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InfoQ Homepage News Google Project IDX Integrates iOS and Android Emulator, Extends Templates Library, and More

Google Project IDX Integrates iOS and Android Emulator, Extends Templates Library, and More

Six months after its launch, Google has extended its experimental AI-powered, Cloud-based, shared workspace Project IDX with the introduction of integrated iOS simulator and Android emulator, new project templates, better integration with the Nix package manager, and more.

IDX includes now support for previewing Flutter apps without leaving your browser-based workspace using its new iOS simulator and Android emulator, thus consolidating the develop-test-debug cycle within the IDE.

When you use a Flutter or web template, Project IDX intelligently loads the right preview environment for your application — Safari mobile and Chrome for web templates, or Android, iOS, and Chrome for Flutter templates.

New project templates include support for Astro, Go, Python/Flask, Qwik, Lit, Preact, Solid.js, and Node.js. This allows developers to start quickly a new project without having to define a custom setup using Nix. Additionally, IDX supports importing a repo directly from GitHub or local files.

All IDX projects, including custom and template-based projects, are configured using the Nix package manager.

IDX uses Nix to define the environment configuration for each workspace. Nix is a purely functional package manager that assigns unique identifiers to each dependency, which ultimately means your environment can contain multiple versions of the same dependency, seamlessly.

Nix support in IDX has been improved by adding the possibility of customizing IDX starter templates, syntax highlighting, error detection, suggested code completions, and better handling of broken configurations.

Other new features aim to simplify the build, test, and deploy cycle, such as support for running CLI tools and scripts within workspaces without local installation, improved integration of Docker containers and images, and more.

Project IDX was created to reduce the complexity of cross-platform, full-stack development across Web and mobile platforms, spanning many distinct stacks including Angular, Vue, React, Flutter, Go, Python, Google Cloud and so on. IDX integrates with Google's Codey and PaLM 2 models that are used in Studio Bot in Android Studio, and Duet in Google Cloud, which according to Google should help developers not only write code faster, but also write higher-quality code.

As mentioned, Project IDX is still in its early phases and Google is actively asking for developers' feedback to improve it.

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