back to article A first look at Google’s Android Studio 1.0: Climbing out of the Eclipse kitchen sink

Google has released version 1.0 of Android Studio, now the official IDE for Android. The development tool has been in preview since its announcement at the Google I/O conference in May 2013, and in beta since June this year. There are a variety of Android development tools available, but until now the official bundle has been …

Never did quite get into using Eclipse for Android properly and spend a lot more time fannying about with set up and configuration than should really be necessary.

This sounds like it might well be worth further investigation.

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Anonymous Coward

Eclipse is a big pain in the ass. Always having troubles with it, it's worse than iTunes for getting confused and deciding the rebuild everything from scratch.

The only reason for using it is it's a bit less clunky and shite than NetBeans.

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Windows

The horridness of Eclipse is all that keeps me working in C# rather than Java.

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You haven't seen netbeans for a while have you, beats eclipse hands down

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Anonymous Coward

If you can't work out that Eclipse isn't the only Java IDE out there (or that Eclipse can be used for many languages that aren't Java) I think that suggests that the reason is probably on the user facing side of the screen.

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Netbeans has improved, worth a look again if you have not tried it within the last couple of year.

But like all IDEs they take some getting used too - a bit like a woman their idiosyncrasies can drive you mad...

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User-facing

The screen and keyboard face the user. The user faces the screen and keyboard.

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Eclipse has its faults but I don't have any major problem using it with in itself. It's biggest strength by far is its automatic build system. Change a file, hit run and normally you're running in seconds. It's enormously flexible and fast which makes iterative programming a breeze. It's very good at marking code in error too, particularly when you're calling another class and code completion is good too.

The likes of IntelliJ favour pushing the build off onto an external tool which breaks this iterative development and it breaks its ability to check for compile errors until the script finds them. It comes nowhere close to the turnaround of Eclipse.

It's biggest issue is that its concept of a "project" is so centred around its own files that if you have an external build system, be it Ant, Maven, Gradle or something else that you will have integration issues to deal with. Or if you will have some kind of protracted packaging / deployment to deal with. Nothing is insurmountable (e.g. there are plugins for kicking off builds in Maven / Gradle but usually it feels a little clumsy).

I still thinks Eclipse kicks ass as an IDE but it needs to treat 3rd party build systems with more grace.

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Eclipse is a big pain in the ass ... The only reason for using it is it's a bit less clunky and shite than NetBeans.

As a professional C# developer by day, with a growing interest in Java as a sideline, I have to say NetBeans is well worth what I paid for it! It's not as slick as Visual Studio, but then, nothing is.

To be able to download an OS and developer tools completely free, and be able to run them effectively on consumer level hardware is .... nice. As long as you have a laptop and a power plug, there's only so far wrong your life can go - you'll always be able to earn some cash most places in the world.

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Anonymous Coward

"As a professional C# developer by day, with a growing interest in Java as a sideline, I have to say NetBeans is well worth what I paid for it! It's not as slick as Visual Studio, but then, nothing is."

Spend a few weeks with IntelliJ/Android studio. I used to love Visual Studio but IntellJ leaves it wanting...

I just wish I could do C# dev in IntelliJ and somehow ditch java....

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Roll on NDK support for us cocos-2dx users out here...

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I did a few silly apps using Eclipse but it's never been the greatest IDE. I've been using the new Android Developer Suite for the last month or two and it's certainly better than Eclipse, I just wish Google would come up a decent emulator for testing. The ADS still has the same shitty emulator that came with Eclipse, and honestly it really is an utter shite Android testbed!

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Anonymous Coward

>The ADS still has the same shitty emulator that came with Eclipse,

Considering Eclipse + ADT and Android Studio use the same Android SDK I'm not sure why that is surprising. The Android emulator is based on qemu which is pretty good if you use the Intel images on a recent machine with hardware vm support. Android 5.0 boots in a blink of an eye in the emulator on my i7-4790K.

