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Install Latest Version of Android Studio and SDK Platform Packages and Tools

To run Simulink® models on your Android™ device, you must install Android Studio and Software Development Kit (SDK) platform packages and tools on your host computer. The SDK tools include Android SDK Build-Tools, Native Development Kit (NDK), and Android SDK Platform-Tools.

Downloading and installing the latest version of the Android Studio and the SDK packages and tools on your host computer might cause sporadic build issues or errors while deploying a Simulink model on your Android device.

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Install Latest Version of Android Studio

Follow these steps to download and install a tested version of Android Studio on your device:

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  1. Go to Android Studio and agree to the terms and conditions.

  2. Double-click the downloaded .exe file and follow the instructions on the screen to install Android Studio.

Install Latest Version of Android SDK Platform Packages and Tools

Follow these steps to download and install the latest version of Android SDK platform packages and tools on your host computer:

  1. After installing Android Studio, follow any one of these steps to open SDK Manager from the Android Studio application:

    • On the Android Studio landing page, select Configure > SDK Manager.

    • From your Android Studio application toolbar, select Tools > Android > SDK Manager.

    • From your Android Studio application toolbar, click SDK Manager.

  2. In the Default Settings dialog box, click these tabs to install Android SDK platform packages and developer tools:

    • SDK Platforms — Select the latest Android SDK package to compile your application with the latest version of SDK platform.

    • SDK Tools — Select the latest Android SDK Build-Tools, NDK (Side by Side), and Android SDK Platform-Tools.

    Note

    The Android SDK location displayed in the Android SDK Location parameter must not contain any white spaces. White spaces might cause problems when working with Android NDK tools. You can edit the SDK location by clicking the button.

  3. Click Apply. Android Studio starts installing the selected packages and tools on your computer. Once installed, the Status of the installed packages and tools changes from Not installed to Installed.

  4. Click OK.

See Also

Android Developer OptionsInstall Tested Version of Android Studio and SDK Platform Packages and ToolsUpdate to Latest Version of Android Studio

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Xamarin.Android has several Android API level settings that determine your app's compatibility with multiple versions of Android. This guide explains what these settings mean, how to configure them, and what effect they have on your app at run time.

Quick start

Xamarin.Android exposes three Android API level project settings:

  • Target Framework – Specifies which framework touse in building your application. This API level is used atcompile time by Xamarin.Android.

  • Minimum Android Version – Specifies the oldestAndroid version that you want your app to support. This API levelis used at run time by Android.

  • Target Android Version – Specifies the version ofAndroid that your app is intended to run on. This API level is usedat run time by Android.

Before you can configure an API level for your project, you mustinstall the SDK platform components for that API level. For moreinformation about downloading and installing Android SDK components,see Android SDK Setup.

Note

Beginning in August 2020, the Google Play Console requires that new apps target API level 29 (Android 10.0) or higher.Existing apps are required to target API level 29 or higher beginning in November 2020. For more information, seeTarget API level requirements for the Play Console in 'Create and set up your app' in the Play Console documentation.

Normally, all three Xamarin.Android API levels are set to the samevalue. On the Application page, set Compile using Android version(Target Framework) to the latest stable API version (or, at aminimum, to the Android version that has all of the features you need).In the following screenshot, the Target Framework is set toAndroid 7.1 (API Level 25 - Nougat):

On the Android Manifest page, set the Minimum Android version toUse Compile using SDK version and set the Target Android version tothe same value as the Target Framework version (in the followingscreenshot, the Target Android Framework is set to Android 7.1(Nougat)):

If you want to maintain backward compatibility with an earlier versionof Android, set Minimum Android version to target to the oldestversion of Android that you want your app to support. (Note that APILevel 14 is the minimum API level required forGoogle Play services and Firebase support.)The following example configuration supports Android versions from APILevel 14 through API level 25:

