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Android Studio or Eclipse? Which IDE for Java Android App Developers

Update: This article is archived as Android Studio is now Google's official Android development IDE.

Mike Bugdroid the Android Logo

Eclipse or Android Studio or Both

Android Studio or Eclipse? Why not both for now.

The Google preferred Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for Android App development is Eclipse. However, Google is currently working on a new IDE, Android Studio. Both IDE's do the same job, allowing developers to create Apps for Android using Java and the Android Software Development Kit (SDK). If Eclipse has been used for many years to develop Apps why is Google now working on Android Studio. According to the Android Developers Blog

...it's built with the needs of Android developers in mind.

Thus Google can have more control over the IDE and make it more specific to Android development. Eclipse is a big, well established, widely used IDE. Because Eclipse is used in many areas other than Android development some changes that Google may want to make cannot happen, this must be the reason for an Android specific IDE, and so Android Studio is the result.

Android Studio Startup

Android Studio is still under heavy development, still a beta product. Should it be therefore be used for Android development? Yes it can, just keep in mind that features can change, the interface can change and bugs will be present. Working in any modern IDE is reasonably similar. There is nothing stopping developers trying out both IDEs and seeing which they prefer. Eclipse and Android Studio can be installed to the same machine. Projects can be moved between the two IDEs. A lot of the functionality is similar, some things are done differently. After all it is a new product. The core of Android Studio is another popular IDE for Java development, IntelliJ, which provides a good basis for the new IDE.

It is likely that Android Studio will be the longer term choice by Google for Android App development. In the meantime there are thousands and thousands of resources dealing with App development in Eclipse. Therefore the sensible solution until Android Studio leads the way is to install both IDEs. They can both sit together on the same machine. Choose one for day-to-day development, but have the ability to run the other when needed. Therefore it isn't Android Studio or Eclipse, it is Android Studio and Eclipse, at least until Android Studio is out of beta and lots more resources for it are on line.

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