During Google I/O Annual Conference in 2017, Google introduced first-class support for Kotlin. After this, Kotlin became the official language for Android App Development.
Moreover, the statement was somewhat surprising for the Android development community as the majority of developers choose Java for building Android apps. But, two years down the line Kotlin has obtained a lot of popularity.
Kotlin is developed by YouTrack, JetBrains and various other popular IDE solutions, hence, it has gained a lot of traction. Besides this, JetBrains assured that Kotlin can also be used for writing iOS apps. Also, it is expected that the future of Kotlin is not bound to just Android.
You might be wondering, whether you switch to Kotlin for Android app development or not? To clear all your doubts, here we will provide all the pros and cons of Kotlin for Android Development. This will help to decide whether Kotlin is suitable for your next project.
But, before that, you should be familiar with some of the interesting facts about it.
What is Kotlin and how it was originated
Kotlin is basically a statically-typed open-source programming language that generates code which works on java virtual machines. It is created by JetBrains. The title has been originated from the Kotlin island that is situated near St. Petersburg, Russia.
The Kotlin syntax is incompatible with Java, which is mainly used for developing apps for various Android platforms. Unexpectedly, it possesses an ability to interoperate with the Java code. To put it differently, codes are written in Kotlin work efficiently with Java and Kotlin both.
Kotlin utilizes an aggressive interface to find out all the types of values as well as expressions if they are not properly stated by Android app developers.
Even though it was introduced in 2011, it has gained popularity of the global community after the announcement that it will be considered as the first-class android language.
Moreover, leading firms such as Uber, Atlassian, and Pinterest have adopted Kotlin before it was being officially supported by Google.
The Pros and Cons of Kotlin for Android Development
Pros of Kotlin for Android Development
1. Enhances Team Productivity
Kotlin is mainly a Java-based programming language. It helps to remove all the hurdles and disuse of Java. It is a solid and clear programming language that helps to enhance the team’s productivity due to its short and inherent syntax.
In simple words, Kotlin requires fewer lines of code to develop as well as deploy Android applications. It also helps to improve code maintainability at large scale.
2. Interoperability with the existing Java code
Kotlin is developed in such a way that it is fully interoperable with the java programming language. Therefore it is simple and quick to switch from Java to Kotlin for experienced android app developers.
This is feasible as Kotlin remains stable with java as well as other related frameworks and tools. If a particular app’s code can’t be written in Kotlin only, then one has the option to utilize both languages simultaneously.
3. Ease of Maintenance
Kotlin programming language supports a wide number of IDEs, along with Android Studio, and various other SDK tools. This, in turn, enhances the productivity of developers as they don’t have to learn and understand new toolkits.
4. Minimal Bugs
Kotlin provides a much concise and short codebase during the production phase that makes it more persistent. All the errors are identified during the compile-time, so the developers have the option to fix errors before run time. Hence, it is more secure as compare to Java.
5. Quick to Learn
Kotlin is introduced to improve various features present in Java instead of completely rewriting them. Hence, an app developer who has obtained a deeper understanding of skills while creating a project in Java can apply all the skills in Kotlin project also.
6. Highly Reliable
As compared to various other programming languages, Kotlin is mature language. It was introduced way back in 2011.
Talking about reliability, from Kotlin’s birth, it has gone through a lot of Alpha and Beta tests until it was officially released by JetBrains & Google in 2017.
Moreover, JetBrains made it’s newest version reversely compatible with various other earlier language versions, thus providing higher reliability for the current android apps build via Kotlin.
Cons of Kotlin for Android Development
1. Less Compilation Speed
In several instances, Kotlin operates faster as compared to Java, particularly during performing incremental builds. But, one should keep in mind that Java still wins the race when we talk about clean builds.
2. Less Kotlin Experts to Hire
Kotlin’s craze increased after Google officially declared it as the first-class Android app development language and it led to more number of Kotlin developers in the field.
Even though, there are less number of Kotlin experts present in the IT industry as compared to the Java developers.
3. Limited resources for learning
Despite a lot of android app developers are switching from Java to Kotlin every now & then, there are small resources available to become expert in Kotlin.
This indicates that a developer has to spend more time Kin trying and figuring out answers to certain questions that might occur during the development phase. Also, there are more than 31,000 questions tagged with Kotlin as compared to 1,20,000 questions tagged with Java.
4. Kotlin is not Java
It is a fact that Kotlin and Java are similar in various aspects, but they are different at the core. Developers can’t instantly switch to Kotlin as they have to learn and understand the Kotlin programming language properly.
If you are looking forward to convert your Android app from Java to Kotlin then you should Hire Android Developers from a professional mobile app development company. They possess all the required skills to convert your Android App with ease.