Google has launched an AI-based browser called Project IDX, based on Visual Studio Code.
Almost all companies today are thinking about how they can integrate AI. Almost every app has AI capabilities. Similarly, Google faces tough competition in many areas, especially from Microsoft. Recently, Microsoft released Microsoft CoPilot X for its development environment, Microsoft Visual Studio Code.
The company is focusing on Full-stack development with a slightly different approach. The company is exploring how its coding-based AI can be advanced, such as with Codey and the PaLM 2 Model, which powers Studio Bot in Android Studio and Duet in Google Cloud.
Google Project IDX
This is not something Google created from scratch, but a new IDE called the Integrated Development Environment. Underlying, Google is using Visual Studio Code, which is open-sourced, as the basis of Project IDX. This will help developers with their productivity. It is not just there to write code faster but also to write higher-quality code.
GAtits I/O 2023 event, Google announced that it was working on its AI-based models. This is based on Google’s PaLM 2, the foundation model for which there is a dedicated AI model called Codey for programming tasks. This gives you better code completion support. Not only that, but the Codey and PaLM 2 models are also used in Android Studio, Due in Google Cloud, and more.
For beginners, this will be quite useful. You can ask general coding questions or questions related to your specific code. Especially you can understand the code by asking the app to explain it, and you can also ask the app what contextual code actions you should take, like adding comments or what to do with the code. As a cloud-based IDE that is integrated into your Project IDX, Google has integrated it with Google’s own Firebase Hosting (and Google Cloud Functions).
Google Project IDX Chatbot
The IDX chatbot is not working as smoothly as expected and cannot directly manipulate existing codes. Unlike Codespace, AWS Cloud9, GitHub, and Amazon, which offer cloud-based development environments, Project IDX does not know the codes selected in the editors. Google also offers Cloud Code IDE Plugins that can bring code to virtually every popular IDE.
Developers can use existing codes from the GitHub Repository. Each workspace will have access to a Linux-based VM (Virtual Machine), and soon it will also have Android and iOS simulators embedded in the browser. This is still in the early stages of development, and Google is constantly working on Project IDX to improve and add new capabilities over time. It could build a nice sandbox for Google to showcase its AI capabilities to coders. However, it remains to be seen how useful it will be as it turns into a full-blown IDE that developers will want to use for their projects.
AI-Based Browser Development Experience
Its user interface is quite similar to Microsoft Visual Studio, and it is a push from Google for a browser-based developer environment. With its help, programmers can build, manage, and deploy new code for full-stack web and multi-platform multi-platform applications that support popular frameworks and languages. You can also import your existing GitHub project into your project IDX.
Google uses Code OSS for this, which is similar to others and linked to Microsoft’s Visual Studio repository on GitHub. Thanks to this, future developments of Project IDX will allow developers to code and save anywhere and anytime. This has been achieved by assigning a Linux-based virtual machine (VM) in the Google Cloud to each Project IDX workspace.
Project IDX has a built-in web preview to preview your apps and can also utilize fully-configured Android emulators and embedded iOS simulators directly from the browser. Recently, Project IDX was announced to subsume Flutter and Google’s other cross-platform developer solutions.
Along with this, Stack has also released its Overflow AI to help programmers with their codes. Looking at the current development progress, Google is still quite behind its competitors. Microsoft’s GitHub CoPilot, Amazon’s CodeWhisper, and other similar AI coding features are already available.
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