IDE pros and cons for J2ME and Android development

I have been tasked with updating my teams dev. environment. This environment will be used to develop and test J2ME and Android mobile applications. I am looking at NetBeans 6.8 and Eclipse 3.6. Do you have any recommendations for why either of these would be good or bad for this? (aka mobile plugin problems, compatibility issues, ease of setup/maintenance for team members, high quality mobile dev. support, etc.)

I am just trying to get some additional opinions from those who have made this decision before me.


If you're doing Android development I would definitely forget NetBeans and use Eclipse since it's officially supported. For J2ME I think you have a little more flexibility.

Eclipse is the official development tools Google recommends for Android, except the command interface. Plus, you have all the tools you need included in it, and an active community to help you in case of problem. Furthermore, the AVD (Android Virtual Device) is perfectly integrated in Eclipse. I use it for my developments, and it's only pleasure :p

As for J2ME, I have absolutely no clue, but i guess Eclipse can do it as well as NetBeans.

Hope I have helped.

Eclipse is mentioned in the Google docs most probably because it's free and therefore easy to get for everybody. It doesn't mean, Google staff itself is using it, in fact, many Google devs (as far as I've heard on the Android irc channel and google groups) are also using IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate Edition, which has Android support built-in.

In my opinion, it's far better than Eclipse. It's more stable: Eclipse frequently requires restarts, cleaning projects, doesn't update project sources properly, hangs. IntelliJ has syntax completion even for XML layout files, which is nice, plus integrated git support; and generally very stable.

Also, the plugin management actually works, as opposed to the hassle you experience with Eclipse when you want to install plugins and add-ons.

Only downside is that it's not entirely free, the community edition is free but doesn't have Android support. But imho worth the money. You can test it in a 30 days trial.

(For Java development, I used Eclipse > NetBeans > IntelliJ, that's my history. And I prefer the tools in reverse order, ending up with IntelliJ for Android as well as regular Java EE projects now since about half year).

Regarding J2ME, I don't know though.

For others who may come up against the same situation.

Since there was no feedback on the J2ME side of things I thought I would add a little about what I've found. The Eclipse support for developing J2ME is limited. The Pulsar release of Eclipse has limited support and the MJT project has recently lost sponsorship and is not reliable for professional development. Also on that note, if you are interested in contributing to an open source project having to do with J2ME dev environments MJT is actively looking for contributors. The product overall is good but it still has many bugs and missing features that are too much to deal with in a team that doesn't have time to spend extensive resources keeping the development environment working.

Basically for these reasons and the simplicity of integration that Netbeans comes built into it for J2ME development, I am going with Netbeans for the J2ME side of things.

As others have already mentioned, for Android Eclipse is the obvious choice.

If anyone has anything to add about there experience with this please do.

I feel Eclipse is the route to go because:

  1. Eclipse and Google make it easy and fast to set up the IDE for Android development. Google even has step-by-step documents on how to do it. So if you have people helping you install the IDEs for the team, they can resort to those documentations without constantly resorting to you. Plus they have tons of tutorials to get your team started using Eclipse.

  2. I recently got into developing Android apps and Eclipse helps streamline the process of creating apps faster and like Squ36 said, the AVD is a perfectly easy to use emulator that I can't live without when testing my apps.

  3. Honestly the only reason I use Netbeans is to create AWT or SWT GUI's for my prototype desktop applications. It's not organized at creating the generated code but its usually a start for me to speed the process up

As for J2ME: I have never developed J2ME apps but a colleague of mine did and used Eclipse since the IDE has tons of support and documentation for Java.

Hope this helps you decide :)

Eclipse is fine for both.

As others have said, Eclipse is officially supported by Google for Android, so that's a no brainer.

Sun's WTK integrates fine with Eclipse and the MJT stuff, so you should have no problems with J2ME. I'm using Eclipse and LWUIT for J2ME dev, and it all works fine.

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