Ring out Eclipse, ring in Android Studio for Android apps? Not so fast, Eclipse says

While Eclipse tooling is described as less than ideal for Android development, Eclipse forges on with backing for the popular mobile platform

The drumbeat continues for Android application developers to move off of the stalwart Eclipse IDE. But Eclipse proponents are not backing down.

Echoing others' sentiments, Luke Wallace, who leads Android development at software developer Bottle Rocket Studios, told an audience at a technical conference in San Diego Wednesday that it probably should not use the popular Eclipse IDE anymore for building Android apps. Android Studio is now the way to go; Eclipse represents the old method of development for Android, Wallace said, during his presentation on mastering Android development tools at the Mobile Dev + Test conference.

Android's own developer site advises to stop using it, Wallace said, referencing developer.android.com, which recommends downloads of Android Studio and says, "If you have been using Eclipse with ADT [Android Development Tools], be aware that Android Studio is now the official IDE for Android, so you should migrate to Android Studio to receive all the latest IDE updates. For help moving projects, see Migrating to Android Studio." The IDE is based on JetBrains IntelliJ technology.

The notion of moving off Eclipse and onto Android Studio has been raised before in the Android realm. InfoWorld, for its part, reviewed Android Studio two years ago under the headline, "First look: Android Studio eclipses Eclipse."

After his presentation, Wallace elaborated further. "I would say [Eclipse is] just an older tool and it's never really been optimized for Android developers." Wallace, who has used Eclipse, added that Eclipse has had plug-ins for Android but Android Studio has had more thought put into it.

Eclipse Foundation advocates, however, remain staunchly behind their technology for use in Android development. They note that Eclipse has a new development tool for Android, called Andmore. Andmore is intended to provide Android Eclipse tooling without requiring multiple steps. It integrates and refactors ADT plug-ins and features tools such as Eclipse JDT (Java development tools) and Maven build support.

"From our perspective, the Android team's decision to work with a proprietary vendor [JetBrains] is old news," Eclipse Executive Director Mike Milinkovich said in an email. "But the Eclipse Andmore project is working hard to make sure that there will continue to be great Eclipse tools available for Android. Google continues to be a Strategic Developer member of the Eclipse Foundation and a strong supporter of the Eclipse community."

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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