Google is working on a Microsoft Copilot competitor for Chrome

Project IDX logo
(Image credit: Google)

Google has unveilled a new artificial intelligence browser-based development environment for building full-stack applications in light of how difficult it can be “getting an app from zero to production.”

Citing Google’s work on facilitating multiplatform app development, including Angular, Flutter, Google Cloud, and Firebase, the team of UX workers said: “it feels like there’s even more we can do to make the entire multiplatform app development workflow faster and more frictionless.”

Project IDX, which is now a few months in the making, is built on Google Cloud and powered by Codey, a text-to-code foundation model built on PaLM 2.

Project IDX

While Project IDX is far from being a fully functional product, the team said it decided to release information now in order to understand what developers want from the project.

Getting started should be easy, especially given that developers will be able to import existing projects from GitHub. Frameworks including Angular, Flutter, Next.js, React, Svelte, and Vue will all be supported out of the box, as will the JavaScript and Dart programming languages. The team has already committed to adding Python and Go at a later stage, too.

Built-in previews will help developers to understand how their app optimizes to different platforms, but from launch, only a web preview will be enabled. A browser-based fully-configured Android emulator and an embedded iOS simulator are said to be “coming soon.”

Google’s workers who are behind Project IDX say that it will come with AI tools like “smart code completion, an assistive chatbot, and contextual code actions like ‘add comments’ and ‘explain this code’,” but it’s “very early days” and the AI capabilities are only set to improve.

In terms of when the service will become available, chances are we’re currently too far away to know, but in the meantime, Google is asking for feedback and requests to help build a service for everyone.

Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!