Android SDK Tools Get An Update (R17), Includes Bug Fixes And New Features

Dev’s are about to get an early Christmas gift as Google has announced a new revision to its SDK with a number of anticipated bug fixes as well as some new and improved features.  You can expect to see some improvements in areas such as “Lint” and the emulator itself.

Lint is a static checker which analyzes Android projects for a variety of issues around correctness, security, performance, usability and accessibility, checking your XML resources, bitmaps, ProGuard configuration files, source files and even compiled bytecode. It can be run from within Eclipse or from the command line.

The list is extensive and a highly welcomed addition and revision to the current SDK.  We hope to see great things from devs when new and improved tools are handed down to them.  Check out the full list of features, revisions and improvements below, courtesy of Android SDK Tech, Xavier Ducrohet.  Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.  

Updated SDK Tools and ADT revision 17

Today we are releasing an update to the SDK Tools and the Eclipse plugin. Revision 17 brings a lot of new features and bug fixes in various areas such as Lint, the build system as well as the emulator.

New for r17:

  • Added check for Android API calls that require a version of Android higher than the minimum supported version. You can use the new @TargetApiannotation to specify local overrides for conditionally loaded code. For more information, read here.
  • Added over 40 new Lint rules for a total of over 80, including checks for performance, XML layouts, manifest and file handling. For a full list read here.
  • Added ability to suppress Lint warnings in Java code with the new @SuppressLint annotation, and in XML files with the new tools: namespace prefix and ignore attribute. For more information, read here.
  • Improved HTML and XML reporting and Eclipse integration. For more information, read here.

We’ve also made improvements to the build systems for Eclipse and Ant:

  • Added strict dependency support for 3rd party Jar files. You can read more information here.
  • Added support for custom views with custom attributes in libraries. Layouts using custom attributes must use the namespace URIhttp://schemas.android.com/apk/res-auto instead of the URI that includes the app package name. This URI is replaced with the app specific one at build time.
  • Added a feature that allows you to run some code only in debug mode. Builds now generate a class called BuildConfig containing a DEBUG constant that is automatically set according to your build type. You can check the (BuildConfig.DEBUG) constant in your code to run debug-only functions such as outputting debug logs.

The emulator is seeing some big improvements as well:

  • Thanks to contributions to AOSP from Intel, the emulator now supports running x86 system images in virtualization mode on Windows and Mac OS X. This allows the emulator running at near native speed. The drivers are available through the SDK Manager. Read more here.
  • After adding webcam support and sensor emulation, we are adding experimental support for Multi-Touch input through a tethered Android device. (Read more here)

Finally, we are also releasing an updated Support Library with the following improvements:

  • ShareCompat provides easy helper classes for both sending and receiving content for social sharing apps.
  • NavUtils and TaskStackBuilder provide cross-version support for implementing the Android Design guidelines for navigating within your app including the action bar’s “Up” button.
  • NotificationCompat.Builder provides a compatibility implementation of Android 3.0′s Notification.Builder helper class for creating standardized system notifications.
  • A new Library Project adds support for GridLayout back to API level 7 and higher.

You can get more information about these changes in the SDK Tools Release Notes and ADT Release Notes.

source: Android Developers


About the Author: Joe Sirianni

Joe was born in New Jersey and spent most of his childhood moving around from state to state. He eventually made his way to Pennsylvania where he met his Portuguese beauty and made her his wife. He now has three great kids and full access to all of the Portuguese food he can eat. Joe's love for mobile technology began when he bought his first Palm Pilot, a Palm M130 and left it on top of his car, driving off, causing it to smash into a thousand pieces. Forced to buy a new device, he quickly discovered that specs were changing so rapidly he was buying a new device every six months just to keep up. Since then, he has constantly felt the need to have the latest and greatest. When the "smartphone" revolution began and integrating cell phones and PDA's was the norm, he quickly jumped to Windows Mobile for several years until the first Android device was launched, the T-Mobile G1. Joe began appreciating all of the free utilities Google provided and sold his soul (his precious data) to Google long before they got into the mobile OS business. So, there was no hesitation at all for him to jump on board and ride the Android train as an early adopter. And boy has it been a blast. Joe now works in the Engineering & Operations dept for a major mobile carrier where he remotely troubleshoots cell sites and loves being an Editor for TalkAndroid.