In addition to being the IDE of choice for many professional Java developers, IntelliJ IDEA is also a favorite platform for plugin developers. From time to time we keep selecting interesting plugins from IntelliJ IDEA repository to share them with you. Today’s list is made by Linton Ye, specially for Android developers. Enjoy reading and pick what you like.
Android Studio makes Android development easier than ever. What makes us developers love it even more? It’s the ever-growing list of plugins that improve our workflow in many ways.
In this post, I’ll share our pick of plugins that have delighted us. My goal is to list only the ones we’ve had good experience with rather than to make a clone of JetBrains’ list. You’ll see a mix of my own experience with the plugins, some tips and tricks and a bunch of links. Hope you find it useful.
We use IntelliJ IDEA (instead of Android Studio) because our project consists of not only an Android app, but also an Android Studio / IntelliJ IDEA plugin. But since Android Studio is based on IntelliJ IDEA and the two are kept fairly in sync, it’s safe to assume that the plugins I include here work for both.
Android Studio or Eclipse?
Like many of you, we started with Eclipse and made the transition over time. I must say switching IDE is not the easiest thing in my career — different UIs and terminologies (Where’s my “workspace” now? What is a “module”?) In my experience, the most difficult part is overcoming my muscle memory to adapt to new key bindings. But as soon as I convinced myself to spend a fair amount of time in IntelliJ IDEA, there was no regret. The interface feels intuitive. The code completion is smart and powerful. No more mysterious workspace corruption. If you just switched from Eclipse or are planning to do so, check out this complete guide.
There is a common issue shared by Android Studio and Eclipse (and pretty much all IDEs): the UI sometimes freezes due to the heavy-lifting in the background. Increasing heap size is often an effective cure. Besides, many developers are hesitant to switch to Android Studio because of the performance of Gradle. We wrote a blog post to help you tune it up.
Are you still using Eclipse for a legacy project? Fair enough, but it’s 2015, why don’t you just import it into Studio and give it a try? Studio has made it fairly easy, just “File -> Import Project”. You’ll do yourself a favour by just trying.
Are you using Xamarin? At least you should try Android Studio to build the layouts and other resource XML files. Besides a better layout editor, you’ll get a bonus of “REALLY separating the UI from everything else” (quoting Steff Kelsey at GoodLux Technology, one of our users who did just that).
OK, if you really are an Eclipse die-hard, check out Andmore and you can stop reading this post. It looks like the Eclipse foundation (more specifically BlackBerry) has forked ADT and wants to give it a restart. That’s the power of open source.
Below are plugins that I use on a daily basis and therefore recommend. You can find and install these plugins from within Android Studio / IntelliJ IDEA: “Preferences (or Settings on Windows) -> Plugins -> Browse repositories”. Continue reading