Google eases Android app development with a new IDE

Android Studio will be the first dedicated IDE for the mobile OS

Google has introduced an IDE (integrated developer environment) aimed at easing development of Android apps.

Android Studio made its debut Wednesday at the Google I/O conference in San Francisco.

Android developers could use the Android Development Tools (ADT) plug-in for the Eclipse IDE, but Android Studio will be the first dedicated IDE for the mobile OS. Google built Android Studio on the base of IntelliJ's Idea Java IDE.

"The pivot around the IntelliJ IDE is a shift for Google," noted Al Hilwa, who covers application development software for IDC, in an email interview. IntelliJ "is less complex and more friendly than Eclipse and should help Android reach a broader section of developers," Hilwa wrote.

Apple invested a lot of effort into its Xcode IDE in order to make it easy for developers to write apps for the iOS iPhone and iPad that compete with Android. Android Studio levels the playing field, in that it can help "hobbyists who are not hard skilled in the traditional Java toolset," Hilwa wrote.

Android Studio will have a number of features specifically designed to help build Android applications. It comes with templates to build apps with a standard Android look and feel. It can refactor to code to run more efficiently. It includes Lint, a set of tools to catch version compatibility issues and other potential bugs. And it includes ProGuard, which obfuscates code to hinder reverse engineering.

The software also works with the Gradle automated build system. Development shops can use Gradle to automate their process of building, testing, publishing and deploying Android apps, as well as to synchronize these activities with software lifecycle management tools such as Maven or Ivy.

Google warned potential users that work on Android Studio has not been completed -- this is version 0.1 of the IDE -- and several features have not been completed, or remain buggy.

At the conference, Google also demonstrated the fruits of a new single sign-on authentication technology, called the Cross-Platform Single Sign-On. This set of APIs (application programming interfaces) can minimize the amount of times a user will have to sign into services, by allowing the device to share log-in credentials among trusted services using the OAuth 2 protocol. It is a core component of Google+ and Google Wallet, both of which were showcased at the conference.

"Not having to sign in repeatedly feels so natural for users that they don't even notice it. But as more and more apps deploy this sort of magic, you don't want to be the hold-out that's pestering users for passwords on Web sites or, worse, on tiny mobile-device keyboards," wrote Tim Bray, an engineer on the Google identity team, in a blog post announcing the API.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Development toolsapplication developmentAndroid OSGoogleGoogle I/OMobile OSessoftwaremobile

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joab Jackson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?