When comparing Tower vs Intellij IDEA, the Slant community recommends Tower for most people. In the question“What are the best Git clients for Windows?” Tower is ranked 17th while Intellij IDEA is ranked 25th. The most important reason people chose Tower is:
Tower has a good-looking interface and consists of 3 main views - services, repositories and repository. - Services view for managing integrations with hosting services like GitHub, Bitbucket and Beanstalk. - Repositories view for organizing local and remote repositories into folders and getting general overview about them. - Repo view that consists of two main subviews: - Working copy view shows modified files and their diff and allows wrapping up changes in a commit. - History shows commits alongside metadata and projects file structure. Additionally, it allows performing various tasks such as merging branches via drag & drop, search allows searching by message, commit hash, author, committer and file and there's a quick open that allows fuzzy-searching for folder names.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Pretty, modern-looking user interface
Tower has a good-looking interface and consists of 3 main views - services, repositories and repository.
Services view for managing integrations with hosting services like GitHub, Bitbucket and Beanstalk.
Repositories view for organizing local and remote repositories into folders and getting general overview about them.
Repo view that consists of two main subviews:
Working copy view shows modified files and their diff and allows wrapping up changes in a commit.
History shows commits alongside metadata and projects file structure.
Additionally, it allows performing various tasks such as merging branches via drag & drop, search allows searching by message, commit hash, author, committer and file and there's a quick open that allows fuzzy-searching for folder names.
Pro Offers a visual way to solve conflicts
Tower shows conflicting files, their authors and the commit that made changes. It then allows selecting which files should be used in the final result.
Pro Github integration
Pro Very polished user interface
Pro Cherry-Picking via drag and drop
Pro Git LFS
Tower comes with built-in support for Git LFS. Handy when working with large files.
Pro Git-flow integration
Git-flow provide a consistent development process by defining a strict branching model that is great for managing large projects. T2 allows setting up and integrating into repos that follow this model.
Pro The UI only shows the needed commands at a time
Tower covers most of the daily tasks that a developer may need to complete. It shows only what you need for the most common tasks without overwhelming the user.
Pro Free for students
If you are a student, you can get your free Tower Pro license here.
Pro Interactive Rebase via Drag and Drop
Pro Undo Support
Many Git actions can be undone in Tower simply by using the keyboard shortcut CMD+Z. Examples: Deleting branches and files, staging changes, rebasing & merging branches, or publishing a branch on a remote
Pro GPG support
Tower offers user profiles. You can then connect GPG keys with your profiles, sign commits and see which commits have been signed and by who.
Pro Free version available
There is a free community edition (open source) and an ultimate edition, which you can compare here.
The ultimate edition is available for free for one year for students but must be registered through an .edu e-mail account.
Pro Fast and smart contextual assistance
Uses a fast indexing technique to provide contextual hints (auto-completion, available object members, import suggestions).
On-the-fly code analysis to detect errors and propose refactorization.
Pro Intuitive and slick UI
IDEA has a clean, intuitive interface with some customization available (such as the Darcula theme).
Pro Stable and robust
IntelliJ IDEA hardly ever crashes or has any issues that plague other Java IDEs like file corruption or slowness.
Pro Support for many languages
IntelliJ supports many languages besides Java, some of these are: golang, Scala, Clojure, Groovy, Bash, etc...
Pro Smart refactorings
IDEA places an emphasis in safe refactoring, offering a variety of features to make this possible for a variety of languages.
These features include safe delete, type migration and replacing method code duplicates.
Pro Lots of plugins
Many plugins are available for almost any task a developer may need to cover. Plugins are developed by Jetbrains themselves or by 3rd parties through the SDK available for writing them.
Pro Android support, JavaEE support, etc
A very complete development environment support.
Pro Clear and detailed documentation
The documentation is exhaustive, easy to navigate, and clearly worded.
Pro Very powerful debugger
With ability to step into a certain part of a large method invocation (Shift+F7), drop frame, executing code snippets, showing method return values, etc.
Pro Many convenient features
These simplify the daily work, e.g. copy/cut a whole line without the need to select it.
Con Not free/libre
This application is proprietary, and thus cannot be modified or freely distributed.
Costs $69 per year!
Con Inefficient UI
In order to not overwhelm the users with information, much of the information is either hidden by default or requires navigating to a different section to access.
Con Doesn't have a built in diff
Con Stability issues on Windows
On a simple repository, the UI often lags or freezes.
Con Doesn't support Subtrees
Con Bugs are not solved as often as they should
They are more interested in adding new features or issuing new versions than solving bugs.
Con Somewhat expensive
IntelliJ IDEA is fairly expensive, with a pricetag of $149/year.
However there is a free community edition available.
Con Built with closed source components
The version with full features is not opensource. Parts of the code are under apache licence though.
Con Lack of plugins
IntelliJ supports a very small amount of plugins. Althrough thesse are 'quality approved', many features are missing and can't be implemented because of that.
Con Standard hotkeys behave differently
Seems like hotkeys assignment in Idea has no logical consistency.
Like «F3» is usually next match, «Ctrl+W» - close tab, etc — they map to some different action by default.
There is a good effort in making the IDE friendly for immigrants from other products: there are options to use hotkeys from Eclipse, and even emacs. But these mappings are very incomplete. And help pages do not take this remapping into account, rather mentioning the standard hotkeys.
So, people coming from other IDEs/editors are doomed to using mouse and context menus (which are rather big and complex).