Changes to the Android SDK Tooling

Changes to how the Android SDK manages the installed API levels and AVDs.

Changes to Android SDK Tooling

In recent versions of the SDK Tools for Android, Google has removed the existing AVD and SDK managers in favor of new CLI (Command Line Interface) tooling. The android program has been removed and the Google GUI (Graphical User Interface) managers in Visual Studio for Mac and older versions of Xamarin for Visual Studio will no longer work past version 25.2.5 of Android SDK Tools. For example, attempting to use the android program via the command line will result in an error message like the following:

The "android" command is deprecated.
For manual SDK, AVD, and project management, please use Android Studio.
For command-line tools, use tools\bin\sdkmanager.bat
and tools\bin\avdmanager.bat

The following sections explain how to manage the Android SDK and Android Virtual Devices using Android SDK 25.3.0 and later.

UI Tools

Visual Studio and Visual Studio for Mac now provide Xamarin replacements for the discontinued Google GUI-based managers:

  • To download Android SDK tools, platforms, and other components that you need for developing Xamarin.Android apps, use the Xamarin Android SDK Manager instead of the legacy Google SDK Manager.

  • To create and configure Android Virtual Devices, use the Xamarin Android Device Manager instead of the legacy Google Emulator Manager.

These tools are functionally equivalent to the Google GUI-based managers they replace.

CLI Tools

Alternately, you can use CLI tools to manage and update your emulators and Android SDK. The following programs now make up the command line interface for the Android SDK tools:

sdkmanager

Added In: Android SDK Tools 25.2.3 (November, 2016) and higher.

There is a new program called sdkmanager in the tools/bin folder of your Android SDK. This tool is used to maintain the Android SDK at the command line. For more information about using this tool, see sdkmanager.

avdmanager

Added In: Android SDK Tools 25.3.0 (March, 2017) and higher.

There is a new program called avdmanager in the tools/bin folder of your Android SDK. This tool is used to maintain the AVDs for the Google Android Emulator. For more information about using this tool, see avdmanager.

Downgrading

You can downgrade your Android SDK Tools version by installing a previous version of the Android SDK from the Android Developer website.

Using the old GUI

You can still use the original GUI by running the android program inside your tools folder as long as you are on Android SDK Tools version 25.2.5 or lower.