Android Studio Dolphin is now available in beta

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Android Studio Dolphin has been in Canary for a while now. At its I/O Developer Conference today, Google has finally graduated it to the beta channel and introduced a new release, codenamed Electric Eel, on the Canary channel. Both the latest beta and Canary releases of Android Studio bring along a host of new features, like the ability to view Compose animations in Animation Preview, resize the emulator for large-screen devices, pair, and control Wear OS emulators and launch tiles, watch faces, etc. directly from Android Studio, and more. In this post, we’ll take a look at all that’s new in the latest beta release.

What’s new in Android Studio Dolphin Beta?

The first Android Studio Dolphin beta release includes the following new features and improvements:

Jetpack Compose

Android Studio Dolphin Beta brings a few new features to the Jetpack Compose toolkit. With the latest release, developers will now be able to see all UI animations at once and coordinate them in Animation Preview. They will also get an option to freeze specific animations.

Compose Animation Coordination

In addition, developers will also be able to define annotation class with multiple Preview definitions and use this new annotation to generate previews at once. Thanks to this, a single annotation will help developers preview multiple devices, fonts, and themes simultaneously without repeating those definitions for each composable.

Android Studio Dolphin Beta Multipreview annotations
Multi preview Annotations

Furthermore, in Android Studio Dolphin Beta, developers will be able to view recomposition counts for a Compose app in the Layout inspector. They will also be able to see recomposition counts and skip counts in the Component Tree and Attributes panels.

Wear OS

Android Studio Dolphin Beta also brings some improvements to the Wear OS emulator. It now has a new Wear OS Emulator Pairing Assistant, which lets developers see Wear devices in the Device Manager, and pair multiple watch emulators with a single phone. Unlike before, developers won’t have to re-pair devices as often either, as Android Studio will now remember pairings after being closed.

Android Studio Dolphin Beta Wear OS Emulator Pairing Assistant qwefubqwef
Wear OS Emulator Pairing Assistant

The Wear OS emulator also gets a new side toolbar, which will let developers use Wear-specific emulator buttons that resemble and simulate physical buttons, including the main buttons, palm buttons, and tilt buttons.

Android Studio Dolphin Beta Wear OS Emulator Side Toolbar
Wear OS Emulator Side Toolbar

Android Studio Dolphin Beta also gets support for Wear OS Direct Surface Launch, allowing developers to run/debug configurations for Wear OS tiles, watch faces, and complications and launch them directly from Android Studio.

Development tools

Android Studio Dolphin Beta gets a couple of new development tools as well, including the ability to diagnose app issues faster with Logcat V2. Logcat V2 introduces new formatting that will make it easier for developers to scan useful information, split views to track more at a glance, and gives a new syntax for filtering logs.

Android Studio Dolphin Beta Logcat V2
Logcat V2

In the latest release, developers will also be able to describe virtual devices for automated tests and let Gradle handle SDK downloads, device provisioning, and set up to test execution and teardown. Gradle also brings more intelligent functionality, like snapshot management, test caching, and test sharding.

Android Studio Dolphin beta Gradle Managed Devices
Gradle Managed Devices

Lastly, Gradle Managed Devices also introduces a new type of test device, called the Automated Test Device. It optimizes devices for automated tests, reducing CPU and memory usage during test execution.

Download Android Studio Dolphin Beta

Android Studio Dolphin Beta is now available for download. You can get it by clicking on the following link and installing it side-by-side with the current stable version using the instructions provided here. Google claims that the beta release is near stable release quality, but bugs might still exist. If you come across any issues, you can share your feedback here.

Download Android Studio Dolphin Beta

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