When comparing IntelliJ IDEA vs Android Studio, the Slant community recommends IntelliJ IDEA for most people. In the question“What are the best IDEs for Android development?” IntelliJ IDEA is ranked 1st while Android Studio is ranked 2nd. The most important reason people chose IntelliJ IDEA is:
IDEA places an emphasis in safe refactoring, offering a [variety of features](https://www.jetbrains.com/idea/features/refactoring.html) to make this possible for a variety of languages. These features include safe delete, type migration and replacing method code duplicates.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
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 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 Android support, JavaEE support, etc
A very complete development environment support.
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 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 Intuitive and slick UI
IDEA has a clean, intuitive interface with some customization available (such as the Darcula theme).
Pro Clear and detailed documentation
The documentation is exhaustive, easy to navigate, and clearly worded.
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 Many convenient features
These simplify the daily work, e.g. copy/cut a whole line without the need to select it.
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 Officially supported by Google
Android Studio is the software built by Google themselves to be used for Android Development. As such, it's certain that support for it will never drop as long as Android apps are still being developed.
Studio is also the tool that Google recommends using for Android development and it's the IDE that gets updates related to Android first.
Pro Live code updates and renderings of app
Layouts are built and can be observed in real time and are automatically updated after every change. You can even see these changes on different screens.
Pro Extremely easy to integrate Google Services
Because it's made by Google to be the tool to be used for Android Development, it's also very easy for Google to add great support for their services in the IDE and make it easier to integrate Google Services into Android applications built with Studio.
Pro Based on the powerful IntelliJ IDEA
Unlike it's predecessor, which is based off Eclipse, Android Studio is build on top of Jetbrain's Flagship Java IDE which offers over a number of features. It's also open-source too (Community Edition only).
Pro Allows GPU tracking
For graphics-intensive apps or games, Android Studio has a GPU profiler baked in. With this you can see exactly what is happening inside the device when a new image is drawn on the screen.
Pro Extremely fast preview
Since Android 2.0, Google have been focusing more and more on the IDE's speed, going so far as making it 2-2.5 times faster than older versions.
But the greatest feature when it comes to speed though is the new feature called "Instant Run". This is comparable to writing HTML, where you write the HTML and just refresh te page to see the changes. On mobile though, updating anything would take a lot of time for the system to rebuild.
Instant Run allows developers to build their app once (on physical devices, emulator or both) and as they change their code, AS does hot code swapping where it only updates the parts of the code that have been changed and the developer can see those changes after a second or two.
Pro Pushes fast to the built-in emulator
Pushing to the built-in Android emulator can be up to 10 times faster than pushing to a physical device.
Pro Intelligently replaces values
References are automatically replaced with their real values, so you can easily view which color you are using for example.
Pro Uses the powerful Gradle build tool out of the box
Android Studio uses Gradle as the official build tool for projects, moving away from the now outdated Apache Ant.
Gradle is a powerful build tool, especially for Android development with which it's very easy to do things that are otherwise impossible or very hard to do on other build systems, thing like: upgrading the build system without breaking the project itself or allowing you to separately define the development and production versions.
Pro Supports many platforms
Linux, Windows and Mac are supported.
Pro Can test Google Play Services API straight from the emulator
Since the built-in emulator has Google Play Services like a physical device, you can test a lot of API calls without having to deploy your application to a device.
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 Slow startup
Startup can be slow deepending on system configuration
Con Built with closed source components
The version with full features is not opensource. Parts of the code are under apache licence though.
Con Cannot open multiple projects in the same window
Con Uses too much RAM
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).
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 Many errors that are almost impossible to remove
Graydle sync fail
Class can't be found
Update SDK (even with latest version)
Con Many offline issues
Con Apps run slow on the ARM version of the emulator
While the Android team have recently fixed issues that had to do with emulation on an x86 architecture and greatly improving emulator speeds, emulating an Android device and running apps on an ARM architecture is still pretty slow.
Con Android development only
Android Studio is the official IDE for Android and it works great as an Android IDE. Unfortunately, that's the only thing it can do, if you want to develop applications for other platforms in Java, you have to learn another IDE as well.