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Android Studio 0.8.12 Released

posted Oct 9, 2014, 5:59 PM by Tor Norbye   [ updated Oct 9, 2014, 6:02 PM ]
We've just released Android Studio 0.8.12 to the canary channel (Note: There are no incremental patches to update to 0.8.12; you will need to download it separately -- and the reasons for that are explained below.)

The main improvements in this release are:
  • A brand new AVD Manager (AVDs are virtual devices for the emulator). The new AVD Manager is more tightly integrated with the IDE. For example, when attempting to run your app, you can quickly create a Nexus 5 or Nexus 7 AVD directly from the Run dialog.  Here's the new AVD list, where you can view and edit AVDs (and you can see how much disk space each AVD is using), you can start AVDs, etc.

    You can also create new AVD's, and it's easy to base these on existing hardware defaults, across different categories like phone, tablet, wear and TV:

    Once you've picked the hardware, you can then configure it with a specific architecture and Android version:

    Finally you can pick a display name, default orientation, GPU/snapshot options - or any of the more advanced settings such as the size of external storage and so on: 

  • When creating new projects, we now default to using HTTPS instead of HTTP for the Gradle wrapper. We've also added a lint (and a quickfix) to warn about existing projects using HTTP:
  • If you prefer to edit layout XML files manually (using the XML editor rather than the graphical layout editor), you can now click on the Options icon in the toolbar above the layout editor or the layout preview window, and choose to "Prefer XML editor":
    Once chosen, from now on newly created layouts will open with the XML editor rather than the layout editor.
  • The translation editor is now available from string editors:
  • The Android Project view is now chosen by default. You can switch back to the plain Project View by right clicking on the dropdown above the project view.
  • You can now import the tools namespace in XML with a quickfix: just write the tools: prefix and then the IDE will offer to insert the corresponding namespace declaration:

    Similarly, with the android: prefix it imports the Android namespace rather than showing all available namespaces and asking you to pick one.
  • A lot of bug fixes, among them a file descriptor leak which led to machine problems after repeated APK deploy operations, and several significant patch update mechanism bugs, described in detail below. And many others.

No Patches

We've found and fixed several significant bugs in the patching mechanism. One of these bugs meant that upgrading to a new version, while resulting in a functionally identical installation, would also result in slightly different binary contents (for example, some timestamps inside .jar files would differ). This meant that the actual binary signatures would not match, which broke for example the application signature checks.

We have now found and fixed that bug, but because there are many different binary variations of a given previous version, we cannot create a single patch to update to the new version. Therefore, for this version we will require a full download of the IDE. From this version forward we should be able to accurately install updates while preserving the application signatures.

Another common problem many users encountered on Windows was that the patch would refuse to install because files to be updated were still in use, typically by the Gradle daemon. We've now improved the patch dialog such that it finds and identifies the processes locking the files, and offering to kill them directly:
Since we are not releasing patches for this version, this improvement won't be apparent until our future patch updates, but this has been a frequently reported issue so we are happy to have finally resolved it -- and we are also working to make sure the Gradle daemon does not lock these files in the first place.)


As noted above, you cannot update via the builtin patch mechanism to this version; you have to download and install the version from the Android Studio 0.8.12 Downloads Page.


If you run into problems, be sure to check the Known Issues page which we'll update as necessary.