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

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  • by z4ce ( 67861 ) on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @04:48PM (#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.

  • by maccodemonkey ( 1438585 ) on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @04:54PM (#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.

A method of solution is perfect if we can forsee from the start, and even prove, that following that method we shall attain our aim. -- Leibnitz