Normally, all three Xamarin.Android API levels are set to the samevalue. Set Target framework to the latest stable API version (or,at a minimum, to the Android version that has all of the features youneed). To set the Target framework, navigate to Build > Generalin the Project Options. In the following screenshot, the TargetFramework is set to Use the latest installed platform (8.0):

The Minimum and Target Android version settings can be found underBuild > Android Application in Project Options. Set the MinimumAndroid version to Automatic - use target framework version and setthe Target Android version to the same value as the Target Frameworkversion. In the following screenshot, the Target Android Framework isset to Android 8.0 (API level 26) to match the Target Frameworksetting above:

If you want to maintain backward compatibility with an earlier versionof Android, change Minimum Android version to the oldest version ofAndroid that you want your app to support. Note that API Level 14 isthe minimum API level required forGoogle Play services and Firebase support.For example, the following configuration supports Android versions asearly as API Level 14:

If your app supports multiple Android versions, your code must includeruntime checks to ensure that your app works with the Minimum Androidversion setting (seeRuntime Checks for Android Versions below fordetails). If you are consuming or creating a library, seeAPI Levels and Libraries below for best practices inconfiguring API level settings for libraries.

Android versions and API levels

As the Android platform evolves and new Android versions are released,each Android version is assigned a unique integer identifier, calledthe API Level. Therefore, each Android version corresponds to asingle Android API Level. Because users install apps on older as wellas the most recent versions of Android, real-world Android apps must bedesigned to work with multiple Android API levels.

Zip

Android versions

Each release of Android goes by multiple names:

  • The Android version, such as Android 9.0
  • A code (or dessert) name, such as Pie
  • A corresponding API level, such as API level 28

An Android code name may correspond to multiple versions and API levels(as seen in the table below), but each Android version corresponds toexactly one API level.

In addition, Xamarin.Android defines build version codes that map tothe currently known Android API levels. The following table can helpyou translate between API level, Android version, code name, andXamarin.Android build version code (build version codes are defined inthe Android.OS namespace):

NameVersionAPI LevelReleasedBuild Version Code
Q10.029Aug 2020BuildVersionCodes.Q
Pie9.028Aug 2018BuildVersionCodes.P
Oreo8.127Dec 2017BuildVersionCodes.OMr1
Oreo8.026Aug 2017BuildVersionCodes.O
Nougat7.125Dec 2016BuildVersionCodes.NMr1
Nougat7.024Aug 2016BuildVersionCodes.N
Marshmallow6.023Aug 2015BuildVersionCodes.M
Lollipop5.122Mar 2015BuildVersionCodes.LollipopMr1
Lollipop5.021Nov 2014BuildVersionCodes.Lollipop
Kitkat Watch4.4W20Jun 2014BuildVersionCodes.KitKatWatch
Kitkat4.419Oct 2013BuildVersionCodes.KitKat
Jelly Bean4.318Jul 2013BuildVersionCodes.JellyBeanMr2
Jelly Bean4.2-4.2.217Nov 2012BuildVersionCodes.JellyBeanMr1
Jelly Bean4.1-4.1.116Jun 2012BuildVersionCodes.JellyBean
Ice Cream Sandwich4.0.3-4.0.415Dec 2011BuildVersionCodes.IceCreamSandwichMr1
Ice Cream Sandwich4.0-4.0.214Oct 2011BuildVersionCodes.IceCreamSandwich
Honeycomb3.213Jun 2011BuildVersionCodes.HoneyCombMr2
Honeycomb3.1.x12May 2011BuildVersionCodes.HoneyCombMr1
Honeycomb3.0.x11Feb 2011BuildVersionCodes.HoneyComb
Gingerbread2.3.3-2.3.410Feb 2011BuildVersionCodes.GingerBreadMr1
Gingerbread2.3-2.3.29Nov 2010BuildVersionCodes.GingerBread
Froyo2.2.x8Jun 2010BuildVersionCodes.Froyo
Eclair2.1.x7Jan 2010BuildVersionCodes.EclairMr1
Eclair2.0.16Dec 2009BuildVersionCodes.Eclair01
Eclair2.05Nov 2009BuildVersionCodes.Eclair
Donut1.64Sep 2009BuildVersionCodes.Donut
Cupcake1.53May 2009BuildVersionCodes.Cupcake
Base1.12Feb 2009BuildVersionCodes.Base11
Base1.01Oct 2008BuildVersionCodes.Base

