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Google Android Studio Vs. Eclipse: Which Fits Your Needs?

Soulskill posted about 8 months ago | from the depends-which-pants-i'm-wearing dept.

Android 140

Nerval's Lobster writes "Google's Android Studio is a development tool for Android based on the IntelliJ IDEA platform, one that managed to attract a lot of hype when it rolled out in mid-2013. Roughly a year later, the platform is still in 'early access preview,' and work on it is ongoing. Eclipse, on the other hand, is the granddaddy of IDEs; although it doesn't offer native Android support, it does have some nice tools to help you build Android applications—one such tool is the Google Plugin for Eclipse, made by Google. Developer and editor Jeff Cogswell compares Eclipse and its Google-made Google Plugin with Google's own Android Studio, developed with the help of the people who make IntelliJ IDEA. His verdict? Eclipse is beginning to show its age, especially when it comes to Android development, while Android Studio offers some noted benefits. 'Android Studio is still in preview mode, without an official release, even if that preview is in pretty fine shape—its status certainly shouldn't prevent you from using it, at least in my opinion,' he writes. Do you agree?"

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Not surprising (4, Insightful)

Shados (741919) | about 8 months ago | (#46527315)

I haven't done Android development, but IntelliJ IDEA has been ahead of Eclipse for ages, so this isn't surprising.

Eclipse was a good IDE (relative to others) for a brief period of time early in its life, give or take 10 years ago (i think?), and that was it. Everyone else quickly caught up, Visual Studio was brought up to speed (with plugins at least), IDEA came into the spotlight, and the only reason Eclipse was still popular was because it was a) it was free, b) people learnt it in school, c) people didn't even realize there was better IDEs out there for Java (and other non-Microsoft languages).

Re:Not surprising (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 8 months ago | (#46528031)

"Eclipse was a good IDE (relative to others) for a brief period of time early in its life, give or take 10 years ago (i think?), and that was it."

Actually, Visual BASIC (and subsequently Delphi) were the real "Grandaddy" IDEs. Eclipse came along much later (2001) and was originally for Java projects. Visual BASIC and its brethren (soon to become Visual Studio) then borrowed from some of the good ideas in Eclipse.

Did Eclipse "keep up"? Arguably not. It is a Java "base" platform that was adapted to other uses by other people. So a lot of the good ideas that came out of that were not incorporated back into that base.

On the other hand, some of the IDEs that rose up to challenge Eclipse have their own limitations: NetBeans and so on.

But my main point here was that Visual Studio's ancestry goes way back before Eclipse came out.

Re:Not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46528319)

Actually, Visual BASIC (and subsequently Delphi) were the real "Grandaddy" IDEs. Eclipse came along much later (2001) and was originally for Java projects. Visual BASIC and its brethren (soon to become Visual Studio) then borrowed from some of the good ideas in Eclipse.

You obviously have never used GNU/Emacs.

Re:Not surprising (2)

Kz (4332) | about 8 months ago | (#46528765)

You obviously have never used GNU/Emacs.

or Turbo Pascal

Re:Not surprising (1)

Shados (741919) | about 8 months ago | (#46530115)

Of course. I guess I wasn't clear. What I was getting at was that roughly 10 years ago, when Eclipse was a few years old, it was really, really good, and did a lot of things better than Visual Studio and other IDEs (even if you consider Visual Studio with VB6 and .NET vs Eclipse with Java). But that didn't last long, as they caught up pretty quickly.

Re:Not surprising (4, Informative)

metamatic (202216) | about 8 months ago | (#46528401)

Yup, I switched from Eclipse to IntelliJ IDEA for my regular Java development as well as Android.

It's faster, leaner, more helpful, and has a far less cluttered UI.

I just wish it wasn't $199, I'd totally buy a personal license for $99. (There's zero chance of my employer buying it for me.)

Re:Not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46529769)

I use Eclipse as my IDE of choice when developing console C/C++ software. Why? Because it integrates GCC very well (my compiler of choice) but perhaps more importantly, it's one of the best cross-platform IDEs for C/C++ development out there. I'm not going to invest time into learning Visual Studio if it means my skills and knowledge over an IDE are locked into Windows only (which doesn't make sense to me in 2014). At least with Eclipse I'll know how to use the IDE in Windows and Linux without relearning anything.

