Having used IDEs for a few years I would always make sure to spend time to learn efficient ways to utilise them, learn what they do best and to customise them for my specific needs. Android Studio is definitely one of my favourite IDEs to use and absolutely my favourite for Android Development (especially GUI design). In this post I will present the top 5 reasons for which I believe Android Studio is one of the best Android IDEs out there (in no particular order).
Android Studio has by far the best code completion I have seen in a stock IDE. Not only does it smartly make suggestions as you type depending on both the context of your typing and what you type but it also offers smart auto-completion (Ctrl + Shift + Space) which makes the context of your typing even more relevant (or making it so you don’t need to type at all!).
Error fixing in Android Studio is just a breeze. You type something, it is wrong, the editor highlights it and it is smart enough to know most of the time what you wanted to do (for example if you have forgotten an import). Then all you have to do is to press Alt + Enter and done, the error is fixed!
Documentation on mouse over
Now this one can be overly useful or overly annoying depending on a little tweak. Basically as the name implies you can get the documentation of a method or a variable just by mousing over it, no need for either Ctrl + Clicking on it to find the documentation or clicking once and then Ctrl + Space to see the documentation. The way this can be annoying is if the pop-up delay is set too low but fortunately Android Studio has an option to tweak it to any value you want (in milliseconds). I personally have it set to 1050.
This is definitely my favourite feature of all. Having a good Drag and Drop GUI designer brings me back to the NetBeans GUI designer for Swing which I was greatly fond of. Android Studio’s implementation is simple, fast and easy to use which will make you spend less time on micromanaging visuals and more time on making your application’s code.
I want to say this upfront; almost every IDE that I have used made XML refactoring/using a huge pain. Android Studio thankfully has a great collection of utilities for dealing with XML files making it almost indistinguishable from refactoring Java code in your main application. Also another favourite XML feature is the display of the colours on the left side of the colour element.
These are just 5 of the many reasons for which I believe Android Studio is such a great IDE. For anyone wanting to get into Android development I would strongly urge them to use Android Studio and see if it is to their liking. The Android team has a fantastic tutorial on Android Development through Android Studio here.
If I missed your favourite feature or if you have another favourite IDE, feel free to comment about it!
Cover image courtesy of androidify.