Project IDX logo and mockup

Project IDX, Google's answer to GitHub Codespaces, is slowly onboarding developers

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Hugh DurkinAug 14, 2023

To say the Cloud IDE market has become saturated is the understatement of the decade. GitPod, Codesandbox, CodeAnywhere and Stackblitz are just some of the "indie" names in the market. GitHub's Codespaces, Microsoft's Visual Studio Code (spot the difference) and AWS Cloud9 are leading the charge from the "Big Tech" Platforms.

Maybe a rising tide lifts all boats, or maybe the IDE-anywhere opportunity is the next big Platform play in Developer-land, but Google have decided now is the time to throw their chips to the centre of the table with Project IDX.

Announced in early August, Project IDX is "An Experiment to Improve Full-stack, Multiplatform App Development" - so, it's yet another Cloud IDE built upon "Code OSS" (that's Visual Studio Code to you and me). Google are sprinkling some Googley-ness on top with the inclusion of Codey, a suite of models powering code generation, code completion, and code chat.

(It's tough to write content without a mention of generative AI these days, yet here we are again).

The combination of Google's generative AI mixed with Microsoft's (and GitHub's) mature developer environment sounds attractive on paper. Google are bundling cross-platform previews (primarily web, iOS and Android) and publishing to the web with Firebase hosting as the icing and cherries on top - very much an "aggregation" play rather than a uniquely innovative take on Cloud IDE. But an interesting prospect nonetheless.

Developers can join a waitlist to try it out at but there's not much of a wait - invites arrive within a couple of days, and all Google ask is for feedback from users through the magical medium of UserVoice.