Google today announced the stable release of Android Studio 3.3, representing the latest version of its integrated development environment (IDE).
The latest version of Android Studio, a platform for developers to build apps for any Android device, ships with a number of updates — however, its purpose is perhaps less about flashy new features than it is about “refinement and quality,” according to Android product manager Jamal Eason, in a blog post.
“Based on the feedback from many of you, we have taken a step back from large features to focus on our quality fundamentals,” he said. “The goal is to ensure Android Studio continues to help you stay productive in making great apps for Android.”
With the launch of 3.2 last year, Google added a bunch of new smarts to Android Studio, such as App Bundle support, Energy Profiler, and support for AMD processors on Windows 10. With 3.3, however, Google said it has addressed in the region of 200 bugs reported by developers — and it plans to continue refining Android Studio in forthcoming releases too.
This is actually related to an initiative announced by Google late last year called Project Marble, which is really just a fancy name it’s giving to its efforts to improve Android Studio.
“We know that for an IDE to be delightful, and to keep you productive, it has to be not just stable — it has to be rock-solid stable,” noted Google group product manager Karen Ng, at the Android Developer Summit back in November. “The main focus for our next few releases will be quality, which we’re calling Project Marble, reducing the number of crashes, hangs, memory leaks, and user-impacting bugs.”
Android Studio 3.3 isn’t purely about fixing bugs, though, as it does come with a number of enhancements. For example, it ships with a new feature called “navigation editor” that was teased originally in Android Studio 3.2, but which was ultimately withheld for improvements.
The navigation editor basically offers a visual way of constructing the navigation between various destinations (i.e. screens) inside an app.