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Preliminary support for Apple silicon is now in Canary builds of Android Studio!

Android Studio Canary builds contain preliminary support for Apple silicon (arm64). Android Studio for this platform is still under active development, but we wanted to get a functional version out to the app developer community to get feedback. On top of the Intellij build, design tools work, and the Android Emulator works with API 30 and API S Developer Preview emulator system images.

Canary builds are lightly tested, and usually not for the faint hearted, But I have a Mac Mini (M1, 2020) sitting here and I'm game, so lets find out.

Be careful to download the Apple silicon build!

Scroll to find 'More downloads' to get to the correct download for Apple silicon. the default Mac download is for Intel based Macs.

You need to hunt for the Apple silicon build, it is not the default Mac Canary build!

Find it in Android Studio download archives

You can find it hidden away under a (tedious) disclosure caret banner for Android Studio Canary builds at Android Studio download archives.

TL:DR—Download and drag to /Applications to install, then complete the first-run setup, add an arm64-v8a system image and run the emulator. Marvel at how fast it is, or how slow it was before on Intel perhaps!

Step by Step instructions to install Android Studio on an Apple silicon based Mac

  1. Click the link to download the Zip file.
  2. Drag the App to your Applications Folder, Open the App and accept the security warning about downloaded pps.
  3. Run through first time setup.
    Screenshot of Android Studio First Run Wizard Welcome Screen
    Screenshot of Android Studio First Run Install Type 'Standard' selected
    Screenshot of Android Studio Select UI Theme 'Darcula' selected
    Screenshot of Android Studio - 'Verify Settings' and 'Finish' button highlighted
    Screenshot of Android Studio 'Downloading Components'
    Screenshot of Android Studio 'Welcome to Android Studio' screen
  4. Set up an emulator, ignore the messages about ADB being out of date and about using an Intel x86 system image. They will be addressed in future releases.
    Screenshot of Android Studio Emulator Image setup screen showing an arm64-v8a system image selected
    Screenshot of dialog warning that the ADB binary is obsolete and has serious perfromance problems with the Android Emulator.
  5. Its fast. Very fast!

Android arm64-v8a system image running Android 12 Preview, as a Pixel 4a

Screenshot of Android  Emulator Home Screen on an arm64-v8a system image running Android 12 Preview, as a Pixel 4a
Screenshot of Android  Emulator Apps list on an arm64-v8a system image running Android 12 Preview, as a Pixel 4a.

Developing apps with Flutter 2.x on Apple silicon (M1) based Mac's (host)

Flutter apps built for the App Store for iOS run unmodified on Apple silicon (M1) based Mac's.

Flutter includes preliminary support for developing on macOS devices with Apple silicon (M1) hardware but some tools still use the Rosetta 2 translation environment.

One major gotcha at the moment is that for iOS the CocoaPods dependency manager for Swift and Objective-C Cocoa projects which is required for apps with plugins, is not yet compatible with Apple silicon, making Apple iOS app development on an Apple silicon (M1) Mac rather pointless. See Github issue 60118.

Running Mac apps built with Flutter 2.x on Apple silicon (M1) based Mac's (target)

Flutter based macOS Desktop apps run but only really because Intel macOS binaries work on Apple silicon without change thanks to the Rosetta 2 translation environment, which converts x86_64 instructions to arm64. Flutter say they plan to offer support for compilation directly to arm64, as well as universal binaries that combine x86_64 and arm64 assets. See Github issue 60113.

Once flutter tools no longer require Rosetta 2, this article will be updated.

Resources

Apple silicon preliminary support blog Android Studio Arctic Fox Canary 15 available
Portions of this page are reproduced from work created and shared by the Android Open Source Project and used according to terms described in the Creative Commons 2.5 Attribution License.
Flutter Github issue Add support for ARM macOS host (60118) tracks the full set of work to support Apple silicon hardware with Flutter development tools.
Flutter Github issue Add support for ARM macOS as a target (60113) tracks the full set of work to support Apple silicon hardware with Flutter apps.
See also: Developing with Flutter on Apple Silicon.