The annual Google I/O conference is one of the most awaited ones, for the new tech surprises and announcements it heralds. This year too was no different, with Google announcing its first-class support for Kotlin as a key language for Android App Development.
More on Kotlin
Kotlin is basically a statically typed programming language that runs on Java Virtual Machine, like Java. Named after an island near St. Petersburgh, Russia, Kotlin has been developed by JetBrains, the same company that has developed tools like IntelliJ.
Java, along with C++ had so far been Google’s principle language for developing Android Apps. But, maybe not anymore, as here come Kotlin that is completely interoperable with Java. Starting with Android Studio 3.0, Kotlin will come included, so additional setup or installation will not be required for the Android developers.
Kotlin and Java
As a language, Kotlin is a lot similar to Java, like being statically typed and object-oriented. Being a new language, Kotlin comes loaded with lots of new features, cleaner syntax and more such enhancements which are not present in Java. On the other hand, Java is a very old language, more prone to errors, run time exceptions and is verbose.
Kotlin for Android App Development
Kotlin is an incredible language for developing Apps by Android App Development Company, as it is cutting edge and comes with a lot of features and functionalities that are not present in other programming languages like Java. There are many benefits for an Android App Development company to go with Kotlin, namely
- Speed and Performance – A Kotlin application with its support for an inline function, and similar bytecode structure, runs faster than the same code developed in Java.
- Compatibility – Kotlin is entirely compatible with JDK 6, which makes it run even on older Android devices without any issues.
- Interoperability – Kotlin is completely and seamlessly interoperable with Java, which means developers can use all the existing Android libraries in a Kotlin application. This interoperable feature is one of the major enticing factors for Android App Developers.
- More efficient – Kotlin takes 20% fewer lines of code than Java, which means fewer bugs, faster to develop and compile, and therefore lower costs. The best part is, there are no Null Pointer Extensions, which means no crashes. Moreover, Kotlin being Open Source means it is entirely free to use and develop.
- Easier to learn and adopt – For developers who are already familiar with Java, taking to Kotlin is easier, as the syntax is lean, intuitive, simple, and similar. The Java to Kotlin converter plugin is of great help when you get started.
Will Kotlin replace Java?
There are no two thoughts that Java is the Dad here. Java has been around for a very long time, as compared to Kotlin. While Java being extensively used my millions of developers till date, it is safe to assume that Java is here to stay for some more time. It may be a smart idea to combine and use Kotlin along with Java in the applications. Google has also clarified that Kotlin will only be an additional programming language, and is not a replacement for either Java or C++.
The Future of Kotlin
Google is tying up with JetBrains to create a nonprofit foundation to foster the Kotlin language. Kotlin is expected to run natively on other platforms like iOS and MacOS and compile on JS for web development. With a strong support and backing from the IT giant Google and commitment from JetBrains, Kotlin seems to have started with a firm footing and even may rule in the next few years.