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Anonymous Coward

Some people swear by Eclipse but I have found that I mainly swear at it.

I've been playing with Studio for a couple of weeks and it seems much easier to get to grips with when doing simple apps, I've yet to try it out in anger on anything more substantial but it gets the thumbs up from me for now.

(no doubt it will become a bloated behemoth in a few iterations but that's just progress isn't it)

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Eclipse seems to suffer from the usual designed by committee problems: nice ideas but no ruthless weeding out of the bad stuff. I never got into it and have preferred simple text editors and the shell for most things.

At a recent sprint we gave up on it because we couldn't figure out how to use Tidy on some XML (there are some plugins out there, somewhere over the rainbow apparently) and switched to IDEA. While it also comes with far too many options for a new user, it also gets the basics right from the start.

I'm sure there a great many people happy with Eclipse and the relevant plugins for their requirements. Editors and IDEs are very personal things: choose one, learn how it works and be happy.

FWIW I do most of my Python development in WingIDE (which has no Tidy support FWIW) but gets the introspection just right.

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Happy

Long time IDEA user

I never got into using Eclipse.

This tool is likely based on the open source 'community' edition of IDEA. One of many nice things is that the community edition is free.

The full version of the tool [including all the enterprise bits] is available with a variety of licenses - including free licenses for open source projects.

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FAIL

"[...], whereas Eclipse projects generally use Apache Ant."

Excuse me? Has the author time-traveled to the turn of the century while in the middle of writing the article?

Unless we're talking about legacy projects, I very much doubt that most people use anything else than Maven or Gradle when developing in Eclipse. In fact, I find Eclipse has a better support for Gradle than IDEA, at least at the moment.

The only JVM-based build system I use that IDEA has superior support of is SBT, and by a long-shot - but that is not as popular for Android development as Maven/Gradle.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "[...], whereas Eclipse projects generally use Apache Ant."

If you're using any monilithic build system in eclipse, you're missing the whole point of using an IDE. Eclipse's Java tooling should be compiling your code, allowing for fast, incremental recompiles. How do you make quick changes to running code with any of those other build systems?

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Flame

Re: "[...], whereas Eclipse projects generally use Apache Ant."

None of the build systems I've mentioned to be working with (Maven, Gradle, SBT) are "monolithic", every one of them has some notion of modularity as one of its base concepts.

In fact, you can answer your question yourself by checking out how e.g. Maven integration is handled in Eclipse - the IDE reconfigures the build process on the fly, taking advantage of the aforementioned modularity, in order to allow for recompiling the code on its own terms, while still allowing Maven to do its job.

Also, incremental builds the "whole point of using an IDE"!? Really? I'd dare say that the "whole point" of an Integrated Development Environment is, well, exactly that!

I'm sorry to say, but it appears you're talking completely out of your ass. I'm slightly concerned that you've managed to sell your misguided, unresearched preconceptions to someone else (your team, your manager, your client), costing them time and/or money. Please, do make the effort to learn how the tools you use actually work, before you continue with promulgating misconceptions about them.

PS. And one more thing - do check out how many of the so called "monolithic" build systems mentioned in our little discussion support incremental compilation by default and out of the box. You'd be surprised.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "[...], whereas Eclipse projects generally use Apache Ant."

Eclipse tracks file changes as you make them and keeps an index of dependencies between files so it immediately knows what to recompile. Maven doesn't come close. See

https://cwiki.apache.org/confluence/display/MAVEN/Incremental+Builds

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Meh

Re: "[...], whereas Eclipse projects generally use Apache Ant."

You do realize that cherry-picking a single point, out of context to boot (since I've explicitly talked about how Eclipse cooperates with Maven on the incremental compilation front), is bad?

You know what's worse? Qouting a two-year-old page, referring to a vastly outdated version of the software in question, without even bothering to verify if the scenario you refer to is reproducible.

