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Introducing Android Studio (plus.google.com)
437 points by ishener on May 15, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 182 comments

This is huge. I've held out on Android development for many reasons, but my visceral hate for Eclipse is one of them. I know I've been able to use IntelliJ before now, but Eclipse was Google's example in tutorials, etc.

Now I'm very excited to make an Android app.

IntelliJ 12's Android support is vastly superior to Eclipse, in addition to being just a better Java IDE overall. I'm now very curious to know just how different Android Studio will be from IntelliJ.

I'd guess it's going to something akin to the difference between JetBrains' RubyMine and Ruby/Rails plugin support inside IntelliJ -- same overall functionality with better UX integration for the domain.

Even the community edition[1] supports android development. Just point IntelliJ at your android sdk installation folder, and you're off to the races!

[1]: http://www.jetbrains.com/idea/features/android.html

But I think this version is not the same as Android Studio community edition.

You're right, it isn't.

This post[1] from JetBrains helped clear the situation up for me.

[1]: http://blog.jetbrains.com/blog/2013/05/15/intellij-idea-is-t...

If you switch the preview released today[1], it's nearly the same as Intellij (even the build numbers almost line up at 130.xx). I just prefer the Intellij preview for some of the features one cannot get in the Android focused IDE Google previewed.

[1] http://blogs.jetbrains.com/idea/2013/05/intellij-idea-13-ear...

Obviously, IntelliJ Ultimate edition is a superset of most JetBrain products.

It looks like there's some pretty deep integration with the Resource system in Android, and some cool layout tools.

Earlier this year I wrote my first Android app using Eclipse. After finishing the project, I decided I hated Eclipse enough to not waste any more time on the platform. I don't really like the Java language either, it somehow feels 'old'. But recently discovered Xamarin[1] and later this year will try to write an Android app again, but this time in C# using Xamarin Studio. I think it's a great alternative for Eclipse, though I will definitely check out Android Studio as well, if it's going to be free.

[1]: http://xamarin.com

It is going to be free since it is based on IntelliJ Community Edition.

This time around try use Kotlin(http://kotlin.jetbrains.org/) instead of Java. It offers 100% compatibility with Java and it works nicely with IntelliJ.

I wrote this fully fledge news app using Kotlin/Java https://github.com/dodyg/AndroidRivers

I thought Google was pretty heavily invested in the Eclipse ecosystem, I think they use it quite a bit internally (at least from what I can gather). Perhaps those efforts were more in the interest of supporting the community of developers which use their API's, though.

I also hate Eclipse, even though I've tried my hardest to overlook its shortcomings. I'll leave it at that so as not to delve too far off-topic.

I used to work on Google TV and IntelliJ seemed to be the preferred IDE to work with on that team at least.

I think they mainly use IntelliJ internally, too.

Why does everyone seem to hate Eclipse? I've been using for a while and I can't find reasons to dislike it.

The feature set is fine, and when it came out it was basically revolutionary.

But over the years the architecture has developed real instability. Frequent crashes, terrible and fundamentally broken package/dependency management. Difficult to find features, inconsistent UX and a vast amount of very low-quality plugins in the ecosystem.

Then there's the extremely varied and confusing set of packages. There's even a matrix of packages and features to help you decide! But even that grid barely scratches the surface:


Using Eclipse over a period of months creates an ongoing feeling of anxiety and fear of project file corruption. Updating a plugin is a crapshoot. Dead repository links abound, installs and upgrades have a high likelihood of failing. Upgrading Eclipse itself is like playing routlette with your project file.

Two years into using IntelliJ, I'll never look back. I used to be a huge Eclipse fan, used it for many years, but it just hasn't aged well at all -- it's a layered-over Frankenstein that barely resembles its former greatness.

Everything you wrote was true several years ago, but today it's no longer true. Eclipse is pretty stable now since it has OSGI under the hood. UX wise though it's still pretty crappy. I wouldn't be surprised if the new Android IDE is still Eclipse.

My last full-time experience with Eclipse was a year and a half ago, and it was worse than it has ever been. Plugins and package management are a nightmare, and that's a quagmire that you can't simply rewrite your way out of. Terrible plugin quality control has created an entire ecosystem of bad Eclipse UI/UX.

As to OSGI -- that has been the core of Eclipse for nearly a decade, and IMO also a big part of the problem. The promise of OSGI was to allow Eclipse to be treated as a radically-open MDI framework that you could write just any old software on -- not just IDEs, but gaming frameworks, spreadsheet editors, on and on. The reality is that the standards for Eclipse's OSGI "drop-in" architecture have not stabilized into a robust ecosystem, rather it has lead to wildly varying user experiences, odd menu/pane/window configurations that have little consistency from one plugin to the next and poor quality software across the board. I'd be very reluctant point to Eclipse as an example of OSGI's fulfilled promise.

Also -- not sure if you read the OP, but the new Android IDE is going to be IntelliJ, not Eclipse.

what plugins are you using? I've been installing plugin after plugin and I've never run into any problems for the past five years now.

Sorry, I cannot even take that comment seriously.

Why not? Do I sound insincere?

Because I have used eclipse and recently and I would not call it "stable".

