Android Studio 2021 “Bumblebee” now available for download
Android Studio is the leading integrated development environment (IDE) for building Android apps, with a feature-rich code editor, debugging tools, emulators, and more. The last major release was in March last year, dubbed Android Studio Arctic Fox. After a few months of testing, another update is now available: Android Studio Bumblebee. Google clearly named it after the little flying insect, but I like the idea of naming it after a transformer better.
Android Studio Bumblebee, also known as version 2021.1.1, coincides with version 7.1.0 of the Android Gradle plugin (AGP). There’s a brand new Device Manager tool window in Android Studio, replacing the old AVD Manager, making it easier to manage physical and emulated devices for testing. Android Studio also has a simplified process for connecting to ADB devices via Wi-Fi, which uses QR codes for quick pairing, and the emulation tool window introduced in Android Studio 4.1 is now enabled by default.
Google also spent time improving testing in Android Studio for this release. The updated Gradle plugin has a new unified tester, which replaces the two existing test environments (the one offered by Android Studio and the one from Gradle) and should reduce developer headaches. Android Studio’s profilers are also improved, with new CPU profiling features on Android 11+ devices and a few other useful additions.
There is also more progress on native support for Apple Silicon processors. Google has finally updated the Android SDK Platform Tools package, which includes commonly used tools like ADB and Fastboot, to work as universal binaries (Silicon + x86_64) on macOS. This will speed up app installations, debugging, and many other workflows on Mac computers with Apple Silicon, such as the MacBook Pro 14 and MacBook Pro 16 (2021) and the 24-inch iMac.
You can see all the improvements in the full blog post and release notes. Android Studio is available for download on the Android Developers website. Now the wait begins for Android Studio Optimus Prime.