Android Developer Blog: Android Studio 4.2


Written by Jamal Eason, Product Manager, Android

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We are happy to announce that Android Studio 4.2 is now available for download in the stable release channel. This release focuses on an updated IntelliJ platform and a handful of new features that will help you improve your productivity as an Android app developer.

We know that upgrading your app project to the latest version can be complicated at times. To fix this, we have a new wizard for upgrading app projects in Android Studio 4.2 that makes it easier for you to migrate your project and take advantage of the latest Android Gradle plugin APIs. In addition, we have added a whole range of improvements to the existing functions, such as: B. the database inspector, the system trace, the SafeArgs support, accept changes, the new project assistant and much more. If you’re using these features and looking for the next stable version of Android Studio, then you should download Android Studio 4.2 today!

Check out the list of new features in Android Studio 4.2 below, organized by major developer flow.


  • IntelliJ Platform Update – Android Studio 4.2 includes all of the major features and updates from IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition 2020.2, including an updated GitHub UI for pull requests, a new window for centralized issues, and more. Learn more.
  • Safe ARGS support – Using safe arguments is the recommended method to ensure data encapsulation if you want to transfer data between two destinations in your app when using the Jetpack navigation component. With Android Studio 4.2 you now have automatic code completion for Directions Args and code navigation from source to XML. Learn more.

    Support for safe arfs

    Safe ARGS support

  • Updates for the new project assistant and the module assistant – This version includes a visual update of the new project wizard to make it easier to identify Android device types. We also added ViewBinding to each template. Additionally, we’ve visually updated the new Module Wizards to make it easier to understand the different types of modules you can add to your app.

New project assistant

 New module wizard

Assistant for new projects and assistant for new modules


  • Database inspector improvements – Managing and monitoring your in-app database is easier with the database inspector. In this version we have made some new improvements. We’ve added a new offline mode so that you can still check your app’s databases after a process has been disconnected to make it easier to diagnose your app after a crash. We also added a handy query history option.

Query history with the database inspector

Query history with the database inspector

  • Trace command line tool – – As part of your app compilation process, R8 obfuscates the programming language code of Kotlin and Java. This can make decryption of stack traces impossible, as types and method names are obfuscated and shortened to reduce the memory footprint of your app. The Trackback command line tool de-obfuscates these names and recovers inline frames using a Mapping.txt file, making stack traces understandable again. The new standalone tool can be found at ./sdk/cmdline-tools/latest/bin/retrace. Learn more.

To build

  • AGP upgrade wizard – Migrating your project to the latest Android Gradle Plugin (AGP) can be difficult at times, especially if you are using outdated APIs. To solve this and better prepare you for the transition to the Android Gradle Plugin 7.0, we have created a new upgrade wizard. The wizard allows you to toggle the commands that run in your project to upgrade to a higher version of AGP, preview files that will be affected by the AGP upgrade, and globally update recently outdated configurations.

AGP upgrade wizard <

AGP upgrade wizard

  • Changes take over improvements – With Apply changes you can transfer code and resource changes to your running app without having to restart your app. In Android Studio 4.2 we have the number of compatible changes with Apply Changes to adding resources (which accounted for 23% of changes that required a full restart) and adding static end fields (e.g. constants) on an Android 11+ -Device extended or emulator.
  • Android Gradle Plugin 4.2 – With AGP 4.2 we have made some notable changes. First of all, we implemented a new resource compiler, which should help to improve the build performance, especially on Windows computers. Second, we updated the standard Java programming language to version 8. Most recently, we added support for the APK v3 and APK v4 signature format. Learn more about additional AGP updates here.
// build.gradle.kts
android { ... signingConfigs { config { ... enableV3Signing(true) enableV4Signing(true) } }

Vocal support for APK v3 and APK v4


  • Provision of multiple devices – Sometimes when developing and testing your app it is helpful to deploy your app on multiple devices to see the results. We brought this feature back from very early versions of Android Studio and built it right into the device selection menu in Android Studio 4.2. If you are deploying tests to multiple devices, you may be prompted to enable this behavior.

Provision of multiple devices

Provision of multiple devices


  • System trace improvements – To understand the detailed performance characteristics of your app, it is helpful to use the system tracing functions in the Android Studio profiles. With this version of Android Studio, the system trace now has a new event table. With this new table view you can see; BufferQueue, RSS memory counter and CPU core frequency in one compact user interface.

    Profiler with new system trace event table

    Profiler with new system trace event table

    In summary, Android Studio 4.2 includes the following new improvements and features:


    • IntelliJ 2020.2.3 platform update
    • Safe ARGS support
    • Updates for the new project assistant and the module assistant


    • Database inspector improvements
    • Trace command line tool

    To build

    • AGP upgrade wizard
    • Changes take over improvements
    • Android Gradle Plugin 4.2


    • Provision of multiple devices


    • System trace improvements

    For more information, see the Android Studio Release Notes, the Android Gradle Plugin Release Notes, and the Android Emulator Release Notes.



Download the latest version of Android Studio 4.2 from the download page. If you’re using an earlier version of Android Studio, you can simply upgrade to the latest version of Android Studio. If you want to keep a stable version of Android Studio, you can run the stable version and the Canarian version of Android Studio Arctic Fox at the same time. Learn more.

We appreciate any feedback on things you like, issues or features you would like to see. If you find a bug or a problem, please submit a problem. Follow us – the Android Studio development team – on Twitter and on medium.

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