Google might have taken a critical step towards closing the proverbial time and cost gap between app development for its platform and for the Apple App Store, with the release of Android Studio 1.0, a stable Integrated Development Environment (IDE) available for free download for Windows, Mac, and Linux. One of the attractions for the developer community is supposed to be that this IDE is built on the IntelliJ IDEA, and “in a report by Infoworld in 2010, IntelliJ received the highest test center score out of the 4 Top Java Programming Tools.” In any case, Android developers now have a tool set based on well-proven and familiar technology that can speed creation of new apps and solutions for the platform.
Android Studio 1.0 also seems well fitted to support both Android’s new range of standardized features and the platform’s proliferation of devices. As well as “code templates to help you build common app features,” the IDE also has “expanded template and form factor support” and “supports new templates for Google Services and expands the availabe device types. Plus, “for easy cross-platform development, the Project Wizard provides new templates for creating your apps for Android Wear and TV.” The Module Type wizard presents a series of form factor choices from phone and tablet through Android Wear and Android TV to even Google Glass.
Android users confronted with the current proliferation of apps on the Google Play Store may have a hard time believing that developers are disadvantaged when building for Android, not least when AppBrain currently reports 1,427,091 apps available for Android, versus the 1.2 million that Apple trumpeted at its Worldwide Developer’s Conference in June. Still, this new offering might still the residual pro-Apple sentiment that TechRepublic reported in September – and to make sure that Android Wear and Google’s other new Android offerings are plentifully flush with apps.