Software Development

Android Studio can fix Android development

Google has finally decided to get rid of the Eclipse albatross from Android's neck.

During Google's opening keynote of its I/O developers conference, the company showed off improvements to Google+, a Samsung Galaxy S4 sans the TouchWiz treatment, and a new music-streaming service.

But the most uplifting news for Android developers found just after half an hour into a mammoth three-and-a-half-hour keynote was the news that Google is developing its own Android development environment.

This new environment, called Android Studio, is based on the community edition of the IntelliJ IDEA IDE.

For the past few months, I've been using IntelliJ as my preferred Android IDE, and it has, by and large, been a great experience. There are a few hiccups and changes from the usual Eclipse environment, but far less hair tearing and yelling than I was used to from working in Eclipse.

Even so, at times using IntelliJ, I have wished that it had tighter integration with Android's tool set, and that the existing documentation and useful tools were not so Eclipse specific.

As a developer who has wrestled with Eclipse many times over the years, often after Eclipse upgrades itself produces incompatibilities with the Android tools, I am glad that Google has finally chosen to embrace an IDE and improve the development options available.

In the near future, there will hopefully be a development environment for Android that can rival the options available for iOS and Windows Phone. Eclipse may try, but it cannot keep up with Visual Studio, or even XCode. The Eclipse Foundation, which includes Google, has had well over a decade to make Eclipse a worthy IDE, but it suffers under its own weight.

IntelliJ might not be there at the moment, but it has the potential to be far better than Eclipse is.

Watch the clip below, and see the new features that have appeared in Android Studio already.

I've installed and upgraded IntelliJ from my Linux distribution's package manager for many months, and never ended up in a place reminiscent of Eclipse upgrade hell, where I've needed to reinstall the IDE from scratch to blow away some borked preference files.

In short, Eclipse has been moved onto death row. It has taken a long time to get here, but Android developers can look forward to a better, and hopefully lighter, development experience.

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Some would say that it is a long way from software engineering to journalism, others would correctly argue that it is a mere 10 metres according to the floor plan.During his first five years with CBS Interactive, Chris started his journalistic advent...

4 comments
jannie.nel
jannie.nel

As an alternative, have a look at Embarcadero's Delphi XE4. It has all the bells and whistles of a modern RAD IDE and compiles natively to Win32, Win64, Mac OSX and iOS. Andriod should be available in Q4. Imagine that ... one code base for all those platforms.

cogana
cogana

I guess they were busy conceiving something that would allow me to type "SquelchQuelch" and get this thread. I think they call it a search engine is it?

just.a.guy
just.a.guy

For new users to Android Studio, The link above takes you to the Eclipse version of the Studio app. (i.e. Download -> "Download the SDK ADT Bundle for Windows"). It takes a bit of navigation to find the IntelliJ_IDEA version. You need to select the "Android Studio" menu option instead of the "Download" option. This takes you to the IntelliJ_IDEA version.

SquelchQuelch
SquelchQuelch

Finally, an Android IDE that can do what Delphi has been doing since 1995. What took you so long Google?