10 Reasons You Should Know Why Kotlin is Better than Java for Android App Development
According to Statista, in the second quarter of 2018, 88 percent of all smartphones sold to end users were phones with the Android operating system.
When you speak about Android development, the programming language that comes to mind is Java. It is because Java has been popularly used for Android app development for years.
It is true that the majority of Android apps are written in Java. However, it is not the only option for Android app development. You can build Android applications using other languages too that can compile and run on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). Recently, one JVM-compatible programming language has caught the attention of the Android community, and it is Kotlin.
What is Java?
Java is a popular programming language developed in 1998 by Oracle Corporation. It has been widely used for Android app development because of its core benefits that include: it works on different platforms, open source & free, simple to use & easy to learn, and many more. Besides, Java is old, verbose, error-prone, and slow to modernize.
Moreover, OpenJDK developers have begun to bridge the gap with Java 8, but Android does not utilize all the features of Java 8. Therefore, developers are stuck in the old Java 7 and 6 worlds. As they cannot completely rely on Java for Android app development, Kotlin came to the rescue.
The Rise of Kotlin for Android App Development
Kotlin is a programming language for the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) developed in 2011 by JetBrains. It can be used where Java is used virtually. It has gained an astounding amount of interest among developers in the last 2 years, specifically after Google announced it as an official language for Android apps.
Kotlin offers a broad array of benefits over Java while developing Android applications. Let us take a look at the key benefits as below.
10 Reasons for Choosing Kotlin Over Java for Android App Development
1. Completely Interoperable with Java
Interoperability is one of the greatest strengths of Kotlin. It works as a potential alternative to Java when it comes to Android development. The benefit is that you can use Java and Kotlin code side by side in the same project without disturbing any of the factors.
It means when you want to integrate Kotlin into the project, you only need to add its tools and frameworks without any change in the project.
2. More Concise than Java
Kotlin is considered to be more concise than Java, as it solves the same issues with only a few lines of code. It enhances code maintainability and readability. As a result, developers have benefited from writing, reading, and changing code more effectively and efficiently. It offers conciseness through features such as type inference, smart casts, data classes, and properties.
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3. Safer Code
Kotlin is essentially safer than Java code, as it prevents the occurrence of common programming errors by design, which results in fewer system failures and application crashes. When writing Java code, certain errors are likely to happen, while Kotlin pushes developers to write robust code.
4. Write Less Code
Kotlin is easy to use once you understand its syntax. It is not redundant like Java. Kotlin is crisp, concise, and minimizes a lot of the boilerplate code for developers in the daily routine.
5. No more Null-Pointer Exception
Kotlin offers the benefit of implementing APIs on NonNull parameters. It will not compile if you specifically put null into a non-null API. Moreover, the IDE will also notify you about your mistake.
Thus, if you are to re-write APIs, and you have a runtime null going into a non-null API, then Kotlin will force a crash with a null argument exception. It tremendously benefits, particularly when you are busy rewriting your APIs and communicating with your team.
6. Helps Reduce Errors and Bugs in the Code
The Kotlin compiler informs system failures rapidly in relevant cases. As a result, it becomes more convenient and easier to search for bugs and even prevent them beforehand. The compiler performs several checks, thereby avoiding runtime errors and reducing the cost and effort of error fixes.
7. An Enterprise Language
Kotlin is developed by JetBrains and has been in the market since 2011. It is primarily, designed to solve practical and real-world development problems, and unlike other JVM-based languages, Kotlin does not emerge from an academic or research background. It has been built keeping the enterprise in mind.
JetBrains did not want to create something revolutionary, but to offer something that is usable and cost-effective to enterprises who aspire to have an Android app development.
8. Kotlin has Better Support for Functional Programming
Developers use functional programming to solve several tasks easily and consistently. Functional programming was also introduced in Java 8. However, Kotlin has better support for functional programming.
It suggests that you can concisely and explicitly use functional concepts with proper function types. Kotlin also helps improve performance with the help of inlining, which is not currently possible in Java.
9. Speeds Up Everyday Development Tasks
In addition to the features we discussed above, Kotlin offers a wide range of handy features that expedite the daily development tasks, which Java does not provide. These features include parameter values, object declarations, extension functions, and many more. Moreover, they also help speed up the development time, along with maintaining the code base efficiently.
10. Easier to Learn and Maintain
One of the biggest advantages of Kotlin is that a Java developer can understand the majority of the code even without having written a line of Kotlin. It is because JetBrains had aimed to make the transition from Java simple, with a language that nearly resembles what you already know.
With the simplicity of Kotlin language and the help of the IDE & compiler, it is easier to handle the basics of the language. The only complex part to understand is the concepts that Java lacks rather than the Kotlin syntax.
Kotlin is considered as a one-stop language for all kind of Android application development, as it supports lots of IDEs, along with Android Studio. Therefore, you can use all the tried and tested development tools that help you in maintaining your codebase at scale.
As Kotlin is 100% interoperable with Java, you can use Kotlin code with Java and vice versa. You can also migrate large software projects from Java to Kotlin step-by-step, and it allows you to use Java libraries with Kotlin seamlessly.
At Credencys, we provide excellent Android app development services to our valuable clients. Our Android app developers are dedicated to offering high-quality applications. We deliver effective Android solutions to enterprises, startups, and digital agencies and help them achieve high performance.