Ok then if you don't mind what did you experience and what plugins did you use? I'm curious because there may be a common thread. Right now I only use it on Mac or Windows. I've rarely used it on Linux.

I suspect you are suffering from stockholm syndrome. I program Java daily, understand what Eclipse is doing, and I cannot use it for more than a week without shouting at it as it crashes and burns. Perhaps this is a Mac OS X quirk, but I don't really care.

And UX wise it isn't just "crappy." It take some serious doing to be less intuitive and newbie-friendly than emacs.

> I suspect you are suffering from stockholm syndrome.

I don't think so. If that were the case, I would have switched to IDEA a long time ago. Going off topic, I don't really like Java very much either. Anyways so what plugins did you have installed and when did you last you use it? What did you use it for - web development or something else like Android development? So far no one has been willing to list which plugins they're using so I'm suspecting that people haven't actually used Eclipse in years.

I've tried it for Android, Java, and Scala development.

Scala is the only plugin that I know of that's unstable and buggy. Not sure if it's still the case

> I wouldn't be surprised if the new Android IDE is still Eclipse.

The whole announcement is that it is based on IntelliJ.

No it really isn't. At least not for me. Slooooow as all get out even with every tweak I could find. I hate the interface too.

Actually from the screenshots at The Verge it looks like it's ... IntelliJ rebranded!

Eclipse is a parody of a GUI.

A GUI should offer you all and only the valid operations you can perform, depending on the selected object(s). Eclipse, far too often, offers to, e.g. deploy your Android app to a server. This kills discover-ability, especially for novices. It's like feeling around blindly in a box but every third thing is a hammer that bashes you on the knuckles. No. Fun.

Eclipse comes off as a GUI pasted on a CLI, where any command can be performed at any time, and you are only told if the arguments are wrong after an attempt to execute a command. You can blame this on plugin developers not fulfilling all the contracts of all the interfaces, but, still, that's how Eclipse is in practice.

Eclipse has gotten better, and I have Stockholm Syndrome by now. But it is far worse than XCode or Visual Studio for basic usability.

>A GUI should offer you all and only the valid operations you can perform

Visual Studio does this, mostly and it's way too annoying.

There's been several projects where external forces have practically forced me into Eclipse (Android development among them). I dislike it because it's huge and difficult. It won't let me work simply. It is slow to start and slow to use. If I want to import a project, I have to manually copy the .project file and manually edit it because Eclipse is too retarded to just import a simple folder from the filesystem in anything like a sane manner. I have to tweak a bunch of crap in the messy menus and dialogs before I get a functional debugger, different for each project context. The UI is slow, meaning it loads slowly, and switching from Debug->Code view lags horribly. Using the internal windowing and docking system for widgets is hard and sometimes I have to reset the whole thing to get it back to a manageable place.

Those are my main complaints. I haven't used IntelliJ so I don't know if it is much or any better. I kind of feel like Eclipse exhibits the primary pervasive cultural philosophy amongst Java developers; create something massive and unwieldy, embed some useful functionality somewhere beneath layers of tedious boilerplate, and bundle it all up and act confused when no one wants anything to do with it. This is further exhibited by Java's attachment to XML, its packaging mechanisms (wars and jars everywhere), and its general verbosity.

I appreciate the intention behind all of this, but I think it's totally non-functional from an outsider's perspective. I hope IntelliJ is better.

I've used JetBrains' products in various forms (IntelliJ IDEA, Resharper for Visual Studio, and PhpStorm) for a long time, but every couple of years I was also exposed to Eclipse (Aptana Studio, and one or two other installs that I forget what they were for).

Eclipse just feels clunky and not very well designed. Like they forgot to find someone to do UX work. Plus the workspaces concept is really stupid, and the versions I was using couldn't open a file if it wasn't inside a workspace.

Well said. I've used Eclipse for several years, and _never_ felt that it was lacking... except perhaps in the department of finding which permutation of pieces to install. Then, I installed PyCharm (a Python IDE from JetBrains which basically is IntelliJ for Python), and was BLOWN AWAY by the polish.

It's not that it's faster. That helps. The thought that was put into how you can make it your own -- search boxes on the settings menu are mindblowing -- and the overall polish makes it extremely awesome. I expect that IntelliJ is similarly awesome for Java, because Jetbrains makes good stuff.

The few things I can think of offhand that I like about Eclipse are that I can drag tabs of code windows around and it automatically will split however I want (PyCharm doesn't let me do that as easily, though it does support split windows Just Fine), and the fact that Eclipse is a de-facto (and FREE) standard IDE that nearly everyone has examples for.

PyCharm, and IntelliJ by extension, has been the first IDE I've ever used that I've felt was worth spending money on.

The search box on the settings was an eclipse feature before it was an intellij feature.

This is well-said. Something I say quite often when Eclipse/IntelliJ comes up: for a while, as an Eclipse and occasional NetBeans user, I thought that I really hated Java. After finding IntelliJ, I realized quite quickly that while I don't love Java (and I do have a laundry list of things-it-must-do-better), what I really hated were my IDEs. IntelliJ for Scala is also just straight-up brilliant.

