"Every time I launch Android Studio, it reverts to the first build variant in the alphabetically sorted list."
When I was searching for this problem, I couldn't find any mention of it. I did eventually find a ticket for it, so I figured I'd post about it and help others find it.
This is the canonical Android Studio ticket
for the problem. Star it if you want to make sure it gets eyes on it, and if you want to be notified when it's fixed.
I'm hoping that my posting about it will make it easier to find, so that people stop creating duplicate tickets -- as I did, before I found the ones that came before mine!
So far, I have found no workaround. You just have to remember to select the correct build variant each time you launch Android Studio. I think I first started seeing this problem in Android Studio 3.6. It's definitely present in 3.6.1. The issue is marked as fixed, so I guess we'll just have to wait for the next release.
Search terms to help Google find this page, so we can all find the canonical ticket:
"Android Studio keeps forgetting my preferred build variant!"
"Why does AS keep changing my build variant?"
"Every time I open AS, I have to choose the right build variant now!"
"Android Studio bug build variant automatically changes"
If you found this helpful, you'd like to thank me, and you enjoy reading science fiction -- or know someone who does -- buy my book