Google has announced a new cloud-based integrated development environment (IDE) called Project IDX. This new product aims to improve the experience for software developers by providing them with AI tools and capabilities to build applications more efficiently.
Google built Project IDX on top of Visual Studio Code (using Code OSS), allowing them to focus on AI integrations like Codey and PaLM 2. Google's Codey AI programming assistant enables smart code completion, a chatbot for answering coding questions, and contextual code recommendations.
Project IDX allows developers to code full-stack web and mobile apps directly in the browser. It currently supports popular frameworks like Angular, Flutter, React, and Vue.js, with support for additional languages and frameworks planned.
A key benefit of Project IDX is that it provides a consistent development environment accessible from any device. This eliminates common pain points like ensuring dev environments are in sync across machines. The cloud-based IDE also provides access to robust computing resources unavailable locally on many developer machines.
For example, according to Google, Project IDX will use macOS machines in the cloud to build iOS apps and display the iOS Simulator. More details on Android emulator support will be announced later.
Project IDX deeply integrates with GitHub for source control and Google's Firebase platform for hosting, cloud functions, and more. Each workspace provides a Linux-based virtual machine.
Project IDX is currently in early preview. Google plans to add more languages, frameworks, and cloud service integrations. It says that "IDX is still in its early stages, but it can potentially revolutionize how developers code."
Meanwhile, Microsoft-owned GitHub has taken Copilot to the next level with the introduction of Copilot Chat. This is a feature that allows developers to interact with Copilot more conversationally. This means you can now ask Copilot questions about your code, get explanations for specific parts of your code, and even have Copilot fix bugs in your code.