My only complaint is that even with all the tweaking in the world it's basically impossible to make their Swing-based editor component not look terrible on Linux.

Hmm... other than some issues with disappearing completion windows (probably related to me running XMonad), I haven't really found it to be that ugly on linux... Maybe not very slick, but frankly speaking, for the benefits it's small price :D

Well, yeah, it's workable, but coming from IDEA on Mac it's really distractingly poor. Doesn't seem to matter what settings I tweak or fonts I use--Swing on Linux is just no fun.

It's slow and buggy in my experience. I work on a fairly large Android project and over time it just keeps getting slower and slower. Doing things like closing/opening files of any size can take > 5 seconds even with a good SDD and processor, and this time increases as you use it until you restart eclipse. Also it crashes more often than any other IDE I've used and lately has refused to use emacs keybindings for me.

Lately I've switched using emacs w/ JDEE to edit code and Eclipse mostly just for debugging and the Android XML layout tools, which feels much better. I'm really interested in this new IDE from google, it'd be better if I could do all my editing/debugging in one program.

I've done something similar with vim and builds on the cl with Ant. I use IntelliJ quite a bit for Java heavy-lifting, but with vim bindings (which are OK, but occasionally frustrating). I flatly refuse to maintain separate build configs for dev and production ever again. I do adb and ant on the command line, and use IntelliJ only as an editor.

I have neither used Eclipse or IntelliJ much. So from a new user point of view -

I dislike Eclipse primarily because of really bad UI. Big toolbars, tabs, everything takes up considerable amount of screen leaving very limited space for code. Looks ugly. Speed sucks too.

On other hand, IntelliJ not only has cleaner UI, but also better shortcuts and even show hints to remember them. Speed not great, but feels better than Eclipse.

Traditional Style Tabs are quite a bit less ugly.

Indeed, my first move after every install is to change to classic appearance. I really don't know what they were thinking.

I've thought the speed has increased considerably over the years, although to be honest I'm not a huge fan of any of the "full" IDEs out there.

Also, I know what you mean by the large amount of screen real estate all those toolbars and windows take up, but you do know you can close / turn all those off right? It's not too bad after that.

Have you tried visual studio or jetbrains? Even VS2005 runs circles around Eclipse Juno(2013).

Eclipse is slow, you have to manually edit memory-settings in eclipse.ini just to get bearable performance(-Xmx384m wtf??), it's buggy, plugins are confusing and often conflicting , the ui is bloated, intellisense is more in the way than it is helping, keyboard focus is all over the place when switching between panels(for example going between code/project/search). It's simply frustrating to work with it once you're used to something that actually works smoothly.

Have you tried Idea? :-)

Anyway as IDE developer for alternative languages (Scala, Kotlin) I dont like Eclipse because they refuse to integrate any sort of support for third party languages. This has been going on for nearly a decade. Vmware had to basically fork JDT to build decent Groovy IDE.

Are you talking about some core Eclipse features that needed for third party language support?

There are many amazing third language IDEs implemented as Eclipse plugins, not forks, like http://www.eclipse.org/koneki/ldt/.

I am talking about languages which can crosscompile with Java source-code level. So class in Scala can be extended by Java class and again extended by Scala class and so on... By my knowledge this is AspectJ, Kotlin, Scala, Groovy and probably Ceylon

This requires deep integration with Java Development Tools to make incremental compilation working. And JDT team refuses this sort of stuff for nearly a decade now (since AspectJ). There are various hacks (such as aspect hooks used by Scala IDE). Probably best solution is JDT fork made by Spring Source (VMware) : http://blog.springsource.org/2009/07/30/a-groovier-eclipse-e...

And to add insult to injury Eclipse Foundation created their own language called Xtend. It has cross-compilation as well, but it first compiles down to Java source code and result Java code is than compiled by javac. Basically Java Preprocessor. (dont get me wrong. I really like Xtend as language, I just wish their team would put some pressure on JDT folks).

> Why does everyone seem to hate Eclipse?

Echoing what others have said, you will notice if you've tried other IDE's. Since my main IDE is Visual Studio, I notice the lag / slowness / clunkiness immediately. YMMV. Maybe on a newer blazing fast CPU it's not so apparent. Definitely not OS dependent. I've tried Eclipse on both Windows and Linux, it's slow on both.

I try to love Eclipse, I really do. I've worked at places that make Eclipse plugins and I appreciate that it is completely FOSS. But as a full time Android developer, it just crashes too much. Multiple crashes per day, every day. It's just too distracting.

I use Eclipse extensively personally, but the one thing that drives me nuts about it is it's general speed. Conversely I'm so well versed it in I don't have a strong desire to replace it at the center of my work flow. Just been getting better/faster machines over the years.

Same here.

I was disappointed when I bought a brand new Macbook Air last year though only to find hitting cmd-s then switching to a different tab "loses" the save if you do it too quickly (among other general slowness). It's amazing how over so many years with massive hardware increases it doesn't seem any more responsive.

They took a step back with the CSS theming disaster which seemed to slow down the UI dramatically. Other than I have never hated Eclipse. It's very productive for Java development. That said I use SublimeText for every other language...

