9 More Essential Plugins for Android Studio
Last year I wrote an article on the top plugins for Android Studio, and it has been popular! With the release of Android Studio 2+ I thought it was time I compiled a new list of plugins to improve and enhance Android’s official IDE.
I will focus on plugins to help develop apps faster, manage project resources, and create better code.
The installation process is the same for all plugins:
Launch Android Studio and open Preferences.
Open the Plugins section.
Click Browse repositories to load the full list of IntelliJ IDEA Plugins.
Search for the name of the plugin, and click install.
Restart Android Studio after the installation completes.
1. Generate Parcelable Objects
At some point during app development, you will have to deal with Parcelable objects in java. Parcelable objects send data to different components of an application, system components, or other applications installed on the device. When an app needs Parcelables, developers need to build them manually, or can use the Parcelable boilerplate code generation tool to generate an implementation based on fields of the Parcelable class.
2. ADB Commands
ADB Idea aims to speed up the day of an Android developer by giving access to crucial terminal commands. I found this tool helpful after the release of Android Studio 2.0, and the addition of Instant Run. Whilst it’s a great feature, sometimes the quick build doesn’t pick up small changes and you have to rebuild and reinstall the project. This makes quick access to ADB commands invaluable.
3. ADB over Wifi
This is simple plugin that let’s you debug Android apps over Wi-Fi, which is pretty cool if you ask me.
If you have used editors like Sublime, CodeGlance might be what you need to make your IDE more enjoyable and easier to navigate large class files.
5. Convert SVG to Android Vectors
The mindset change of Material Design bought new approaches towards app icons, logos and static images. Asset formats changed from traditional image formats (.png, .jpg, etc …) to Vector Drawables. The SVG2VectorDrawable plugin let’s you convert SVG images to vector drawables (i.e. .xml files) so you can use them as layout drawables.
6. Data Transfer Object Generator
The Data Transfer Object(DTO) generator creates Java classes from a given feed. This plugin is helpful if you are working with REST APIs that return JSON responses, which is the case for most web services. DTO will generate a ‘POJO‘ object from the feed provided. Here’s an example from their Github project, where you can also find many more:
7. Material Design Icon Generator
To develop apps based on Material Design Patterns you need to add Material Icons, but I find the Material Icons Guide frustrating and needs a lot of work. This plugin helps you build Material Design Icons in a couple of steps.
8. Codota Code Search
If you haven’t heard of Codota, I highly recommend it. If you have a problem with your code, need a solution, or have a bug you haven’t been able to fix, Codota will try to give you a real world solution. Codota is a code search engine that looks for open source code snippets available on platforms such as GitHub, Google Code, and StackOverflow. This makes Codota the perfect tool for fast development.
An example. Search on Codota for something that I know is not so widely used in small Android projects, e.g. the java.util.Observable class.
The result is rated as ‘CodeRank 5’. Now try something like java.util.ArrayList and you will see ‘CodeRank 10’.
Thats the beauty of Codota and with this plugin you can have the power of Codota inside Android Studio.
9. Code Mirroring with Jimu
Debugging apps on real devices can be slow and take considerable time, especially if you are working with UI elements and making frequent adjustments. Jimu Mirror helps minimize development time by presenting previews on devices of layouts that update in real time, even while making layout changes. Jimu Mirror is a great tool to preview Android layouts, custom views and animations on the fly. It’s not open source and not in the IntelliJ plugins repository so you have to download it from their web site. This tool is not free, but I think it could be worth it for the time it will save.
I hope my suggestions will help you develop great apps, but are just the beginning. If you know of any plugin that is helpful or useful to you, please suggest it in the comments below.