AIDE – Develop Android Apps on Android

Android Java IDE (mobile Eclipse)

During the past month or so, I’ve been testing a number of different apps on my Asus Transformer Prime tablet. The landscape form factor, coupled with a built-in keyboard make the Transformer a very different beast to most other Android devices.

While I’ve found the device great for gaming, basic productivity and email applications, I still needed my desktop for one important task – developing Android apps. Eclipse doesn’t run on Android, and for a long time there was no suitable Java IDE which could compile Android apps natively on the ARM architecture.

Along comes AIDE. The app’s description on the Android Market / Google Play states:

AIDE is an integrated development environment (IDE) for developing real Android Apps directly on Android devices. AIDE supports the full edit-compile-run cycle: write code with the feature rich editor offering advanced features like code completion, real-time error checking, refactoring and smart code navigation, and run your App with a single click.

Yep, that’s right. AIDE is not only a great Java editor. It can actually compile your Android apps, and then run them directly on the device itself.

This app provides a complete development environment on your Android phone or tablet. A pretty powerful code editor is provided, with basic real-time code completion and syntax checking. And it’s compatible with Eclipse projects too.

When coupled with a decent physical keyboard, AIDE can be a very powerful tool for developing and testing Android apps. Especially if you’re on the go and want to make a quick change to your Dropbox-synced Android project. AIDE would be the perfect tool for this situation – quick & easy mobile access to your code, and the ability to compile & debug the app without ever touching a computer.

For now, I’ll still be using Eclipse on my workstation to develop apps. I need the advanced SVN integration available on the desktop, as well as fast file-switching and copy/paste. This stuff is simply too slow or difficult on Android for me to use it as my primary development device.

That said, AIDE represents a huge step forward for the Android platform, and with a few tweaks could become an essential tool in the Android developer’s arsenal. I’d definitely recommend you check it out. At the very least, just to impress your iPhone-dev friends (“Hey Joe, look what my Android phone can do! Yep, just like Inception… an app within an app!”)

  • Oli Wright

    AIDE was worth it purely to turn to a colleage and show him hello world built and run directly on my phone.  Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s practical to use on a phone sized device (keyboard real-estate quite a problem).  It’s certainly a very useful thing for prototyping on the move, but it’s not going to kill off the desktop deveopment environment any time soon.  As you say, svn integration etc. is essential – my hard drive with my dev environment died last night so I’m really appreciating having svn on my NAS.  I’m also unlikely to do things like image editing on my android device.  Still, fun :)

  • Monoskybabuye

    Wow, what an excellent app. Now all my friends with Android phones want to make android

  • Kaplanmete


    I have question about leadbolt. I integrated leadbolt ad banner to my app.

    I have problem. Its a notepad app. When you go to add note activity, you click to edit text, and keyboard shows up, everything fine until now. So like 3-4 sec later  add loads up and everthing moves over keyboard.

    But if you dont click edittext, everyhing is fine. Also when ad banner loads up, edit text loses its focus.

    If you can help.

    • Monoskybabuye

      Hi Kaplanmate, I haven’t used leadbolt but i think you should use the forum here  and post your development questions there.  You will most probably get a faster and well brainstormed answer from a pool of developers.

    • David Webb

      I haven’t come across that exact issue, but Mono made a good suggestion – try posting your problem in the forum, you might get a few answers there.

      Also, try contacting LeadBolt about this if you think it’s a problem with their SDK. From my experience, they’d be very happy to help with any issues you might be having.

  • AppMaker

    Check out my first app

    • Raechelle mcfadden

      Hit me up thru email please

  • Shobhit Bakliwal

    When are you planning to write a post? It has been a long time. No posts in April I believe..

    • David Webb

      Yes, sorry the posts have been delayed. I’ve been going flat out with various commitments, and my stats are a bit of a mess. Still trying to get together November’s report. Hope to get something posted ASAP though!

  • Jeremy

    I have written multiple programs exclusively on my android phone using AIDE and it was no problem at all. I enjoy being able to write and compile all of my android programs on the go with my phone and never even having to touch my computer at all.