For quick edits I will turn to jEdit or vim. I've also been giving LightTable a try and enjoying the early stages.

From someone who admittedly prefers to use a text editor in a terminal: It's horrendously slow, especially to start. It's massively overcomplicated. It's laggy and unresponsive in ways that only java software tends to be.

eclipse is worse in every way outside of generally getting plugins/framework integration first. and though i'm sure i could configure eclipse to behave the same way...out of the box intellij was very predictive for me. not just on obvious auto completes either. it seems to know what you want to do as you're typing. similar to the way BMWs communicate what's happening on the road to you and you begin to feel like you're one with the car. that level of interaction between me and the IDE makes it much easier to get code from brain to file imo

Switching between tabs in the editor takes > 1s (on a core i7 with 12GB). That is enough to make it almost useless for me. IntelliJ community edition is much snappier.

This is been a new issue with Juno, Eclipse 4x branch. Before it Eclipse was very fast, now it has all these odd quirks the flash the gui and occasionally hang for a few seconds. Obviously with weighty plugins like ADT you will see the problem exacerbated.

I remember the Google team being shocked (as was the Eclipse community) when Juno came out since it was so awful ui-performance wise. They rushed to donate some machines to re-enable performance tests which had been commented out due to lack of resources, it was small like 10K commitment or so. With their help the Eclipse team was able to mitigate the problems, but its still very slow compared to the 3x branch. In a way they seem like they dont want to admit it and defend the 4x branch. I'm sure this Studio release will be a wakeup call.

I suspect we're seeing the result of Eclipses 4x failure. The only light at the end of the tunnel is that Eclipse releases every year along with its huge plugin ecosystem. They almost never miss a date which is amazing considering its usually millions of lines commited on everything from graphical modelers through c++ tools. Maybe the next major release will fix all this crap and restore order to the Force.

edit/tl;dr: 4x performance issue fixes hopefully done by June 2013: https://bugs.eclipse.org/bugs/show_bug.cgi?id=393429

I'm using Eclipse (Juno Service Release 2) for vanilla Java development and it doesn't even take a quarter of a second to switch between tabs and various perspectives. I'm using a first gen i3 with 4GB of RAM. Maybe there is something else wrong with your Eclipse setup?

retina support

This is pretty crazy considering the huge investment Google has made into Eclipse to create the SDK there. There is also a significant community investment in using Android with Eclipse. Eclipse once you get rolling is amazing, and most importantly its free which is a big deal especially to cash strapped individuals and businesses.

What will happen with the existing Eclipse SDK? Also what about GWT? Splitting the IDE communities is bold. So many questions though.

> This is pretty crazy considering the huge investment Google has made into Eclipse to create the SDK there.

What's pretty crazy is that they were insane enough to base it on Eclipse in the first place, seeing as it's probably the only IDE that so many people hate so intensely.

I'm a Linux user primarily, use OS X at work, and detest Windows, yet I'd pick Visual Studio ca. 1999 over Eclipse any day. I'm an Emacs user, yet I'd switch to Vim in a heartbeat if I had to pick between Vim and Eclipse.

I suspect you will find quite a lot of people with similarly strong hate for Eclipse. It's a trainwreck. Though in slow motion, as Eclipse never seems to do anything fast.

It's probably because the Community Edition of IntelliJ didn't exist when they started doing their Android tooling. Eclipse was more dominant back then. That's slowly been changing (thank goodness!)

> "I'm a Linux user primarily, use OS X at work, and detest Windows, yet I'd pick Visual Studio ca. 1999 over Eclipse any day. I'm an Emacs user, yet I'd switch to Vim in a heartbeat if I had to pick between Vim and Eclipse." - after hearing this from a fellow emacs user I am seriously considering a switch to Intellij from eclipse and see how it goes.

>Also what about GWT?

Is GWT still even a thing they care about? It seems like they're pushing people towards Dart and Angular at this point.

I/O last year was seriously thin on GWT, and it looks this year like there's only one session, which got misfiled in the schedule under "Google Wallet."


that's sad to hear, i quite like gwt. but ATM gwt is quite feature complete, except for bugs.

I share your visceral hate for Eclipse, let's see if this IDE would solve that :)

Android apps are actually an extreme pleasure to code in vim/emacs and build from the commandline. The shell debugging tools are very nice, too. Eclipse doesn't really add that much to the experience other than setting up the initial required files.

Agreed! Not many people do this that I know of but it's a great option. I use a vim/tmux environment, but I use IntelliJ for a lot of the Java heavy-lifting. Let's face it, it's hard to match IntelliJ's autocompletion, auto-import, etc. inside of vim. I do use the vim bindings though.

Looking forward to porting my ant scripts to gradle.

I've gotten by with Emacs and the command line tools. Full disclosure, I'm the author of this game: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.parodychec...

I'm hesitant to give up Emacs just to write for Android, but even so I might give this new gizmo a try.

Could you describe your workflow/emacs.d ?

I've been thinking of going with Emacs for Java coding for some time, but JDEE always seemed to be missing something (and some of the newer options tended to eat hilarious amounts of resources or required maven)

I really don't have anything special installed for Java. I code Java much like I code C, and don't have the advantage of IntelliSense or similar.

