Should I use Xcode or Eclipse for Android development?

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by moonman239, Dec 30, 2013.

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Should I use Xcode or Eclipse?

Poll closed Jan 4, 2014.
  1. Xcode.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Eclipse.

    3 vote(s)
    100.0%
  1. moonman239 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    #1
    I am an iOS app developer who wants to start creating Android apps. I have a programming book from Big Nerd Ranch that tells me to download Eclipse, but should I just use Xcode?
     
  2. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #2
    I don't believe Xcode is able to generate Android apps.
     
  3. CarreraGuy macrumors regular

    CarreraGuy

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    #3
    I've been using Eclipse for 6+ years... It was buggy as hell in the early days, then it went through its stages of bloatiness, but with 4.3 it has settled down.

    Saying all that Android development environment is fairly open: you can use VI, or even emacs as an editor - if you like pain and torture. And you can build everything from the command line.

    If you plan on using Eclipse for other projects in other languages such as Python, Java, C/C++ I suggest installing the latest 4.3 and adding the Android plugin after that (plugins is an Eclipse term and are the extendible modules users install, and there are a lot) .

    I am not sure if you download the bundle provided you will get the latest and greatest Eclipse core (which I think is at 4.3.1), so just something to check out and verify and be aware of.
     
  4. ScoobyMcDoo macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #4
    I tried to use xcode for cross-platform development (linux) some time ago and found that is was intended only for writing software targeted for OSX or iOS and did not play well with others.

    I use a combination of netbeans and eclipse for my development - both work great for cross platform.
     
  5. Stella, Jan 15, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2014

    Stella macrumors 604

    Stella

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    #5
  6. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3

    ArtOfWarfare

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #6
    Google has an official IDE for Android... as I recall it's called Android Studio. I'd suggest using that. Last I checked (several months ago) it was still in beta.

    Here's the page for it, looks like it's still in beta, but I'd probably use it anyways just because Eclipse is such a lousy IDE:

    https://developer.android.com/sdk/installing/studio.html

    I definitely wouldn't use Xcode. The plugin architecture for Xcode 4/5 is undocumented*, so I doubt anyone has written the necessary tools to make Xcode a viable IDE for Android development.

    *though it does exist - I played around with making a plugin almost a year ago for Xcode. It was able to load web pages in Xcode... not terribly useful. I had more plans for it but then I got busy and forgot about it.
     
  7. larswik macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    #7
    I had a question about this subject. Do you need to pay any kind of fee so anyone to test Android apps on Android devices like Apple with it's $99 developer fee?
     
  8. lee1210 macrumors 68040

    lee1210

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    #8
    No. You have to pay to publish in the Play store. It's fairly nominal to do so, like Apple. You can get all the tools to start developing for free, though.
     
  9. larswik macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    #9
    Thanks Lee, I took that Java class a couple years ago and thought of trying out some Android versions of my apps. I just don't want to have another phone account. I guess they come with a simulator as well.

    Thanks!
     
  10. Stella macrumors 604

    Stella

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Location:
    Canada
    #10
    You are free to load your own apps on Android. No fee for using your own apps on your own device.
     
  11. Blakeasd macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    #11
    I second IntelliJ. It's almost as good as Xcode and it is 100x better than Eclipse.
     
  12. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3

    ArtOfWarfare

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #12
    If your application has a GUI, you'll likely need to change it... I imagine you used Swing as your GUI framework, which last I checked wasn't available for Android.
     
  13. larswik macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    #13
    It was a couple years ago and I have done nothing with Java since. So I will be relearning things again. I am wondering what kind of device I can get to test it with. I don't need a second phone. Perhaps a small tablet or something like that?

    Thanks.
     
  14. ArtOfWarfare, Jan 18, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2014

    ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3

    ArtOfWarfare

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #14
    Just use the simulator. Why waste money on a piece of junk? Wait, why are you even wasting time on Android development? I did it because the company I was working for thought it would be worth their time to have a both an iOS and Android version of their product - since then they've laid off half the company (the layoffs occurred after I left of my own will.)

