Java is the most widely used language for Android development, however that doesn’t mean it is consistently the best choice. Java is old, error-prone, and has been slow to modernize. Kotlin is a better alternative. OpenJDK developers are starting to cross over any barrier with Java 8, however Android doesn’t use every feature of Java 8. Developers are still stuck in the old Java 7 and 6 worlds, and that won’t improve much in the near future. Here the Kotlin comes in: This new open source language, based on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM).
There are other JVM languages you could attempt to use on Android, however Kotlin offers integrations with Android Studio, Google’s primary IDE for Android, that no language, has, other than Java. Here’s why now is the time to start using this modern, advanced, pragmatic language for your Android development projects.
Reasons to use Kotlin for android development-
1. Language and environment are mature-
Unlike languages like Swift, the Kotlin release has gone through numerous stages before releasing the final 1.0 release. This implies there are hardly any issues when working with Kotlin, everything works as you would expect. The IDE plugin works easily, and allows a significant number of the features that you love and use in Java. Therefore, working with Kotlin is great in that sense. It’s interesting to know that before its last version, the language spent several years in alpha and afterward in beta. And, that even before the beta came out, there were people using it in real projects.
2. It makes Android development much easier-
Kotlin is simplicity with power, so you have a new world of possibilities in case you’re coming from Java that you couldn’t think. We genuinely believe it’s the only viable option to Java for developing great applications on Android. Different options, for example, Scala are tremendously heavy, and compilation times and tools can’t be compared. Compilation times in Kotlin today are like Java (in certain tests it appeared to be significantly faster), and the library required to write Kotlin Apps is extremely small, so it won’t increase your method count that much.
3. It’s seamlessly integrated with Android Studio-
It might sound senseless, yet everything working so pleasant since first moment is an advantage. You’ve just observed it if you’ve tried, however you can have a Kotlin project set up and ready to work in less than 10 minutes with no issues, regardless of whether you know nothing about Kotlin. With Android 2.3 you simply need to install a plugin, and in 3.0 the entire process will be consistently integrated. Furthermore, from that point everything works simply like if you were working with Java: you can run from the IDE, debug without issues, do refactors, use instant run. Everything you can imagine is still there and can be utilized.
4. Its evolution is well covered-
Jetbrains is the organization behind Kotlin. They are using it in their own projects, so they’re more than interested in further developing it. Likewise, specifically discussing Android, now with Google support, we have two huge organizations working together to bring the best language and tools to our development environment. From features like Kotlin Android Extensions, to libraries like Anko, continuous library size optimizations and build times, everything shows that Jetbrains is putting a lot of effort into Android.
5. It’s much safer than Java-
In reality most of developers are truly disappointed, because it’s a major issue in the design of the language itself. We won’t deny that today we have tools like annotations, or some design patterns, that can help us avoid part of them. But as usual, the amount of extra work needed is an issue in time and money. In any case, we can’t just discuss about nulls. The entire amount of code we save on Kotlin returns to:
- Less errors: If there is less code,less chances of errors, and therefore becomes more stable.
- When the compiler helps you to detect those errors at compile time, they never happen on runtime .
- The code is easier to understand when another person understands it and, again, it’s more difficult to introduce errors.
- It’s more clear what the code does (and not how), since we avoid any standard that only serve to overcome the lacks of the language.
Definitely, it translates into more work done in less time, more stability, and less time spent in fixing bugs.
6. Kotlin is multi-platform-
It was first created with JVM in mind, so it can virtually be used on any devices that can run the JVM. But, in Kotlin 1.1, Kotlin JS was finally released, so you can also do front-end development using Kotlin. Also you’re able to write your Gradle files in It.
7. It’s very easy to learn-
Best advantages of Kotlin is that a Java developer can understand the greater part of the code without ever having written a line of Kotlin. This is because Jetbrains users were worried that the transition from Java was simple, with a language that closely looks like to what you already know. Because of the simplicity of the language and the help of the IDE and the compiler, you can deal with the basics of the language really fast. From that point, the only more complex part is to understand the concepts that Java lacks, instead of the Kotlin syntax itself. I don’t think anyone needs more than 15 days to feel comfortable writing code in it.
Kotlin is a friendly language to start with and extremely interesting. It will spread your mind and make you think different and, most importantly, it’s ready to be used in. Also, it’s now an official language for Android development! You can compare Kotlin with Java at- Kotlin vs Java and Kotlin with React native at- Kotlin vs React Native.
If you’re still confused to choose Kotlin for development, you can consult with Solace Experts team. Well experienced experts are here to help you for choosing the best platform for android development. Develop your best software with Solace for better performance.