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Android Studio vs PyCharm: What are the differences?

Introduction Android Studio and PyCharm are both popular Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) used for software development. While they have some similarities, there are several key differences that set them apart.

1. Building Different Types of Applications: Android Studio is primarily used for developing Android applications, while PyCharm is geared towards Python development. Android Studio provides a comprehensive set of tools and features specifically designed for building Android apps, such as an emulator for testing and debugging, layout editors for designing user interfaces, and support for Android-specific libraries and frameworks. On the other hand, PyCharm offers a range of features tailored to Python development, including code completion, debugging, and support for various web frameworks.

2. Language and Framework Support: Android Studio is focused on developing applications using Java or Kotlin, the official programming languages for Android development. It also provides support for XML, which is commonly used for defining layouts and resources in Android apps. PyCharm, on the other hand, is primarily used for Python development, but it also supports other programming languages such as JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and more. PyCharm provides extensive support for popular Python frameworks like Django and Flask, making it a powerful tool for web development.

3. User Interface Design: Android Studio offers visual layout editors that allow developers to easily create and modify user interfaces for Android apps. It provides a drag-and-drop interface for arranging UI components, as well as tools for configuring layout attributes and previewing the design in real-time. PyCharm, on the other hand, does not have built-in drag-and-drop editors for UI design but focuses more on providing code-centric features and tools for efficient Python coding.

4. Development Workflow: Android Studio provides a suite of development tools and features specific to Android app development, such as Android Virtual Device (AVD) Manager for managing virtual devices, a layout editor for creating and modifying UI, and the ability to debug apps on physical devices. PyCharm, being a general-purpose IDE, offers a range of features that cater to the needs of Python developers, including code analysis, version control integration, and a powerful debugger. The workflow and toolset differ significantly due to the different target platforms and needs of Android and Python development.

5. Community and Ecosystem: Android Studio is backed by Google, which has a vast community and ecosystem around Android development. This means that developers using Android Studio have access to comprehensive documentation, an active online community, and a wide range of libraries and resources specifically for Android development. PyCharm, on the other hand, is developed by JetBrains, a company known for its suite of high-quality IDEs. While Python has a thriving community and ecosystem itself, it may not be as tightly integrated with PyCharm compared to the Android ecosystem being tightly integrated with Android Studio.

6. Purpose and Target Audience: Android Studio is primarily targeted at Android developers who want to build mobile applications for the Android platform. It provides all the necessary tools and features to create, test, and deploy Android apps. PyCharm, on the other hand, is aimed at Python developers who work on a wide range of projects including web development, data analysis, scientific computing, and more. It offers a versatile set of features to support different Python development workflows and use cases.

In Summary, Android Studio is specialized for developing Android apps using Java or Kotlin, with a focus on UI design and integration with the Android ecosystem. PyCharm, on the other hand, is a versatile IDE primarily used for Python development, with support for various other languages and web frameworks.

Advice on Android Studio and PyCharm

Hey, So I'm new to coding in Java and I'm planning to code an app, for both iOS and Android, and I'm not sure what IDE should I use. I want something that is free, easy to use, and beginner-friendly, but at the same time, I want all the features to be available in it since I want to try and code a social media app. Any help is appreciated!

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Replies (2)

Great for starting to write simple cross platform applications without worrying about writing back-end code from scratch.

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christy craemer
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UPDATE: Thanks for the great response. I am going to start with VSCode based on the open source and free version that will allow me to grow into other languages, but not cost me a license ..yet.

I have been working with software development for 12 years, but I am just beginning my journey to learn to code. I am starting with Python following the suggestion of some of my coworkers. They are split between Eclipse and IntelliJ IDEA for IDEs that they use and PyCharm is new to me. Which IDE would you suggest for a beginner that will allow expansion to Java, JavaScript, and eventually AngularJS and possibly mobile applications?

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Pycharm is great for python development, but can feel sometimes slow and community version has Somme very annoying restrictions (like they disabled jupyter notebooks plugin and made it premium feature). I personally started looking into VS Code as an alternative, and it has some very good potential. I suggest you take it into account.

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The Community version of PyCharm is free and should give you what you need to get started with Python. Both PyCharm and IntelliJ are made by JetBrains. IntelliJ is initially focused on Java but you can get plugins for lots of other things. I subscribe to JetBrains' Toolbox: https://www.jetbrains.com/toolbox-app/ and have access to all of their great tools.

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PyCharm, IntelliJ IDEA are both products of JetBrains. They have a free (limited feature) and paid edition. Eclipse is free. VSCode is also free.

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The problem I have is whether to choose Android Studio or Visual Studio? I have to develop a simple app for a school project that can work on both iPhone and Android.

