This IDE will make developers “faster and more productive” and Google also called it a replacement for Eclipse during the I/O Developer Conference.
All features are new to some extent and Google wants to highlight some of them:
Android Studio leverages IntelliJ IDEA’s intelligent code editing capabilities. These include advanced code completion, refactoring, and code analysis.
Android Studio lets you both edit and preview your Android layouts across multiple screen sizes, languages, and even API versions. If you’re developing an app that will run on more than one Android release, this will be very helpful.
Android Studio includes a performance analysis tool called Memory Monitor, it shows you the memory usage of your app over time so you can find ways to improve your app’s performance.
Finally, Android Studio enables an easy way to add Google Cloud Backends and Endpoints to your app, as well as Google Cloud Messaging. The latter is one of the features Google initially promised would come to the IDE. The company’s goal was to make Android Studio the single hub in which Android developers can build new apps as well as refresh old ones.
Android Studio uses a Gradle-based build system that provides a lot of flexibility and extensibility, as well as the ability to build from within and outside of the IDE. Key features include build variant support to better handle different build types or different versions of the same app, multi-APKs handling through splits, multi-dex support, and dependency management for third-party libraries.
The company will be using a schedule that is similar to the release channels for Google Chrome, meaning developers can choose how quickly they get the latest features for Android Studio; it will receive updates on four different release channels:
Canary channel: These builds are the bleeding edge, released about weekly. While they do get tested, they are still subject to bugs, as Google wants developers to see what’s new as soon as possible.
Dev channel: These builds are hand-picked older Canary builds that survived the test of time. This channel is updated biweekly or monthly.
Beta channel: Although Android Studio has been considered preview-quality for much of its existence, it did have a handful of beta releases, starting with 0.1.x all the way to the most recent release candidates.
Stable channel: Version 1.0, and other stable milestones will follow.
The releases will not be following any specific schedule yet; for full detailed specs you should visit the official site; Android Studio has a long road to run since its just a far cry of what other established IDE are right now, but it has started with a strong pace and it will only get better, as Google has shown that it could build the IDE into a strong competitor (help them to make it even better Google Docs).
If you are a new Android Developer and want to get started, i’ll recommend that you use Android Studio, since it’s the official IDE now, and it will help you to understand the new project and directory structure (Gradle) right away, because is somewhat difference than Eclipse with ADT and it can get confusing.
Check out the Android Studio Basics official page.