Kotlin: A New Era in Android App Development

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Kotlin: A New Era in Android App Development

With Google now supporting Kotlin as a first-class Android app development language, is it time for you to consider it as your language of choice for your next project?

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For a long time, we have known and used Java as the primary language for Android app development. However, saying that it is the only, or rather, the best choice would be wrong. Despite the fact that it has marked its presence as a robust and an official language, it too comes with a different set of challenges which can prove to be a deterrent for developers.

With the growing technology, different JVM languages have started gaining the attention of developers, and it needs to be mentioned that Kotlin is leading this herd.

What is Kotlin?

This open source language is based on Java Virtual Machine (JVM). The statically typed programming language can also be compiled to JavaScript source code.


This new JVM language is the brainchild of the JetBrains programmers from Russia. We can take it as a clue to this that they have named the language after the name of an island located near their hometown St. Petersburg. This new language comes with top-rated Android Support Studio. All you need is to install the Kotlin Plugin and watch it make the configuration for your project.

Why Should You Consider Kotlin?

We all know that Java has become an old school language. In fact, it is one of the oldest programming languages. With a history as old as 22 years, Java has indeed availed numerous features to developers, eventually serving us with great Android applications. Developers have become well acquainted with the language. However, we can’t deny that being old has its own disadvantages from the programming standpoint.

This is where Kotlin enters with its set of benefits:

1. Less Coding

Kotlin has been designed in a way that it requires way less coding in comparison to Java. If we try to share this numerically, according to an estimate, it is around 20% less in comparison to Java. It basically reduces the amount of boilerplate coding, which earlier programmers had to write, subsequently making the execution better.

2. Interoperability

This is one of the main reasons behind the growing popularity of Kotlin. The language can co-exist with its elder sibling Java on the same project. In fact, once you compile your project using both the languages, it will be difficult for anyone to say which section is done using Kotlin and which one using Java. With this interoperability, Kotlin allows you to use its features and ease of operation without switching to a new project or changing the codes for the present project.

3. Ease of Learning

Like Android O, you don’t have to spend a lot of time to learn Kotlin. By investing a few hours in reading the language reference, you can have a grip on the language. Kotlin comes with an intuitive and lean syntax and is designed to create a gentle learning curve for Java developers.

4. No-Cost Adoption

Kotlin being an open source language, you don’t have to spend your precious money. You can start using this high-end language simply by using a Java-to-Kotlin converter tool to convert your existing Java files. The tool enables you to convert the complex codes to a simpler form without compromising the time and effort you save.

5. It's Safer

With Kotlin, you can avoid errors like NullPointExceptions. It allows you to avoid operating on nullable types, even mistakenly. This also includes the ones from Java. The compiler is designed to auto-cast mistakes, even if you have checked a type as right.

Being developed by JetBrains, the company that gave us IntelliJ, Kotlin comes with top-rated Android Studio Support. Kotlin is believed to take Android app development a step ahead. With its ease of learning, implication, and yes, the glitch-free security from exceptions, it is believed that Kotlin will soon catch eyes and will replace our traditional programming language on a massive scale.

android, java, kotlin, mobile, mobile app development

Published at DZone with permission of Ubaid Pisuwala , DZone MVB. See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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