Android makes this sort of coding easy, because it supports a relatively "small and focused classes" coding style -- much like Java in the 1.0.x days. Compare to, say, J2EE, where you HAVE to have an elaborate IDE just to wrangle the complex classes and all their interrelationships.

Same here. Can't wait to give this a shot.

The early access preview (http://developer.android.com/sdk/installing/studio.html) is definitely prettier than Eclipse. Not that that's a high bar to clear. It also seems to be less stable, which is a high bar to clear. ;)

Yeah, I know, pre-release software.

The windows seem to take a long time to load, too. That strikes me as odd -- it's one thing when you're starting up some sort of interpreter, but several seconds to scan the project directory or open a file? Perhaps that's another pre-release issue.

The layout XML editor looks like a big win, though. The syntax awareness, suggestions, documentation access, formatting and just all around general helpfulness seem to be about 1000x better than Eclipse. That alone would make it worth the switch! I think the biggest time sink for me while working on layouts is remembering "what's the darn attribute for..." It's all right there in glorious detail.

The realtime WYSIWYG view is . . . cool, I guess. ADT already had that, though you had to switch to a different tab for it. Maybe I'm missing something; it doesn't seem that revolutionary to me. It still doesn't handle custom views, which I use a lot of. (And I mean a lot! Custom container views, too.) And I don't really like feedback while typing, anyway. YMMV, of course, but it looks to me like the big win is the text editor itself, not the graphical display.

I've been meaning to get off of Eclipse for a while now, so I'll play with it more and watch how it changes. For now, color me experimental and cautiously optimistic.

Every time I open eclipse I feel like crying. Is just that awful (usability-wise).

On my search to replace Eclipse for my android development I think I came across IntelliJ and it was very resources-heavy compared to eclipse which in the end made me give up on it. Let's hope it's more efficient now...

Make sure you disable any plugins you don't need for IntelliJ Idea otherwise it will just load every plugin for doing almost everything under the sun which can make it a bit bloated.

I feel the same way. For school, we are - unfortunately - more or less forced to use Eclipse. I understand that many companies' standard IDE is Eclipse, which means that being comfortable with it makes students more hirable. However, I was already comfortable with Xcode when I began to learn all about Eclipse's archaic features. The jump from IDEs has been tough. Now of course, Eclipse does a hell of a job and it's been a big player for ages, but it isn't pretty. Maybe I am too picky, but I want to developed well-designed apps in a well-designed environment.

It also looks like JEdits less cool older brother.

The long loading time might be unoptimized-yet parsing of various XML files of ones app. In general, it's mostly an evolutionary work on existing IntelliJ Android plugin.

The View editor afaik has some support for custom views, but only some - it's rather iffy (IntelliJ Android view renderer simply used Android libs to render them, but of course that doesn't work for everything, and anything fully programmatic is dead anyway). Fwiw, IntelliJ's XML editor was always much better at not freaking out at the fact that you haven't finished writing that new tag so of course your view doesn't validate (something that was a constant for me back when I used Eclipse).

The editors in general are standard for IntelliJ, with some nifty transformations added - the XML string example reminds me of how IntelliJ dynamically renders certain idioms into Java 8 forms while still keeping the code in 1.6 (well, that's how I have it configured, that is).

In general, it's nice, I hope it will be available as plugin into plain old IntelliJ as well.

In Eclipse you can use View.isInEditMode to hide code that doesn't work in the preview. Bit of extra work but probably worth it, having your custom views work in the layout editor can be a timesaver. I'd imagine that works in Android Studio too.

Early access preview available now:


Just a head up: you will need to edit the configuration to run on device (the default only launches on AVD). Took me a while to figure that out.


I've just finished building my first proper Android app. I've built simpler things before but this was the first one that took significant development time. I would guess that about 20% of my time was spent debugging and fighting Eclipse. I thought Xcode sucked but it looked flawless compared with eclipse. Freezes, crashes, multiple emulators launching and none of them actually running the app. Errors in my code that weren't actually errors and were fixed through rebooting Eclipse.

If Google can make Android Studio good it's huge news for Android development.

I am excited for this. In my mind the importance of having a simple and targeted IDE can't be overstated. The best part of developing in C# or Objective C is Visual Studio and Xcode. Hopefully this does for Android development what those IDEs do for their respective platforms.

Starting at about 35 min in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pmPa_KxsAM

The killer feature that they showed is an integrated UI layout preview tool, in a pane alongside the editor. Click on a widget in the preview to select the element in your layout file. This is neat but fairly ordinary; the great part is that it can show multiple previews at once, for different device sizes. Or for different locales. These all appear to update very quickly, if not live, when you change your code.

This sounds great. Google should've built their own IDE for Android a long time ago. It even has live code updates, and it can show how the app looks on different form factors.

TC has a summary on it:


"It's an IDE based on IntelliJ."

I'm in.

I wonder if they've licensed something from JetBrains or if this "IDE" is an extensive plugin on top of the free version of IntelliJ.

It's this, they said it was based on the community (free) edition of intellij.

