Android Studio 2.3

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By Jamal Eason, Product Manager, Android

Android Studio 2.3 is available to download today. The
focus for this release is quality improvements across the IDE. We are grateful
for all your feedback so far. We are committed to continuing to invest in making
Android Studio fast & seamless for the millions of Android app developers across
the world.

We are most excited about the quality improvements in Android Studio 2.3 but you
will find a small set of new features in this release that integrate into each
phase of your development flow. When designing your app, take advantage of the
updated WebP
support for your app images plus check out the updated ConstraintLayout library support and widget palette in the Layout
Editor. As you are developing, Android Studio has a new App
Link Assistant which helps you build and have a consolidated view of your
URIs in your app. While building and deploying your app, use the updated run
buttons for a more intuitive and reliable Instant
Run experience. Lastly, while testing your app with the Android Emulator,
you now have proper copy & paste text support.

What’s new in Android Studio 2.3

For more detail about the features we added on top of the quality improvements
Android Studio 2.3, check out the list of the new features below:

Build
  • Instant Run Improvements and UI Changes: As a part of our
    focus on quality, we have made some significant changes to Instant Run in
    Android Studio 2.3 to make the feature more reliable. The Run action will now always cause an application
    restart to reflect changes in your code that may require a restart, and the new Apply Changes action will attempt to swap the code while your app keeps running. The underlying implementation has changed significantly to improve
    on reliability, and we have also eliminated the startup lag for Instant Run
    enabled apps. Learn
    more.
New Instant Run Button Actions
  • Build Cache: Introduced but disabled by default in Android Studio 2.2, Build
    Cache is an underlying build optimization for faster builds in Android Studio.
    By caching exploded AARs and pre-dexed external libraries, the new build cached
    leads to faster clean builds. This is a user-wide build cache that is now turned on
    by default with Android Studio 2.3. Learn
    more.
Design
  • Chains and Ratios support in Constraint Layout: Android
    Studio 2.3 includes the stable release of ConstraintLayout
    With this release of ConstraintLayout, you can now chain two
    or more Android views bi-directionally together to form a group on one
    dimension. This is helpful when you want when you want to place two views close
    together but want to spread them across empty space. Learn more.
Constraint Layout Chains
ConstraintLayout also supports ratios, which is helpful when
you want to maintain the aspect ratio of widget as the containing layout expands
and contracts. Learn
more about ratios. Additionally, both Chains and Ratios in
ConstraintLayout can support programmatic creating with ConstraintSet
APIs.
Constraint Layout Ratios

  • Layout Editor Palette: The updated widget palette in the
    Layout Editor allows you to search, sort and filter to find widgets for your
    layouts, plus gives you a preview of the widget before dragging on to the design
    surface. Learn
    more.
Layout Editor Widget Palette
  • Layout Favorites: You can now save your favorite
    attributes per widget in the updated Layout Editor properties panel. Simply star
    an attribute in the advanced panel and it will appear under the Favorites
    section. Learn
    more.
Favorites Attributes on Layout Editor Properties Panel
  • WebP Support: To help you save space in your APK, Android
    Studio can now generate WebP images from PNG assets in your project. The WebP
    lossless format is up to 25%
    smaller than a PNG. With
    Android Studio 2.3, you have a new wizard that converts PNG to lossless WebP and
    also allows you to inspect lossy WebP encoding as well. Right-click on any non-launcher
    PNG file to convert to WebP. And if you need to edit the image, you can also
    right-click on any WebP file in your project to convert back to PNG. Learn
    more.
WebP Image Conversion Wizard

  • Material Icon Wizard Update: The updated vector asset
    wizard supports search and filtering, plus it includes labels for each icon
    asset. Learn
    more.
Vector Asset Wizard

Develop
  • Lint Baseline: With Android Studio 2.3, you can set
    unresolved lint warnings as a baseline in your project. From that point forward,
    Lint will report only new issues. This is helpful if you have many legacy lint
    issues in your app, but just want to focus on fixing new issues. Learn more about Lint baseline and the new Lint checks & annotations added in this
    release.
Lint Baseline Support
  • App Links Assistant: Supporting Android App Links in your
    app is now easier with Android Studio. The new App Links Assistant allows you to
    easily create new intent filters for your URLs, declare your app’s website
    association through a Digital Asset Links file, and test your Android App Links
    support. To access the App Link Assistant go to the following menu location:
    ToolsApp Link Assistant. Learn
    more.
App Links Assistant
  • Template Updates: By default, all templates in Android
    Studio 2.3 which use to contain RelativeLayout, now use
    ConstraintLayout. Learn more about templates
    and Constraint
    Layout. We have also added a new Bottom Navigation Activity template, which
    implements the Bottom Navigation Material Design guideline.
New Project Wizard Templates
  • IntelliJ Platform Update: Android Studio 2.3 includes the
    IntelliJ 2016.2 release, which has enhancements such as an updated inspection
    window and a notifications system. Learn
    more.
Test
  • Android Emulator Copy & Paste: Back by popular demand, we
    added back the Copy & Paste feature to the latest Emulator (v25.3.1). We have a
    shared clipboard between the Android Emulator and host operating system, which
    will allow you to copy text between both environments. Copy & Paste works with x86 Google API Emulator system images API Level 19 (Android 4.4 – Kitkat) and
    higher.
Copy & Paste support in Android Emulator

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  • Android Emulator Command Line Tools: Starting with Android
    SDK Tools 25.3, we have moved the emulator from the SDK Tools
    folder into a separate emulator directory, and also deprecated and replaced the “android
    avd
    ” command with a standalone avdmanager
    command. The previous command line parameters for emulator
    and “android avd” will work with the updated tools. We have also added
    location redirects for the emulator command. However, if you create
    Android Virtual Devices (AVDs) directly through the command line you should
    update any corresponding scripts. If you are using the Android Emulator through
    Android Studio 2.3, these change will not impact your workflow. Learn
    more.

To recap, Android Studio 2.3 includes these new features and more:

Develop

  • Lint
    Baseline
  • Updated
    Lint Checks & Annotations
  • App
    Link Assistant
  • Constraint Layout by default in Templates
  • Intellij Platform
    Update 2016.2

Build

  • Instant
    Run UI Change
  • Build
    Cache
Design

  • Constraint Layout chains
    & ratios
  • Widget
    Palette in Layout Editor
  • Favorites
    in the property inspector
  • WebP
    Support
  • Search
    For Material Icon Wizard

Test

  • Emulator
    Copy & Paste
  • Emulator
    Command Line Tools

Learn more about Android Studio 2.3 by reviewing the release
notes.

Getting Started

Download
If you are using a previous version of Android Studio, you can check for updates
on the Stable channel from the navigation menu (Help → Check for Update
[Windows/Linux] , Android Studio → Check for Updates [OS X]). You can also
download Android Studio 2.3 from the official download page. To
take advantage of all the new features and improvements in Android Studio, you
should also update to the Android Gradle plugin version to 2.3.0 in your current
app project.

We appreciate any feedback on things you like, issues or features you would like
to see. Connect with us — the Android Studio development team — on our Google+ page or on Twitter.


Android Developers Blog

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