Re:Not surprising (1)

ahabswhale (1189519) | about 8 months ago | (#46530841)

As someone who has used IntelliJ since version 3, I can say without equivocation that it has always been well ahead of Eclipse. The only reason Eclipse was as popular as it was is that it's free and I've found programmers to be the cheapest mofos on the planet.

Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46527323)

Android Studio > Eclipse.

Re:Yes (1)

erikkemperman (252014) | about 8 months ago | (#46527661)

Android Studio > Eclipse.

For Android development, perhaps.

We're comparing apples and oranges here. When you develop for Android in Eclipse, you're just making use of a bunch of plugins. Other projects you might be doing plain Java, or web development in HTML/CSS/JS, server side scripting in PHP, database stuff in SQL. All in Eclipse, if you find the right extensions.

Now for each of these you might point at some alternative that does that particular thing better, in some way. But I double dare you to name one platform which allows you to do all within the same IDE.

Re:Yes (1)

stg (43177) | about 8 months ago | (#46527871)

IntelliJ IDEA has a ton of plugins, including their other products that support specific languages. For example, they have products for Python (which I used myself and is very nice), Ruby, Java, PHP, Javacript/HTML etc.
All of these work from IntelliJ IDEA in the form of a plugin (AFAIK, I just used PyCharm).


Plus according to their page they have 1083 plugins [jetbrains.com] . Including several for databases.

So I think that covers all you asked for, doesn't it?

Re:Yes (1)

gnoshi (314933) | about 8 months ago | (#46528845)

You can't use plugins without a paid version of IntelliJ, which Android Studio is not.

Re:Yes (1)

stg (43177) | about 8 months ago | (#46529729)

Are you sure? I am not going to test it out, but there is a tab on their plugin page for the Ultimate Edition with 1083 plugins, and another for the Community Edition (the free one) with 1015 plugins. They might not include their specific plugins for those languages, but it would be very weird to have separate plugin listings and not support plugins at all...

Of course, either way the question I was answering didn't mention that the IDE had to be free. I think IntelliJ is very reasonably priced (US$200 for individual developers, which would be my case), although I didn't have any reason to buy it myself yet.

Re:Yes (1)

Aryden (1872756) | about 8 months ago | (#46528327)

netbeans.

Re:Yes (1)

JavaBear (9872) | about 8 months ago | (#46528005)

Definitely Android Studio. When I used Eclipse for Android development, it felt as if I spent half my time fighting the IDE, rather then my code.

Wait (3, Funny)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 8 months ago | (#46527335)

What's wrong with notepad?

Re:Wait (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46527487)

Um. It's not vi, the editor God himself created on the eight day?

Re:Wait (3, Funny)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 8 months ago | (#46528329)

...by writing it in Emacs.

Ed is the Standard Editor (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 8 months ago | (#46530165)

Vi, bah, you kids...

Re:Wait (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46527489)

What's wrong with notepad?

Only whites and asians can program that way.

Re:Wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46527613)

What's wrong with notepad?

Lots of things: It's a horrible editor. But that isn't to say there isn't something wrong with IDEs.

Re:Wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46527945)

No Brief emulation.

Re:Wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46528115)

No automatic indent

Re:Wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46528435)

Yeah, I used to think I was 1337 with my plain text programming environment. Then I learned that efficiency is more important than feeling 1337.

Re:Wait (1)

TENTH SHOW JAM (599239) | about 8 months ago | (#46529753)

To fix a small error in a script on the fly, notepad isn't bad. To make readable code a real IDE is great. To keep 40 or 50 concepts flying round your head, an IDE is almost indispensible. Being able to code with notepad is useful in select circumstances. For everything else there is

Re:Wait (1)

xvan (2935999) | about 8 months ago | (#46530537)

Notepad is horrible, it doesn't even recognizes the text encoding... WordPad, on the other hand...

Excuse me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46527341)

> Eclipse, on the other hand, is the granddaddy of IDEs;

It isn't but that's okay.

Author sounds inexperienced, they must not use IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate

Netbeans (1)

relisher (2955441) | about 8 months ago | (#46527367)

As soon as Google or some other company releases a platform for Android development similar to Netbeans, count me in. At this point, the process of getting Netbeans to work for Android development is just a complete hassle.

Re:Netbeans (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46528125)

As soon as Google or some other company releases a platform for Android development similar to Netbeans, count me in. At this point, the process of getting Netbeans to work for Android development is just a complete hassle.

I am sure the three other people who use Netbeans feel the same way...