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Facepalm

IDE 1.0 vs Eclipse

In theory you can use Netbeans too. But while I prefer Netbeans to Eclipse, sort of, I'm more familiar with Eclipse on Windows and LInux, I've only used Netbeans about 6 years ago on Windows.

Having recently started to do Android, I can imagine the 1.0 IDE can easily be better than Eclipse. Maybe try it next week.

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Eclipse isn't that bad, it has nice features such as hovering the mouse over errors and selecting a fix. I got burned with my earlier try with AS, gradle still conjures painful memories as I struggled to reference library projects.

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Just noticed this

Here's one for all you programmer types: http://userguide.icu-project.org/packaging-icu4j

"However, in doing so, the results may become quite large on disk. A default build of ICU4J normally results in nearly 16 MB of data"

Take note: they care about 16MB of data being large!

Somewhat OT but it's a subject that should always be on topic whenever programming comes up ...

Jon

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Those 'constraints' on Android Studio's evolution imposed by JetBrains ...

... are exactly the kind of constraints we need. Bring us more of these 'constraints'.

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Re: Those 'constraints' on Android Studio's evolution imposed by JetBrains ...

If resharper is anything to go by then I completely support those sentiments.

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I'm a total IDEA sucker

PHPStorm, RubyMine, PyCharm - all of them! This is great news as I have always cringed when having to go back to Eclipse for Android development, as someone said above Dev Environments and IDE's especially are a very personal thing but IDEA's keyboard shortcuts and context aware coding make things so much easier!

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Pros and cons

Pros:

- Android Studio is purpose built for Android and so everything is integrated that much more tightly than Eclipse + ADT. e.g. you can package and sign your APK all from your build script. In the ADT you have to invoke a dialog to do this and it's a pain.

- Build is farmed out to gradle which means the same script builds in the IDE, the command line and tools like Jenkins. Also gradle is enormously powerful (but there is a downside to this)

- Excellent code analysis and tools

Cons:

- Gradle is REALLY slow even when running as a daemon. Change a file in Java and it might take 20 - 30 seconds for Gradle to ponderously walk through its ADG and tell you its got compile errors.

- Gradle is enormously powerful. It's like maven had a threesome with a groovy and ruby/rake. On big projects this power is useful, for simple Android apps it might become a huge headache to wrangle.

- Android Studio hogs CPU which is a major issue on laptops. Particularly the console panel

- Android Studio is great for Android, not so great if your project contains other targets

- Eclipse is far better at iterative development

To be honest I think Google would have been better off to keep Eclipse but move the build process to gradle - i.e. day to development is done the fast way through Eclipse but you still have the option to run Gradle for a full end to end build. Gradle has plugins for building Eclipse projects so it's entirely feasible they could have done this.

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hooray

The combination of Eclipse and Android SDK drove me crazy. Updates are a broken and semi-manual process if you are behind a corporate proxy requiring NTLM credentials. Considering that at least one update seemed to be needed every time I started Eclipse I am very happy to see the back of it all.

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Re: hooray

Bad form to reply to oneself but be aware Android Studio doesn't like being behind an NTLM proxy either, will not even start!

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NOT great

I use Eclipse, I have used Eclipse for a long time, I use it with a whole host of plugins I have used for a long time (version control for example)

I hope Eclipse is actually supported for another few years...

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Anonymous Coward

Tutorials

Can anyone recommend any tutorials out there for building a simple android app with this IDE?

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its a toy

no support for natie code? I often end up porting a C / C++ library in as part of a project, and I love the fast iteration process. Without native support, for me it is just a toy. - and I gave up using emulation ages ago - soooooo ssssllllllllloooooooowwwwwwwwwww - and no support for opengles 2 originally. Much easier just to plug a 'real' device in.

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Great. Even SUPPERRRRB !

IntelliJ IDEA - the best Anti-productive - codding speed killing switch which even happened to Android.

i strongly believe that the real coding is within the Eclipse.

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