Are you planning to design a digital product on an Android platform? Kotlin for Android development is one of the key trends emerging in app development fields. Android app developers trust this advanced programming language for developing both mobile and web applications. Kotlin for Android development saves time in the development process with its concise and intuitive syntax ensuring code safety.
What is Kotlin Programming Language?
When it comes to choosing an open-source, easy-to-read programming language, Android developers are rooting for Kotlin. What is the exact reason for this widespread popularity of Kotlin programming language? Kotlin makes the process of app development fast, secure and easy with its short, simple, and safe coding, compatibility with other programming languages, and seamless integration in the Android platform.
In this post, we will discuss how Kotlin can assist and benefit you in integrating a seamless platform for Android apps development, its features, the future, and what makes it a better programming language than Java. So, without further ado, let’s get to know more about Kotlin.
Purposes Solved by Kotlin
JetBrains released Kotlin in 2016 with the prime objective of making it a language that a developer can use in any part of a software system. In 2017, Google announced Kotlin’s first-class support for Android app development.
Let’s understand the various purposes of Kotlin programing language:
- You can put Kotlin together with Java Virtual Machine to make this open-source language available for all areas where Java is commonly utilized. In particular, you can use it on the backend process.
- Kotlin is professionally crafted to perform flawlessly in web development and server-side development processes as well.
- Kotlin supports multi-platform programming helping in reducing time writing codes and maintaining the same syntax for multiple platforms without disturbing the regular flow.
- With Kotlin, you can build an app’s user interface without limiting yourself to any restrictions. Therefore the app’s appearance, behavior, and performance stay native. The native user interface offers an excellent user-experience to your customers.
Platforms Targeted by Kotlin
The platforms supported by Kotlin where for each one there’s statically typed open-source programming language offering target presets are mentioned below:
- Android Applications and Libraries
- Android NDK
Kotlin Libraries Helping Developers Make The Right Decision
Reasons why Kotlin is becoming a fast-growing and preferred language among developers:
- Compact and concise syntax
- Single type system
- Safety from null reference
- Data classes
- Functional programming
- Android extensions
- Operator overloading
- Scope functions
Kotlin core libraries have made this language feature-rich and app development with Kotlin is an extraordinary journey for developers.
The two core libraries of Kotlin are – standard library and Kotlin.test library. Building a performant Android application is becoming easier with assistance from Kotlin libraries.
Kotlin’s Standard Library and Kotlin.test Library Offering Advanced App Development Process
The standard library helps in every essential aspect of regular tasks with Kotlin in an app development project. These tasks include:
- Advanced functions applying idiomatic patterns, like let, use, synchronized, etc.
- Extension functions delivering query tasks for sequences and collections.
- Multiple usefulness for operating with strings and char sequences.
- Extensions for Java Development Kit (JDK) classes, making it suitable to work with files, streams, and threading.
Kotlin.test library helps in testing different Kotlin projects at multiple steps. Its usefulness include:
- Giving annotations to signify test functions and a series of utility functions to implement assertions in tests, separately based on the test framework being utilized.
- Helping the test framework be extracted through the Assert class.
- Offering out-of-the-box assistance to basic test asserter execution and annotation implemented for various testing frameworks, such as Mocha, Jasmine, Jest, etc.
- Giving developers a chance to switch on a custom unit testing framework in an innovative way.
Kotlin vs Java – What to Choose?
Mobile application development with Kotlin programming language is becoming popular amongst developers. Google has considered Kotlin as the preferred language for Android app developers. Java was launched before Kotlin, hence, developers have used Java more than Kotlin. Due to usability, tools, and framework, Kotlin is gaining steady recognition, and soon, it will dominate the Android development industry. Kotlin vs java has a wide perspective of differences. Major reasons why mobile application developers are preferring Kotlin over Java are:
Kotlin Puts an End to Null References
Null Pointer Exception usually occurs in Java programs when an application attempts to utilize a particular object reference having a null value. The primary reason for choosing Kotlin over Java is its ability to eliminate the occurrence of null references. Kotlin’s type system is designed to differentiate between references assigned to null objects and those that cannot. Thus, it can easily put an end to the jeopardy caused by null references from the code, eliminating the possibility of system crashes or application failure.
Kotlin is Easier to Read
Java has less compact coding than Kotlin and with every new release, Java supports features from the earlier versions. Hence, increasing the number of codes to write, resulting in the missing of layered software architecture patterns and a more complex programming process. Whereas, developers from an Object-oriented programming domain can easily understand Kotlin’s simple and concise syntax.
Kotlin Makes Programs Concise & Streamlined
Kotlin being easier to read and write than Java, developers can solve the same problems in programs using more concise syntax, making the language easier to debug. Its shorter code and well-organized IDE help to streamline the programming process more efficiently.
