Google introduced its new integrated developer environment or IDE to help making Android app development easy. Android Studio made its debut in San Francisco at the Google I/O conference. App developers for Android can now use ADT or the Android Development Tools plug-in for Eclipse IDE. In fact, Android Studio is the first ever dedicated IDE developed for the mobile OS. It is built on the Idea Java IDE of IntelliJ.
Al Hilwa, who is at present covering IDC’s app development software, said in an email interview that “the pivot around the IntelliJ IDE is a shift for Google as it (IntelliJ) is less complex and more friendly than Eclipse and should help Android reach a broader section of developers”.
Apple too invested much effort in developing its Xcode IDE to make it easier to write apps for the iOS iPad and iPhone for the developers in order to compete with Android devices. With Android Studio, Google levels the playing field and according to Hilwa this app will even help “who are not hard skilled in the traditional Java toolset”.
Android Studio comes with various features that are specifically designed for building Android applications. It has templates for building apps and all these templates feature a standard look and feel for Android. And to run even more efficiently, Android Studio can refactor to code. Besides, it includes Lint, which is a set of tools for catching version compatibility issues as well as other potential bugs. The ProGuard of Android Studio obfuscates code for hindering reverse engineering.
It features a Gradle automated build system, which development shops can use to automate their app building process as well as testing, deploying and publishing Android apps. In addition, this Gradle is used for synchronizing these activities with Maven, Ivy or any other software lifecycle management tools. However, Google has warned potential users as the work on Android Studio is yet to be completed. It is the 0.1 version of the IDE and many of its features are not yet completed or they might even have some bugs.
Google even gave a demonstration of the Cross-Platform Single Sign-On, its new “single sign-on authentication technology”. This is a set of APIs that helps to minimize the user’s time to sign into services as it allows the Android device to share the log-in credentials among its trusted services by using the OAuth 2 protocol, which is also one of the core components of Google Wallet and Google+.
Tim Bray, one of the engineers of the Google identity team wrote in a blog post that announced the API “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”.