As this table indicates, new Android versions are released frequently– sometimes more than one release per year. As a result, theuniverse of Android devices that might run your app includes of a widevariety of older and newer Android versions. How can you guarantee thatyour app will run consistently and reliably on so many differentversions of Android? Android's API levels can help you manage thisproblem.

Android API levels

Each Android device runs at exactly one API level – this APIlevel is guaranteed to be unique per Android platform version. The APIlevel precisely identifies the version of the API set that your appcan call into; it identifies the combination of manifest elements,permissions, etc. that you code against as a developer. Android'ssystem of API levels helps Android determine whether an application iscompatible with an Android system image prior to installing theapplication on a device.

When an application is built, it contains the following API levelinformation:

  • The target API level of Android that the app is built torun on.

  • The minimum Android API level that an Android device musthave to run your app.

These settings are used to ensure that the functionality needed to runthe app correctly is available on the Android device at installationtime. If not, the app is blocked from running on that device. Forexample, if the API level of an Android device is lower than theminimum API level that you specify for your app, the Android devicewill prevent the user from installing your app.

Project API level settings

The following sections explain how to use the SDK Manager to prepareyour development environment for the API levels you want to target,followed by detailed explanations of how to configure TargetFramework, Minimum Android version, and Target Android versionsettings in Xamarin.Android.

Android SDK platforms

Before you can select a Target or Minimum API level in Xamarin.Android,you must install the Android SDK platform version that corresponds tothat API level. The range of available choices for Target Framework,Minimum Android version, and Target Android version is limited to therange of Android SDK versions that you have installed. You can use theSDK Manager to verify that the required Android SDK versions areinstalled, and you can use it to add any new API levels that you needfor your app. If you are not familiar with how to install API levels,see Android SDK Setup.

Target Framework

The Target Framework (also known as compileSdkVersion) is thespecific Android framework version (API level) that your app iscompiled for at build time. This setting specifies what APIs yourapp expects to use when it runs, but it has no effect on which APIsare actually available to your app when it is installed. As a result,changing the Target Framework setting does not change runtime behavior.

Android

The Target Framework identifies which library versions your applicationis linked against – this setting determines which APIs you can use inyour app. For example, if you want to use theNotificationBuilder.SetCategorymethod that was introduced in Android 5.0 Lollipop, you must set theTarget Framework to API Level 21 (Lollipop) or later. If you setyour project's Target Framework to an API level such as API Level 19(KitKat) and try to call the SetCategory method in your code, youwill get a compile error.

We recommend that you always compile with the latest available TargetFramework version. Doing so provides you with helpful warning messagesfor any deprecated APIs that might be called by your code. Using thelatest Target Framework version is especially important when you usethe latest support library releases – each library expects yourapp to be compiled at that support library's minimum API level orgreater.

To access the Target Framework setting in Visual Studio, open theproject properties in Solution Explorer and select theApplication page:

Set the Target Framework by selecting an API level in the drop-downmenu under Compile using Android version as shown above.

To access the Target Framework setting in Visual Studio for Mac,right-click the project name and select Options; this opens theProject Options dialog. In this dialog, navigate to Build >General as shown here:

Set the Target Framework by selecting an API level in the drop-downmenu to the right of Target framework as shown above.

Minimum Android Version

The Minimum Android version (also known as minSdkVersion) is theoldest version of the Android OS (i.e., the lowest API level) that caninstall and run your application. By default, an app can only beinstalled on devices matching the Target Framework setting or higher;if the Minimum Android version setting is lower than the TargetFramework setting, your app can also run on earlier versions ofAndroid. For example, if you set the Target Framework to Android 7.1(Nougat) and set the Minimum Android version to Android 4.0.3 (IceCream Sandwich), your app can be installed on any platform from APIlevel 15 to API level 25, inclusive.

