Menu
Google's expansion to cars and TVs will be powered by Android Studio apps

Google's expansion to cars and TVs will be powered by Android Studio apps

The company is hoping to convince developers to create multiscreen apps with new development environment

Android Studio's installation wizard highlights what Google's hope for the IDE is.

Android Studio's installation wizard highlights what Google's hope for the IDE is.

The usefulness of Android in your car, on your TV and smartwatch will be decided by app availability, and Google is hoping to make it easier to create them with its new development environment, Android Studio.

Google has, with the introductions of Android Wear, TV and Auto, expanded its operating system to new product categories. All three pieces of software are for highly competitive areas where consumers have a lot of choice, and killer apps are needed to differentiate from the competition and convince people that they actually need a smartwatch or a TV with Android.

Apps that work across all three platforms will be easier to build using Android Studio, the IDE (integrated development environment) that was finally introduced Monday. When developers install version 1.0 of the IntelliJ-based Java tool they are greeted with a panel showing a smartphone, tablet, smartwatch, car, TV and a pair of glasses, highlighting Google's hopes.

"I think that tooling is really important in making it easy for us as developers to target these new form factors and platforms, and Android Studio helps a lot here," said Marius Mårnes Mathiesen, head of Android development at Norwegian consultant Shortcut, via email.

Whether developers will actually target these product markets is a different story. More cars and TVs running Android are needed for those two to attract developers, according to Mathiesen.

Android Wear makes more sense since there are a growing number products, even though many of them haven't been well received. Also, developers get some functionality free, because of the way the development environment works, Mathiesen said. When an Android smartphone or tablet and smartwatch are connected, the handhelds automatically share notifications with the wearable.

Google is also hoping to convince developers to add wearable-specific functionality to the notifications. When developing this with Android Studio, developers can see how the notifications look on round smartwatches like the G Watch R from LG Electronics and Motorola's Moto 360 and square models, including Sony's Smartwatch 3.

Opening the door for multiscreen apps isn't the only goal for Android Studio.. There are also useful features for developers that only develop apps for smartphones. The IDE takes advantage of the editing capabilities of IntelliJ, such as code completion and code analysis. The support for refactoring -- which is used to improve the design of existing code -- works amazingly well, according to Mathiesen.

Other features include a memory monitor for improving performance and integration with Goggle's cloud services. The IDE can be downloaded from Google's developer website, and can run on Windows, Mac and Linux desktops.

The launch is an important milestone, but is by no means the end of the road for Studio. It will continue to receive updates on four different release channels: Stable, Beta, Dev, and Canary. Canary builds are at the bleeding edge of development and the least mature, while the stable releases are fully tested, according to Google. The classification lets developers choose how quickly they want to add the latest features to their development environment, the company said.

Google is working on a navigation editor that will be used to create and view the structure and layout of Android applications. The tool can be used by developers who want to rapidly prototype apps, and by designers who want to see their designs work on real devices without writing any code, according to Google.

"It's in really early stages and not really usable for any real work, but it could be a really useful addition to the Android toolset," Mathiesen said.

Now that Android Studio has hit 1.0, the Android tools team needs to start working on a decent emulator. The version Google now offers is embarrassing and has put a lot of people off from doing Android development, according to Mathiesen.

"I realize this is a difficult problem to solve, but now that we have seen what [Google was] able to do with Android Studio, I expect this problem to be solved too," he said.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags mobileGooglesoftwaremobile applicationsapplication developmentDevelopment tools

Featured

Slideshows

Reseller News Innovation Awards 2018: meet the top performing partners

Reseller News Innovation Awards 2018: meet the top performing partners

Reseller News honoured the industry’s finest on a standout evening for the New Zealand channel, recognising the achievements of established partners, emerging players and innovative start-ups, in front of over 460 technology leaders in Auckland.

Reseller News Innovation Awards 2018: meet the top performing partners
Champagne Reception kicks off Reseller News Innovation Awards 2018

Champagne Reception kicks off Reseller News Innovation Awards 2018

More than 460 channel leaders came together to toast the top performers of the New Zealand industry, during the opening Champagne Reception at the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2018 - in association with Techbuyer.

Champagne Reception kicks off Reseller News Innovation Awards 2018
Chasing innovation: how Kiwi partners can create a new customer agenda

Chasing innovation: how Kiwi partners can create a new customer agenda

This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable - in association with Rhipe and Microsoft - detailed a blueprint for customer success, outlining the new role of the modern-day partner and wider network in New Zealand.

Chasing innovation: how Kiwi partners can create a new customer agenda
Show Comments