IntelliJ IDEA 11 introduces a new feature that makes it much easier to design UI layouts for Android applications — UI layouts preview. Just open some layout xml file from your Android project and you’ll see a new Preview tool window.
Preview is updated as you edit the file, so you can see the changes immediately. Many different options such as screen size, target platform version, theme, etc. are available for tuning what you see.
Custom view components are also supported and shown correctly. But since IntelliJ IDEA uses class files from your output directory to render such components, you have to build your project first.
Please note, that layout preview feature is under development, so we really need to know your opinions. You’re welcome to try it in the latest Nika EAP and let us know what you think. If the IDE doesn’t preview some of your layout xml files, please submit bugreports with these files attached.