Re:Netbeans (2)

Hewligan (202585) | about 8 months ago | (#46528617)

I am sure the three other people who use Netbeans feel the same way...

I'm sure they do, too, given how much better it is than Eclipse...

Re:Netbeans (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 8 months ago | (#46528155)

Here's the problem, though: TFA compares Eclipse (which is a "general-purpose" IDE, usable for many languages) to Android Studio (which is specific to Android), and comes out saying Eclipse is wanting.

Well, duh.

But hey, if you're comparing apples to oranges by trying to see which one thrives more in a tropical climate, guess which one you're going to pick? No news here, move along now.

And I think this unbalanced comparison is evident in the discussion of Gradle integration. Both can use Gradle. But Eclipse can use other things, too while Android Studio cannot. Very big point goes to Eclipse in this regard. But the reviewer (inexplicably) gave that point to Android Studio instead. I disagree.

Yes, Eclipse is old. It probably isn't as good at Android development as Android Studio. But it IS good at other things that Android Studio doesn't even do. So it's hardly an across-the-board comparison.

(I say that even though I'm not one who really cares for Eclipse very much.)

Re:Netbeans (1)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | about 8 months ago | (#46528651)

I use IDEA Community edition, not the 'Android Studio' repackaged version. From what I understand, there really is not a lot of difference between them.

Re:Netbeans (1)

Curtman (556920) | about 8 months ago | (#46530167)

They are both Java IDEs. Android Studio is IntelliJ, not specific to Android any more than the Android plugin is for Eclipse. I don't think the author was saying Eclipse sucks, just that this new product is very good for Android development. I tried it this past weekend, and it was a pleasure to use.

DevBytes: Android Studio [youtube.com]

Re:Netbeans (1)

Odin79 (2032436) | about 8 months ago | (#46529167)

I have been using NetBeans for all my Android development with the help of the NBAndroid plugin for quite some time now without any major issues. There are no UI design tools with it but I get by without them just fine. Give it a try if you have not already.

Horrible article (3, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | about 8 months ago | (#46527377)

With a very biased verdict. Giving Android Studio the edge because of Gradle support? That's great- if you want to use gradle. I don't. I don't even know what it is- before Android Studio came out I'd never heard of it. And I have better things to do than play with build tools unless it offers a huge advantage- which it doesn't. The fact its impossible to use Android Studio without switching is a negative, not a positive as Eclipse supports both. The edge here should go to Eclipse for giving you choice between build systems.

UI? The UI that you know is better than one you don't- always. If I have to spend even an hour finding new options, that's an hour I'll probably never make back. Eclipse has lots of flaws, but I'm used to those. The real advantage here is Eclipse if you know it, or draw if you don't.

Basically his argument seems to boil down to he likes new shiny stuff. No thanks.

Re:Horrible article (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46527435)

And your argument is "I prefer eclipse because I already know it".

Re:Horrible article (3, Informative)

stewsters (1406737) | about 8 months ago | (#46527585)

Intellij supports both, I used a non-gradle build last week. Not sure about the Android Studio version, but I can imagine it's possible, just not the default in the basic project setup. That being said, gradle is nice if you have a lot of dependencies in maven.

Re:Horrible article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46527653)

> The fact its impossible to use Android Studio without switching is a negative, not a positive as Eclipse supports both

So does just downloading a regular copy of Intellij instead of the stripped down Android Studio version. Plus if you pick up a licensed copy of Intellij and get access to their SQL development bits, this has some pretty nice android integration that allows you to sync the private sqlite db of your app and query it straight from the IDE. Hell, it even provides auto completions based on the sync'd db when working on SQL stuff.

Or how about, I don't know, writing scala for android? Easy as well with intellij. Android studio is just a stripped down turd that's a beta test for all sorts of shit that barely works from the get-go. Guess what happens when that turd gets glossed and becomes something useful? It works itself back upstream right into intellij.

"The UI that you know is better than one you don't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46528073)

I agree to a certain extent. Unfortunately, the Android support in Netbeans is severely lacking, and that's the UI I know (and love).

Re:Horrible article (1)

organgtool (966989) | about 8 months ago | (#46528173)

So your argument is that the article is wrong since it doesn't come to the conclusion you've already made up in your mind without ever using the other product in the comparison. That may be great for you, but for someone starting out and wondering which IDE would suit their needs better, the article may very well make sense.

Re:Horrible article (1)

farble1670 (803356) | about 8 months ago | (#46528193)

the decision to base everything on gradle baffles me a bit.

gradle itself, while apparently existing for a long time, has had some pretty bad bugs in it and it's plugins in the time i've been using it (last 6 months or so).

that, and i can't figure out why it's better. it is different however. there are fewer examples of how to do things then with maven or ant, and there's often multiple ways to accomplish the same thing, and they are both given as examples in the same doc with no explanation

Re:Horrible article (2, Insightful)

metamatic (202216) | about 8 months ago | (#46528365)

that, and i can't figure out why it's better.

Both ANT and Maven represent your build script as huge horrific XML files. Gradle uses a simple human-readable JSON-like syntax.

That and ANT is goddamn slow.

Re:Horrible article (4, Informative)

farble1670 (803356) | about 8 months ago | (#46528499)

Both ANT and Maven represent your build script as huge horrific XML files

you are really going to pick your build system on how pretty the script is?

yes, because the most important thing to me in a build system that my build scripts be as few characters as possible, right? the only thing that matters is stability and lots of good examples of how to do things you want to do.

That and ANT is goddamn slow.

ant was lightning fast compared to gradle. and yeah, i know because our company has fully cut over from eclipse + ant to android studio + gradle.

it takes nearly 30s to build just one of our android apps. upgrading from gradle 1.6 > 1.8 > 1.11, each upgrade has considerably worse performance, despite the docs claiming to have improved performance. gradle 1.11 is so much slower than 1.8 it's ridiculous. i can't even believe it was released. it does however give a progress indicator during the build now. great.

Re:Horrible article (1)

hax4bux (209237) | about 8 months ago | (#46528973)

The Android plugin for gradle is awful: slow to market and still incomplete.

I don't give a hoot that gradle uses groovy or has a JSON syntax. I want stuff that works, and this isn't it.

OTOH, I have managed to bill lots of hours writing gradle tasks, etc to patch up this broken POS for customers who read too many magazine articles. So it isn't all bad.

Re:Horrible article (1)

swillden (191260) | about 8 months ago | (#46528371)

UI? The UI that you know is better than one you don't- always.

Hyperbole much?

The UI you know definitely has an enormous advantage in short-term productivity. Longer-term... it depends on features and workflow.

That's if you're working by yourself. If you're working with others, using the same stuff as your colleagues will likely have an even bigger impact. I just started working on Android and the fact that most of my colleagues are using Android Studio will almost certainly make it a better choice for me even though I've used Eclipse since before IBM released it publicly.

Re:Horrible article (1)

Arkham (10779) | about 8 months ago | (#46530077)

With a very biased verdict. ... No thanks.

I was going to post something just like this, but you beat me to it.

Eclipse is "the devil you know" for 99% of Android developers (and probably a majority of Java developers). It may not be as great as IntelliJ or IDEA or NetBeans for somethings, but it's functional and has worked well for a long time. It's got plugins for everything, good git integration, decent UI build tools, good support for JNI and ABI cross compilation, and it was used for 99% of the apps in the Google Play store.

This Android Studio IDE may very well be awesome (I haven't tried it as Eclipse works for me), but this article does not make any case for it whatsoever.

I've been using Eclipse since before it was Eclips (1)

technomom (444378) | about 8 months ago | (#46527403)

I've been using Eclipse since it had its genesis within IBM, so despite it's warts, I'm pretty used to it. I do like what I see in the Android Studio though, I'm just waiting for it to come out of beta.

Re:I've been using Eclipse since before it was Ecl (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 8 months ago | (#46527467)

I don't have a problem with Eclipse, but Android development as a whole is pretty terrible from my point of view. I've tried a few times to make an app, and I just found the whole process quite terrible.

Re:I've been using Eclipse since before it was Ecl (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 8 months ago | (#46527507)

Care to elaborate? My (very limited) experience is only with desktop programming, but I'd like to know what the problem with Android (or any other mobile platform) development is.

Re:I've been using Eclipse since before it was Ecl (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46527563)

I would start complaining by incredibly slow Android simulator. Example: open virtual keyboard on that virtual device. Press any key. After three seconds, letter appears on virtual screen. Three seconds wait time for one key press. I'm not exaggerating.

The rest of it is not much faster.

Re:I've been using Eclipse since before it was Ecl (1)

Sene (1794986) | about 8 months ago | (#46527759)

I agree with this, the simulator is horribly slow, even on a core i7 with 12GB of RAM. I guess the arm emulation is not very well optimized.

Re:I've been using Eclipse since before it was Ecl (2)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about 8 months ago | (#46527867)

I've found it runs much faster if you emulate an x86 processor and enable host GPU support.

Re: I've been using Eclipse since before it was Ec (1)

cerberusss (660701) | about 8 months ago | (#46528559)

Heh yeah I tried installing that on my Mac. Intelli-J even offers a nice installation as a plugin. First, it simply didn't start and it turns out that the plugin installation will install an old version. Okay then I'll download it manually. That installed a kernel driver which crashed my OSX laptop.

I gave up and continued using the dog slow emulator.

Re: I've been using Eclipse since before it was Ec (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 8 months ago | (#46530349)

Your Java based IDE ... called IDEA (the company) IntelliJ (the product) installed a "kernel driver" (what ever that is supposed to mean) on Mac OS X on your Laptop?

Sorry, that idea is completely retarded.

Re:I've been using Eclipse since before it was Ecl (1)

TheSunborn (68004) | about 8 months ago | (#46528629)

Which is why you should use the x86(intel atom) version instead of the arm version. It is much much much faster. Once you have downloaded the atom version, you can choose between arm and intel when creating a new emulator.

Why Google have chosen "download arm only" as the default, I really don't understand. But this is a case studio in "Defaults matter".

Re:I've been using Eclipse since before it was Ecl (1)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | about 8 months ago | (#46528833)

are you using the Intel HAXM speed up? Emulator on intel hardware should be more than usable.

Re:I've been using Eclipse since before it was Ecl (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 8 months ago | (#46528229)

In a nutshell, Android is Java on a Linux base with Java libraries for "system" calls, and (usually) lots of description of interface elements via XML.

Re:I've been using Eclipse since before it was Ecl (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46527513)

I've been using Eclipse since it had its genesis within IBM, so despite it's warts, I'm pretty used to it. I do like what I see in the Android Studio though, I'm just waiting for it to come out of beta.

You're obese. Aren't you? C'mon tell me you are not and shatter the stereotype of programmer women. But you are. You know you are obese.

Which is the "... For Dummies" Version? (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 8 months ago | (#46527407)

OK, maybe not "Dummies" persay, but people like myself who would like to at least wet our beaks in app development, but know approximately dick about good coding practices? Or coding in general?

Having set up both, I'd say Android Studio probably fits the needs of the total noob moreso than Eclipse, but what do I know? I'm a coding noob.

NEITHER (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46530263)

Learn the language first .... then worry about the IDE.

Intellij == Speed (1)

bongey (974911) | about 8 months ago | (#46527445)

I use pretty much every editor you can imagine. I miss it when programming in c++ .
Intellij is proof you can make very fast editor in java.

Re:Intellij == Speed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46527633)

Intellij is proof you can make very fast editor in java.

Indeed. I use Webstorm (a subset of Intellij) for elaborate HTML5+WebGL javascript work. It's indistinguishable from a native app in terms of performance.

I prefer (0)

hypergreatthing (254983) | about 8 months ago | (#46527449)

Android4Basic: http://www.basic4ppc.com/ [basic4ppc.com]

Re:I prefer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46527635)

Android4Basic: http://www.basic4ppc.com/ [basic4ppc.com]

Sorry; had to mod you down a notch; the web page in the link in your comment blocks viewing it because of my blocking of the Facebook plugin. This is the first time it has happened since I started doing this a couple of months ago. If this is a new strategy

Slow (1)

gameboyhippo (827141) | about 8 months ago | (#46527503)

I'd love to love Android Studio, but on my PC it's slower than molasses going uphill on crutches. I also can't figure out how to set up an environment in Android Studio that allows me to mix java projects with android projects or use maven to manage my projects. Admittedly that took a while to figure that out with Eclipse as well.

Re:Slow (1)

z4ce (67861) | about 8 months ago | (#46527549)

If you want to mix projects you have to use IntellJ with the "Android-plugin" instead of Android Studio.

Re:Slow (1)

gameboyhippo (827141) | about 8 months ago | (#46527589)

Is the plugin the "same thing" as Android Studio?

Re:Slow (1)

stewsters (1406737) | about 8 months ago | (#46527665)

Import your main project, then import your sub projects as modules.
You can then include them by adding dependencies. File->project structure->modules->dependencies -> green arrow to select one of your sub projects and add it.
Click the checkbox in the export column if you want to export that library when you export.
Not sure about the maven management of the projects, but I have used gradle to import maven artifacts.

