Ever since Android app development began, Java was Google’s official programming language. Yet, the position of authority is now locked by Kotlin. At its I/O keynote declaration in 2017, Google announced Kotlin to be the official programming language for coding Android applications.
With Google itself becoming Kotlin oriented, many developers are moving towards adopting it, and the fact that many Java apps are being rewritten in Kotlin now, is a proof to it being the future of building Android apps. The way Swift assured the death of Objective C language, Kotlin is all set to push out Java from the Android app development ecosystem.
Kotlin has made many developers reassess their approach to create apps considering that Java has been the foundation of innovative products for Android users, programmers, and coders since a long time.
Significance of Kotlin for Android App Development
Kotlin was developed in the year 2011 by the programmers of a software product development company called JetBrains in Russia and then augmented by several open-source developers. In 2019, Google revealed Kotlin the most chosen language for app development.
It is a typed programming language that can run on the Java virtual machine. It is an open-source, multipurpose, and pragmatic computer programming language that combines both acquisitive and functional programming features with the aim of allowing faster compilation.
Kotlin is relevant today because it’s open-source and offers extensive features. It develops as a solution to the problems that Android developers have faced for a while. It solves the queries that surfaced in Java, giving developers flexibility, safety, clarity, and tooling support.
Design Challenges Faced by Kotlin
One of the design challenges that Kotlin programmers initially faced was that of the nullified in the type system. The solutions offered by Kotlin programmers were too much of a hassle. After several iterations, the team came up with the platform types. It is the current version that Kotlin uses.
Kotlin has fixed many of the nagging issues present within the Java language.
For example, the null references in Kotlin controlled by the type system. Kotlin has proper function types, and it has no raw types. The arrays in Kotlin are invariant. It also does not have checked exceptions, as Java does.
The Key Benefits of Adopting Kotlin
Organizations are adopting Kotlin for their development requirements. It is a supported language to write Android app codes. Transitioning to Kotlin is one of the best decisions an organization can make. Here’s are the key benefits of Kotlin:
1. Kotlin Offers Brevity
One of the primary reasons why developers prefer Kotlin over Java is the brevity that Kotlin offers. Java seems quite repetitive in comparison. Brevity ensures that there are lesser errors in code. It also implies a much faster rate of production.
2. It is an Open-Source
Since 2012, JetBrains declared Kotlin to be an open-source project. As an open-source language, a developer can expect high-quality development all the time, by getting considerable support from the Kotlin Slack team.
3. It is a Mature Language with a Great IDE Support
Kotlin was first created for use in the year 2011 and finally saw its first official release in 2016. It went into several stages of alpha and beta improvements before the final version.
It means that even before release, Kotlin was already used in several projects. It is practical with proven features from other programming languages and world-class IDE support. The IDE plugin works in the case of Kotlin and allows several of Java’s popular features.
4. It Provides a More Natural Way to Develop Android Apps
Kotlin is a simple yet powerful language when compared to other languages. While Java suffers from some rigid issues, the other programming language Scala is dense with slow compilation time. The library required to write Android apps with Kotlin is very small and doesn’t increase the method count much.
5. It is a Swift Language for Android App Development
Kotlin integrates with Android Studio, and this makes it fast. A Kotlin project can be set up to function in less than 10 minutes, even for a first-timer.
Android 2.3 requires a plugin to integrate with Kotlin, while Android 3.0 integrates with it. Like Java, it can work from the IDE. It can also debug without any hiccups. All these features of Kotlin work well with many other things that Java is capable of.
6. It is Reliable Due to its Developmental Process
One of the reasons why Kotlin came into existence is because its parent company JetBrains had some specific requirements from a programming language that they were going to use themselves. It also offers practical value for its parent company, which uses it for its line of products. It makes them interested in further developing it. With Google support, two innovative companies are working together towards their development.
JetBrains has not only put in significant efforts in the initial idea of the language as its history suggests but is also making substantial alterations to it for its future success. Features like the Kotlin Android Extensions, libraries like Anko, continuous library size optimizations, and build times suggest JetBrains’ commitment towards the further development of Kotlin for Android mobile app development.
7. Developers Must Move Away from Becoming Obsolete
Once developers start using Kotlin, they realize that using a modern language makes their work processes more efficient and their minds more creative. Java has been around for ages, and in a way, has become obsolete.
Using a modern language allows for different ways of thinking, which is critical for a developer as it reflects in their work. It also makes the developer more versatile as their propensity to understanding and using similar programming languages increases. All these elements add value to a developer’s profile.
