Android is one of the world’s most popular operating systems for everything from 5G mobile devices to mobile apps to touchscreen smartphones and tablets. The open-source, Linux-based software is used by Google to power over 2.5 billion devices worldwide, accounting for over 80% of smartphone sales. This translates to a growing market for Android-based applications in a diverse range of industries and business verticals. To top that, Google has always been popular for introducing developer-friendly Google Play Store policies.When it comes to creating Android apps, the choice of a programmer is paramount to the success of any business.
Kotlin is a relatively new programming language for Android development and is slowly climbing the charts to become one of the most favoured programming languages. Known for being much more concise and expressive, Kotlin helps alleviate some of Java’s drawbacks. Let’s learn more about it:
What is Kotlin?
Kotlin is a cross platform, advanced, and modern programming language with type interface. It is a general purpose programming language for Android development that is fortified with type interface.
It is designed in a manner that makes it inter operate completely with Java. It has a JVM version of standard library that can be used for browser, Native, and Android development as it combines object-oriented and functional programming features.
Kotlin was unveiled by JetBrains in 2011 and was launched as a new language from the JVM. The most talked about feature of Kotlin app development is the ease and speed with which it is able to compile the code.
Advantages of Using Kotlin
Businesses prefer to hire Kotlin developers in order to create winning apps that sit well with their intended audience. A number of advantages of Kotlin are prompting them to choose it:
- Improved Efficiency
With a concise and intuitive syntax, Kotlin provides an increase in the efficiency of the working team. Fewer code lines and less time are required to write and deploy a program. As a result, the business is able to get the app developed quickly.
- 100 Percent Java-Interoperable Programming Language
Simply put, Java methods can be called from Kotlin. This feature is beneficial not only for the developers but also for the companies that have a large Java code base.
- Ease of Maintenance
Kotlin for Android developers is easy to maintain with the support of a large number of IDEs, which includes Android studio and several other SDKs. Additionally, developers at Kotlin app development companies can work with any toolkit that they are comfortable with.
The latest version of Kotlin is reversely compatible with all the previous versions. This resolves the biggest pain point of Android developers – dealing with multiple versions.
- Easy to Learn
Kotlin app development aspirants can learn Kotlin more easily as compared to Java because it doesn’t require any prior mobile app development knowledge.
- Android Studio Support
Android Studio provides extended support and adaptation tools. Developers can work simultaneously on both the languages.
Kotlin VS Java for Android App Development
1. Kotlin is Much More Concise than Java:
This is undoubtedly one of the biggest advantages of Kotlin over Java. A developer can solve the same problem with fewer lines of code in Kotlin.
2. Safer Way to Code:
Safer means that in Kotlin you’ll have a fewer crashes. The biggest reason for an app crashing is due to the Null-Pointer-Exception and Kotlin handles these exceptions very smartly while Java is still unable to deal with it.
3. Strong Compiler:
Kotlin is a modern-day programming language and it got a head start in terms of already knowing the various issues that other languages were facing. That is why it has a very strong compiler that can detect most exceptions at compile time, not run-time.
4. Interoperability with Java:
One of the most useful advantages of Kotlin app development is that Kotlin is interoperable with Java, meaning that Kotlin and Java code can be used in the same project and the developer can easily call a Java method or classes from the Kotlin code.
5. Improved Productivity:
Kotlin works on the principle of “brevity is better”. A developer needs not write long lines of code to get a job done.
6. Easy Maintenance:
It takes a lot of time and effort to maintain code readability and its performance and also, over time, it becomes necessary to update the software due to changes in demand and failures in software. Kotlin helps better in this regard.
Kotlin vs. Flutter for Android App Development
1. UI Experience
Kotlin enables developers to have better control over the execution, conduct, and appearance of the app. Kotlin does not put any restrictions or pre-conceived guidelines—thereby empowering developers to utilize local widgets and libraries. This makes it quite similar to native app development.
With Flutter, it is possible to use the same language for the front-end and backend. It has got better speed and higher performance. However, when compared to Kotlin, it suffers from lags. Since Kotlin code is compiled in the same format as that of the platform it is intended for, it is much faster. This feature makes Kotlin a very robust programming language that ensures better performance.
3. Framework Popularity
Flutter and Kotlin being open source programming languages are widely utilized across the world for cross-platform app development. Kotlin is among the top-10 wanted programming languages among developers worldwide as of early 2020 and is much ahead of its counterparts, including Flutter.
4. Integration with Third-Party Libraries and Tools
Kotlin works within the ecosystem of the native platform instead of having its own. It enables app developers to deploy the same libraries and third-party tools that they were using while natively developing apps. It additionally gives developers the advantage of not looking for tools and libraries to connect with the native environment. In the case of Flutter SDK—it allows the calling of platform-certain APIs as available in iOS and Android languages such as Swift, Objective C, and Java. These platform-specific languages are not dependent on code generation but make use of flexible messaging.
Kotlin is the clear winner in the race for the title of best programming language for Android apps. It has come a long way in a short span of time and is quickly emerging as the most popular choice among developers.
Summary: Kotlin is a relatively new programming language for Android development and is slowly climbing the charts to become one of the most favoured programming languages. Known for being much more concise and expressive, Kotlin helps alleviate some of the drawbacks of Java as well as Flutter.