We all know about the fact that Java is being considered to be the best possible language for Android application development until Kotlin comes into the light. With all the flaws, Java was used and is being mostly used by developers and companies to build Android apps. But after Google announced Kotlin as an official language for Android development which has overcome the flaws in Java, Kotlin has become the highly preferred platform for development. It is now high time that you switch to Kotlin and leave Java behind for good.
Many companies like Pinterest, Netflix, and many others have embraced the Kotlin. If you start working with Kotlin, you will get a good amount of tools and frameworks that can be easily integrated with Java.
What is Kotlin?
Kotlin is developed by JetBrains and named after the Kotlin island near St. Petersburg, Russia. It is a cross-platform, general programming, statically typed, and open-source programming language that can be run on Java virtual machines. It is an alternative to Java but the Kotlin’s syntax is not compatible with Java but it can interoperate with Java. it allows you to run Kotlin’s code with Java and individually. Kotlin comes with an aggressive interface that allows you to determine the values and expression types if they are not declared which makes it different from Java.
Kotlin has gained popularity after it is being supported by Google and is adopted as a first-class Android development language. Kotlin has many useful features and is expressive which makes it a great alternative for Java. JetBrains has made the language fault-proof which is easier to maintain. Kotlin can also be used for JVM development using Java frameworks. Also, JetBrains is working on the Kotlin multi-platform that will allow you to develop multi-platform applications with shared codebases.
Features of Kotlin
Below are the common and attractive features of Kotlin.
- It is based on the Java environment and platform so you can run Kotlin’s code easily on any Java platform.
- It has easy and familiar syntax and programming structure which makes Kotlin a great option to modify and identify errors.
- It comes with an advanced compiler that can track automatic casts which will improve the efficiency of the check timings.
- Kotlin comes with easy symbols that can be understood easily without any special arguments.
- You can easily execute data in a class with a simple line like toString(), equals(0, etc.
- It has an easy set-up process, all you need is a Kotlin plugin for your Android studio.
Advantages of using Kotlin
In a lesser time, Kotlin has become an efficient programming language that is considered to be an alternative to the most commonly used robust Java language. It has various advantages as mentioned-below-
- It helps in increasing team efficiency because of its intuitive syntax. With Kotlin you can write code in a few lines and less time.
- Kotlin’s code can be easily compiled with the existing Java code as Kotlin is Java-interoperable and is consistent with all Java tools and frameworks.
- Kotlin comes with the great support of various IDEs and SDK tools which allows developers to work with their choice of platform and toolkit.
- Kotlin has a compact codebase that makes it a stable and consistent language for code development. You can easily detect codes at compile-time which can be resolved before running the code.
Disadvantages of using Kotlin
Despite all of the above-mentioned advantages, Kotlin also has some disadvantages. So make sure that you want to implement it in your system irrespective of all downfalls.
- It is said that both Java and Kotlin have similarities when it comes to code structure and basic syntax but in the end, both are different. Kotlin cannot be completely considered as Java. to implement it into your system you have team expertise in Kotlin and requires Kotlin training.
- In some cases, Kotlin works faster but when it comes to clean builds Java is still superior to Kotlin.
- As it is new to the market, there is less number of experts available in the market for Kotlin.
Reasons to adopt Kotlin
- Kotlin comes with a mature environment, it has gone through many stages before its first release thus making it bugs free to much extent. Its IDE plugins work effortlessly. It has been used in many projects in its alpha and beta phase.
- Kotlin overcomes many pitfalls of Java thus making it a powerful programming language along with simplicity. Kotlin’s compilation time is very less as compared to other alternatives and Kotlin apps require less library.
- Kotlin helps in reducing the bugs level by integrating its safety features within your apps. It ensures that variables used cannot be null and can be identified at the compile time before moving it to production.
- If you belong to a Java background then you can get started with Kotlin easily. Also, you can get many resources to learn the basic syntax and advanced topics. It is a better option for both beginners as well as experienced developers as it improves productivity by making debugging easier.
- The use of Kotlin is not only limited to Android apps. As it is JVM based so can be run easily on every platform that supports JVM. Kotlin allows you to do front-end development also.