Coding for your Arduino got loads better with the new Arduino IDE 2.0

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Arduino recently announced the release of its new IDE 2.0 (beta) software. It is now available for download on their website. For many people, Arduino IDE might be the first time they’ve coded, thanks to the platform being beginner-friendly. The previous version was simple to understand and use. But it was missing lots of features that an experienced user might appreciate.

The IDE 1.0 was not exactly cutting edge. Thus for more complex programs, users frequently ended up relying on other paid software like Visual Studio. Here, one had to bounce back and forth between VS code and Arduino IDE, which was annoying and cuts productivity. Thus a lot of people moved to PlatformIO IDE, and this caused splitting in the Arduino community.

These issues and more were addressed in this latest update. And now, the Arduino IDE 2.0(beta) feels like a complete package that is comfortable for both novice and advanced users.

So, What’s New in this IDE?

Arduino IDE debug

The biggest update comes in the form of a live Debugger. It will work with some boards or would require a debugging probe like a J-link. The missing must-have features in the previous version now finally come as standard. It vastly improves the user experience. Some new features include navigation shortcuts, code indentation, Block folding, Auto closing brackets. Also now while writing, the editor suggests the autocompletion of functions depending upon the types of libraries you’ve included.

The new library manager is also quick to access, unlike the previous version where it took forever to load. The IDE now also boasts faster compilation time.

Is it all good with Arduino IDE 2.0?

There are a few niggles here and there. Pop-up information can sometimes obscure the text you want to edit. Opening a new instance, e.g., starting a new project, takes more time now. Also, the serial plotter seems to be missing.

The Arduino platform has always been a popular choice of many young developers who use them in their school or college projects. It is due to Arduino’s reasonable prices and easy availability. But when debugging tools like J-links cost a fortune and the few boards that do support debugging like Arduino Zero have limited use, some new features are out of reach from this large demographic. Also, when one of the most popular boards, Arduino UNO doesn’t even support debugging, then this feature comes across as a gimmick.

But the biggest drawback to this IDE 2.0 is that it is still in the beta phase as of this moment. It can give upload errors and might suddenly crash and stop working sometimes. For now, UNO users are better off sticking to the older version, until these minor issues are ironed out.

Overall, the Arduino IDE 2.0 has now become a much quicker, responsive, modern, nicer-looking editor and is a welcome upgrade from the Arduino Team.

All Images and technical information are taken from Arduino’s official blogpost

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