Why Android Studio Beats Eclipse for Development

by Sydney Stone

Android Studio was released in June of 2014 and is the official integrated development environment (IDE) for the Google operating system. Eclipse Android Development Tools (ADT) is an open-source software that was released in November of 2001. It is designed primarily for Java development but can be used for other types of programming with appropriate plug-ins.

While Android Studio was intended to be a replacement for Eclipse, upon its initial release, there were still a lot of fans of the latter who had a tough time making the switch. The argument as to which is better for Android development is still going on today.

Given the fact that Android Studio was designed specifically for Android development and Eclipse is more of a generic programming tool, the majority of programmers today believe that Android Studio is better. Here are a few reasons why.

 1.    Improved Interface

Android Studio makes it easy for developers to view the current interface they’re working with along with all related components. They can utilize new drag and drop features for quick installation, resize and rescale the window, and access several multi-touch actions.

Thanks to features like Instant Run, new code changes can be observed in the emulator or on an Android device without having to restart the app itself. Instant Run improves the overall workflow by showcasing the changes in live mode. Now there is no need to re-compile or reinstall the APK. When launching Instant Run, all changes are analyzed in order to determine the fastest method for deployment.

One of the common complaints of working with Eclipse was trying to use the graphical preview. With Android Studio, you can easily create custom layouts and view changes in real time.

2.    Faster Programming

Android Studio is built on IntelliJ IDEA and features a powerful code editor along with sophisticated developer tools. This makes it a much faster programming tool than Eclipse.

The Android Studio emulator makes use of multi-core CPUs, which speeds up the process 3x, making it even faster than using an actual Android device. Push speeds are nearly ten times faster. The new user interface and sensor controls are great enough to get APKs dropped directly for quick installation. 

3.    Smart Shortcuts

Android Studio features default keyboard shortcuts for some of the most common programming actions. You can also configure custom key maps or modify a current key map, depending on your preferences.

Studio also replaces references to resource files with real values. For example, you can see the color you’re using directly from the code editor.

4.    Gradle Project Automation

Android Studio introduced Gradle as its new project automation tool to replace Apache Ant. 

Gradle is an open-source platform and one of the most advanced build systems currently used by developers. It has a Groovy-based domain specific language (DSL), but you don’t need to learn Groovy in order to use it. Gradle manages dependencies and provides custom build logic. It is a flexible way to compile, build and package your Android app or library.

5.    Easier Testing

With the Google Cloud Test Lab, testing an Android app on a number of different devices and configurations has never been easier. It includes various tests against devices that are actually hosted in Google’s own data centers.

Android game developers can use the GPU Developer to pinpoint and debug graphics-related problems.  

In addition to all of these benefits, the real reason that Android Studio beats Eclipse is simply because Eclipse is no longer supported by Google for Android development. Hardcore Eclipse fans will no doubt continue to use it to develop Android apps, but it won’t be easy.

Android Studio is free to use and runs on any type of operating system.