The growth and acceptance rate of Kotlin among developers has reached a new dimension. A number of them are learning and switching over to the language and the number accounts for almost half of Android developers. It is fast becoming the most-loved programming language worldwide.
Kotlin is also likely to change the way Java is used on the server. It is also expected that Kotlin app development services will make the Android app development process faster, owing to the language interoperability with Java. The best advantage of hiring Kotlin developers is that they reduce the lines of code, thus reducing time required to build the app.
Java has always been at the heart of all Android development, and for a very long time, it hardly had any competitors. This was true up until Kotlin came along with a large amount of value packed within. Kotlin is slowly proving to be a better and more effective programming language than Java and the Android community is abuzz with the debate on which language is better.
Kotlin Advantages Over Java
Kotlin has been designed and developed by JetBrains and has in a short span of time been instrumental in addressing some of the main shortcomings of Java.
Java still has a stronghold in the arena and nothing can disturb that for a while. However, Kotlin presents a very strong competition.
We have reasons to believe that the two languages will work in conjunction to offer joint solutions. This is because:
- Kotlin has an array of tools and frameworks that work really well with Java.
- Kotlin, as a programming language, is way more clear and concise as compared to Java.
- Kotlin, as opposed to Java, helps reduce code and thus helps minimize errors in the program.
- Kotlin is equipped with an advanced compiler that can check errors at compile time and at runtime. This is not present in case of Java.
Let us compare some of the important traits of both languages:
The learning curve for Kotlin programming language is really low. This allows developers to build an application easily with minimum amount of code. Since it is easy to grasp, it can help create the app faster. The length of the program gets reduced to about one-fifth of that with Java. Thus, Kotlin provides better chances of producing high-quality applications.
2. Null Safety in Case of Kotlin
The Null Safety feature in case of Kotlin is one of the most exceptional and advanced features that tilts the scales in its favour. All the Java developers have to invariably face the Null Point Exception at one point or the other. While it provides an opportunity to test the software quality, it adversely affects the development speed and efficiency to a large extent. Kotlin, on the other hand, brings the null safety feature very early on in the development process, this reduces the risk of Null Point exceptions later during run-time.
3. Collections and Streams
Processing object collect form an irreplaceable part of the Java app development process. This is because Java objects need to get translated to a variety of presented elements. Thus, on some occasions a parallel stream of translated objects is created, which results in slowing down an entire application. Kotlin is an advanced programming language that has been created to tackle this phenomenon with the help of immutable collections. The rich functional APIs are programmed to automatically return as the collections are often characterized by identical functionality.
Difference Between Java and Kotlin
Some of the major points of difference between Kotlin and Java programming languages are:
1. Checked Exceptions
Kotlin has no provision for checked exceptions, while Java has. Therefore, in case of Kotlin, there is no need to declare any exception. Java developers often find it infuriating to use the try/catch blocks in the code. However, in some cases, this feature helps Java developers avoid errors.
2. Code Conciseness
In order to perform the same functions, the apps developed using Kotlin programming language warrant less lines of code as compared to Java.
3. Data Classes
The full size projects have a number of classes that are solely responsible for holding data. These classes have very little to almost no functionality at all. Yet, for these, the developer needs to write long lines of boilerplate code in case of Java. Usually, there is a need to define a constructor, various fields to store code, getter and setter functions for each of the fields, and much more. Kotlin, on the other hand, has a much simpler method of creating classes. The compiler takes care of entire task on its own.
4. Implicit Widening Conversion
In case of Kotlin, there is no outside support for implicit widening conversions for numbers. Therefore, the smaller types cannot be converted into the bigger types. However, Java provides full support for implicit conversions. Kotlin needs to perform an explicit conversion to achieve any conversion.
5. Inline Functions
The variables that are accessed in the body of code of any function are known as closures. By making use of higher-order functions, the developer runs the risk of imposing several runtime penalties. In case of Kotlin programming language, every function is an object and can easily capture closure. The classes and function objects require memory allocation. By undergoing this process along with virtual calls lead to runtime overhead. This additional overhead can be easily avoided by inlining the lambda expression in case of Kotlin programming language. The lock() function is an example of this function.
