Although Java is the most widely used language for Android & ios app development, it is not always the best option. Java is out of date, verbose, prone to errors, and has been slow to modernise. Kotlin is a worthy substitute. OpenJDK developers are beginning to bridge the gap with Java 8, but Android does not use all of Java 8’s features. Developers are still trapped in the old Java 7 and 6 worlds, and this is unlikely to change in the near future. This is where Kotlin comes into play: This relatively new open-source language, which is based on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM), is gaining popularity among Android software engineers.
What’s the problem with Java?
You’ve most likely been using Java for years (if not decades), so you’re very familiar with it. You know the language from head to toe, and you also know a few undocumented things that only veterans with years of experience have come across. There are some third-party tools for backporting some of these features, such as RetroLambda, Streams backport, and ThreeTenABP, but they are time-consuming.
Android Nougat also made an audacious attempt to support some Java 8 features via the Jack compiler, but most of them are only usable if you target minSdkVersion 24 – which you should avoid given how slow Android version updates have become.
Kotlin comes to the rescue
The Kotlin mobile app development community is expanding. Google recognized Kotlin by making it the second official language of Android app development in 2017. Since then, demand for the programming language has skyrocketed in both the developer and enterprise communities. Google has announced that Kotlin is now its preferred language for Android app developers, demonstrating that the language is a pragmatic, modern, and intuitive programming language.
Java isn’t the only language that can be used to create Android apps. Aside from Java, the most widely supported JVM language in the Android ecosystem is Kotlin, an open-source, statically typed language developed by JetBrains.
JetBrains developed IntelliJ IDEA, one of the most popular IDEs, as well as Android Studio, which Google designated as the standard IDE for Android development. It recognized the difficulties that developers face in their day-to-day development workflow, and with Kotlin, it attempted to address those issues. JetBrains uses Kotlin in production to develop its own products, so the language is unlikely to be abandoned abruptly.
Kotlin takes a pragmatic approach by not including features like its own build system or package manager because open source tools like Gradle and Maven handle this well. Having its own build system would have caused problems for projects that already use Gradle and Maven.
Another sensible approach for Kotlin was to avoid re-implementing the entire Java collections framework. That would have been simple, but the creators also wanted Kotlin to be compatible with the JDK collection interfaces without causing any problems with existing project implementations.
Definition of Kotlin:
Kotlin’s primary goal is to enable mixed-language projects. Kotlin also introduces better syntax, as well as shorter expressions and abstractions. Using Kotlin with Java reduces boilerplate code, which is a huge benefit for Android developers.
The Advantages of Using Kotlin for Business
Project Timelines Have Been Reduced
Because of Kotlin’s brevity, the language can solve more problems with fewer lines of code. The concise nature of Kotlin allows developers to read and modify code more efficiently, potentially reducing project time-to-market.
Fewer application crashes
Again, when compared to Java programmes, Kotlin products use fewer lines of code. Not only does less code reduce development time, but it also supports maintenance requirements. There is less surface area for bugs to hide, and the improved readability of the language aids developers in locating bugs, resulting in fewer crashes and system failures.
Making the Transition from Java to Kotlin
When deciding whether Kotlin is the right language for your mobile product, keep two things in mind. First, ensure that your product team is prepared to make the switch. A learning curve is introduced when you introduce a new language, rewrite, and optimise your project. It is critical to ensure that your team is prepared to adapt to any challenges that may arise during the learning process. It is also critical to consider how the switch will affect your existing architecture. Changing programming languages can result in the deletion, creation, or merger of specific artefacts and classes. As a result, the architecture of your product may be harmed.
Kotlin is rapidly establishing itself as a superior programming language for mobile app development and android app development, providing developers with a plethora of opportunities to experiment with modern programming. Overall, Kotlin is raising the bar for what a programming language should be capable of.