APPS

More frequent, focused updates for Android Studio



Posted by Adarsh Fernando, Senior Product Manager, Android Studio

Three years ago, we changed how we named and versioned Android Studio to make it easier to follow updates – we changed how we numbered the versions of the IDE to more closely map to versioning of the IntelliJ IDEA platform, on which Android Studio is built. We also introduced animal codenames to signify each major release, starting with Arctic Fox. Our most recent release, Koala (2024.1.1), will soon be available in the Beta channel and is built on top of IntelliJ IDEA 2024.1. All Studio releases use a version number that maps to the following schema:

..

Soon, we are launching the Koala Feature Drop to the Canary channel as version 2024.1.2 — our second release based on IntelliJ IDEA 2024.1. This signals the start of an improved release cycle, where each animal codename includes two major Studio releases: a platform update followed by a feature drop.

The initial animal releases will have the ‘.1’ Android Studio major version and introduce the updated IntelliJ platform version, while subsequent Feature Drops will increase the Android major version to ‘.2’ and focus on introducing Android-specific features that help you be more productive for Android app development.

Versioning system

Year of IntelliJ Version

IntelliJ major version

Studio major version

Jellyfish

2023

.3

.1

Koala

2024

.1

.1

Koala Feature Drop

2024

.1

.2

Leading with IDE platform updates

Going forward, each new “animal” of Android Studio will prioritize updates to the underlying IntelliJ platform. This focus on foundational elements lets developers benefit from usability, performance, and stability improvements to the underlying IntelliJ IDEA platform.

The base version of Android Studio Koala, numbered 2024.1.1 and launched to Canary in March, focuses on adopting updates from IntelliJ IDEA 2024.1. Some benefits of this platform update include:

    • Sticky lines in the editor to simplify working with large files and exploring new codebases
    • Overhauled terminal featuring both visual and functional enhancements
    • Basic IDE functionalities available for Java and Kotlin during indexing
    • Language injections in string templates
    • (Alpha) K2 Kotlin mode for enhanced Kotlin code analysis
    • Inline breakpoints for multiple statements
    • New inspections and quick-fixes
    • And much much more…

See What’s New in IntelliJ IDEA 2024.1 for more details on all the platform updates included in this release.

By focusing a whole release cycle on updating to the latest IntelliJ IDEA platform version, we’re able to get those changes into the Stable channel faster than with the previous release process — ensuring developers have access to the latest upstream features and improvements.

Android-specific functionality with Feature Drops

architecture of Feature Drops in Android Studio

Feature Drops are built on top of the IntelliJ platform updates, and follow soon after each new animal release.

Android Studio is a tailored environment for Android developers. You will continue to receive new and updated features specifically designed for Android development. These will arrive through Feature Drops that share the same animal codename as the base release, and will follow soon after the base animal release hits the Stable channel. Our first such release is Android Studio Koala Feature Drop, and numbered 2024.1.2.

When the Android Studio Koala Feature Drop is available, you can benefit from these new features:

    • A new sign-in flow that makes onboarding with multiple Google services, such as Firebase and Gemini in Android Studio, much easier
    • Device UI Setting Shortcuts in the Running Device Window to quickly test your app against different device UI settings
    • A new Gemini API template to help build Generative AI into your app
    • And more

Feature Drops will leverage the stabilized IDE platform from the previous Android Studio update and focus on new features geared towards Android development. By doing so, we hope to bring these features to the stable channel faster and with higher quality. To learn about even more new features coming to Koala Feature Drop, make sure to tune in to Google I/O 2024.

To sum it up: 2X more frequent updates

timeline of the expected release schedule in the Android Studio Stable channel

Expected release schedule in the Android Studio Stable channel.

Our primary goal with these changes is to ensure that important updates to the IntelliJ IDEA platform reach the Android Studio Stable channel more frequently, and new Android-specific features ship with higher quality and polish. Expect the first animal release to introduce a number of updates from the latest IntelliJ IDEA platform, with a Feature Drop update to follow soon after with more Android-specific features and tools.

By separating IDE platform updates from Feature Drops, we can deliver both types of enhancements in a more streamlined manner, resulting in much more frequent updates to the stable channel that are each focused on improving your productivity.

Similarly, versions of the Android Gradle plugin will also see updates to the stable channel more frequently. Each new animal version and Feature Drop of Android Studio will be accompanied by a new version of the Android Gradle plugin. For example, Android Studio Koala was released alongside AGP 8.5 and Android Studio Koala Feature Drop will be released alongside AGP 8.6.

As always, if you want to be on the cutting edge, we encourage you to join the Canary channel by downloading and installing Android Studio Koala Feature Drop for early access to the latest and greatest. Also you can be part of our vibrant Android developer community on LinkedIn, Medium, YouTube, or X.





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