Although your app may successfully build and install on this range ofplatforms, this does not guarantee that it will successfully run onall of these platforms. For example, if your app is installed onAndroid 5.0 (Lollipop) and your code calls an API that is availableonly in Android 7.1 (Nougat) and newer, your app will get a runtimeerror and possibly crash. Therefore, your code must ensure – atruntime – that it calls only those APIs that are supported by theAndroid device that it is running on. In other words, your code mustinclude explicit runtime checks to ensure that your app uses newer APIsonly on devices that are recent enough to support them.Runtime Checks for Android Versions, later in thisguide, explains how to add these runtime checks to your code.

To access the Minimum Android version setting in Visual Studio, openthe project properties in Solution Explorer and select theAndroid Manifest page. In the drop-down menu under MinimumAndroid version you can select the Minimum Android version for yourapplication:

If you select Use Compile using SDK version, the MinimumAndroid version will be the same as the Target Framework setting.

To access the Minimum Android version in Visual Studio for Mac,right-click the project name and select Options; this opens theProject Options dialog. Navigate to Build > Android Application.Using the drop-down menu to the right of Minimum Android version,you can set the Minimum Android version for your application:

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If you select Automatic – use target framework version, theMinimum Android version will be the same as the Target Frameworksetting.

Target Android Version

The Target Android Version (also known as targetSdkVersion) is theAPI level of the Android device where the app expects to run. Androiduses this setting to determine whether to enable any compatibilitybehaviors – this ensures that your app continues to work the wayyou expect. Android uses the Target Android version setting of your appto figure out which behavior changes can be applied to your app withoutbreaking it (this is how Android provides forward compatibility).

The Target Framework and the Target Android version, while having verysimilar names, are not the same thing. The Target Framework settingcommunicates target API level information to Xamarin.Android for useat compile time, while the Target Android version communicates targetAPI level information to Android for use at run time (when the app isinstalled and running on a device).

To access this setting in Visual Studio, open the project properties inSolution Explorer and select the Android Manifest page. In thedrop-down menu under Target Android version you can select theTarget Android version for your application:

We recommend that you explicitly set the Target Android version to thelatest version of Android that you use to test your app. Ideally,it should be set to the latest Android SDK version – this allowsyou to use new APIs prior to working through the behavior changes. Formost developers, we do not recommend setting the Target Androidversion to Use Compile using SDK version.

To access this setting in Visual Studio for Mac, right-click theproject name and select Options; this opens the Project Optionsdialog. Navigate to Build > Android Application. Using thedrop-down menu to the right of Target Android version, you can setthe Target Android version for your application:

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We recommend that you explicitly set the Target Android version to thelatest version of Android that you use to test your app. Ideally, itshould be set to the latest available Android SDK version – thisallows you to use new APIs prior to working through the behaviorchanges. For most developers, we do not recommend setting the TargetAndroid version to Automatic - use target framework version.

In general, the Target Android Version should be bounded by the MinimumAndroid Version and the Target Framework. That is:

Minimum Android Version <= Target Android Version <= Target Framework

For more information about SDK levels, see the Android Developeruses-sdkdocumentation.

Runtime checks for Android versions

As each new version of Android is released, the framework API isupdated to provide new or replacement functionality. With fewexceptions, API functionality from earlier Android versions is carriedforward into newer Android versions without modifications. As a result,if your app runs on a particular Android API level, it will typicallybe able to run on a later Android API level without modifications. Butwhat if you also want to run your app on earlier versions of Android?

