Google is launching a new AI-powered coding bot for Android developers. During its I/O event on Wednesday, Google announced that the tool, called Studio Bot, will help developers build apps by generating code, fixing errors, and answering questions about Android.
According to Google, the bot is built on Codey, the company’s new foundational coding model that stems from its updated PaLM 2 large language model (LLM). Studio Bot supports both the Kotlin and Java programming languages and will live directly in the toolbar on Android Studio. There, developers can get quick answers to their questions or even have the bot debug a portion of their code.
Screenshot: Emma Roth / The Verge
While Google notes that developers don’t need to share their source code with Google in order to use Studio Bot, the company will receive data on the conversations they have with the tool. Google says the bot is still in “very early days” but that it will continue training it to improve its answers. It’s also currently only available to developers in the US for now via the Canary channel, and there’s no word on when it will see a global launch.
The new AI-powered coding tool comes as part of Google’s continued push into AI. After making its Bard chatbot available in early access in March, Google has been gradually adding new features, including the ability to generate, debug, and explain lines of code. Packaging these features in a standalone coding assistant pits Google against Microsoft and Amazon, both of which have AI-powered coding tools of their own that developers can integrate into a variety of integrated development environments (IDE).
While Microsoft rolled out a ChatGPT-like assistant to GitHub Copilot earlier this year, Amazon made CodeWhisperer available to developers for free last month. Studio Bot has a far more limited reach than Amazon and GitHub’s integrative coding assistants, though, as it’s only useful for Android developers. Google’s new Duet AI coding tool should help fill that gap, but it’s only available to Google Cloud users.