First look: Android Studio eclipses Eclipse

Google's new Android development environment pairs rich layout and build capabilities with IntelliJ IDEA's famous ease

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The most interesting part of Android Studio may be the promises of what's to come. The website makes it clear it's an "early access preview," which must be the term that's come to replace the devalued "beta." I didn't run into any serious problems or any issues building a few basic apps, but I did notice a few places where the documentation would blend into the documentation for using Eclipse. One minute I was clicking on something for Android Studio, and the next minute I was in Eclipse land.

The promises for the future and the hints for what's around the corner are sprinkled throughout the Web pages. They highlight the way that Gradle will grow more powerful and better integrated with the cloud. Google is already talking about adding more features to the Android publishing environment. You can, for instance, quickly translate your app using Google's cloud so that it's ready for foreign markets. Android Studio won't be a lone cowboy standing by itself on a desktop, but will have plenty of support from Google's cloud.

This is just one of the announcements showing how Google imagines that Android Studio will become less and less a simple IDE and more and more a portal into a cloud-based development ecosystem where beta testers will have easy access to the code and everybody is a bit freer to create. For now, it's still very much a rich, sophisticated IDE living mainly in the desktop, but one that's ready to change quickly.

This article, "First look: Android Studio eclipses Eclipse," was originally published at Follow the latest developments in application development and mobile technology at For the latest business technology news, follow on Twitter.

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