Android Studio focuses on C++ editing

Android Studio focuses on C++ editing
Credit: Android developers

Version 1.3 of the IDE also gets memory and testing improvements

Android Studio, which has been billed as the official Android IDE, will get improvements in C++ language accommodations, annotations, and memory profiling with the release of the 1.3 version this week.

Based on JetBrains' popular IntelliJ Idea Java development environment, Android Studio has been viewed by InfoWorld as a superior alternative to the Eclipse IDE. Version 1.3 is now available in the Android Studio release channel. Key features include full editing and debugging support for C++, a new memory profiler, and improved testing, according to the Android Developers Blog.

For C++ support, Google has included an Early Access Preview of a C++ editor and debugger and an experimental build plug-in as part of the stable Android Studio 1.3 release. "Support for more complex projects and build configurations is in development," said Jamal Eason, Android product manager, in the blog. Inline code annotation support, meanwhile, can help developers manage the new permissions model in the M release of Android, which was announced in late May.

In performance and testing, version 1.3 allows for capture and analysis of memory snapshots in the native HPROF format, via the Android Memory Viewer. An updated allocation tracker adds a visual way to view app allocations. To boost testing flexibility, developers can place code tests in a separate module and use a new test plug-in -- -- rather than keep tests next to app code, but this feature requires an app to use the Gradle Plugin 1.3.

Android Studio now features SDK update management, although developers still can adjust preferences via an Andriod SDK Manager feature. "By default, Android Studio will now prompt you about new SDK & Tool updates," said Eason. For data binding, version 1.3 enables developers to build declarative layouts that reduce the need for boilerplate code, with application logic bounded to layouts.

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