Set Up the Preview SDK

The M Developer Preview SDK is available from the Android SDK Manager. This document assumes that you are familiar with Android app development, such as using the Android SDK Manager and creating projects. If you are new to Android, see Building Your First App training lesson first.

Get Android Studio 1.3

The Developer Preview requires Android Studio 1.3, which is in preview status. You need to install the preview version of Android Studio 1.3 to work with the Preview SDK.

Caution: The canary preview of Android Studio 1.3 is still in active development. If you are using your primary development machine to test the developer preview, you should create a second installation of Android Studio to use for testing.

To install the Android Studio 1.3 preview:

  1. Download and launch Android Studio.
  2. Open the Settings window by choosing File > Settings. Choose the Appearance & Behavior > System Settings > Updates panel.
  3. On the Updates panel, choose the option Automatically check updates for: Canary Channel.
  4. On the Updates panel, select Check Now to check for the latest canary build. Download and install the build when you are prompted.

Get the Preview SDK

To add the Preview SDK components to your development environment:

  1. Launch the Android Studio 1.3 preview.
  2. Open the Settings window by choosing File > Settings. Choose the Appearance & Behavior > System Settings > Updates panel.
  3. On the Updates panel, choose the options Automatically check updates for: Canary Channel and Automatically check updates for Android SDK: Preview Channel.
  4. Click the Android SDK Manager button to launch the SDK Manager. (With Android Studio 1.3, the SDK Manager is integrated into Android Studio instead of being a standalone application.)
  5. Under the Platforms section, select Android MNC Preview.
  6. In the Tools section, select the latest Android SDK Tools, Platform-tools, and Build-tools.
  7. Click Install packages and accept the licensing agreement for all of the packages.
  8. Verify that the M Developer Preview is installed by opening the Settings window and choosing the Appearance & Behavior > System Settings > Android SDK panel.
  9. On the Android SDK panel, choose the SDK Platforms tab. Android MNC Preview should be listed as Installed. Also, open the SDK Tools tab to verify that the latest tools are installed.

After completing these steps, the preview components are available in your development environment.

Create or Update a Project

In order to use the preview APIs, you must create or update a development project to use the preview components.

Create a new project

We recommend using Android Studio to create a project with the preview. Follow the steps described in Creating a Project until you arrive at the Form Factors screen in the project wizard. Then perform the following steps to create a project configured for the preview.

  • Check Phone and Tablet.
  • Select API 22+: Android M (Preview) in Minimum SDK.

Update an existing project

For existing projects, you must modify the project configuration to enable the preview APIs. In your development environment, open the build.gradle file for your module and set these values as follows:

  • compileSdkVersion is set to 'android-MNC'
  • minSdkVersion is set to 'MNC'
  • targetSdkVersion is set to 'MNC'

Set Up for Testing

Testing an app with the preview requires that you have a device or virtual device configured with the preview version of the platform. If you have a compatible device, you can install the preview platform for testing. Otherwise, you can configure a virtual device for testing.

Set up a Physical Device

If you have a Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 9, or Android TV, you can install a preview system image on these devices for testing your app. You can set up a virtual device with the preview version of the platform from within Android Studio using the Android Virtual Device Manager tool.

Important: Installing a preview image on a device removes all data from it, so you should backup any data before installing a preview image.

Set up a Virtual Device

You can set up virtual device with the preview version of the platform from within Android Studio using the Android Virtual Device Manager tool.

To create an AVD with the AVD Manager:

  1. Install the Preview SDK in your development environment, as described in Setting Up the Preview SDK.
  2. Follow the steps in Managing AVDs with AVD Manager. Use the following settings:
    • Device: Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 9, or Nexus Player
    • Target: Android M (Preview) - API Level M

For more information about creating virtual devices for testing, see Managing Virtual Devices.