A good day for Android

Finally, Android Studio 1.0 has been released by Google. I’m pretty pleased by this as Eclipse plus the ADT was pretty awful from the start mainly because Eclipse just isn’t a very good IDE trying to be everything to everyone and failing in most areas. For the past year it’s also been pretty clear that the ADT has been on life support with no new features and some horrendous bugs being left to rot. So it’s with a great sigh of relief I can now transition across to using Android Studio 🙂

As a brief list of what I’ve been looking forward to in Android Studio:

  • No Eclipse 😛 I never got on with it. I hated the strange workspace form of working that prevent opening two projects with the same name in the same workspace (!!!!) and had menus and sub menus with 20 different names for everything. Now there’s the much more usual IntelliJ way of working with a proper project on disk that can be shared between developers, put in version control and (most importantly) opened in separate instances of Android Studio.
  • Talking of projects, the projects (or build system really) is unified across the IDE and via the command line. By making a Gradle configuration change, the same output can be produced from within the IDE as on the command line. No more messing around with having custom Ant hooks that were ignored by Eclipse and had to be duplicated in Eclipse “projects”.
  • The Gradle build system neatly handles the NDK and rebuilding native source files as part of the project. Gone is the irritating import dance that had to be done in Eclipse.

As yet I’ve not had a great deal of time to play with Android studio but things are looking promising. However, there is one serious problem I immediately spotted: performance sucks 🙁 On a fairly standard 6 core, 8Gb machine Android studio takes about a minute to load expanding to take up 2.5Gb of memory. Then, once the IDE has loaded, projects take ages to load with a lot of “parsing” being. Heard of background threads, anyone? Even navigating around is slow. There is no reason why a menu should take a few seconds to drop down.

Hopefully as Eclipse ADT finally dies and devs move over to Android Studio the performance will get worked on. Even so, it remains a good day for Android 🙂

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