World-class code editing, debugging, performance tooling, a flexible build system, and an instant build/deploy system all allow you to focus on building unique and high quality apps.
Push code and resource changes to your app running on a device or emulator and see the changes instantly come to life. Instant Run dramatically speeds up your edit, build, and run cycles, keeping you “in the flow.”
Intelligent code editor
Write better code, work faster, and be more productive with an intelligent code editor that helps you each step of the way. Android Studio is built on IntelliJ and is capable of advanced code completion, refactoring, and code analysis.
Fast and feature-rich emulator
Install and run your apps faster than with a physical device and test your app on virtually any Android device configuration: Android phones, Android tablets, Android Wear, and Android TV devices. The new Android Emulator 2.0 is faster than ever and allows you to dynamically resize the emulator and access a suite of sensor controls.
Robust and flexible build system
Easily configure your project to include code libraries and generate multiple build variants from a single project. With Gradle, Android Studio offers high-performance build automation, robust dependency management, and customizable build configurations.
Android Studio 4.2 is a major release that includes a variety of new features and improvements.
4.2.1 (May 2021)
This minor update bundles Kotlin plugin 1.5.0 and includes various bug fixes. To see a list of notable bug fixes, read the related post on the Release Updates blog.
Android Gradle plugin 4.2.0
The latest version of the Android Gradle plugin includes many updates. To learn more, read the full Android Gradle plugin release notes.
Gradle compatibility and configuration changes
When running in Android Studio, the Gradle build tool uses Studio’s bundled JDK. In previous releases, JDK 8 was bundled with Studio. In 4.2, however, JDK 11 is now bundled instead. When using the new bundled JDK to run Gradle, this may result in some incompatibility or impact JVM performance due to changes to the garbage collector. These issues are described in the AGP release notes.
Option to optimize Gradle sync time
To improve Gradle Sync performance, Android Studio skips building the task list during sync. This allows Gradle Sync to complete faster and improves UI responsiveness for very large projects. This option is on by default in Android Studio 4.2. To turn it off, go to File > Settings > Experimental (Preferences > Experimental on a Mac) and uncheck Do not build Gradle task list during Gradle sync.
Query editor improvements
The Database Inspector includes some improvements to help you write and execute your custom SQL statements. When you open the inspector and open a New query tab, you should notice a larger, resizable editor surface to author and format your queries.
In previous versions of Android Studio, disconnecting from an app process while using the Database Inspector resulted in closing the inspector and its data. In Android Studio 4.2, we’ve added the ability to keep inspecting your app’s databases after a process disconnects, making it easier to debug your app after a crash.
When a disconnect occurs, the Database Inspector downloads your databases and then makes them available to you in offline mode. When offline, you can open tables and run queries.
Keep in mind, when you reconnect to a live app process, the Database Inspector returns to live mode and shows you only the data that is on the device. That is, data shown in offline mode doesn’t persist when you reconnect to an app process. Because of this, the Database Inspector does not allow editing or running modification statements while in offline mode.
Upgrade Assistant for AGP
A new Upgrade Assistant for Android Gradle plugin can help you update the AGP version for your project.
The MotionLayout API extends the rich capabilities of ConstraintLayout to help Android developers manage complex motion and widget animation in their apps. In Android Studio 4.0, using this API is made easier with the new Motion Editor—a powerful interface for creating, editing, and previewing MotionLayout animations. You no longer have to create and modify complex XML files; the Motion Editor generates them for you, with support for editing constraint sets, transitions, keyframes, and view attributes. And if you do want to see the code the editor creates, it is one click away. And just as conveniently, for developers already using ConstraintLayout, the IDE can easily convert those to MotionLayout.
Upgraded Layout Inspector
Have you ever wanted to investigate where a value for a particular attribute came from? Or see a live 3D representation of nested views to more easily inspect your view hierarchy? With the new Layout Inspector, debugging your UI is much more intuitive by giving you access to data that stays updated with your running app and providing insights on how resources are being resolved.
Use the live Layout Inspector by selecting View > Tool Windows > Layout Inspector from the main menu. If you are deploying to a device running API 29 level or higher, you have access to additional features, such as a dynamic layout hierarchy that updates as views change, detailed view attributes that also help you determine how resource values are resolved, and a live 3D model of your running app’s UI. Navigate, animate, and transition between views on your running app while always having the ability to debug your UI to pixel perfection.
CPU Profiler UI Upgrades
The CPU profiler is designed to provide a rich amount of information about your app’s thread activity and trace recordings. So, when you provided us feedback about how we can make the UI even more intuitive to navigate and the data easier to understand, we listened. In Android Studio 4.0, CPU recordings are now separated from the main profiler timeline and organized in groups to allow for easier analysis. You can move groups up and down, or drag-and-drop individual items within a group for additional customization.
For easier side-by-side analysis, you can now view all thread activity in the Thread Activity timeline (including methods, functions, and events) and try new navigation shortcuts to easily move around the data—such as using W, A, S, and D keys for fine-grained zooming and panning. We’ve also redesigned the System Trace UI so Events are uniquely colored for better visual distinction, threads are sorted to surface the busier ones first, and you can now focus on seeing data for only the threads you select. Finally, we invested in the quality of the CPU profiler, and consequently we’ve seen a significant decrease in the user-reported error rates of recordings since Android Studio 3.6.