Designer workspace line style illustrationIn 2013, Google announced the release of Android Studio, an integrated development environment (IDE) that would give developers tools to build on the Android platform. Since this announcement was made, the doomsday clock for the popular Eclipse IDE began counting down; what was once the preferred program for Java development would soon be stripped of any official support.

The time has come – the doomsday clock has struck midnight for the Eclipse IDE. At the end of the year, Google will no longer be offering official support channels, though industry experts doubt the program will be missed too much.

Android Studio is a powerful tool with a number of advantages of its predecessor. Some of its features include code templates for rapid construction of common app features, flexible Gradle-based build system, a rich layout editor with drop-and-drag theme editing, and built-in support for Google Cloud Platform, making it easy to tie in Cloud Messaging and App Engine features. Product manager Jamal Eason wrote that the focus of the Android Studio would be on delivering a “unified development environment,” which is something that the Eclipse IDE could never achieve.

For those users who are leery about having to make the transition from Eclipse to Android Studio, a migration guide has been released to help developers hit the ground running with the new project structure, build system, and IDE functionality. Android Studio even gives users a tool that will quickly port Eclipser ADT workspaces and scripts to Android Studio projects.

The future is here! It is time for developers to start exploring what the Android Studio platform has to offer.