AI tools can increase software development productivity and efficiency while saving time and money. This guide will break down the following AI tools for developers in terms of features, pros, cons, and pricing:
- GitHub Copilot: A great choice as an AI pair programmer to help developers code faster in dozens of natural and programming languages.
- Amazon CodeWhisperer: A solid pick for developers looking for quick AI code generation and code scanning for enhanced security.
- Tabnine: Ideal for developers who want to accelerate code delivery without sacrificing security and privacy.
- Android Studio Bot: An excellent selection for Android developers in need of an AI coding assistant that answers development queries, generates code, and saves coding time.
GitHub Copilot is an AI developer tool that generates coding suggestions from natural language prompts and integrates with several popular coding editors for added convenience.
Features of GitHub Copilot
Some of the top features that make GitHub Copilot an attractive AI programmer tool include:
- Integrates with well-known integrated development environments (IDEs) and frameworks
- Test generation
- Vulnerability filters
- AI Code suggestions
GitHub Copilot offers plenty of flexibility for remote programmers via its support for dozens of natural languages and many programming languages, allowing developers worldwide to leverage the programmer tool’s code generating power. Copilot integrates with popular code editors like Visual Studio Code, tools in the GitHub ecosystem, and developer frameworks. It can also accelerate test generation by creating unit tests on the fly. The coding tool also ensures vulnerable coding patterns are filtered out, and it even blocks problematic public code suggestions, reducing the risk of errors and vulnerabilities in your codebase.
Pros of GitHub Copilot
GitHub Copilot’s strengths include:
- Fosters code inspiration
- Supports code extensibility via its multi-language support
- Increases programmer efficiency
- Access to GitHub integrations and community
Developers who feel stuck or are unsure the best course of action for a block of code can use GitHub Copilot’s AI code generation suggestions and abilities to get unstuck and start writing code quickly. The support for multiple programming and natural languages ensures no one gets left out in the cold and that programmers can create codebases in more than one language, increasing extensibility. In addition, developers can save plenty of time thanks to the speed at which Copilot generates code when compared to manually creating code. Finally, using GitHub Copilot gives you access to the GitHub ecosystem, community, and third-party integrations that increase the functionality of the platform.
Cons of GitHub Copilot
Weaknesses of GitHub Copilot include:
- Sluggishness compared to other AI solutions
- Limited debugging built-in
While GitHub Copilot can increase coding speed compared to manual generation, some feel it is a bit slow compared to other AI code assistants in its class. Built-in debugging could be more robust as well, though they should suit the needs of most citizen developers, small teams, and more experienced developers. Finally, the lack of a free plan could prove costly for developers with limited budgets, though you should always weigh this against the savings in coding time.
Pricing of GitHub Copilot
GitHub Copilot has a free trial and two pricing plans:
- Individuals: $10 monthly.
- Business: $19 per user per month.
With the Individuals plan, programmers can quickly generate code from natural language prompts. This plan for solo developers also generates unit tests, suggests multi-line functions, blocks any suggestions that match public code, and scans code for vulnerabilities. The Business plan enhances privacy by offering private repositories, has a chat beta for increased communication, and provides license and policy management.
Read: GitHub versus GitLab
Amazon CodeWhisperer is an AI code generator that helps developers build secure applications faster via code snippet and full-function suggestions and security scans.
Features of Amazon CodeWhisperer
Amazon CodeWhisperer’s highlighted features include:
- Artificial Intelligence code suggestions
- Security and vulnerability scanning
- Support for multiple languages
- IDE integrations
- AWS APIs support
- Cloud services and software library suggestions
CodeWhisperer can save developers time by using Machine Learning to suggest anywhere from snippets of code to full functions based on existing code and comments. It also scans code to find vulnerabilities, making codebases more secure. Other code scans include searching for relevant cloud services that may be applicable to your code and public software libraries that could enhance your code’s functionality.
Amazon CodeWhisperer supports 15 programming languages, plus integrates with popular IDEs like IntelliJ IDEA, VS Code, and AWS Cloud9. As an Amazon product, the platform also integrates with AWS APIs and is optimized for products like Amazon EC2, AWS Lambda, and Amazon S3 storage.
Pros of Amazon CodeWhisperer
Amazon CodeWhisperer’s advantages include:
- AWS ecosystem compatibility
- Enhanced security
- Versatility and Enterprise level administration
- Free individual use
Developers who use AWS will enjoy how CodeWhisperer works seamlessly with AWS APIs, such as those listed in the features section, but also other tools in the AWS family, like Amazon Code Catalyst and Amazon RDS. The fact that the AI tool was created with security in mind and emphasizes vulnerability adds peace of mind to the development process and adds a layer of protection for product releases. Its versatility with snippets, full-function suggestions, and multi-language support means that coders of all types, backgrounds, and experience levels can benefit from using the software. Finally, individual developers can use CodeWhisperer for free without worrying about a costly subscription.
Cons of Amazon CodeWhisperer
Some disadvantages of Amazon CodeWhisperer include:
- Professional plan cost
- Code suggestion accuracy is reportedly spotty
- Productivity can be affected by some features
Individuals can use CodeWhisperer for free, but if you have a software development team, you may find the $19 per user monthly fee a bit pricey. And, as with other AI tools, Amazon CodeWhisperer’s accuracy can be questionable until the product becomes more refined and trained. The possibility of errors could decrease productivity for some developers by having to double-check results. It should be noted that this last issue is not uncommon to AI code generation tools.