EMACS (1, Funny)

Lodragandraoidh (639696) | about 8 months ago | (#46527545)

Technically, isn't EMACS the granddaddy of all IDEs? In comparison, Eclipse is 'Johnny Come Lately'.

Re: EMACS (1)

cerberusss (660701) | about 8 months ago | (#46528583)

It's more an OS than an editor.

Re:EMACS (1)

Xtifr (1323) | about 8 months ago | (#46528639)

Turbo Pascal [wikipedia.org] came out in 1983, two years before the first release of GNU Emacs. However, Maestro I [wikipedia.org] (1975) seems to be generally credited as being the first IDE (although some argue for Dartmouth BASIC from 1964).

So, uh, yeah. :)

Neither fits my need (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46527559)

All my Android development has been done with vi. Works with all languages and APIs. Works on all platforms. Works the best.

Tried Android Studio the other day (1)

slapout (93640) | about 8 months ago | (#46527561)

I used Eclipse to develop an Android app back in the days of Android 2. They other day I downloaded and installed Android Studio so that I could create a simple app. Android Studio did have designer (in Eclipse I did all layout in xml, but I believe Eclipse has a designer too.) The main issue I had with Android Studio is that it would just disappear all of the sudden. One minute it was there and the next it was gone.

Re:Tried Android Studio the other day (1)

Daniel Hoffmann (2902427) | about 8 months ago | (#46527643)

Try increasing the JVM memory (-Xms in the init parameters I believe). Ironically I used to have this exact same problem in eclipse, I can't tell where to set those parameters in IntelliJ though.

Command-line with ant and your favorite editor? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46527573)

Am I the only person who has written several Android apps (on more than 1x10^6 devices) with ant, my favorite editor, and my own custom tools? I find any IDE maddeningly limiting.

Re:Command-line with ant and your favorite editor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46527677)

I repair my car with nothing but iron ore, coke, and a smelter. People who don't (like you) are inferior to me.

Migration is not easy (3, Interesting)

z4ce (67861) | about 8 months ago | (#46527581)

The eclipse "export" to gradle function barely works. Importing an eclipse project into Android Studio doesn't really work either. If you create a build.gradle file, that gets you further along, but things in Android Studio still behave funny especially with identifying the "modules." In the end, if you're looking at migrating I strongly recommend just creating a new project and copying your source and resource files into the latest android file structure and gradle build system.

Easy to start (1)

cerberusss (660701) | about 8 months ago | (#46527615)

My first job involved Java and I used Eclipse for that. In the meantime, I spot another job which involves C++, Python and Objective-C. Recently I wanted to quickly hammer out an Android app and I was pleasantly surprised by Android Studio. In three days, I got a basic five-screen app running to display a JSON-pooping web service.

It works like you expect a modern IDE to work. And that's all I needed.

Did my last project entirely in Android Studio (5, Interesting)

maccodemonkey (1438585) | about 8 months ago | (#46527631)

I liked it better than Eclipse, no separate Android SDK installation/package manager to maintain. I just download and it worked. The UI is a little nicer.

However it doesn't solve my big complaints about Android IDEs in general:
1) Native code development still sucks. It sucks less on Eclipse (as in it exists at all on Eclipse), but it's a pain to set up, a pain to use, and a pain to debug. I actually just gave up on it attaching the debugger, and starting adding logging to me native code. Seriously Google, if you want me to start taking Android seriously for developing big performance sensitive things, some decent tools for C/C++ development would be good.
2) The build system... I don't know what's up with Android Studio defining it's own project format, and then on top of that adding a build system with build system files beneath it. I still have projects that open and build, but tell me the build system is set up wrong. The one thing I like about Xcode is the project and the build manifest are the same file. I'm not maintaining a project that then manages some Gradle config or something. I mean, if I want to I can add an external build system to Xcode. But most of the time I don't need that level of build management. If Android really wants to go the external build system route, just automatically generate the stuff I need every time I hit build so I don't have to worry about checking it in to source control. I don't care if it's spinning an Gradle config off just as long as I don't have to see it and worry about it. If I want to manually grab a Gradle config to throw at some other build system, make it optional.
3) The analyzer tools compared to the iOS toolchain just aren't anywhere near good enough. The data the tools do give back out is presented poorly compared to Apple's Instruments tool, and I've never gotten the tools working for native code, which is usually where I spend the most time caring about performance.
4) This isn't as much a complaint about the tools as much as Android, but Android is just behind in general on performance toolkits. Apple has a great NEON optimized toolkit in Accelerate for DSP and image work. There is no equivalent on Android, although 5 years in, a few open source projects are finally starting up around putting together a NEON accelerated library of functions.
5) x86 Android Emulator with native GPU support. It exists, but it's usually not as well maintained. There are some third party tools trying to fill that gap, but c'mon guys. That's a basic necessity. An ARM based emulator is great for simulating actual ARM calls, but most of the time I'd rather be in the x86 emulator.

