Will Kotlin bring a revolutionary change in android app development?

Businesses planning to develop an android app face many challenges. Especially, in terms of selecting which technology to use for developing the best android app.

People with technical knowledge have the confusion of Kotlin vs Java. For those who are unaware of both the words; Kotlin and Java are two programming languages for Android app development.

Ever since Google introduced Kotlin as their second official programming language for Android app development, the battle of Java vs Kotlin has become more fierce!

In addition, top companies like Pinterest, Evernote, Uber, Trello, Postmates, Corda, and many more have converted their Android apps from java to Kotlin. This, in turn, has generated curiosity among developers.

Are you curious to know which language for android app development will help you garner the best android app performance?

Don’t worry! By the end of the article, you will come to know which one is better: Kotlin or java?

And many other questions like;

  • How does Kotlin compare to Java?
  • What android developers prefer using: Java or Kotlin?
  • Is it better to learn Java and Kotlin?
  • Should I learn Kotlin before Java for Android development?
  • Should I convert Java to Kotlin?
  • Is it a good idea to go back and convert Kotlin to Java?

And some of the most asked questions on Google such as;

Applications on the Android operating system(OS) are mostly written in what programming language?

In what languages are Android apps written?

The Article Covers

  • What is Kotlin? ( I presume you know Java)
  • What Makes Kotlin Different than Java?
  • Comparison between Kotlin and Java
  • Where is Java Still Leading?

What Is Kotlin?

In simple terms, Kotlin can build an application in a better way that can run on Java with lower headaches. Kotlin is a programming language that facilitates developers to build apps within less time by making a great app.

Kotlin is an statically typed object-oriented programming language developed by JetBrains. It comes with interoperability with Java, conciseness, and Android studio support.

I have heard someone describe Kotlin as a “Java light”.

Most probably, because of Kotlin‘s resemblance with Java.

In fact, Kotlin utilizes java machine in your device to run a finished app with less frustration. It requires Java to be installed on your computer or phone or whatever the devices. Even you can use Java and Kotlin simultaneously in an application.

Enough of introduction, now let’s move on to what differs Kotlin with Java?

Where Kotlin is better than Java?

Developers have mixed opinion about Kotlin vs Java.

But here are some point where they agree on why use Kotlin than Java.

Declaring a data types can be cumbersome and tedious but here Kotlin gives you a solution in the form of aggressive type inference.

It can tell developers which kind of data a function is using by looking the rest of the code and how it is being utilized. It prevents developers from unnecessarily declaring the type of expression and values in their code.

We all know how it takes years to get mastery over Java and its syntax. On the contrary, it’s not in the case of Kotlin. Kotlin’s syntax is not as complex as Java.

Writing code in Kotlin is simple than in Java. It uses the best idea from the programming languages that existed before.

Ultimately, reading and understanding the code is simple and debugging takes less time.

Kotlin allows developers to define functions and static objects without using redundant classes.

Developers easily can define objects and functions in a single place. It will make it a lot easier to read and debug the code.

In the end, the code written in Kotlin is friendly, faster and easier than Java.

Kotlin vs Java Comparison

Kotlin vs Java: Comparison

Now that you have come to know what is Kotlin, let us differentiate Kotlin and Java in terms of functionality.

Kotlin vs Java: Popularity

When Google launched its first stable release in 2016, Kotlin’s market share grew to 4.28% by May 2017. In addition, Kotlin is now used by 7.8% of industry experts.

Google found kotlin as the best programming language for android app developers.

Whereas Java’s popularity still is at a peak. TIOBE Index for Java is the latest proof of Java being the most popular android programming language.

Java vs Kotlin: Android Studio Support

When it comes to Java, Android doesn’t support a full range of java functionaries. Though android supports Java 7 wholly, it supports a subset of Java 8 features.

Whereas, Kotlin Proves to be effective when it comes to android studio support. So in terms of supporting a full range of capabilities, you can undoubtedly Plunge with Kotlin. If you are planning to build multiple apps in the future, Kotlin is a perfect choice.

Kotlin vs Java: Handling “Null” Capacity

While you are using Java you can assign “Null’ to any variable. It comes in the form of a challenge when you utilize object reference with null values because you get a NullPointerException.

Here in Kotlin, it comes as one of the biggest advantages. In Kotlin, No “type” can have null by default. If developers want to hold null in the “nullable“ variable, it has to be explicitly defined. Which eliminates “NullPointerException”

Java vs Kotlin: Tackling Long Run Network I/O or CPU-intensive Tasks

Java lets multi-threading in the background but it’s complex. A thread involving long-running I/O or CPU-intensive operations.

Whereas in Kotlin, a developer can run multiple threads. It supports coroutines. These things nullify the execution at a certain level without blocking any thread.

Hence Kotlin has a leading edge over Java with respect to handling long-running network I/o or CPU- intensive tasks.

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Kotlin vs Java: Development Cost

Kotlin was one of the most popular and lucrative skills at the end of 2018. the average salary of Kotlin developers is around $140 per annum.

As the demand for Android app development is growing, the need for proficient Kotlin developers is also enhancing. Hence, you should make yourself ready to prepare for a longer time and higher manpower.

In comparison, hiring costs for Java developers are more affordable than Kotlin. Because there are enough developers you can bargain with according to your project requirements.

Java vs Kotlin: Creating More Complex Products

If your goal is to create a more complex product at a larger scale, Java is still a better choice, and features of Java support it because Java is more mature than Kotlin.

On the other hand, if only android development is the main objective, then you should definitely head for Kotlin due to its productivity advantage and support of Google.

Kotlin vs Java: Performance and Compile Speed

JetBrains have claimed Kotlin’s performance is best than Java because of its speed. Kotlin has support for inline functions that let code using lambdas run even faster than the same code written in Java.

Moreover, Java compiles 10-15% faster for clean builds. However, in terms of compilation, Kotlin shows identical or slightly greater results.

Where is Java Still Leading?

Kotlin may be new, and instantly became eye-candy for developers but Java still has some advantages over Kotlin apart from its maturity. And still, many developers prefer Java for Android development.

These things are not available in Kotlin

  • Static members
  • Wildcard-types
  • Non-private fields
  • Checked exceptions
  • Primitive types
  • Ternary-operators a?b:c

Concluding Kotlin vs Java

Making a decision for choosing the best programming language can be a tricky job. Java and Kotlin both have their strong points. Hence, deciding the right one for you will require considering a long term strategic aspects of both platforms.

You can’t overlook the fact that Google itself is moving away from Java. But on the other hand, Java has been with developers for a long time as a friend.

Both can coexist with each other in one project because of their resemblance of the structure.

Are you confused to start developing android apps and can’t decide on Kotlin vs Java?

Are you double-minded on making a decision about whether to hire Kotlin developer or hire a Java developer?

Contact us to have a helping hand in deciding best for your app development.

Paresh Sagar

Article By

Paresh Sagar

The CEO of Excellent WebWorld and a digital marketing expert. Paresh loves to experiment with new techniques and strategies. The posts written by Paresh are awesome for businesses who are seeking for marketing ideas.