My Take on IDX : Google's New IDE


Wide header image showcasing Project IDX interface or a related visual

How I Met Project IDX

Last May, I got an invite to the Google Developer Advisory Board event in Miami. That’s where I first got wind of Project IDX. Not only did I get a sneak peek, but I also joined the private preview to give it a test drive. Fast forward to now, Project IDX has moved to public preview, and I’m excited to share the public link to the IDE with you all.

Image of the Google Developer Advisory Board event or something related

What’s Project IDX All About?

1. What is IDX?

Project IDX is Google’s latest IDE for coders. Built on the foundation of Google Cloud, IDX offers a cloud-based integrated development environment (IDE) that eliminates the need for extensive local setups. Everything’s in the cloud. And there’s this AI buddy, IDX AI, that offers coding tips and real-time coding suggestions, making the development process more efficient.

Here’s a snippet from Google’s description:

Project IDX is all about simplifying coding. It’s online, backed by Google Cloud, and has an AI named Codey to assist.

Image showing Project IDX in action

2. My Experience with IDX

Jumping into Project IDX was a mix of fun and challenges. Here’s a breakdown:

Cool Features to Geek Out On:

  • Google Ecosystem Integration: IDX feels right at home if you’re into Flutter, Angular, and Firebase. It’s like a cozy Google tech party.

  • A Helping Hand with Palm API: Everything’s about AI and generative AI these days, especially when it comes to boosting productivity in IDEs. So, it’s no shocker that this feature made its way into IDX.

Image of some AI suggestions in Project IDX

Image of some AI suggestions in Project IDX

Here’s a more detailed look at my experience:

  1. Project Exploration: I gave IDX a real-world test by using it to build a flutter project powered by PaLM API

  2. Flutter Development: Being a GDE in Flutter category, I naturally gravitated towards using IDX for Flutter development. It felt familiar, yet there were new tools and features to explore.

  3. Emulator Limitations: One thing to note is that, at the time of writing, the Android and iOS emulators weren’t ready. So, I had to rely on the web preview to run and test my apps. Here are a couple of screenshots to give you an idea:

Image of some AI suggestions in Project IDX

Image of some AI suggestions in Project IDX

Bugs and Hiccups:

  • I did run into some bugs, especially when opening the workspace or launching apps. I’ve always believed in contributing to projects, and reporting bugs is one way I can help a dev project succeed.

  • On the topic of VPNs, I had to use one mainly because some of the AI capabilities of Project IDX aren’t yet available in Canada. It’s a minor hiccup, but worth noting for my fellow Canadian developers.

3. What I Think So Far

Project IDX is fresh out of the oven, and like all new tech, it’s got some quirks. Being in Canada, I had to use a VPN for some parts. But I see the effort Google’s putting in. They’re aiming to rival big names like VS Code. The whole online coding concept is neat, and other companies are jumping on the bandwagon too.

Image related to feedback or Google’s vision

Wrapping Up

Project IDX feels like a glimpse into the future of coding. I’m keeping tabs on it and am eager to see its next moves. On a side note, I’ve heard about another IDE named Cursor. A buddy of mine swears by it and says I have to check it out. So, I’m looking forward to comparing IDX to Cursor soon!