For a developer approaching Android programming the message is clear: get all set for Java development, get the Android SDKs you need, and get Eclipse. At least for Windows, the downloadable package contains already the Eclipse bundle. Eclipse is the Java IDE and it comes with a plug-in for Android programming.
Why looking elsewhere?
Speaking for myself, when I started on Android I immediately started looking for an alternative to Eclipse. The nice thing is that I can hardly find one compelling reason for dismissing Eclipse. Eclipse does nearly everything you need and it does it fairly well. Hey, that’s probably the point. It does everything fairly well, but no more!
An alternative to Eclipse is IntelliJ IDEA from JetBrains and for Android developers the (free) Community Edition of IntelliJ IDEA is more than enough for coding effectively. In which way is IntelliJ IDEA better than Eclipse? It’s not a matter of features, but it’s all about how features are implemented and little details around the overall usability of the product.
Writing a formal whitepaper comparing and contrasting Eclipse and IntelliJ IDEA is confusing and probably useless like splitting hairs. But this post offers an interesting list of reasons why developers should look into IntelliJ IDEA at some point.
Not a list of features, but a (long) list of small things that all together save time and gain a better experience.