Android Studio is a Google integrated development environment (IDE) where you can easily work on Android application development. It’s a free IDE that gives you seemingly endless opportunities to create rich, efficient, and attractive applications for smartphones, tablets, and more. Android Studio is fast and easy to use, and it provides an amazingly wide range of functionality. If you’re an Android developer then you’re probably already using Android Studio, but you might be missing out on some of its best features. These 8 tips and tricks will help you build the best possible solutions using Android Studio’s rich user interface, without the hassle you might associate with other IDEs.
1. Use The In-built Feature Search
One of the things that makes Android Studio so fantastic to work with is the fact that it offers you all sorts of functionality without overcrowding the user interface. When you’re getting used to working in IDEs, you might find yourself stumbling through all the different menus to find the feature you’re looking for. You might commonly find that this is the case if you’re not the best at remembering where you found a certain feature previously. Luckily, Android Studio has a fast feature search option. Just pop in Ctrl + Shift + A, or Cmd + Shift + A if you’re using Mac, and say hello to the search box that will let you quickly find the feature you need. Simple!
2. Work Faster With Postfix Code Completion
You can significantly speed up your work rate by using postfix code completion, as well as the handy Live Templates feature in Android Studio. This will cut down on the amount of typing you’re doing while letting you quickly put together a significant amount of code. With postfix code completion, you can transform an expression you’ve typed already into another one. By popping in CTRL-J, or CMD-J if you’re using Mac, then you can see all of the possible postfixes for a given context. You can also use Android Live Templates to utilize shortcuts that will insert pre-fixed templates into the code you’re writing.
3. Enter Distraction Free Mode
The only downside of the rich features and helpful user interface in Android Studio? Well, sometimes it can be all too easy to get distracted and start playing around instead of buckling down to your work. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, just pop into View > Enter Distraction Free Mode to send you into the fullscreen editor and really focus on your code, and only your code.
4. Structural Search and Replace
You can find and replace code patterns without using regular expressions by utilizing structural search and replace. By enabling Structural Search Inspection, you can save a structural search template that will show you code that matches a pattern warning. You can use this to flag anti-patterns in code that you’re working on. On top of that, you can put together Structural Replace Templates so that patterns flagged as warnings will come along with replacement code that you can easily put in place. This offers you the sort of quick fix that will totally streamline your coding and code review processes.
5. Speed Up By Working Offline
If you want to make Android Studio run faster, you can work offline. You just need to enable offline work mode first by going to File > Settings > Gradle and checking ‘Offline work’ under the Global Gradle setting. Go back to File > Settings > Compiler and type -offline into the command line options box. Restart Android Studio and just like that, you’re working offline and speeding up the workspace.
6. Work Faster with Split Screens
It’s trendy to work within split screens these days, but any good developer also recognizes that split screens can also just be more efficient. You may not have realized it, but you can work in split screens within Android Studio. Right click on the main screen and select Split Vertically/Horizontally to get the split screen you need. You can also go to Preferences > Keymap to make split screening a handy keyboard shortcut.
7. Make Use of Android Studio Plugins
There are a large number of Android Studio plugins which you can use to improve the functionality and efficiency of your Android applications. For example, you can add on:
• ADB Idea: The ADB Idea plugin automates adb commands so you can clear your application data, restart it, and do a number of different things to your app such as killing it, starting and restarting it, uninstalling it, and clearing it.
• Android Material Design Icon Generator: This plugin allows you to easily put together the right size, colors, and resolutions for any icon you want to introduce to your app.
• ButterKnifeZelezny: This handy plugin lets you use one-click creation for Butterknife view injections.
• KeyPromoter: This funny little plugin encourages you to use keyboard shortcuts every time you use your mouse in Android Studio, making you work more quickly and efficiently.
8. Check Out The Productivity Guide
You can figure out plenty of your own tips and tricks using the Android Studio Productivity Guide. Simply go to Help > Productivity Guide and you’ll have access to a whole new range of functions. This will let you stumble upon a huge number of features that you might not have known about so you can easily add extra functionality and streamline your app development process. It will also show you a whole range of usage statistics so you can figure out how efficiently you’re using Android Studio. Combine the Android Studio Product Guide with the KeyPromoter plugin to totally streamline your application development.
The Android Studio IDE is reasonably easy to get to grips with, but these 8 tips for using Android Studio will take your app development to the next level. They’ll give you access to a whole new world of opportunities to make your Android application development faster, smoother, and more fun. So what are you waiting for?