At last year’s I/O developer conference, Google announced Project Marble, an effort to bring more speed and stability to the company’s Android Studio IDE. That was in marked contrast to previous updates, where the focus was very much on adding new features. Over time, though, as Google extended Android Studio, it started to slow down. Android Studio 3.5, which the company is launching today, is the result of these efforts.
“We are certainly not done improving quality with Android Studio, but with the work and new infrastructure put into Project Marble we hope that you are even more productive in developing Android apps,” the company notes in today’s announcement.
The most important updates probably focus on speed. One of the things that slowed Android Studio down were memory leaks, for example. Over the last year, the team fixed 33 major memory leaks and a new feature allows the IDE to collect more information about how it uses memory and suggest memory settings for you. It’s now also easier for developers to share their memory problems with Google.
The team also addressed user interface freezes and improved both build and overall IDE speed. The Android Emulator now also uses fewer CPU resources, often by up to 3x.
One interesting update will bring a welcome change to Android Studio users on Windows. Developers on Microsoft’s platform often complained about how their build times were getting slower. The reason for this, it turned out, was that many anti-virus programs would scan Android Studio’s build targets — and these have a lot of small files. Scanning those takes up a lot of I/O and CPU bandwidth. With this update, the IDE now check the directories that could be impacted by this and recommends how to fix this issue.
In addition to these updates that focus on speed and stability, the team also polished numerous existing features, ranging from improved Intellij support to Layout Editor improvement. Android Studio 3.5 is now also officially supported on Chrome OS 72 and high-end x86-based Chromebooks.