Kotlin - The future of Android App Development

Kotlin - The future of Android App Development

07Sep
2017

If you are someone who is familiar with android app development languages and the follow google Keynote, you already know what Kotlin is, but if you’re not familiar with it. It is an official programming language for android devices since the time it has been announce by google on May 2017.

Oh! BTW it is an open source language.

Kotlin was first introduce in 2011 by JetBrains, as a new language supporting JVM (Java Virtual Machine), which has been under development for years until recently being adapted by google for developing Android OS. After its official release in Feb 2016. Kotlin has been adapted steadily, With the increase in excitement within the Android developers. Kotlin is expressive, powerful and joyful to read and write for developers. It has amazing features of safety in terms of nullability and immutability, which aligns with investments to make android applications healthy and performant by default.

If you’re someone who is really interested in using Kotlin or thinking about Kotlin as your next thing to learn, let me tell you it is easy to get started because if works side by side with Java and C++ on Android. This means you can keep your existing code, and continue in different android libraries and incrementally add Kotlin code to your new project.

Unlike many other languages out there, Kotlin is a drop-in replacement you can use bi-directionally which means you can call into the Java language from Kotlin, and you can call into Kotlin from the Java Language.

How do you think Kotlin is perfectly compatible with Android?

Well the thing is Android studio is built upon IntelliJ IDEA, an IDE built by JetBrains!!

Sounds like you’ve heard it before?

Yes! It is the same company which created or gave birth to Kotlin.

The JetBrains team has been working for years to make sure Kotlin works great with IntelliJ IDEA. So the Android team had to inherit all their hard work. Starting with Android 3.0, tooling support for Kotlin is bundled directly into the Android Studio.

It is believed that Kotlin is an excellent fit for Android not just because it gives a lot of advantages to the developers, but also it matches the spirit of Android Development.

Just like Android, Kotlin has always been an open source project, primarily under Apache 2. It involves an entire community and does not belong to just one company.

So Android is working with JetBrains to move Kotlin into a non-profit foundation. Androids choice of Kotlin reaffirms the development community to an open ecosystem. 

Why is Kotlin adapted by Android as their supported language?

We already learnt that Kotlin is an android-compatible language, it is a concise, expressive and designed to type and also null-safe.

It works seamlessly with Java, which makes it very easy for developers who love the java language to keep using it but also incrementally add Kotlin code and leverage Kotlin libraries.

Also, a huge community of Android developers have already found that Kotlin makes development faster and fun to work with, so Android has no choice to support these Kotlin users or developer who like Kotlin. 

How can you use Kotlin in Android Studio?

Kotlin is fully supported in Android studio 3.0 and higher equivalent, so to use Kotlin in the earlier days you had to down load a Kotlin plugin, but you don’t have to do that anymore.

All the new Android Studio software’s come with the Kotlin tools in-built. So that you can create your own Kotlin files, you could also covert Java language scripts to Kotlin, debug Kotlin code and you can do a lot more now without any extra installation. 

So the big question is; What’s the future of Kotlin in Mobile App Development?

We all know Java is the most widely used language, and one of the main reasons for the success of Android. Preferences of developers have been changing since Java is old and opensources like Kotlin surely have attracted them.

Since Kotlin is quite comfortably compatible with Android and java scripts could also be used in Kotlin.

So what exactly is wrong with Java that developers prefer or should adapt to Kotlin?

Here are some advantages which could justify that Kotlin is a better language compared to java.

  • Java is old
  • Java is error prone
  • Verbosity of java is more than that of Kotlin
  • Kotlin is completely inter-operable with java
  • There are no more NullPointerExceptions like in java
  • Great IDE and tooling support in Kotlin
  • You would be writing less code compared to java
  • Kotlin is an enterprise language
  • You need to code less in Kotlin, what else can you ask for? 

Other than all these advantages, Kotlin is properly tested to give the best when it was officially launched, all the years of development they’ve put in has paid off with the advantages it provides compared to Java.

The creators of Kotlin JetBrains’ have thoughtful work on Kotlin’s design is one of the reasons we’re embracing the language. Google is partnering with JetBrains to ensure a wonderful overall developer story, from language, to framework, to tools and google is really excited about making Kotlin language into a non-profit foundation, this will only help google building a great community of Android Developers. 

If you are really interested in learning Kotlin, you know where to click.  

And also watch this amazing video of Introducing Kotlin at Google I/o 2017.

Ok Let me conclude this, in my opinion Kotlin is very much a beginner friendly language to start with for all the Android App Developers out there, it is addictive and it will make you think while you work with it and above all it is ready for production.

And now it’s an official language for Android App Development! Which means a lot of resources for all you Android Developers out there.

Since things just started with Kotlin, I would be posting more about Kotlin after having a good hands-on experience, so stay tuned and subscribe to us for more updates! 

Are you looking for someone who is really good at Android app development, eDesk Hub is the place where you could find all the top Android App Developers.

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