Google makes building apps easier with Android Studio 2.0

"Developing on the official Android Emulator is faster than a real device."

In 2013, Google launched an official integrated development environment (IDE) called Android Studio to make app development for its mobile platform faster and more visual. That must have worked, as the Play Store is now bulging with nearly 1.6 million apps, the most of any store. However, it's long overdue for an overhaul, so the search giant has launched Android Studio 2.0 with plenty of new speed and productivity features.

The most prominent addition is Instant Run, something the company has been refining in previews over the last year. When you change your code, you can instantly see how it affects the running app, with no need to re-compile or reinstall the APK. That should "accelerate your edit, build and run cycles," according to Google.

The Android device emulator now takes advantage of multi-core CPUs, making it three times faster than before. "In most situations, developing on the official Android Emulator is faster than a real device, and new features like Instant Run will work best with the new Android emulator," Google says. The brand new interface will help you fine tune an app by letting you rotate the screen, drag-and drop to install apps and use multi-touch controls like pinch to zoom.

Once the app is ready, you can use Google's Cloud Test Lab to put it "through a collection of tests against a portfolio of physical devices hosted in Google's data centers," according to the company. That works both with your own tests or basic ones supplied by Google, helping to eliminate conflicts and other bugs. Game developers, meanwhile, can preview the new GPU Developer, which lets you "step through your app frame by frame to identify and debug graphics rendering issues."

Finally, Google has added App Indexing, a feature that helps users find your app in Google search and Play. To do that, it helps you create the right URL structure, add attributes that work with Google's app indexing service and test the final result. If you're looking to become the next Flappy Bird maven or have an app dev deal with one of the Kardashians, Android Studio 2.0 is now available.