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  • Introduction to Android App Development with Kotlin

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    I Studied Java during the time of school and since then the language has been in close association with me. It has always been the first love for most of the programmers but since now Kotlin has finally arrived would it mean that Java is dead or is it just a phase. Well, I can not talk about the credibility of Java in the future. Although, if you are an app developer or an app development company who caters Android, one thing I believe is that Android want us to code on Kotlin.


     

    Kotlin is now finally available in the Android studio and you can actually integrate it while you initiate your project. Previously, it could have been used but that required an additional plugin. But the question is do we need to use Kotlin when we are already well-versed with Java. What added benefits will the language bring to the table. Therefore, if you are an App Development company or an Android App Creator then below we have mentioned some added benefits of using Kotlin in place of Java.


     

    Extension Function


     

    Have you ever thought how easy it would be to define a function once and use it again and again. Well, this happens but for that, you have to define it independently. In Kotlin, you can make an extension function just like you are declaring or initializing a variable or making a statement. If you are still confused then follow the example below:


     

    fun Int.Add() = this + 10


     

    Print(10.Add())


     

    The output that you will get will be 20.


     

    High Order Function


     

    Initially, in Java, we were returning just pure values and variable although Kotlin gets you high order function. Using this functionality of Kotlin you will be capable of returning functions. High Order functions are those that can accept functions as parameters and are capable of returning functions(how cool is that). In order to get a better understanding follow the example below:


     

    Fun mathOps(Ops:(Int, Int) ->Int):Int {


     

    Return Ops(20,30)


     

    }


     

    mathsOps(Dig1,Dig2 -> Dig1 + Dig2)

    mathsOps(Dig1,Dig2 -> Dig1 - Dig2)


     

    The First Output that you will get would be 50 while the second one is going to be -10.


     

    Can Be Operated with Java


     

    It is really easy to use Java along with Kotlin. The new language gets you the ease you want with it. In Kotlin you can directly use your Java Code. If you wish to use any of the Kotlin Class in Java then all you have to do is make an object of the class and use it in your code, this is as simple as it sounds.


     

    Null Safety


     

    Most of the times the Java programmers have to face the problem of NPE or Null Pointer Exception. It is quite infamous and has been called “the Billion Dollar Mistake”. Although, Kotlin has come up with a solution. All the objects in Kotlin have been kept null safe by default. Therefore, for instance, if you are checking for a condition and the value of the assigned variable is null then it will move on to the next operation. Just in case if you want that to happen then you can always use the “!! Operator”.


     

    Safe Cast


     

    This is by far the coolest feature I personally feel Kotlin has. By using this feature you can actually perform mathematical functions on a String(at least some functions). The previous statement may be a bit incorrect although you may have seen that in order to perform certain operations we have to typecast our variable. Although, in Kotlin that happens automatically, therefore, all you have to do is just make your program and let it be. For instance:


     

    val stat:Any = "Hello"

    when(stat) {

      is String -> stat.length

      is Int -> stat.inc()

    }


     

    Here stat is being treated both as a string as well as an integer. Although, in order to use it efficiently, you have to use the “is” Operator. Also, this feature of Kotlin will only work if the variable is local or it is private or internal.


     

    No Need for Function Overload


     

    Yes, you won’t be needing Function Overload to initialize different parameter.

    Now you can declare the variable along with its data type in the parameter when the definition of the function starts. This will allow you to pass the value to any parameter very easily, all you have to do is use the name of datatype mentioned before and assign value to it. For better understanding do check out the example below.


     

    fun funkyArguments( Num: Int, Str: String=”Cool”){

    }


     

    funkyArguments(10, “Cool Stuff”)

    funkyArguments(100)

    funkyArguments(Str=”Uber Cool Stuff”, Num=101)


     

    Return Multiple Values from a Function


     

    Initially whenever we use to perform an operation within the function then the number of value that can be returned were limited to one. Although, not now since now with Kotlin the Scenario has changed, now you can send more than one values.


     

    Data Class

    Java started the concept of Model class and it was pretty efficient although, in order to make one, you had to use getters and setters. Although, with Kotlin all you have to do is just place the data in front of class keyword and that defines your class(that’s it).


     

    findViewById() is Finally Gone !!!


     

    Well, the good news is that they have a Kotlin Extension that comes with the system. Therefore, whenever you’ll be required to add anything now from the resources then you don’t have to go through all this.


    So this was our introduction to the Android App Development with Kotlin. If you are one of the App Creators or an App Development Company then I believe you may have found this article useful. 

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