Last evening at Google I/O, The company announced a new IDE that’s built with the needs of Android developers in mind. It’s called Android Studio, it’s free, and it’s available now for you to try as an early access preview.To develop Android Studio, Google cooperated with JetBrains, creators of one of the most advanced Java IDEs available today.
Based on the powerful, extensible IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition, Google added features that are designed specifically for Android development, that simplify and optimize your daily workflow. IntelliJ IDEA had support for Android project for years and they have been paying attention to Android developers’ needs.
This doesn’t mean JetBrains is dropping Android support from the IntelliJ Community Edition. It will remain a free and open Java IDE with full Android support and will include the new features developed by both the Google and JetBrains teams.
Extensible build tools
Android Studio uses a new build system based on Gradle that provides flexibility, customized build flavors, dependency resolution and much more. This new build system allows you to build your projects in the IDE as well as on your continuous integration’s servers. The combination lets you easily manage complex build configurations natively, throughout your workflow, across all of your tools.
Powerful code editing
Android Studio includes a powerful code editor. It is based on the IntelliJ IDEA, which supports features such as smart editing, advanced code re-factoring and deep static code analysis.
Smart editing features such as inline resource lookups make it easier to read your code, while giving you instant access to edit code the backing resources. Advanced code re-factoring gives you the power to transform your code across the scope of the entire project, quickly and safely.
Google has also added static code analysis for Android development, helping you identify bugs more quickly. On top of the hundreds of code inspections that IntelliJ IDEA provides, Google added custom inspections. For example, They have added metadata to the Android APIs, that flag which methods can return null and which can’t, which constants are allowed for which methods, and so on. Android Studio uses that data to analyze your code and find potential errors.
Smoother and richer GUI
Over the past year Google added some great drag-and-drop UI features to ADT and they are in the process of adding them all into Android Studio. This release of Android Studio lets you preview your layouts on different device form factors, locales, and platform versions. Below you can see a multi-configuration preview side by side XML editing.
Easy access to Google services within Android Tools
Google wanted to make it easy for you to harness the power Google services right from your IDE. To start, they have made it trivial to add services such a cloud-based backend with integrated Google Cloud Messaging (GCM) to your app, directly from the IDE.
Google has also added a new plugin called ADT Translation Manager Plugin to assist with localizing your apps. You can use the plugin to export your strings to the Google Play Developer Console for translation, then download and import your translations back into your project.