28. Jun 2021Android

When to use IntelliJ or Android Studio?

Are you starting your career as an Android Developer or are you considering entering the world of Android and not sure what IntelliJ IDEA and Android Studio are for? In that case, I hope this article makes it more clear. You will learn why these tools are for, what they have in common, what are the main differences plus we are using them for.

Peter ŠulyAndroid developer

Integrated development environment

An IDE, or integrated development environment is a software that makes it easier for development teams to develop applications. Android Studio as well as IntelliJ IDEA represent just this type of software.

IntelliJ vs. Android Studio

In fact, the they are very similar, Android Studio is based on the IntelliJ IDEA, which is a more general IDE tool and allows you to create code for a wider range of platforms. Android studio, as many of the name implies, is specialized just for the Android platform.

What is IntelliJ?

According to a JetBrains studio, who created the IntelliJ IDEA, this IDE has been designed to maximize developer productivity, primarily through ergonomic design and intelligent coding assistance. Although IDEA is a general IDE, plugins allow it to be used for development on multiple platforms, such as: Spring, JavaScript, Type Script, Angular, React Native, and many more. However, it lacks some of the specialized features that Android Studio includes, such as APK analysis support.

User interface of integrated development environment IntelliJ IDEA


  • General tool, which can be supplemented with various plugins.
  • Ability to develop for many platforms.
  • Coroutine Debugger support


  • IntelliJ is a paid tool (499€ for the first year, then the price decreases)
  • There is also a community edition, which is free. However, some functionalities are not supported there.

What is a Android Studio? 

As I mentioned in the introduction, the main idea is that Android Studio specializes closely in the development of android applications. However, in addition to the many basic functions he took over from IDEA, it has many functionalities that make it easier to work and interact with functions on mobile phones using the Android platform, such as support for Android device emulator, Device explorer, Layout validation tool or Layout inspector.

Preview of the user interface of the Android Studio integrated development environment


  • Android Studio is free
  • Visual layout editor
  • APK Analyzer
  • Integrated emulator
  • Expanded template support for Google services and various types of devices


  • You don't get newest features from IDEA right away

How is it with us?

We in the Android team use Android studio vast majotrity of the time. In case we want to present to others (snippet code, algorithm, everything not related to Android) we will sometimes use IDEA.




Peter ŠulyAndroid developer