Re:Did my last project entirely in Android Studio (1)

cerberusss (660701) | about 8 months ago | (#46527797)

I totally agree here. Compared to Xcode, development for Android is nowhere as slick.

But still, I managed to hammer out a simple (Java-based) app with a minimum of fuss. And I didn't need to screw around with Gradle.

Re:Did my last project entirely in Android Studio (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46528313)

An ARM based emulator is great for simulating actual ARM calls, but most of the time I'd rather be in the x86 emulator.

Well, you know, it's java, instead of an emulator you can run it on your desktop because it is crossplatf... oh, nevermind, I'll stick to C/C++, thankyouverymuch.

Re:Did my last project entirely in Android Studio (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46529825)

defining it's own project format

Why the FUCK are (presumably educated) people still having trouble with its vs it's? It makes me twitch every time I see this.

It's not hard to work out which one to use - "it's" is a contraction; it expands to "it is". So in the above phrase you're saying "defining it is own project format". That clearly makes no sense, it clearly sounds wrong, ergo, the alternative "its" is the correct choice. So easy to understand and yet it's lost among most people. Knowing the correct variant to use makes you sounds more intelligent anyway, and goodness knows we need more smart people in the world.

Broken (0)

Luthair (847766) | about 8 months ago | (#46527699)

I tried to use Android Studio a few times in the early days but could never get it to launch. Failed with non-helpful errors and none of the solutions

Full disclosure - I'm an inactive Eclipse committer so while one might argue I have a dog in the race I should also be competent enough to get it to run!

Re: Broken (1)

cerberusss (660701) | about 8 months ago | (#46528603)

Why would you comment if your experience is too old to be relevant?

Re: Broken (1)

hax4bux (209237) | about 8 months ago | (#46528693)

The same reason all the IntelliJ users who are not doing Android development have to chime in.

Emacs and ant (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46527735)

Emacs and ant is great for Android development...

Android Studio is Excellent (2, Insightful)

snard6 (990260) | about 8 months ago | (#46527741)

I've been an Android developer for 3 years, I've used eclipse extensively as well as Android Studio extensively. Android Studio kicks the pants off of Eclipse. The simple truth you don't realize how painful and terrible the whole Eclipse experience is until you've switched. It solved a ton of my pain points and I would never consider going back. All of my projects have been converted to Gradle, and the savings I receive from that build system are remarkable. It has its own pain points (mostly due to being a pre-1.0 release. Builds break from update-to-update, weird issues arise trying to go from eclipse to Android Studio. Gradle doesn't fully support native. So there are definitely use cases where Eclipse is still a necessary evil. But if you can go the route of Android Studio do it, you'll thank me later.

I tried switching (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46528135)

I tried switching to Android Studio, because I needed to change one of my employer's apps to have different flavours (paid, free etc). They basically differed in what features would be available, and it looked like Gradle would make this simple without making multiple projects. Unfortunately, I had a horrendous time figuring out how to get it to actually build the app in the first place, because it always complained that it couldn't find a library project, even though I made sure to link to it. I ended up having to give up and continue using eclipse, splitting the project up into four projects (only one of which was substantial), because my bosses always want everything yesterday.

Android Studio best there is (1)

pchenden (683854) | about 8 months ago | (#46527781)

I've been an Android developer for three years now. Android Studio has impressed me very much and I've used it every day for the last six months.
It's miles ahead of Eclipse in terms of useability and features.
Android Studio actually makes the coding more fun, as I don't have to spend so much time on the boring and annoying bits!
The second place goes to Intellij IDEA, in my opinion.

