There are a ton of super useful android development plugins that can enhance the development experience. In fact, IntelliJ and Android Studio remain almost
identical in the source code, and most third party plugins can be used freely between the two platforms. Android Studio, as the official IDE of Google, is
fully equipped to develop Android apps. But that doesn’t mean that Android development has lost the open source spirit of predecessor IDEs Intellij IDEA
In the following list, we will cover a couple paid plugins that really engage users and provide something special to the development experience. I will
also present a few plugins that are Swiss Army Knife like in their usefulness. Seriously, once you become accustomed to coding with them you may not be
able to imagine coding without.
Android Development Plugins:
1. Mirror – From Jimu Labs
This plugin is awesome.
It is basically a live android studio / IntelliJ IDEA layout editor that works using REAL android devices. You can instantaneously preview layouts as you
code (no need to compile). You can even test across multiple devices at the same time.
Why is this even necessary you ask? Doesn’t Android Studio come with a built in on screen layout editor? Well yes, this is true, but it is not the same
thing as testing it on a real device. In other words, this plugin goes to 11.
On your phone, you can write a line of code and see how the colors actually come out on your Galaxy. You can even check for touch zone accuracy. As a side
benefit, you free up more screen space for actual code – which comes in handy on a laptop.
This is a very fun and engaging way to learn how to code on Android Studio, by actually learning on the fly with real devices. There is a free trial
version available, with personal licenses running at $79.
This plug-in is an extremely versatile third party emulator that can be used instead of the default Android Studio Emulator. It runs as a virtual machine
on your computer and is very fast and smooth.
Genymotion can emulate over 40 popular android devices. This is extremely useful if you want to test how your app will run on different form factors but
you don’t happen to own all those form factors.
There is a bevy of other super useful features in the full version of this plugin. You can manipulate different testing scenarios such as the GPS location,
battery power, and network strength. Although these test features are included in the premium package for $136/year. There is a free basic version as well
that still lets you take advantage of their very speedy and diverse emulator at no cost.
A super useful plugin to help you navigate your lines of code or to look for something specific in somebody else’s work. Simply type in Ctrl+; then the
character you are looking for, and all the matching characters will be highlighted and allow you to AceJump your way over. This is basically the Ctrl+F of
This is a free Jetbrain plug-in available here:
4. ADB Idea
If rely on Android Debugging Bridge (ADB) commands frequently, then you definitely will want the ADB idea plugin. You will save a ton of time and command
line keystrokes when you want to restart or clear app data. For those that are responsible for a lot of debugging, this is one of the free and very useful
Android Development Plugins.
This is an IntelliJ / Android Studio plugin that provides an embedded minimap to the right of the primary code window. This minimap gives a zoomed out view
of the code that allows you to see the tree structure of the code and lets you jump easily around the page. Additionally, the code glance window is
Works with dark and light themes. Customized Syntax colors are also possible.
Available for free from the JetBrains plugin repository:
This was a good starter list of some very engaging and useful Android Development plugins. Mirror and Gennymotion being possibly game changing experiences,
and the other options being very handy tools to speed up your code and efficiency.
A good word of advice is to let your coding style and coding needs dictate which plugins you decide to adopt along the way.