It’s about time. After years of bundling ADB and Fastboot binaries with the Android SDK, Google is finally allowing users to download the binaries without having to download the entirety of Android Studio. Previously, users would have to download several hundred megabytes worth of data if they simply wanted access to ADB and Fastboot. Now, you will only have to stomach a few megabytes to acquire these binaries.
If you’re an Android developer, you would have no problem downloading Android Studio or the Android SDK as these are requisite for Android application development. However, there are plenty of valid reasons for Android enthusiasts to download ADB and Fastboot. Unlocking the bootloader or flashing factory images are some of the more common uses, for instance.
While there were third-party sources you could use to grab just the ADB and Fastboot binaries, such as the popular Minimal ADB and Fastboot tool from our forums, some users would prefer downloading executables only from official sources. Furthermore, these third-parties could be hosting out of date packages, since they rely on individuals downloading and extracting the binaries from the official source. Now you can cut out the middle man and grab them straight from Google.
You can download the latest ADB and Fastboot binaries using these links. These download links will remain static, but Google will periodically update the referenced file with the latest binaries as they go live.