IDX Gets Android Emulator & iOS Simulator
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Thursday, 01 February 2024

Google has updated Project IDX, its browser-based development tool, adding an iOS Simulator and Android Emulator to the browser so developers can preview apps directly in IDX. The updated release also has new templates for more environments.

Project IDX was launched six months ago in preview. It's a browser-based development tool built on Google Cloud and powered by Codey, a foundational AI model trained on code and built on PaLM 2. Project IDX is also built on Code OSS, Code-Open Source Software, the core layer of VS Code.


The developers say Project IDX can be used to build, manage and deploy full-stack web and multiplatform applications. The key concept of Project IDX is that of workspaces, each with the full capabilities of a Linux-based VM. The workspaces are hosted in the cloud.  Developers can import existing projects from GitHub as well as creating new projects, with templates for popular frameworks including Angular, Flutter, Next.js, React, Svelte, Vue, and languages such as JavaScript, Go and Dart.

The addition of the emulator and simulator means, according to the IDX team, that when you use a Flutter or web template, Project IDX intelligently loads the right preview environment for your application — Safari mobile and Chrome for web templates, or Android, iOS, and Chrome for Flutter templates.

Emulator in IDX

Alongside the emulators, new templates have been added for Astro, Go, Python/Flask, Qwik, Lit, Preact, Solid.js, and Node.js. 

Support has also been improved for the Nix packet manager tool, which IDX uses to define the environment configuration for each workspace. Much of IDX uses Nix, even the templates and previews are configured using Nix. This update to IDX includes the ability to customize IDX starter templates by using Nix. It also includes support for Nix file editing, including support for syntax highlighting, error detection, and suggested code completions.

Other improvements include the ability to run command-line tools, scripts, and utilities directly within your workspace, and simpler interaction with Docker containers and images so they can be used directly from the development environment.

Project IDX is available now.


More Information

Project IDX

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