Android Studio Moves to a New Versioning Scheme

Posted on December 1, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Dev with 1 Comment

Google’s mobile app development suite is moving to a new year-based versioning scheme to better align it with the timing of each release.

“With Android Studio Arctic Fox, we are moving to a year-based system that is more closely aligned with IntelliJ IDEA, the IDE upon which Android Studio is built,” Google’s Jamal Eason explains. We are changing the version numbering scheme to encode a number of important attributes: the year, the version of IntelliJ it is based on, plus feature and patch level. With this name change, you can quickly figure out which version of the IntelliJ platform you are using in Android Studio. In addition, each major version will have a canonical codename, starting with Arctic Fox, and then proceeding alphabetically to help make it easy to see which version is newer.”

With this change, the latest Android Studio version is now called Android Studio Arctic Fox (2020.3.1). Under the previous naming scheme, it would have been called Android Studio 4.3.

Additionally, Google is decoupling the Android Studio version from the Android Gradle Plugin version, Gradle being the build automation tool used by Android Studio. So now the two will be updated separately, and it will be safe for developers to upgrade Android Studio while sticking with a particular Gradle version.

As for Android Studio Arctic Fox, this version of the product is now available in Canary and it offers a number of improvements, including various Jetpack Compose updates, a new Layout Validation Tool, Wi-Fi-based Wireless ADB support on Mac, and over 200 quality improvements and bug fixes. Google is still early in the development process for this Android Studio version, so you can expect more features later.

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