Android Studio 2021.1 “Bumblebee” has a new Device Manager and improved Apple Silicon support

Android Studio 2021.1 “Bumblebee” has a new Device Manager and improved Apple Silicon support

Android Studio is the main integrated development environment (IDE) for creating Android applications, with a feature-packed code editor, debugging tools, emulators, and much more. The last major release was in March of last year, nicknamed Android Studio Arctic Fox. After a few months in testing, there’s now another upgrade available: Android Studio Bumblebee. Google clearly named it after the small 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, which makes it easy to manage physical and emulated devices for testing. Android Studio also now has a simplified process for connecting to ADB devices over Wi-Fi, which uses QR codes for fast pairing, and the emulator tool window introduced in Android Studio 4.1 is now enabled by default.

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Google has also spent some time improving tests in Android Studio for this release. The updated Gradle plugin has a new unified tester, which replaces the two existing testing environments (the one offered by Android Studio, and the one in Gradle) and should reduce headaches for developers. Android Studio’s profilers are also improved, with new CPU profiling features on Android 11+ devices and a few other helpful additions.

There’s also more progress on native support for Apple Silicon processors. Google 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 iMac 24-inch.

You can check out all the improvements in the full blog post and release notes. Android Studio is available to download from the Android Developers website. Now the waiting begins for Android Studio Optimus Prime.

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Corbin Davenport
Corbin Davenport

Corbin is a tech journalist and software developer. Check out what he's up to at corbin.io.

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