Android Studio makes it easy to ensure that you always have the most recent version of the product and of the Android SDK. When you look for updates, what you find depends on which channel you've registered for. There are three different channels, named Stable, Beta and Canary. The stable channel is exactly what it says. It delivers the most recent public completely tested version of the application. The Beta and Canary channels deliver versions in various stages of testing.
- [Voiceover] Each time you start up Android Studio, the software phones home to check for updates, but you can explicitly check for updates from the welcome screen. Go to the configure menu and click check for update. After a moment you'll receive a message indicating either that you have the latest version installed or that there are available updates. Now not all updates are the same. There are different update channels and your software by default will be set to look for only stable updates.
You can control this by going to the updates dialogue of your IDE preferences. You can do that from this dialogue just by clicking the link or you can go into your settings or preferences by once again going to the configure menu and choosing either preferences on a Mac or settings on Windows, and then go to the system settings category under appearance and behavior and choose updates. This option to automatically check for updates allows you to choose the channel you want to watch.
Again the default will be the stable channel and then you'll only be looking for new versions of the software that's delivered to the developer website. But you can also choose either the beta channel or the canary channel. The canary channel will offer you software as soon as it's available. This software might not have been fully tested and you'll be essentially an early beta customer, but you'll get access to new features and improvements as soon as they're made available by the development team.
After each new version has been placed in the canary channel for a few days, it can then be promoted to the beta channel, and this channel includes software that's more fully tested, but not yet distributed to the complete Android developer audience. And finally again, the stable channel. There's also something called the dev channel, but that's not used currently by the Android development team. The other place that you can look for updates is in the Android SDK manager. I'll go back to the welcome screen, pull down the configure menu, and this time I'll choose the SDK manager, and that takes you to Android SDK under system settings.
And you can get to this anytime you want by going to the preferences or settings dialogues. The SDK manager dialogue has three tabs. For SDK platforms, SDK tools, and SDK update sites. You can use the SDK platforms tab to download different versions of the SDK. These are referred to in the software as API levels, and each API level equates to some version of the actual Android software. API level 23, the most recent version as of the time of this recording, is for Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
Level 22 is for Android 5.1, 21 for 5.0 and so on. You'll need to have downloaded at least one version of the SDK, the version you're going to compile with and target with your applications. But if you want to test with other versions using a virtual device, you'll need to download those API levels, as well. When you currently create brand-new apps in Android Studio, the minimum SDK level, that is the minimum version of Android in an Apple work on, is set by default to API level 15 for Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich.
And so if you want to test on that older version using a virtual device, again you would need to download this version. The SDK tools tab lets you download various versions of a number of different components, some of which are critical and absolutely required and many others of which are optional. You'll definitely need at least one version of the Android SDK build tools. The currently installed version isn't displayed by default, but to see it, click the option labeled show package details, and then scroll down and you'll see which version you currently have.
For this course I'm using build tools 23.0.2. If you go get a project that was based on an older version of the build tools and you try to import it into Android Studio, you'll be prompted to install that copy of the build tools. But you can have multiple versions of the build tools installed side-by-side to support different projects you're working on. I'll close the package details and then show you some other required components. You'll need the SDK platform tools and you can always install the latest version.
And you'll also need the latest version of the SDK tools. The Android support repository and the Google repository contain various Java libraries and other resources that are critical for building Android apps. I do recommend installing the documentation. It's incredibly helpful. And you'll need the installer for the Intel emulator accelerator, known as HAXM. That software is important for speeding up the Android emulator. And I'll talk about making sure that you have the most recent version and how to configure it when I talk about working with the Android emulator in another part of this course.
If you're working on Windows, you'll also see a driver available for the actual physical device, but that's not required on Mac, and again I'll get to the details of that in a different video. You typically don't need to deal with the SDK update sites tab. This is just used to track the URLs of websites that Android Studio can download software from. Finally, if you have any trouble with this version of the SDK manager, you can always revert to an older version available from this link labeled launch stand alone SDK manager.
This is the version of the SDK manager that was included with the Eclipse Android development tools and at least at this point it's still included with Android Studio. I try not to use it anymore because it automatically tries to download a bunch of components that I typically don't need. So whenever you can, stick with the version that's a part of Android Studio that's available from your preferences or settings dialogue.
- Installing Android Studio on Mac and Windows
- Creating Android Studio projects
- Setting up the development environment, including HAXM and the new Android emulator
- Importing existing code into Android Studio projects
- Exploring the interface, including the editor and project windows
- Managing project builds and dependencies
- Creating new Java classes
- Refactoring code
- Using templates
- Using breakpoints and watch expressions
- Updating apps with Instant Run
- Using Git for version control
Skill Level Beginner
Q: This course was updated on 04/27/2017. What changed?
A: New videos were added that highlight the new features introduced in Android Studio 2.3. In addition, the following topic was updated: update apps with Instant Run.