8. It is Much Safer than Java
Kotlin is a much safer option than Java. One of the major problems with Java lies in the design of the language itself, which leads to extra work. Hence more money and time spent on the project.
For example, nulls are the most error-prone points when working with Java. Bug managers face 90% of the errors being the Null Pointer Exception. Whereas in Kotlin, nulls do not exist unless otherwise stated.
No variable by default can be set to ‘null’ in Kotlin. If a developer wants a variable to accept nulls, he has to mark the type with a ‘?’.
From there on, the compiler will force the developer to check ‘null’ before doing anything with the variable. Due to this, a Null Pointer Exception does not occur in Kotlin.
9. It is Easy to Learn
Like other Java compatible languages, Kotlin is more comfortable to learn. It can easily read by someone new to the language as the code is easy to understand. It also helps keep away from errors.
It is a language that resembles what a Java developer already understands. The only intricate part of Kotlin is the elements that Java lacks. Kotlin opens up possibilities for developers to be more creative and solve problems.
Why Businesses are Gravitating Towards Kotlin
For a business, moving to a new tool is a well-thought decision. Any new tool being deployed aims to solve an existing problem in a simpler and better way. Several businesses recently have shown their support towards Kotlin by embracing it for Android app development. The most common reasons are:
- The Support: With Google officially supporting the language, this support will widen the Android app development ecosystem and provide enhanced technical support and other capabilities to the businesses. It also means more sharing of knowledge across the community of Android app developers.
- Easy Migration: Secondly, businesses can migrate to Kotlin easily, making the whole process simpler for everyone. It, along with the ease of learning the language, removes any barriers related to adoption.
- Lower Cost of Development & Maintenance: Kotlin is all set for a bright future in the Android app development ecosystem. The lower cost of development and maintenance of Kotlin projects is a big plus for every business. It has a plethora of great language features and offers brevity that ensures higher quality with faster turn-around time.
Top Companies Using Kotlin
Kotlin is here to stay, and businesses must take cognizance of that if they haven’t already. Therefore, choosing an appropriate android mobile app development technology stack is an essential step towards app development for any business. Kotlin provides an effective solution due to the speed, accuracy, flexibility, and stability it offers to solve complex business challenges.
Kotlin has been adopted by several major organizations like Prezi, Basecamp, Amazon Web Services, Pinterest, Coursera, Netflix, Uber, etc. Developers like Expedia, Flipboard, Square, and several others are also using Kotlin majorly for their Android productions.
Why Net Solutions Chooses the Kotlin Mobile Technology Stack for a Business
Net Solutions has also adopted Kotlin as an Android app development language for its projects.
We consider Kotlin to be a good fit for our app development process due to a variety of reasons.
- Efficient Language: Kotlin is a more efficient language for the development of Android apps due to the range of features it offers. It is a mature language with a high-quality IDE support. The excellent support that comes with the Kotlin ecosystem is a big plus.
- More Productive: Kotlin’s powerful and clean syntax results in less coding than Java. It means fewer errors and less time taken for the same output of work. Kotlin being an ideal developer’s language extends these benefits to the clients with more stable and high-caliber apps delivered at a much faster rate.
- Cost Saving: Kotlin’s cost efficiency is another element that positively impacts our decision to move to the language. We know how Objective-C was made obsolete by Swift, and then the maintenance of Objective C projects proved to be a cost sinkhole. There is a high possibility that staying on Java for Android app projects could lead to mounting maintenance expenses. At Net Solutions, we want to ensure that it does not happen to any of our clients.
Finally, we are well aware that Kotlin app development is a result of the developer community‘s feedback over the years. It is more intuitive to developers’ requirements. It is primarily focused around the development of the Android ecosystem and is helping it evolve further, and that is why Net Solutions widely uses Kotlin for its Android projects.
Kotlin is 100% suitable for Java, which means it is convenient and possible for both small and large organizations to seamlessly transition themselves to Kotlin. The programming language has numerous advantages for Android app development companies and Android app developers, some of which are stated in this piece.
Many businesses are increasingly making Kotlin their official programming language, and the surge in demand for Kotlin developers is almost certainly soon. Kotlin is a friendly language for developers, and it allows them to conceive newer solutions to regular problems. So, while you decide to move to Kotlin, remember to make it a well-planned task along with utilizing the expertise and experience of developers.