If you select a Minimum Android version that is lower than yourTarget Framework setting, some APIs may not be available to your app atruntime. However, your app can still run on an earlier device, but withreduced functionality. For each API that is not available on Androidplatforms corresponding to your Minimum Android version setting, yourcode must explicitly check the value of theAndroid.OS.Build.VERSION.SdkInt property to determine the API levelof the platform the app is running on. If the API level is lower thanthe Minimum Android version that supports the API you want to call,then your code has to find a way to function properly without makingthis API call.

For example, let's suppose that we want to use theNotificationBuilder.SetCategorymethod to categorize a notification when running on Android 5.0Lollipop (and later), but we still want our app to run on earlierversions of Android such as Android 4.1 Jelly Bean (whereSetCategory is not available). Referring to the Android version tableat the beginning of this guide, we see that the build version code forAndroid 5.0 Lollipop is Android.OS.BuildVersionCodes.Lollipop. Tosupport older versions of Android where SetCategory is not available,our code can detect the API level at runtime and conditionally callSetCategory only when the API level is greater than or equal to theLollipop build version code:

In this example, our app's Target Framework is set to Android 5.0(API Level 21) and its Minimum Android version is set to Android4.1 (API Level 16). Because SetCategory is available in API levelAndroid.OS.BuildVersionCodes.Lollipop and later, this example codewill call SetCategory only when it is actually available – itwill not attempt to call SetCategory when the API levelis 16, 17, 18, 19, or 20. The functionality is reduced on these earlierAndroid versions only to the extent that notifications are not sorted properly(because they are not categorized by type), yet the notifications arestill published to alert the user. Our app still works, but itsfunctionality is slightly diminished.

In general, the build version check helps your code decide at runtimebetween doing something the new way versus the old way. For example:

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There's no fast and simple rule that explains how to reduce or modifyyour app's functionality when it runs on older Android versions thatare lacking one or more APIs. In some cases (such as in theSetCategory example above), it's sufficient to omit the APIcall when it's not available. However, in other cases, you may need toimplement alternate functionality for whenAndroid.OS.Build.VERSION.SdkInt is detected to be less than the APIlevel that your app needs to present its optimum experience.

API levels and libraries

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When you create a Xamarin.Android library project (such as a classlibrary or a bindings library), you can configure only the TargetFramework setting – the Minimum Android version and the TargetAndroid version settings are not available. That is because there is noAndroid Manifest page:

When you create a Xamarin.Android library project, there is noAndroid Application page where you can configure the MinimumAndroid version and the Target Android version – the MinimumAndroid version and Target Android version settings are not available.That is because there is no Build > Android Application page:

The Minimum Android version and Target Android version settings arenot available because the resulting library is not a stand-alone app –the library could be run on any Android version, depending on the appthat it is packaged with. You can specify how the library is tobe compiled, but you can't predict which platform API level the librarywill be run on. With this in mind, the following best practices shouldbe observed when consuming or creating libraries:

  • When consuming an Android library – If you are consumingan Android library in your application, be sure to set your app'sTarget Framework setting to an API level that is at least as highas the Target Framework setting of the library.

  • When creating an Android library – If you are creating anAndroid library for use by other applications, be sure to set itsTarget Framework setting to the minimum API level that it needs inorder to compile.

These best practices are recommended to help prevent the situationwhere a library attempts to call an API that is not available atruntime (which can cause the app to crash). If you are a librarydeveloper, you should strive to restrict your usage of API calls to asmall and well-established subset of the total API surface area. Doingso helps to ensure that your library can be used safely across a widerrange of Android versions.

Summary

This guide explained how Android API levels are used to manage appcompatibility across different versions of Android. It provideddetailed steps for configuring theXamarin.Android Target Framework, Minimum Android version,and Target Android version projectsettings. It provided instructions for using the Android SDK Manager toinstall SDK packages, included examples of how to write code to dealwith different API levels at runtime, and explained how to manage APIlevels when creating or consuming Android libraries. It also provided acomprehensive list that relates API levels to Android version numbers(such as Android 4.4), Android version names (such as Kitkat), andXamarin.Android build version codes.

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