Google has just announced that a beta of its Android Studio 2.0 software is now available for download, offering new and improved tools for Android app developers. As the latest version of the IDE (integrated development environment), Android Studio 2.0 doesn't have a confirmed release date yet, but sometime before May seems likely. Those interested in trying it out can download it now from the Beta channel website.
Among the new features include a faster Android emulator, Instant Run for quicker code editing and app deployment, a GPU profiler, and an update to the Android Debug Bridge (ADB).
Instant Run was first demonstrated back in November, and introduces a capability called Cold Swap, which allows changes in app code of software running on an Android device or emulator, without the need to rebuild the entire app. Cold Swap instead will use incremental builds and push only the changes in code or resources.
Android Studio 2.0 makes App Indexing easier as well, with URL Testing & Validation letting developers check their app's URL links with the built-in validation tool.
The Android emulator has been updated with new rotation controls in the toolbar, adding support for multi-touch during the app testing phase for pinch & zoom gestures. Users just need to hold down the keyboard's Alt key, right-click with the mouse to center, and left-click and drag to zoom.
As is the case with any beta software, users may encounter different bugs during use, but Google says Android Studio 2.0 is near stable. Those running the original Android Studio can upgrade to the latest version of the beta by checking for updates under the Help menu.