2019.1 marks the start of the newest TECH stream, with lots of new features and functionalities. This includes more control over the editor and improvements to both your potential iteration speed when developing for Android and your workflows in general. Read on to get more details on what’s available to try out in the new beta today!
Incremental Garbage Collection (Experimental)
In Unity 2019.1 we’re introducing the Incremental Garbage Collector as an experimental alternative to the existing garbage collector. The Incremental Garbage Collector is able to split its work into multiple slices. Instead of having a single long interruption of your program’s execution to allow the GC to do its work, you can have multiple, much shorter interruptions. While this will not make the GC faster overall, it can significantly reduce the problem of GC spikes breaking the smoothness of animations in your project by distributing the workload over multiple frames. To learn more read our blog post here.
With the Shortcut Manager, we’re introducing an interactive, visual interface and a set of APIs to make it easier for you to manage editor hotkeys, assign them to different contexts and visualize existing bindings. To address the issue of binding conflicts, the interface can also visualize whether multiple commands use the same binding and let you remap accordingly.
More GPU Lightmapper Functionality (Preview)
2019.1 brings additional functionality and platform support to the GPU Lightmapper (preview). It’s now enabled on macOS and Linux and supports double-sided GI flags on materials as well as shadow casting and receiving on meshes.
Baking now uses the same high-performance GPU as the Editor. You can still change this to a different GPU using the command line. Head over to Documentation for more info.
Use Unity’s SceneVis controls to quickly hide and show objects in the Scene View, without changing the object’s in-game visibility. As a scene becomes more detailed, it often helps to temporarily hide or Isolate specific objects, allowing you to view and edit without obstructions. SceneVis enables this functionality via hierarchy tools and keyboard shortcuts, plus a toolbar toggle to quickly enable or disable the effects.
It’s now possible to manipulate particle data using the C# Job System, with no copying of particle data between script and native code. In addition to that, we have also added some improvements to mesh particles, giving you greater control over which meshes are assigned to which particles.
Android SDK and NDK installed with Unity Hub
The Hub now provides the option to install all the required components for Android as part of the “Android Build Support” option, so you’re sure to get the correct dependencies and don’t have to gather and install anything else. If you’re an advanced Android user, you can still install and configure components manually and use Android Studio. Also, note that starting with 2018.3, “Android Build Support” comes with its own Java Runtime based on OpenJDK.
Android Logcat integration (Package)
Android Logcat Package is a utility for displaying log messages coming from Android devices in the Unity Editor, making it easier to debug by controlling and filtering messages right in Unity.
Faster iteration with Scripts Only patching on Android
To perform faster iterations during development, the Unity editor offers the Scripts Only Build option, which skips many steps in the build process and recompiles only the scripts, then builds the final package and deploys after selecting “Build And Run”.
We have extended this feature. Now it allows you to patch the app package (APK, Android only) on target devices instead of rebuilding and redeploying it, so when you’re iterating on your C# code, only re-compiled libraries are sent to the device. Note that a complete build of the project must be available before Unity can execute a “Scripts Only Build”.
Editor Console Improvements
Timeline Signals are an easy way for Timeline to interact with objects in the scene. Using a signal emitter and a signal asset, you can trigger a signal receiver in a game object that will define a set of pre-configured reactions to your Timeline.
Signal Emitters can be created on the new Marker area, any type of track and new signal tracks. They are fully customizable; go wild and create your own!
Then use Signal Receiver components to trigger pre-defined contextual reactions on your game objects.
Other changes and improvements
The 2019.1 beta also includes support for Video H.265 transcode, Nvidia’s OptiX AI Denoiser, OpenGL ES 3.2 and multiple importance sampling of environments with the CPU lightmapper among several other features and improvements. You’ll find a complete list of all the new features, improvements and bug fixes included in the release in our release notes section, and a collection of preliminary documentation for some of these features in this forum thread. Please note that the minimally required versions of macOS and Ubuntu that support Unity 2019.1 and projects made with it were raised to macOS 10.12 and Ubuntu 16.04.
If you’re looking to upgrade an existing project to 2019.1, please have a look at our Upgrade Guide.
How to get early access to the new features
You can get access to everything mentioned above right now simply by downloading our open beta. Not only will you get access to all the new features, you’ll also help us find bugs and release the highest quality software.
If you are not already a beta tester, perhaps you’d like to consider becoming one. You’ll get early access to the latest new features, and you can test if your project is compatible with the new beta. The beta release is available for free to all Unity users, including Personal Edition users.
As a starting point, have a look at this guide to being an effective beta tester to get an overview.
We also encourage you to sign up for the optional beta tester email list below. Signing up will enable us to send you notifications when new versions are available, as well as tips on how to be an effective beta tester and news on the beta.
We’re looking forward to talking to you about the beta and reading your feedback on our 2019.1 beta forum as well.