If you are an Android app developer, you probably know that Java has been the most popular programming language ruling this arena over the years. However, with the introduction of Kotlin by Google in its I/O conference 2017, developers have got another alternative for developing Android apps. This has made business users sceptical about the persistence of Java; the language loved by most developers across the world. Here are the major reasons that make an Android app development company opt for Kotlin over Java.
Kotlin is a mature language with a mature environment
Before the final release of Kotlin 1.0 version, it has been through alpha and beta versions for many years and has been used in real projects even before the beta version was released. Thus, the environment is refined to such an extent that everything works smoothly as expected. Moreover, the IDE plugin works smoothly with it and allows many of the features that developers use in Java.
JetBrains is continuously evolving Kotlin
JetBrains, the company behind Kotlin, is using it for their own projects as well and is continuously developing it further. Especially for Android, with Google support, now Kotlin has two big companies working together to make it emerge as the best language and tools for a development environment. Certain features upgraded by JetBrains include Kotlin Android Extensions, libraries like Anko, regular library size optimizations and build times.
Kotlin makes Android app development much easier
After working with Java, you can explore a whole new world of possibilities with Kotlin due to its simplicity and power. This allows development of great apps on Android as the library needed to write Kotlin apps is very small and the compilation times are similar to Java (or faster). The compilation times and tools of other alternatives like Scala can’t be compared as they are extremely heavy.
Kotlin integrates seamlessly with Android Studio
Even if you are a beginner working with Kotlin, you can plunge into Kotlin easily as it takes less than 10 minutes to set up the project and make it ready to work since the first minute without any problems. Kotlin seamlessly integrates with Android 3.0, though there is need to install a plugin with Android 2.3. After integration, everything works as if working with Java - you can use the instant run and run your programs from the IDE, do refractors, debug without issues, and much more.
Kotlin is very easy to learn and fun to use
For a Java developer, it is easy to understand most of the Kotlin code without ever having written a line of Kotlin. The reason is that while developing Kotlin, people at JetBrains were highly concerned about making the transition from Java simple by making it closely resemble the already known language. The basics of Kotlin can be handled really fast with the help of IDE and compiler and the simplicity of the language. The developers only need to understand the concepts that are lacking in Java, and this hardly takes more than two weeks.
Moreover, some developers actually find Java boring due to its feature limitations and enjoy Kotlin as it widens the world of possibilities for being creative to solve the same problem in multiple ways, though this aspect is very subjective.
Kotlin provides the modern option for recycling Android apps
You need to upgrade Android apps and Kotlin, being a modern language provides you with the best options for Java has become too old now, working with Java 6 makes you an obsolete programmer. So, you need to switch to Kotlin and increase your versatility as a developer. All the data structures and concepts used in different languages may be with different names, are similar for all languages. So, all you need to do is to map the conversion from one language to another, and then you can move with ease.
Kotlin involves less coding, less time, and is thus safer than Java
If you are a Java developer, you are sure to be frustrated with the NullPointerException, that takes a lot of extra work and time and is a major problem in the design of the language itself. Even tools such as annotations and some design patterns available for the same cannot help us avoid these. And it's not only about nulls, but the less coding needed with Kotlin also decreases the chances of failure of the code, thereby making it less error-prone, easy to understand, and stable. As this significantly decreases the time spent on fixing bugs, more work is done in less time.
Kotlin is multi-platform
Using Kotlin for developing Android apps is just the tip of the iceberg. While Kotlin Native allows you to code for basically any platform, you can write Gradle files in Kotlin. Moreover, Kotlin was first created with JVM in mind, and can virtually be used on any device that can run the JVM and in Kotlin 1.1, Kotlin JS was released to enable front-end development using Kotlin.
Kotlin is now being used in production by many well-known companies and is in demand
Many well-known companies have already started using it for production of Android apps such as Pinterest, Basecamp, Trello, etc. The Kotlin website displays a growing list of companies that are already using it for hassle-free production. The interest of other companies is also growing in it, and they are either looking out to hire developers who are trained in Kotlin or investing money in training their employees in Kotlin.
Thus, Kotlin is being used for app development by Android mobile app development company as it is a friendly and fun language towork with, that takes over your mind and makes you think differently. Moreover, it is ready to be used in production and an official language for Android development now!