Android Studio 4.0 backs native UI toolkit

Now available in a preview release, the Android Studio 4.0 ‘Canary’ upgrade works with the JetPack Compose UI toolkit and improves Java 8 support

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Google has rolled out a preview of the Android Studio 4.0 IDE, with support for the Jetpack Compose toolkit for building native Android UIs.

Android Studio 4.0 “Canary” works hand in hand with Jetpack Compose, which leverages Kotlin APIs, reduces coding requirements to build native UIs, and automatically updates a UI when state changes. Now entering a developer preview phase, Jetpack Compose is accessible in Android Studio.

Android Studio 4.0 also brings support for some Java 8 APIs, with no requirement for a minimum API level for an app. Using the desugaring process, the DEX D8 compiler in Android Studio 3.x already provided substantial support for Java 8 features such as lambda expressions. With Android Studio 4.0, the desugaring engine was extended to Java language APIs. Developers now can include standard Java language APIs available only in recent releases of Android, such as java.util.streams, in apps that support older versions of Android.

Other new capabilities in Android Studio 4.0 include:

  • A visual design editor is included for the MotionLayout layout type, making it easier to build and preview animations.
  • Smart editor capabilities including syntax highlighting, error checking, and code completion are available when opening ProGuard rules files.
  • A fragment wizard and templates are accessible by clicking File > New > Fragment > Gallery or by clicking “Create new destination” in the Navigation editor.
  • Android live templates are included for Kotlin classes.
  • Support is offered for Kotlin DSL build script files (*.kts) via the Android Gradle plug-in.

Where to download Android Studio 4.0 Canary

You can download the Android Studio 4.0 Canary preview from developers.android.com.

This story, "Android Studio 4.0 backs native UI toolkit" was originally published by InfoWorld.

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