Road to Android N Development Further Polished with Android Studio 2.1 Release!

Android Studio 2.1 IDE released by Google this week is a mechanism for building applications for its Android N Developer Preview Version that was launched earlier in March. The Version 2.1 comes with updates for Wizards, emulator and the build system. APIs and features like the Jack Compiler can be sampled by the developers.

The Jack Compiler is a Java Android Compiler Kit that compiles Java Source Code into Android dex bytecode, in the Android N preview. According to Reto Meier, Android developer advocate, “Installing the Android N preview SDK requires Android Studio 2.1.” Java 8 language features are now supported in Android N by the IDE and this includes method references and Lambda expressions.

This further brings an improvement to Instant Run even though the Jack Compiler doesn’t presently support it. The build and compilation times have been improved to a great extent.

Jamal Eason, Android product manager said, “In previous versions of Android Studio, a single line of Java code change will cause all the Java sources in the module to be recompiled.” In the present studio version, incremental Java compilation has been enabled by default in Android Studio 2.1.

This has been done in order to reduce the compilation by compiling only what is necessary.Meanwhile, by making use of in process dex, Google is improving the build times through the conversion of class files to dex files in the Gradle Daemon process. Eason revealed, “This avoids the costly processing operation of creating separate dex processes.

To use this feature, you will need to increase the amount of memory available to the Gradle daemon to at least 2GB (1 GB is the default). “A number of bug fixes and stability improvements have been introduced in the latest Version 2.1, specifically for Android N preview SDK users, as revealed by Meier. In case you didn’t know, Android Studio by Google is its official IDE for building Android mobile applications. This Studio features a Gradle-based build system and it is further based on IntelliJ Idea IDE.

Two weeks ago, the Developer Preview of Android N was released but it became available for download only on Nexus 5X, 6P, 6, 9, 9 LTE and Pixel C but sadly, the Nexus player did not make it to the list. Android Developer Advocate Ian Lake announced that the factory image is presently available for Android TV Device of Google.

Moreover, the build has been identified with version number NPC910. Google will release Android N this fall but the name hasn’t been chosen yet. According to some people, it will be Nutella while others think it will be Nougat.

However, reports indicate that Google will conduct an online poll and it will pick up a desert name for the upcoming operating system in the end. In the meantime, developers have access to new features and at the same time, it will make its way to the final version of Android N OS.

Right now, only a few Nexus devices have made its way in the Android Beta Program. On 9th March, the first developer preview of Android N arrived while the second preview was released on 13th April.

The factory image was made available only a few days ago for the prominent Nexus player. The developers can choose to sideload the OTA using adb while developers can download it for fastboot.

If Android N can be tried out on a digital media player without a touchscreen, things will be rather interesting. The developers can head over to the Android Beta site in case they no longer wish to be a part of the Android Beta Program.