First Look: Xamarin Android Device Manager Preview

Nina Vyedin

With the release of SDK Tools 26, Google replaced the standalone UI for the SDK and Device Manager with a command line interface. In an effort to make Android component management accessible and easy to use, we have built our own versions of these important tools for Xamarin developers, starting with the SDK Manager last fall. Today, we’re excited to introduce a preview of Xamarin’s Android Device Manager, a new tool for creating, editing, and controlling Android virtual devices.

Introduction to Device Manager

You can use the Device Manager to manage existing devices or create new devices: From the main view, you can easily control your devices, including starting and stopping, editing, and generating new devices based on images:

Editing and creating devices is easy with our configuration property editor. In lieu of confusing UI on top of the configuration file, we let you edit the configuration file directly, side-by-side with documentation. This gives you full control of the device properties, but if you don’t want to fine-tune, the simple defaults will work for most cases.

In the previous AVD Manager, you had to go back to the SDK Manager to get missing system images to create new emulators based on those images. In the new Xamarin device manager, we offer to download any missing system images, so you can create the emulators you need without leaving the device manager:


Device Manager requires SDK Tools 26, which can be easily obtained via the SDK Manager. This is not the same as the Android 26 Platform SDK! Device Manager will work with any Android platforms you have installed.

Device Manager works with Visual Studio from Mac 7.6 Preview 3 in the alpha channel and Visual Studio 15.6 Preview 3 as long as you’ve already upgraded to SDK Tools 26. To get the Device Manager, open Tools > Emulator Manager in Visual Studio for Mac or Tools > Android > Android Emulator Manager in Visual Studio. This will give you the instructions to download and install Device Manager.

In Action

Be sure to watch our very own James Montemagno on The Xamarin Show as he walks through how to use the new Xamarin Android Device Manager Preview.

Get Started

Full documentation as well as standalone download links for the Device Manager preview is available from the Xamarin Developer portal.

Leave us a note in the VS developer community with issues, ideas, and observations about the preview, and to help guide development and planning. If you encounter a bug, you can get your logs easily from Help > Generate Bug Report.

We welcome your feedback as we work to make the Device Manager a better tool for all!


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