Being the official Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for android application development, Android Studio facilitates various features to enhance productivity while building Android apps. It was announced as an official IDE for Android app development, on 16th May 2013, at the Google I/O conference. From version 0.1 in May 2013, the early access preview of Android Studio started. In December 2014, the first stable built version was released, starting from version 1.0. Google’s preferred language, since 7th May 2019, for Android application development is Kotlin. The Android Studio, however, also supports other programming languages.
Features of Android Studio:
- Flexible Gradle-based build system.
- Fast and feature-rich emulator for app testing.
- A consolidated environment to develop apps for all Android devices.
- Changes can be applied to the resource code of the running app without restarting the app.
- Extensive testing tools and frameworks.
- Supports C++ and NDK.
- Build-in supports for Google Cloud Platform, which makes it easy to integrate Google Cloud Messaging and App Engine.
Android Studio Version History:
In 2003, Android Inc. started the development of the Android operating system. Later, in 2005, Google purchased it. On November 5, 2007, Google released the beta version of Android OS. Later, on November 12, 2007, the software development kit (SDK) was released. Again in October 2008, the first Android mobile was publicly released.
|Version numbers||Code name||Release date||API level|
|1||No codename||September 23, 2008||1|
|1.1||No codename||February 9, 2009||2|
|1.5||Cupcake||April 27, 2009||3|
|1.6||Donut||September 15, 2009||4|
|2.0 – 2.1||Eclair||October 26, 2009||5 – 7|
|2.2 – 2.2.3||Froyo||May 20, 2010||8|
|2.3 – 2.3.7||Gingerbread||December 6, 2010||9 – 10|
|3.0 – 3.2.6||Honeycomb||February 22, 2011||11 – 13|
|4.0 – 4.0.4||Ice Cream Sandwich||October 18, 2011||14 – 15|
|4.1 – 4.3.1||Jelly Bean||July 9, 2012||16 – 18|
|4.4 – 4.4.4||KitKat||October 31, 2013||19 – 20|
|5.0 – 5.1.1||Lollipop||November 12, 2014||21- 22|
|6.0 – 6.0.1||Marshmallow||October 5, 2015||23|
|7||Nougat||August 22, 2016||24|
|7.1.0 – 7.1.2||Nougat||October 4, 2016||25|
|8||Oreo||August 21, 2017||26|
|8.1||Oreo||December 5, 2017||27|
|9||Pie||August 6, 2018||28|
|10||Android 10||September 3, 2019||29|
Android Studio Project Structure:
One or more modules of the same or different types are present in an Android Studio project with resource files and source code files. Different types of modules are-
- Android app modules
- Library modules
- Google App Engine modules
The project files are displayed in the Android project view, in the Android Studio, by default. To provide quick access to a project’s key source files, this view is formed by modules. To the top-level under Gradle Scripts, these build files are visible. The app module holds the following folders:
- manifests: In this folder, the AndroidManifest.xml file is present.
- java: In this folder, the source code of Java files, including the JUnit test code is present.
- res: In this folder, all non-code resources, UI strings, XML layouts, and bitmap images are present.
Select the Project from the Project dropdown to see the actual file structure of a project.
Android Studio User Interface:
The logical areas present in the Android Studio main window are:
- Toolbar: A wide range of actions is provided including running apps and launching Android tools.
- Navigation bar: A compact view of the structure visible in the Project window is provided and helps in navigating a project and open files for editing.
- Editor Window: Space is provided to create and modify code. The editor can change based on the current file type. The Layout Editor is displayed by the editor while viewing a layout file.
- Tool window bar: Provide buttons to expand and collapse individual tool windows. It runs around outside the IDE window.
- Tool windows: Access specific tasks like search, project management, version control, and more, are facilitated which can be expanded or and collapsed.
- Status bar: The status of a project, IDE itself, any messages or warnings are displayed.
To get more screen space, we can organize the main window by moving or hiding toolbars and tool windows. The keyboard shortcuts can also be used to access many IDE features.
Android Studio Tool window:
To open tool windows, the keyboard shortcuts can be used. The shortcuts for the most common windows are listed below:
|Return to Editor||Esc||Esc||Esc|
|Hide all Tool Windows||Control+Shift+F12||Control+Shift+F12||Command+Shift+F12|
Gradle build system:
Being the foundation of the build system in Android Studio, the Gradle build uses more Android-specific capabilities provided by the Android plugin for Gradle. Apart from the command line and integrated tool from the Android Studio menu, the Gradle build system runs independently. The Android build features can serve the below purpose:
- To configure the build process.
- To customize the build process.
- To extend the build process.
- To create multiple APKs from an app, with different features using the same project and modules.
- To reuse resources and codes across the source sets.