Android Studio is the go-to Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for developers building Android apps. This is why Google consistently releases updates to the software in multiple channels so that users can familiarize or report issues with the changes made before they are rolled out to the general public.
Google rolled out Android Studio 4.1 back in October 2020, packing over 2,000 bug fixes and a bunch of new features. Now, Android Studio 4.2 has hit the stable release channel.
First up, Google has noted that it realizes that it is sometimes difficult to upgrade apps to the latest version of the IDE, so it has included a new app upgrade assistant that streamlines this process and ensure that your app is taking advantage of new Android Gradle Plugin APIs. The Apply Changes utility has been enhanced so you can make more types of code changes and push them immediately without restarting the app when running on devices with Android 11+. Android Gradle Plugin 4.2 has a new resources compiler that enhances build performance on Windows machines. The default programming language has also been updated to Java version 8.
Android Studio 4.2 is in line with the platform updates present in IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition 2020.2, which features a window showing problems in a centralized UI as well as a GitHub UI for pull requests. The IDE now supports Safe Args too which can be used for data encapsulation when utilizing JetPack Navigation. Autocompletion of code for Direction Args is present as well. The project and module wizards have received aesthetic updates to make it easier to find device and module types respectively.
On the debugging side of things, the Database Inspector has been enhanced to work offline so you can diagnose your app's database even after a crash. A query history utility has been added too. The Retrace commandline tool has been made available as a standalone utility that allows you to deobfuscate method names and frames so stack traces are readable for humans.
With respect to testing of apps, multiple device deployment is back in Android Studio 4.2, improving overall productivity. System trace has been enhanced to include an events table that shows CPU Core frequency and RSS memory counters, among other things.