Pricing of Amazon CodeWhisperer
Amazon CodeWhisperer is offered in two pricing tiers:
- Individual: Free for individual developers.
- Professional: $19 per user per month.
The coding tool’s Individual plan offers code generation, reference tracking, and up to 50 monthly code security scans. The Professional plan offers 500 monthly code scans plus organizational license and policy management.
Tabnine is an AI coding tool that emphasizes speed, security, and privacy so software development teams can enjoy increased efficiency while protecting their intellectual property.
Features of Tabnine
Some of Tabnine’s most attractive features include:
- Converts natural language into code blocks
- Support for multiple natural and programming languages
- Intelligent code autocomplete and function suggestions
- IDE and code editor integrations
- Isolated mode for code security
Pros of Tabnine
Tabnine’s pros include:
- Code autocomplete with AI suggestions
- Supports many programming languages
- Cost for individual programmers</li
- Code isolation for added security and privacy
Tabnine’s autocomplete is a massive time saver and reduces the risk of human error in codebases. The support for multiple programming languages offers versatility, and the Free plan for individuals is excellent for those with limited budgets. Tabnine’s isolation mode is also ideal for maintaining code privacy and security – a feature not available in all AI tools.
Cons of Tabnine
Tabnine’s cons include:
- Suggestion inaccuracies
- RAM and processor usage
Pricing of Tabnine
Tabnine has three pricing options:
- Starter: No cost for a single user.
- Pro: $12 per user, per month.
- Enterprise: Custom pricing with unlimited users.
Developers get short code completion and community support via the Starter plan. Pro comes with advanced code completion features, such as whole-line, full-function, and natural language to code. It offers standard support. Enterprise, meanwhile, has premium support, multiple hosting options, privacy control, and enhanced security features.
Android Studio Bot
Studio Bot is a coding companion for Android developers. Powered by artificial intelligence, the programmer tool understands natural language, generates code, teaches best practices, answers development questions, and saves programming time to increase productivity.
Features of Android Studio Bot
Some of Android Studio Bot’s top productivity-boosting features for developers include:
- Chat interface
- Code generation
- Documentation help
- Unit tests
- Ask Studio Bot
Since it understands natural language, developers can converse and interact with Studio Bot via a simple chat interface. You can ask simple and open-ended questions about Android Studio and software development, plus ask for help with specific problems. Since it remembers conversation context, you can ask follow-up questions to get even more precise answers.
Android Studio Bot can generate code. You can then insert that code into an open editor with a single click. Another highlight of the programming tool is documentation. On certain topics, it will offer to open a relevant documentation page with helpful resources so you can learn more. You can use the AI tool to create unit tests with a click, and there is also an Ask Studio Bot feature that works directly from your codebase and lets you perform specific actions, troubleshoot errors, and more.
Pros of Android Studio Bot
Some Studio Bot pros include:
- Android Studio integration
- Plenty of helpful resources and documentation assistance
- Chat feature for learning
Studio Bot’s seamless Android Studio integration is ideal for developers of the specific platform. The AI tool offers quick help with finding relevant resources and documentation to help you learn more about a topic, and its chat feature is a great way to learn more about Android development, best practices, and code suggestions. The fact that Studio Bot is currently free to use is another plus.
Cons of Android Studio Bot
Some Android Studio Bot cons include:
- Experimental stage
- Code accuracy
- Can increase coding time
Studio Bot is still in its early days, which can be negative for some users, so some features will likely need improvement and may not work as intended. As with all AI code suggestion software, you must take any answers with a grain of salt and double-check for accuracy. This extra work can keep you from saving time, although accuracy will surely improve in the future.
Pricing of Android Studio Bot
Since Studio Bot is a coding tool still in its experimental stages, it is currently free for developers to try. At the time of this writing, Studio Bot is only available in the United States.
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What to Look For in AI Tools
As the popularity of artificial intelligence increases, more AI programming tools are entering the market. To filter through the available results and find the ideal AI developer tool for your needs, first consider any costs involved, especially since many new tools are free to use on an experimental basis. Next, consider your software development needs. While some AI developer tools serve as code generators, others specialize in reviewing code. Others, meanwhile, offer the best of both worlds.
Once your needs are considered, review the features of each AI programming tool. Look for popular features like:
- Code completion
- Code reviews
- Privacy and security tools
- Function suggestions
- Code testing and unit testing
- Third-party integrations
- Language support for both programming languages and natural languages
In addition, make sure the AI tool has features to keep your intellectual property safe from prying eyes. Lastly, read reviews on the usability and interface of the AI tools in question, as you want them to enhance your productivity by saving time versus requiring a ton of effort and onboarding.
Final Thoughts on AI Tools for Developers
The AI tools in this list can make your life as a developer much easier. And while the functionality provided by today’s AI tools is impressive, you can bet that artificial intelligence capabilities will only get more advanced in the future.
Now that we have reviewed some popular options for AI tools for developers, you may wish to consider looking for other types of programmers tools to add to your toolbox. We have several roundup of coding software to help guide you: