Difference Between IntelliJ and Android Studio (With Table)

As the technology around us is evolving and becoming more futuristic, we are seeing a lot of automation of tasks, with a few snippets of code. Now to writing code can be a herculean task at times especially if there are numerous lines of it, so for the smooth running of code, error analysis, quick navigating, and refactorings.

There are various applications and platforms where one can run the code and analyze it. Two major ones, in this case, are IntelliJ developed by JetBrains and Andriod Studio, both of which are Integrated Development Entertainment(IDE). Coding and application building need not stay exclusive only to computer enthusiasts, it can be used by anyone who wants to build an app be it either for themselves personally or for the company they work in.

IntelliJ vs Android Studio

The difference between IntelliJ and Android Studio is that IntelliJ can be used on any platform and is more generalist while Android Studio is exclusively for the Andriod platform.

The IntelliJ or IntelliJ IDEA is an IDE for JVM, that is, Java Virtual Machine, and helps the developer to run error-free code by reducing repetitive work and thereby develop, model, and deploy computer software.

Android Studio is another IDE that is specifically targeted for Andriod apps development. It can be used to build, create, and debug the code and test on various android platforms like phones, tablets, TVs, etc.

Comparison Table Between IntelliJ and Android Studio

Parameters of ComparisonIntelliJAndroid Studio
LanguagesJava, Kotlin, Scala, and Groovy are the JVM languages that are supported on it. Plugin Bundles are available for the most popular languages like Python, Ruby, SQL, HTML, PHP, and many more.Apart from Java, it supports C and C++ languages.
PlatformsBoth Java Virtual Machine and non-JVMAs it is Google’s official IDE, it is best suited for android.
The licensed version needs to be purchased.It is entirely free.

What is IntelliJ?

IntelliJ IDEA is an Integrated Development Environment is based on JAVA programming language and it can be used to develop, fix errors, and compile programs. The main features of IntelliJ are smart and chain compilation, data flow analysis, Language injection, cross-language refactoring, detecting duplicates, inspection, and quick-fix. Auto code complete and code refactoring are two class-defining features of IntelliJ as this IDE can detect and suggest what code one might type.

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This IDE gives consistent experience across all platforms from Windows to Mac to Linux. The feature of Inline Debugging really saves the developer some precious time while debugging. Next are the built-in developer tools which help the coder build, test run, and decompile their work with ease. Even though it is built around JVM it is adaptable to non-JVM machines as well, and languages such as JavaScript, TypeScript, Kotlin, and Scala. 

There are two versions of this, one which is open-sourced and free, the Community version and the Ultimate version which is a licensed version. One of its disadvantages is that this IDE is a bit more challenging to learn and uses a good amount of RAM. 

What is Android Studio?

It is an IDE based on IntelliJ IDEA and is based exclusively on the Andriod environment. The major features of this are the Apply change feature which helps the developer change code or resources without leaving or restarting the code. Next is the Intelligent code editor which as the name suggests, helps the coder write better and more productive codes.

There is a robust analytics framework, intelligence, that helps the developer fix their issues with a single click.  One can of course test their applications and improve upon them as well, and Andriod Studios help the developer to configure, automate, manage, and customize their systems. It also integrates with platforms like GitHub and Subversion so that a team of developers can work on a certain project together.

As it is based on the Andriod environment, thus it is really ideal for developing similar apps.

The disadvantages include the need for a significant amount of RAM for its smooth running and the multitasking on the platform is not that easy as well.

Main Differences Between IntelliJ and Android Studio

  1. IntelliJ is a general IDE that is adaptable to any platform while the Andriod Studio is exclusively for the Andriod system.
  2. Android Studio is entirely free while IntelliJ has a version that is licensed and thus needs to be purchased. 
  3. As Andriod Studio is based on IntelliJ, the latter previously supported all plugins of the android studio but now certain plugins like Andriod APK Support are not compatible with the IntelliJ.
  4.  IntelliJ IDEA is better in the sense of speed and accuracy, while Andriod Studio is improving, IntelliJ is still better in these aspects.
  5. IntelliJ supports more languages than Andriod Studio.
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Now app making and coding are not exclusively bounded to computer enthusiasts, everyone can code and build applications to automate tasks or create something new. So to build something of quality and value it is important to have something that is smooth running and debugged, thus it is important for the developer that they choose something which will not only ease the repetitive tasks but also make the code more intelligent by suggesting the required changes.

Both the above-mentioned IDEs are suited for this purpose, however, they do have a steep learning curve, and once an individual can overcome these challenges then they can develop applications with no issues. 

Coming to which one to choose if one wants to build a robust and reliable android mobile application then Andriod Studio is the best. While if it is more for multiple platforms then IntelliJ IDEA is better, and to learn too, the latter is better as the Andriod Studio is based on IntelliJ. 


  1. http://edukacja.3bird.pl/download/informatyka/etap4/programowanie/android/informatyka-etap4-android-studio.pdf
  2. http://www.ripublication.com/ijaer18/ijaerv13n16_17.pdf
  3. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4302-6551-1_4