    Oh, and because nobody else mentioned it:

    The Official IDE for Android Development is Android Studio. Google made it.

    The latest builds can be found here: http://tools.android.com/download/studio

    Using anything else is like using something other than Xcode for developing iOS apps.
     
  15. larswik macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    #15
    I have a small visitors TV show that runs in hotels where I am from. I created a iPhone app to highlight and give more info on the business that advertise on my show and highlight the area. These days it's a mixed bag of ios and Android. I have had enough people ask me if there is a version for the Android phone.
     
  16. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3

    ArtOfWarfare

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #16
    Maybe just make a web version? Do you charge for the app or is it complimentary?
     
  17. larswik macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    #17
    It is free. I considered a web version like your talking about to make it more universal. But this also give me a chance to start to learn more Java and the android device.
     
  18. Stella, Jan 25, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2014

    Stella macrumors 604

    Stella

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Location:
    Canada
    #18
    Actual most of it is Jetbrains - based upon IntelliJ. And some one did reference it - artofwarefare.

    IntelliJ, feature per feature pisses rings around XCode. Xcode is not a good IDE for writing code. Not to mention vastly more stable than Xcode.
     
  19. dejo Moderator

    dejo

    Staff Member

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    #19
    Care to elaborate?
     
  20. ArtOfWarfare, Jan 25, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2014

    ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3

    ArtOfWarfare

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #20
    I agree that Xcode is a poor editor, especially when it comes to automatically inserting braces and parenthesis.

    When I type [, it should instantly type ] and put my cursor in the middle. It should do the same with (, {, ", ', and <. Most other editors do this - Xcode doesn't. Sometimes it'll automatically enter opening braces if you neglected it earlier and you type a close brace, but it'll stick it in the wrong spot most of the time (ie, before a method name, where it'll never be valid.)

    Right - I mentioned it twice. I gave it extra emphasis the second time because it's clearly the correct answer, but no one else is saying it.
     
  21. Stella, Jan 26, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2014

    Stella macrumors 604

    Stella

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Location:
    Canada
    #21
    Here's a few features that stand out for Intellij:

    * intentions - while offering the same kind of XCode's "fix it" feature, goes beyond what XCode offers, i.e., large set of various code generation features.

    * Better refactoring tools.

    * Support for more type of source control

    * Optimize imports ( remove redundant imports that aren't required in the file )

    * Automatic imports - add necessary import file for the object being used

    * Excellent support for HTML, CSS and Javascript for working on web apps.

    Overall, offers far greater and richer tools for writing code.

    If you want to write ObjectiveC, there's AppCode, which is based upon the IntelliJ platform, which will do nice things such as adding [ ] for you.
     
  22. mpick92 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2010
    #22
    Having done Android programming in course work and during an internship last summer, I highly recommend using Intellij CE for development (and eventually Android Studio once it is out of beta, it is essentially the same product). The entire IDE is more polished than Eclipse. Everyone has their own preferences, and this is what I like the most. Even consider using Genymotion for running an emulator if you find the stock emulator is too laggy and slow to start up. Good luck!
     
  23. dejo Moderator

    dejo

    Staff Member

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    Sep 2, 2004
    Location:
    The Centennial State
    #23
    You should probably check your Preferences > Text Editing. There's a bunch of Code Completion settings that handle of bunch of these things. You won't get an automatic ] when you type a [, but if you type [ and then start typing something you want to call, it'll "auto-suggest" the closing ].
     
  24. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3

    ArtOfWarfare

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #24
    The auto-suggestions are laughably garbage. My experience is that Xcode often neglects obvious autocompletitions, and its few autocompletions it does are just wrong.
     
  25. dejo Moderator

    dejo

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Location:
    The Centennial State
    #25
    Are you saying you don't get code-completion suggestions for closing brackets ( ] ) or automatically inserted closing braces ( } ), if you have those options enabled? If not, you should be filing bug reports with Apple.

    I find the auto-completion also works fine with things like:
    Code:
    @"string[COLOR="Gray"]"[/COLOR]
    
    'x[COLOR="Gray"]'[/COLOR]
    
    (x + y[COLOR="Gray"])[/COLOR]
     

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