This is great. It would have been hard to make an IDE with the polish of IntelliJ from scratch, but, without official support from Google for Android development plugins, layout editors, etc. I had been reluctant to make the jump.

That makes me angry. I really like Jetbrains as a company and you would think Google could spare some money and pay Jetbrains something.

Don't be angry...JetBrains sounds happy:

"Confirmed! Android Studio is a new IDE that Google is developing in cooperation with JetBrains and based on IntelliJ IDEA. Details shortly." https://twitter.com/jetbrains/status/334725715922669568

This is massive for Jetbrains! We don't know whether some money exchanged hands at this moment, but Jetbrains is going to get a lot of value from the primary Android development platform being based on their product.

CTO of Jetbrains is talking about this at the moment at Google IO. It could have been a collaboration.

Hell, imagine all the PR at the moment. They don't just do Java, they have IDEs for PHP, iOS, etc. I wouldn't be surprised if their sales took off as a result of this keynote.

I agree. I see it as a massive win for JetBrains!

Eclipse is a constant source of small annoyances for me, none of which by itself is a huge deal but when taken together color my view of the editor negatively.

Unfortunately, switching to Android Studio presents a different set of issues, like lack of Perforce integration (using Perforce is out of my control here, unfortunately).

I'd assume some sort of hybrid Android Studio/IDEA setup is possible, but even still the Pro version of IDEA that I would seemingly need to get any Perforce integration working is priced at a point ($499 and up) where I'm not sure I could make a justification for the purchase. Eclipse kinda sucks, but it also mostly works and the perforce integration on it is free (and also quite good, I have no idea if IDEA's is any good).

I could, of course, just eschew IDE/VCS integration, but editor integration is, in my experience, kind of a big deal with Perforce because of the rather old-school model it uses of checkouts. It becomes really annoying to merge code in if you don't preemptively check things out before you change them, and having the IDE manage this by just checking things out when you first start editing them is a huge win. Pseudo-ironically, if the VCS I used were any of the ones Android Studio/IDEA gives you for free having support for it in the IDE would be less of a big deal for me, I'd just do all the VCS stuff at the command line.

I don't get it. Perforce is ~$200/seat/year. IDEA at $500 seems like a no-brainer compared to limping on with Eclipse.

I work at a company that mandates Perforce for political reasons and getting budget for a $500 purchase when I can't reasonably articulate the benefits over the free thing we've been using all this time would be an uphill battle that I'm honestly not sure is worth it, because while I find Eclipse annoying I don't have enough experience with IDEA to know that it is not annoying in a different set of ways.

I suppose I will try the 30 day demo of IDEA and see if it is worth fighting for, but probably not until Android Studio is more baked because I've played around with it enough to know that the 0.1 designation is warranted at this time.

I can't even begin to calculate the amount of time I wasted on Eclipse. I hated it. I tried to use eclim, which kinda work, but started crashing vim (infrequently) which is worse than not having anything. At least once every two weeks (for three years) I would get so fed up with how slow it is that I'd spend an hour or two trying to fix it.

It's hours and days wasted, and that's before I consider any difference in productivity while actually using each IDE. If any of this sounds familiar, do spend a couple of weeks in the free version of IDEA. It was night-and-day for me. The worst part will be your muscle memory (e.g. stepping through the debugger).

Perforce plugin for IDEA is very buggy. I do not recommend.

I've been developing Android apps for a couple of years now. On my machine, Eclipse degenerated to the point where building and running an app would lock up my machine for about a minute. So I made the switch to IntelliJ. It's been great so far, much more responsive. But there have been a few Android tools from Eclipse (the layout preview is worse in IntelliJ) that I've missed. So I'm insanely excited that the Android team is going to be building off of IntelliJ now.

The next thing I'm waiting for is the new, Gradle based, build system. http://tools.android.com/tech-docs/new-build-system

Many of us game devs use C++ for performance and especially cross-platform support, so I am very interested in seeing how NDK support turns out in this. Debugging native code in particular has always been a pain point even for people who don't hate Eclipse.

Intellij is working on upcoming support for C/C++[1] (one of their things they joked about on April 1st coming true) so I imagine it will take advantage of that or Google is working with them on it.

[1] http://blog.jetbrains.com/objc/2013/04/c-ide-an-april-fools-...

This will be make or break for me as well. I'm able to code C++ with Visual Studio (and Visual Assist X) and compile it directly in the IDE with vs-android.

The only thing that could make be switch over would be a robust NDK debugger.

Try Nsight Tegra VStudio. https://developer.nvidia.com/nvidia-nsight-tegra

It's still rough and hampered by ndk's buggy gdb. But when it works it's beautiful! Visual Studio stepping between java and C++!!

The resource preview seems to be the best feature of the new Android Studio - the multi-device layout preview is already available in the latest version of the Android development tools for Eclipse, so I'm not sure why that was such a big announcement.

I'm a huge IntelliJ fan from my days doing server side Java, so I'm definitely looking forward to ditching Eclipse. I just hope it handles Android libraries better than IntelliJ used to.

