Java or Kotlin: Which language will lead the future Android app development?

Java has been one of the most popular software programming languages for more than two decades. As of Wikipedia claim, there are close to 10 million developers around the world who use Java in a variety of computing platforms like embedded devices, mobile phones, enterprise servers, and even supercomputers. Java has also been the most preferred language for Android app development since 2008. Many developers have combined Java with C/C++, together with a choice of non-default runtime that allows better C++ support. For Google, things were going smoother in Android app development as there was no shortage of Java developers, who could build apps for Android using Java for any given idea. But then since the time Oracle took control of Java and discovered Google’s use of Java API in Android, it started bombing Google. There were lawsuits and, Oracle went for appeal against Google and won too. Google has to get rid of Java, and it brought in Kotlin as a choice for Android app developers. In 2017, Google announced Kotlin supporting Android app development language together with Java.

Kotlin belongs to Google. There are certain reasons why Google has added Kotlin an official programming language to develop apps for Android platforms. According to the official website of Android, “Google announced Kotlin as a first-class Android development language for writing Android apps”.

Kotlin is emerging as great language. It’s a robot, statically typed, and much less verbose programming language than Java. But do these features automatically charge Kotlin to lead Java for Android app development? That’s what we will try to find in this post.

Now let’s bring both languages in the ring and see which one beats the other one for Android app development.

Java

Originally developed by Sun Microsystems which was later owned by Oracle, Java is an object-oriented programming language used in a variety of computing platforms as already mentioned above. There are a whole lot more apps that Java can be applied for than merely used for Android app. So, if you are a Java developer, you have never-ending opportunities. Here are the pros and cons of the language particularly for Android apps.

Java’s Pros

  • It’s easy to learn and understand Java.

  • Java works well for native and as cross-platform apps.

  • There are a number of Java libraries to aid. Also, Java has a wide open-source ecosystem.

  • Java apps are light-weight, more compact, and result in a faster app experience.

  • Java allows faster coding.

  • Thanks to the accelerated assembly with Gradle because now it’s easy to assemble large projects in Java.

Java’s Cons

  • Java requires writing a lot more code which makes it is a type-heavy language. When you write more lines in a code, chances of errors and bugs are increased.

  • Because of inherent limitations, Java experiences some problems with Android API design.

  • Java apps turn slow because they require more memory compared to other languages.

Kotlin

Kotlin is a better and modern replacement for Android app development. Kotlin was created by JetBrain, the same company which created Intellij. Kotlin is also an open-source, statically typed language which runs in Java Virtual Machine (JVM) like Java. The best advantage with Kotlin is that developers can compile it to Javascript and interoperate it with Java. It means developers can easily replace a part of their Java based Android app with Kotlin and, still the app will work. This allows them to easily update old Java app to Kotlin.

Kotlin’s Pros

  • Kotlin is certainly quicker to write and thus, many developers love it.

  • Kotlin’s 1-2 lines code can replace 50 lines of code written in Java. Shorter code length means less error and bug.

  • Kotlin supports in the building of clean APIs

  • Developers can also use Java libraries and frameworks in Kotlin, making the transition from Java to Kotlin a faultless one.

  • Kotlin has the much required null in its type system that is missing in Java.

Kotlin’s Cons

  • Developers may experience a steep learning curve with Kotlin.

  • Even after beating Java in a few instances, Kotlin exhibits a slower compilation speed than Java in most cases.a

  • There are limited learning resources as Kotlin community is still smaller. Android developers may face difficulties in finding answers to their problems.

  • Because it’s a new language, finding experienced developers is also a bit difficult.

  • Android Studio’s some features tend to run slower in Kotlin in comparison to Java.

So, who will lead whom for Android app development in the future?

In most cases, a mobile app development company will already have a Java team which also applies its Java skills in Android app development. It’s too hard to switch an entire Java team to Kotlin at a time. No doubt, Kotlin promises to deliver the best result, but because it’s new, developers may face issues in finding solutions to various problems. The transition from Java to Kotlin should be smoother, instead.

Old projects should slowly be updated with Kotlin, but new projects can be created with the language from scratch.

And even if Java is completely replaced with Kotlin for the development of Android app, it will still continue to be a popular language for a variety of other software development projects.

But for Android app development, Kotlin will certainly get preference over Java in the future.

Author Bio. : Sofia Coppol is a digital marketing expert in Rapidsoft Technologies which is a leading IT consulting company providing full range it services including, IoT application development, ERP software development, AI App Development, and big data app development solutions. Sharing is caring!













Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *