What is Project IDX?
Project IDX is a web-based integrated development environment (or IDE), meaning you can code in your browser instead of downloading and installing a bunch of apps and dependencies. Project IDX will also natively come with AI support which means better code quality and faster development.
The project is still in very early stages and there are no screenshots or images of what it'll look like, but the waitlist is open and you can sign up to get early access to the upcoming product (see below).
Google + Microsoft = ❤️🩹
Project IDX is based on Code-Open Source Software (Code-OSS) developed by Microsoft and is the base layer of VSCode. So if you're familiar with VSCode, I'm guessing that Project IDX is going to have a similar user interface and experience.
Code from Anywhere
Google is obsessed with the browser, and undoubtedly its new IDE will run in the browser, most likely Chrome at launch. The benefit of browser-based apps is that they are accessible from anywhere, anytime. It still remains to be seen if it will perform well under heavy usage since from my personal experience, any desktop-based IDE always performs much better than any complex web-based app.
Multiplatform Support and Simulation
Project IDX will enable developers to simulate apps across platforms as users would see them, with support for built-in multi-browser web previews, Android emulators, and iOS simulators. This is a very nice touch and will decrease testing and development time significantly especially if the changes are in real-time (whenever code changes happen).
AI Code Support
GitHub Copilot is popular among developers nowadays, and Google's direct answer to the generative AI is Codey.
Codey is Google’s AI programming assistant that provides code completion, and recommendation, as well as the ability to answer specific, or general coding questions. Similar to Copilot, Codey will also improve the quality of your code by suggesting essential changes that we humans might miss or neglect. It will also provide immediate support for new developers working on the project since it can answer code-specific questions and provide solutions and suggestions.
How to Get Access
Project IDX is available to select users who've signed up for early access. To join the waitlist, we'll just need to fill out a short form with some basic information and submit it.
To get started, head over to the project's site and click (or tap) on the Join Waitlist tab at the bottom of the page. You'll see the below form that you'll need to fill out with your information:
In my case, I did not receive a sign-up confirmation email or anything after completing this other except the JSON-style confirmation below:
In case you don't receive a confirmation email, don't worry since this seems to be the case with everyone but you're definitely on that waitlist.
It's been a while since I got excited over an IDE since Visual Studio Code was first announced, but I'm looking forward to getting access to Project IDX so that I can test the latest cutting-edge AI-powered web-based IDE by Google. The fact that it uses Code-OSS (VSCode) under the hood, is also a major plus for me.
I am going to write a follow-up article as soon as I get access to the platform, if you'd like to stay tuned, make sure you subscribe below, and thanks for reading!
You can read the official announcement on this page.