From time to time the Android SDK team will release "previews" -- these let developers get an idea of the future changes to the tools and provide us with early feedback. We try to make sure they are reasonably stable releases.
There are two kind of previews that we can release:
- From the SDK Manager, developers can get previews of Tools and Platform-Tools packages.
- From the Eclipse update site, developers can get previews of the ADT plugin for Eclipse.
Please see the details below on how to configure your system to get these and how to "roll" back to the stable versions.
To find out the latest features available in the SDK tools, check the Recent Changes
SDK Manager: Tools Previews
To enable Tools and Platform-Tools previews in the SDK Manager:
- Open the SDK Manager, typically by running the android tool.
- Open Tools > Options...
- Check "Enable Preview Tools"
- Once you close the options dialog, the SDK Manager will display both the latest stable version of the tools and the latest preview available.
- To install the preview version of the tools, simply select the "Android SDK Tools" package in the "Tools (Preview Channel)" section and click install. This replace the existing tools by the preview version.
- If you later decide you want to go back to the previous version, simply select the "Android SDK Tools" package in the "Tools" section and click install. This will replace the tools.
Android Studio Previews
Android Studio has a built-in preview update mechanism. The IDE connects regularly to the update server and will present a popup at startup when a new version is available.
Android Studio categories updates using "channels". There are 4 channels available:
By default, Android Studio uses the Canary channel. To change that, use File > Settings > Updates:
- Canary channel: Canary builds are the bleeding edge, released about weekly. While these builds do get tested, they are still subject to bugs, as we want people to see what's new as soon as possible. This is not recommended for production.
- Dev channel: Dev builds are hand-picked older canary builds that survived the test of time. It should be updated roughly bi-weekly or monthly.
- Beta channel: Not used yet. This will be used when we'll have beta-quality releases. Right now Android Studio is considered preview-quality.
- Stable channel: Not used yet. That will be for version 1.0 and following stable milestones.
When an update is available, you'll see a balloon notification in the IDE.
Two important known issues:
- The first time, you'll see a dialog that asks you to accept this channel. You need to press "More info" to accept this channel, otherwise you won't get notified about updates.
- If you press the "Ignore This Update" button, there is currently no mechanism available to revert that decision and Android Studio will never tell you about that update ever again.
We'll revisit this to make it a bit more understandable.
TL;DR: you need to press "More Info..." on that dialog, then check for updates again.
Later on, you'll just see the update information dialog, which details information on the patch available, its size and its channel:
The options are:
- Update and restart will automatically download the patch, close Android Studio, apply it and restart Studio.
- Release Notes opens a web page with releases notes.
- Remind Me Later closes this dialog. Updates are checked daily so it will notify you again in 24 hours or so.
- Ignore This Update puts the specific build number on a list to be skipped. There is no undo mechanism for that nor any UI to edit the exception list (but there are workarounds.) The update mechanism will ask again for the next update though.
Eclipse: ADT Previews
To configure Eclipse to find ADT Previews:
- Start Eclipse, then select Help > Install New Software.
- Click the "Add" button, in the top-right corner.
- In the Add Repository dialog that appears, enter "ADT Previews" for the Name and the following URL for the Location:
- Click OK.
If you have trouble acquiring the plugin, try using "http" in the Location URL, instead of "https" (https is preferred for security reasons).
In the Available Software dialog, select the checkbox next to Developer Tools and click Next:
Note that the "Work with" pop-up lets your switch between both update-sites (the stable one vs the preview one). However once you update to a set of plugins, Eclipse will only show you newer plugins.
What about updates?
If there's a new stable plugin, it will appear listed on both the regular ADT update-site and the ADT preview site. Simply open Help > Install New Software, select one of the 2 ADT update-sites and expand the "Developer Tools" category. If something appears here, it's a new version.
Fine, but how do I revert to the old version?
If for some reason you installed an ADT preview and need to revert back to the current stable, you can't use the dialog to install "new" software since what you want is actually an older one. Instead do this:
- Open Help > About Eclipse... on Windows or Linux. On Mac, use the app's menu > About...
- Click the "Installation Details" button.
- Select the "Installation History" tab.
- Select one of the previous configurations.
- Click the "Revert" button at the bottom.