I can see no reason to use Eclipse unless you need C-language support for NDK development.
Eclipse doesn't integrate with Google's new Gradle-based build tools for Android. It blows the old ant-based build-tools out of the water.
If you're still using the old on ant/maven build tools for Android, you have a enjoyable experience to look forward to after migrating :)

A painful transition, but worth it (barely) (1)

tunabomber (259585) | about 8 months ago | (#46527855)

I switched to Android Studio right after it came out, mostly because my Eclipse install needed to be updated- which usually means having to reinstall the Android SDK and re-import my projects (a chore).
It ended up being some serious work to import my projects to Android Studio. I wouldn't recommend it if Eclipse is still working smoothly for you.
The main thing I like about Android Studio is that I heavily use RubyMine for server-side work and the interface is nearly identical.
The other big advantage is that all the config files are a lot more transparent and repairable than those used by Eclipse.

Gradle is much more transparent and portable than Eclipse's build system, but it's still pretty frustrating how slow it is. I think moving to Android Studio/Gradle doubled my build times.
Finally, Android Studio is still pretty unstable and it usually takes an hour or two of surgery to get my project to run again after an upgrade.

Re:A painful transition, but worth it (barely) (1)

robmv (855035) | about 8 months ago | (#46528095)

I don't know why you had to reimport your projects. I have an Eclipse workspace from the 2.x era, that have never been replaced by a new one, every Eclipse update is pain free with my settings, plugins need to be updated if they aren't compatible, but the workspace with the imported projects have never been a problem for me

I'm happy with Eclipse (1)

X10 (186866) | about 8 months ago | (#46528355)

I've been an Android developer for over 5 years, I've been using Eclipse for Java development almost since it came out. If Android Studio is better, I won't argue, I don't know. But i'll stick with Eclipse for a while, before I spend considerable time on changing my IDE. Maybe I'll give it a try on my next Android project, or maybe not.

Neither (1)

fiend_bailey (106071) | about 8 months ago | (#46528503)

CMake + ninja + emacs is my goto tool set. Even for Android.

QtCreator works surprisingly well for Android, in my opinion. But it still ain't emacs.

Android Gradle is a waste of time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46528543)

Gradle is google saying you have too much spare time. Incompatible plugins - the google supplied plugin has literally changed twice in the last week.

Look through stack overflow, etc. The amount of productivity lost to chasing gradle is astonishing. Go ahead, write unit tests for Android in Gradle. I dare you.

Google should have put some thought to a maven plugin. Or just some thought. Introduced at last Google I/O and typical Google still in beta (and broken).

Android Studio shows some promise, but is also incomplete. Especially if you use NDK. Or build library modules. Or do real work.

If you are an early adopter of shiny toys, I hope you have time on your hands.

IDEA (1)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | about 8 months ago | (#46528633)

I have been using IDEA Community 13 so not the Google specific package for Android devel work. As someone who had never used an IDEA of this level of sophistication, I found an initial week trial run of both IDEA and Eclipse left me favoring IDEA and have not looked back. I did briefly toy with Netbeans which seems a nice environment but was lacking in android focus so I did not put effort into exploring it more fully.

Also, while I can't speak for the Eclipse community, the IDEA support and bug community have been very responsive.

NDK support (1)

musikit (716987) | about 8 months ago | (#46528959)

Neither support debugging with NDK.
android has absolutely 0 support for it.
some people have apparently gotten NDK debugging working in eclipse. i've tried every example on the web and have been unsuccessful in ever getting ndk debugging working. maybe oneday google will realize ndk support is worth a damn.

Eclipse is terrible. (1)

scorp1us (235526) | about 8 months ago | (#46530367)

I'm on a core i5 at work, and the CPU is damn fast, but the entire Eclipse UI is slow. Closing a tab takes a noticeable amount of time, even for files that fit on the screen. And my biggest complaint is that somehow this glorified text editor is capable of halting my machine when it tries to auto-complete. How a Java app can do that is beyond me.

Then when I first start it up, it complains that my project has "problems". It's just not done loading it yet. Refesh, its gone.

I have yet to like any java app or servlet. The GU library is ugly and slow. I like the language well enough, but anything done is java is just terrible.

Re:Eclipse is terrible. (1)

Kuberz (3568651) | about 8 months ago | (#46530581)

get a solid state disk

Miles beyond Eclipse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46530481)

Eclipse is well architected and tries to be the end-all be-all solution. JetBrains bothers to focus on some configuration management and cuts numerous releases. The consequence is IDEs that work. Great move on Google's part.

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