So stoked, I love Intellij, Rubymine, and PyCharm but for some reason setting up Intellij to do Android dev is always so difficult (and the Jetbrains pro version is not cheap at around 600 bucks iirc). If Google has made any of the env setup better I am all about this.

The personal license (aka a person owns it, not a company) is €179. From time to time they have huge discounts - they had a Black Friday discount of 75%. Recently there was a 50% discount.

Just watch the news on reddit or here :)

Your company can't buy a personal license for you, so you have to pay for it on your own.

I first got a pro license of phpstorm at work and liked it so much i got a personal license for my hobby projects. For me the inspections are what make the difference with any other IDE or editor, with the refactoring and code navigation functionality in close pursuit. Phpstorm runs fast enough even on my clunky old atom netbook, and the UI fits on its 1024x600 screen.

I switched to IntelliJ from Eclipse for Android development a few months ago. Best decision I've ever made.

Well after the 300MB download, I tried to create a hello world project on fully updated Mac 10.8.3 and my friend on a Windows 7 machine. Punch in a project name and go. Failed on both.

Preview or not, you don't expect such dribble from Google.

Mac error was:

Can't register given path of type 'SOURCE' because it's out of content root.

Windows error was:

(After env var fix) "There must not already be a project at this location" and would not let a new one be created.

If they can't test enough to guarantee basic project creation on stock standard OS's they shouldn't release it.

I havent kept up with Android development much, but have they addressed the simulation and UI building issues (when compared to IOS or Windows Phone development tools)?

> have they addressed the simulation and UI building issues

I don't know what UI building issues you're referring to but the intel based emulators run very quickly and I have no problems using them. Though I still prefer testing directly on hardware, for different form factors that isn't always an option.

I just remember some of my old co-workers who were developing cross-platform mobile apps complaining about how difficult it was to do UI stuff on Android compared to IOS/Winphone. It looks like they have addressed those concerns though


Android does emulation not simulation.

Any indications of when this will be released?

There'll be a session about the new tools in a few hours, so there'll probably be more news then.

Arg, missed that! Can you post a link?

It doesn't look like the videos are up yet.

Lately I've been forced to use eclipse for Android development to create a demo app for our technology(* ). The general lack of responsiveness of the UI was so annoying that I basically took to doing all my editing in emacs and just manually refreshing eclipse windows for UI changes, build and DDMS views for debugging. A lot of my development is C/C++ code (NDK build) which I'm doing completely in emacs anyway, it mostly worked out for me.

Can someone who has experience in IntelliJ tell me how well it might support a workflow involving an external editor ? Basically I'm trying to decide whether it's worth investing the time to switch over for my use-case. Many thanks in advance for an informative answer.

(* ) for this -> packetzoom.com

The news is that they're switching from Eclipse to IntelliJ as the base for the Android tools. The demo didn't really show too much that was new, today's Eclipse tools can show multiple screen form factors and languages just like in the demo.

I wonder if these guys are going to be asked to change the name of their app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.kaushal.an...

I wouldn't be surprised since they're not following the brand guidelines.


This could be what pushes me to start Android development. I just traded one of my spare iPhone 4s for a Galaxy Nexus, and started to dig into dev. But from my admittedly brief foray, it looked like a lot more fiddling than I cared to undertake right now. Sure, I use a combination of vim, xcodebuild, and a small bit of Xcode now, but if Xcode didn't exist as an IDE when I started iOS/Mac dev I wonder how far I would've gotten. As soon as the download link for the Android IDE is published, I'll be taking a concerted look into it.

Now I only need a VI plugin for this IDE.

ideavim is your friend

That is fantastic, thanks! Idea just became my default IDE.

While I'm quite excited about this, I'm surprised by all the hatred for eclipse in this thread.

I develop in Java for both fun and profit using eclipse and it's been running solid ever since I followed the tips given in this SO thread (esp putting the jvm in a ramdisk) http://stackoverflow.com/questions/316265/tricks-to-speed-up.... Perhaps those whose sole complaint with eclipse is its performance should try some of those suggestions.

Those are good suggestions that can make a difference, but if you haven't tried IntelliJ you really should. I used eclipse for years. Wish I could get those years back now. Eclipse is great, but IntelliJ is better.

Okay, I've been using it since yesterday and I think it's _amazing_.

This is encouraging news. I hope the rest of the industry catches on to IntelliJ tooling.

Being offered Eclipse/Netbeans tools is the equivalent of getting a Dell laptop for work.

Is Eclipse worse or something when doing Android dev? It seems just fine to me doing normal Java dev, but to hear people talk it is the worst IDE ever invented.

I wouldn't say Eclipse is worse for Android dev, but I've defiantly seen 12+ year Eclipse Java developers hanging over my shoulder as I power though IntelliJ saying things like "How did you do that?" and "What IDE are you using?" I would say IntelliJ can make you more productive out of the box, whereas you may need plugins and some config to do the same features.

I have the Ultimate Edition, but I would definitely check out the Community Edition if all you're doing is Java.

I hate its workspace concept with passion.

Most IDEs just use some kind of project file, or are able to use directly build tools. But Eclipse always has to create this workspace full of metadata that it likes to corrupt every now and then!