The most important factors for me are Android and iOS compatibility. Although note that i would like to become a Software Engineer when i finish my course. (I'd like to work for Apple, just saying!)

After that id like easy integration for Google Ads and such if i do develop another app that people actually use to support development. (I'd also like to stick with one easy programming language that's compatible with a wide variety of platforms since i'm a beginner and have only ever used Pascal)

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First of all - Android Studio and Visual Studio are IDE's. Tools to create code. What you are asking is programming framework. I assume that when you are talking about Android Studio you mean Native Android Development and by Visual Studio you mean Xamarin.

If you want to create crossplatform app then Native Android Development is NOT a way to go. Xamarin might work for you, BUT - you'd rather recommend you to go with Flutter. It's much more performant than Xamarin, programming model is friendlier for developer and technology seems just more refined. It's also officially supported by google, so no worries about support.

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Expo was a tool Macombey really wanted to utilize from the beginning. I have been working with React Native since 2016 and originally I had to use simulators in Xcode, install pods on top of node packages, configure certificates, and more abundant objectives that take time away from actual development. As a development studio, we have to move quick and get projects to our clients and partners in a matter of months.

Expo made this easy for us. We now have a mobile app for clients to download and test their project on, there is no need to install pods or configure Xcode, and development is super fast and reliable now.

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Lightweight and versatile. Huge library of extensions that enable you to integrate a host of services to your development environment. VS Code's biggest strength is its library of extensions which enables it to directly compete with every single major IDE for almost all major programming languages.

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Pros of Android Studio
Pros of PyCharm
  • 176
    Android studio is a great tool, getting better and bet
  • 103
    Google's official android ide
  • 37
    Intelligent code editor with lots of auto-completion
  • 25
    Its powerful and robust
  • 5
    Easy creating android app
  • 3
    Amazing Layout Designer
  • 3
    Great Code Tips
  • 3
    Great tool & very helpful
  • 2
    Easy to use
  • 2
    Built in Emulator
  • 2
    Keyboard Shortcuts are Amazing Out of the box
  • 112
    Smart auto-completion
  • 93
    Intelligent code analysis
  • 77
    Powerful refactoring
  • 60
    Virtualenv integration
  • 54
    Git integration
  • 22
    Support for Django
  • 11
    Multi-database integration
  • 7
    VIM integration
  • 4
    Vagrant integration
  • 3
    In-tool Bash and Python shell
  • 2
    Plugin architecture
  • 2
    Docker
  • 1
    Django Implemented
  • 1
    Debug mode support docker
  • 1
    Emacs keybinds
  • 1
    Perforce integration

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Cons of Android Studio
Cons of PyCharm
  • 4
    Slow emulator
  • 4
    Huge memory usage
  • 2
    Using Intellij IDEA, while Intellij IDEA have too
  • 2
    Complex for begginers
  • 2
    No checking incompatibilities
  • 1
    Lags behind IntelliJ IDEA
  • 1
    Slow release process
  • 10
    Slow startup
  • 7
    Not very flexible
  • 6
    Resource hog
  • 3
    Periodic slow menu response
  • 1
    Pricey for full features

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What is Android Studio?

Android Studio is a new Android development environment based on IntelliJ IDEA. It provides new features and improvements over Eclipse ADT and will be the official Android IDE once it's ready.

What is PyCharm?

PyCharm’s smart code editor provides first-class support for Python, JavaScript, CoffeeScript, TypeScript, CSS, popular template languages and more. Take advantage of language-aware code completion, error detection, and on-the-fly code fixes!

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What are some alternatives to Android Studio and PyCharm?
IntelliJ IDEA
Out of the box, IntelliJ IDEA provides a comprehensive feature set including tools and integrations with the most important modern technologies and frameworks for enterprise and web development with Java, Scala, Groovy and other languages.
Visual Studio
Visual Studio is a suite of component-based software development tools and other technologies for building powerful, high-performance applications.
Eclipse
Standard Eclipse package suited for Java and plug-in development plus adding new plugins; already includes Git, Marketplace Client, source code and developer documentation. Click here to file a bug against Eclipse Platform.
Xamarin
Xamarin’s Mono-based products enable .NET developers to use their existing code, libraries and tools (including Visual Studio*), as well as skills in .NET and the C# programming language, to create mobile applications for the industry’s most widely-used mobile devices, including Android-based smartphones and tablets, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
Xcode
The Xcode IDE is at the center of the Apple development experience. Tightly integrated with the Cocoa and Cocoa Touch frameworks, Xcode is an incredibly productive environment for building amazing apps for Mac, iPhone, and iPad.
See all alternatives