Kotlin is Compatible with Java
Kotlin’s compatibility with Java can easily assist in interchanging and utilizing information from Java. Many Java libraries and frameworks can be utilized in Kotlin projects. A developer can code in Kotlin inside a Java project without converting the complete project into Kotlin. This makes project coding and management easier, less time-consuming, and more advanced.
Kotlin is Easier to Maintain and Provides Better Support
Kotlin’s functionalities and abilities to support various IDEs assist developers to choose tried and tested development tools and maintain a program codebase. Moreover, Kotlin provides better support at functional programming than Java. With Kotlin, developers can improve an app’s performance through inlining. They can also move between multiple functional concepts in a precise way.
Kotlin for Android App Development: Why is it Preferred Language for Android App Development?
1 Open-source Programming Language
The project of launching Kotlin started in 2010 and it was open-source from very early on. Its source code can be customized as per the individual app’s requirement. You can explore and constantly observe how Kotlin works, which helps you to find and fix bugs in the programming code with immediate effect. You can try and test Kotlin multiple times free of cost before the actual implementation.
2 Easy to Set Up
Ever since the launch of Android Studio’s latest version, it supports Kotlin, and therefore, the app development process is simpler for developers. They don’t have to use an additional plugin to add Kotlin in an Android app development project. By simply checking the “Include Kotlin Support” box in Android Studio while configuring a new project layout will be enough.
3 Easy to Learn
Another reason to prefer this language for Android app development is whether a developer is a beginner or a pro, learning this language, understanding its code, and writing syntaxes with it is easy for all developers.
4 Compatible with Java
Kotlin’s complete interoperability with Java can make the cross platform app development process a lot easier and quicker for you. Using both language codes simultaneously or calling one code from another in the same project is possible and that too without disturbing the ongoing performance flow. All you need to do is add necessary frameworks and additional tools to run both Kotlin and Java code.
5 Great IDE Support
Kotlin offers ample support and multiple contributors in its fast-developing worldwide community. Its vast array of community libraries are bringing help within your reach. You can consult the community resources or enquire anything directly from the Kotlin team whenever needed.
6 Minimizes Code
Developing software that requires long and repetitive codes are now obsolete. As Kotlin comes with easy, short, and streamlined syntax, minimizing the boilerplate code in Android application development. Consequently, the implementation process also speeds up.
7 Safe and Reliable
Kotlin reduces the null reference exception and the possibility of system failures and crashes. You can write robust code with Kotlin and make your application secure. Other than safety, you have another reason to rely on this programming language – it is supported by authorized resources.
In a nutshell, being an Android developer, you will find your job a lot easier and streamlined with Kotlin. Let’s discuss the main benefits your business can get by switching to Kotlin.
The Major Benefits of Switching to Kotlin
Your organization can seamlessly switch to Kotlin, boost productivity, and have vast community support. The major benefits of switching to Kotlin for Android app development are below:
The Future of Kotlin
Kotlin is a fast-growing open-source programming language with a bright future. Switching to Kotlin for Android app development is an important step for businesses because it eases developers’ challenges with their speed, flexibility, precision, and safety.
Kotlin is already well recognized by renowned companies, like Pinterest, Basecamp, Coursera, etc. In fact, according to a survey, Kotlin is the most used programming language. Around 7-8% of developers around the world use it. Also, 2% of software developers have used Koltin as a cross platform app development framework. The main reasons for which Kotlin is here to stay are listed below:
Kotlin is an efficient programming language for Android app development due to its multiple useful features. It comes with IDE support, which is an added advantage.
Kotlin has an easy-to-understand and streamlined syntax assisting developers to spend less time writing codes. The possibility of making mistakes reduces and developers take less time for the same output of a task. Thus, a safe and high-caliber app can be developed in a faster way.
Cost-efficiency is another important element for its growing popularity and future. It makes the app development process faster and more efficient but also reduces maintenance costs.
With more developers giving positive feedback about Kotlin, the more its usability will improve. It is specially designed to fit developers’ requirements, focussing on Android development, and Kotlin android extensions. Thus, more organizations are starting to use Kotlin programming language for their Android projects.
Kotlin’s compatibility with Java is the main reason why small and large businesses are adopting this open-source programming language globally. It is a developer-friendly programming language, enabling developers with up-to-the-minute solutions to common and regular problems. What are you waiting for? Choose Kotlin to build world-class Android applications and use the expertise, proficiency, and experience of the right consultants to make the most of it!
Pritam Barhate, with an experience of 12+ years in technology, heads Technology Innovation at Mobisoft Infotech. He has a rich experience in design and has been a consultant for a variety of industries and startups. At Mobisoft Infotech, he primarily focuses on technology resources and develops the most advanced solutions.