6. Non-private Fields
Encapsulation is an essential element in any program in order to achieve the desired level of maintainability. By encapsulating the representation of any object, the way callers interact with it can be enforced. It is even possible to change the representation without needing to modify callers. This is only done when the public API remains the same. The non-private fields or the public-fields in Java are extremely useful in places where the callers of any object have to be changed based on its representation. In simple terms, it means that the representation of any object is exposed to the callers. Kotlin does not have any non-private or public fields.
Despite the many advanced features and advantages that Kotlin presents over Java, it can be used by Android developers alongside Java as well. This unique interoperability that Kotlin enjoys with Java and its significantly low learning curve has made Kotlin an unbeatable choice for Android developers. Only the data keywords need to be fed in the class definition and the task gets done.
There are several features that work in favour of Kotlin. Some of the main features that make Kotlin an excellent programming language for Android are listed below:
Exclusive Kotlin Features
1. Kotlin is Open-source
2. Kotlin Supports Complete Java Interoperability
Kotlin is completely interoperable with Java – which is also one of its best features. This fact has prompted most Java developers as well as Android app developers to learn Kotlin and switch over to it when it makes their life simpler. Both the languages can co-exist and help developers be more productive. A Kotlin app development company can simply switch between the two languages and save time during the app development process. The hired Kotlin developers can easily compile in both languages and save on precious time and money.
3. The Lazy-loading Feature
The lazy-loading feature basically increases the time taken for start-up and is a very useful feature for Android development. It is one of the most effective solutions for developers who want to reduce their Android app start-up time. The lazy-loading feature allows Android developers to load only the resources into the main memory when it is necessary. As a result of this feature, the content of the app loads faster. Users love it as it helps them save time.
4. Data Classes in Kotlin
A data class in Java usually contains a boilerplate code which the developers have to skip in order to understand the real use of the said class. With Kotlin, however, the developers can write an equivalent code for the same function in lesser lines of code. Thus, the data classes also become quite useful in case of Kotlin.
5. Collection Filtering
Whenever working with any API, developers have to forcibly deal with collections quite often. However, by using Kotlin’s collection filtering feature, the developer can predict what the resulting list should necessarily contain.
6. Reduces Crashes at Runtime
This is one of the most advanced features where the developer can easily identify the Null Pointer Exception while compiling the Android app development project. This feature ensures that if any variable works as a non-null, it reduces the number of crashes that happen at runtime. Another way by which the hired Kotlin developers reduce crashes at runtime is by appending a question mark at the end of the variable type.
7. Smart Cast Function
All developers agree that this is one of the best features of Kotlin. The application’s speed and performance is greatly improved with the help of this feature. The main motive of the smart cast function is identifying the type of function. All operations coded for a specific type get performed and the efficiency of the code is also improved with this.
8. Safe and Reliable
Kotlin language is relatively safe and can be used without any fear. Even the NullPointException errors can be avoided by using the Null Safe Function. The nullable types can be avoided and the mistakes can be removed automatically. The code, in turn, gets simplified for debugging and operations of Android app development.
9. Low Cost
The cost factor is one of the main reasons why Kotlin is on high priority list of most entrepreneurs. The programming language poses a very low or almost no cost of adoption. Since it is open source, the company does not need to spend on the license also.
10. Standard Library Functions
One of the chief benefits of Kotlin is that it offers standard library functions. This is the most important factor for any Android developer who is working on an Android mobile app development project. Implementations of higher order functions are possible with the help of idiomatic patterns like let, apply, use, and others.The Extension functions also help get query operations for sequences and collections. Kotlin can even work with IO, files, and add convenience to the entire process.
Kotlin is the clear winner when it comes to the selection for the title of the best programming language for Android apps. It has, in a number of places, proven to be the better choice already. It is already the fastest growing programming language and has in a short span of time managed to be among the Top 50 Programming languages in the world. This statement itself is a testament to the potential of the language.
Google recommends Kotlin as the language of choice for Android application development. A number of major brands around the world are already coding for their Android apps in Kotlin language. Kotlin is rightly setting a new standard of excellence for programming languages.