work: This isn’t just about fixing bugs. The Beta release brings a slew of improvements, including the following:

  • Instant Run: The beta release introduces a new capability called Cold Swap. This option quickly restarts the whole application, which can be useful for structural code change, including changes to the class hierarchy, method signatures, static initializers, or fields. Cold Swap is available when you deploy to targets with API level 21 or above.
  • App Indexing: In the first preview of Android Studio 2.0 you could add indexing code stubs into your code. With the beta release, you can now test and validate your URL links with the built-in validation tool (Tools => => Android => Google App Indexing Test).
  • Android Emulator: The rotation controls have been updated on the emulator toolbar. Multi-touch support (hold down the Alt key on your keyboard and right-click) for testing apps that use pinch and zoom gestures has been added.

android_studio_multitouch

Google says “the beta release is near stable release quality” but, as with any beta, you can naturally expect that “bugs may still exist.” If you’re already using Android Studio, you can get the latest version on the Beta channel by going to Help and choosing “Check for Update.”

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