True, I definitely agree with that. Especially how working with multiple workspaces has to be handled outside of Eclipse, via shortcuts or something.

you can specify the workspace locn at startup (with -d iirc) so with an alias and/or some bash scripting you can use a separate workspace for each project (I have my projects in ~/proj as subdirs with commands to select which is current - although I only use eclipse for c dev work, intellij idea for java + python).

also, use a separate build tool (eg ant) and don't store build info in eclipse (basically, use as default a config as possible and "import from" the build tool). then if you do need to start from scratch you lose very little (and don't add the eclipse metadata to git).

All nice advices, except they don't work in Fortune 500 corporate environments where the tooling allowed in "your" computer is project dependent.

Given I've had a lot more experience with the FlexBuilder fork than mainline Eclipse, I always found it incredibly frustrating compared to VS. Now, VS doesn't have all the features that are in other IDEs, but getting out of the gate is downright painful by comparison.

I've used WebStorm (also based on IntelliJ) for NodeJS dev, and like it a lot. I still like VS more, but VS is so slow and buggy by comparison, it's hard to use these days. So I can imagine that this new variant will be very useful, and far better than Eclipse for the same work.

YMMV of course.

It's much of the same, really. You'll only notice you are doing Android development when you debug and it starts an emulator instead of a Swing app or web server.

I would not be surprised if Google now acquires Jetbrains.

This is definitely awesome. I look forward to the stable release and moving away from Eclipse.

Does anyone know if Android Studio will also be available as a plug-in for people who already have IntelliJ installed? I'm not too keen on having multiple versions of the same IDEs, that I have to each customize and maintain.

This post answered my question: http://blog.jetbrains.com/blog/2013/05/15/intellij-idea-is-t...

"You can see the updated Android support in the Early Access Preview of IntelliJ IDEA v13 that is opened today...This EAP build includes all of the new features of Android Studio except for the new project wizard and the AppEngine cloud endpoints integration. These latter features will also appear in our EAP builds in the coming weeks."

And here I thought I'd regret switching to IDEA due to the lack of official Google support. How serendipitous.

Looks great, too bad it won't even launch for me on Windows 7. Anybody else running into problems running it?

I was about to post the very same. W7 x64, try to launch the program, execution seems to create a crss.exe -> conhost.exe that hangs indefinitely.

Thank you for posting this, I thought I was the only one and was going crazy. It is definitely not working for me on Windows 7 64.

It doesn't launch for me either and the task manager doesn't show a process starting.

Doesn't work on me either. Win 7 64

Doesn't launch in windows 8 either

Try to add a JDK_HOME environment variable which points to your JDK e.g. C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jdk1.7.0_07

This is easily the most exciting thing to happen to Android developers in a long time. I am super jazzed.

JetBrains Company Blog gives details on Android Studio: http://blog.jetbrains.com/blog/2013/05/15/intellij-idea-is-t...

Android Studio, at present, embeds Eclipse...


This seems to be the DDMS view of the Eclipse ADT.

I've done one Android app for a college project using Eclipse a couple years ago. I've been wanting to get back into developing for the platform. Anyone have an opinion on a novice Android developer trying out an early access preview for this IDE?

Anyone that needs a color scheme, here is mine https://github.com/prignano/Obsidian2-IntelliJ-Android-Studi... already tested on Android Studio.

Does no one see that this is an obvious transition to make a proprietary Android dev environment?

Sure, Eclipse can be a little buggy, but it's FREE.

I'd rather take a free, third party IDE over something that will just push Google closer to world domination.

IntelliJ also just released IDEA 13 preview with all of the features. http://confluence.jetbrains.com/display/IDEADEV/IDEA+13+EAP

This looks interesting. I've an iOS app for a local art group, and they've been bugging me for an android version. I'm going to take this as an opportunity to jump in.

The BIG question in my mind is: will this work on ChromeOS?

I don't mean to jump on you personally, but your question is typical of something I don't understand: why do so many people seem to want to do desktop-type things on ChromeOS? It's not meant for that kind of work, and there are plenty of other OSs that are.

Doubtful, given it is not web-based.

edit: There is nothing definitively saying it is not web-based, but I do feel as if that would be a big talking point when they first introduced it if it were.


It doesn't seem to run on Windows 64-bit, here's the fix: http://www.twosquared.com.au/blog/6

I was excited (tired of Eclipse), but after a test run, I think it is still slow, and still lack of native code debugging that just works, as in xcode.

They're making it similar to developing Windows Phone applications, but in some ways even better!

The live preview of different layouts is FANTASTIC! I'm super excited!

Is this to replace Eclipse or just be an option?

I think they will switch to this but Eclipse will always be option.

The great thing about Android Studio based on IntelliJ is that Kotlin plugin should work with no or minimal change to work there.

Download link?

I was looking for that too. Prolly later in I/O we'll see it and someone will post it here.

This is exciting. My biggest headaches with Android stem entirely from Eclipse.

Any word on if this will be free or paid?

This is based off the Free Community Edition from InteliJ so I think it will remain free like Eclipse.

Anything to not use eclipse!

any improvement on ndk debugging ould be highly appreciated

They finally ditched that horrible thing called Eclipse!

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