A year back, in the Google I/O Developers’ Conference, the Android team announced that they will officially support Kotlinfor programming Android applications. Since its release in 2016 by JetBrains, Kotlin has rapidly risen in the popularity charts as the favourite Android language. According to Google, after Android announced its support for Kotlin language, the number of Play Store apps created using Kotlin has increased by six times in the next 12 months.
Kotlin was initially developed by a Russian software development company, JetBrains in the year 2011. Kotlin went through many alpha and beta development stages in the next 5 years and was practically used in several Android development projects until it was released in 2016. This 5 years of iterative development using real-life test cases and projects made Kotlin ready for the big release with its highly optimized compatibility and ease of use.
Around 35% of Android developers are using Kotlin. This percentage is on the steady rise with the Google Android team working with JetBrains to further improve the coding byKotlin. There have been constant improvements in the usage of the language. JetBrains want to make this language as simple and easy to use as possible retaining a lot of functionalities for the developers to get direct access to a stable background. Therefore, we can expect a lot of new developments in the Android application programming through Kotlin in the coming year.
Why Have Android Developers Started Preferring Kotlin?
Kotlin has become the talk in the Android development forums and conferences in the past year. With the approval from the Android team itself, developers have started preferring Kotlin over Java as the language for creating Android applications due to its safe, concise and pragmatic coding experience.
There are a lot of reasons why Kotlin is the popular choice for Android App Development Company and here are some of the most compelling ones:
Rapid Coding Experience
Kotlin is integrated with the Android Studio which makes it swift to develop programs for Android applications with Kotlin. Even for a new developer working for the first time with Kotlin, they can set up a Kotlin project up and running in just 10 minutes! The recent Android 3.0 is completely integrated to code with Kotlin and therefore it greatly simplifies the pre-coding work a developer needs to do. It also provides neat and swift debugging experience and has all of the advantages that Java boasted and a lot other more, making it a better option than Java.
Interoperable with Java
When you have an existing project developed in Java but want to use Kotlin language to build on it, you can do so directly without any problems. As both Java and Kotlin generate the same bytecode, you can call a Kotlin code in a Java program and a Java code in a Kotlin program and get it to work seamlessly across both languages.
When compared to Java codes, Kotlin seems less verbose, meaning it requires lesser codes to execute the same function as compared with Java. This could bring a massive advantage from all directions – reduced time for the developers, easy to debug and fix errors and faster execution time. In fact, it is estimated that Kotlin requires 20% less coding than a typical Java coding for executing the same function.
Open Source Programming Language
Kotlin was announced as an open source programming language for Android in 2012. This means that you can still enjoy the support from the Kotlin team all the while experiencing a high-quality programming experience due to the effort of the developers working from all around the world.
New developers who want to dive into using Kotlin don’t necessarily need to spend long hours trying to ace the language. Kotlin is very easy for developers to get its hang in just a few hours of learning and they can immediately start working practically on the language.
No Null Errors
The design of the Java itself makes it cumbersome for developers to do some groundwork which requires a lot of money and time. One of the common problems that Java developers face in this error – ‘Null Pointer Exception’ – which is one of the most frequent bugs faced by the Java developer. But in Kotlin, there are no nulls unless otherwise stated which automatically minimizes the bugs due to the null errors especially the ‘Null Pointer Exception’ bug.
Kotlin is the rising block on the Android appsdevelopment and which the official Android team backing it up, it is soon expected to takeover Java as the most frequently used Android application. Currently, many existing Android apps have been re-coded in Kotlin like Netflix, Basecamp, Amazon Web Services, Coursera, Uber, etc. It is soon a matter of time that the other applications follow the suite.
You can always start an incremental approach to adopting Kotlin as the programming language for Android application development by interlacing it with Java and make a whole conversion when your team of developers is ready.