Kotlin and Java are two of the most popular programming languages for Android development – mainly because of their higher level of practicability, depth, and user-friendly nature. Over the past few years, Kotlin has been eclipsing Java in Android app development. More and more developers prefer the more elegant Kotlin – but is it really better than the good old Java?
A general-purpose programming language, Java is class-based, object-oriented, and platform-independent. It provides flexibility so that developers can write code that runs on all platforms supporting Java without the need to rewrite and recompile. The syntax is very similar to C and C++ but with the depth of lower-level programming languages.
Even though Java is considered to be the official language for Android application development, Kotlin is fast becoming the second most preferred programming language. It runs on JVM and is fully interoperable with Java, and you can utilize various Java frameworks and libraries to be used in Kotlin programs. Kotlin programs are generally more readable and concise as they are 30-40% shorter than Java equivalents. Because of the simplified syntax, enhanced features, and interoperability of Kotlin, it has been adopted by Google as an official Android development language.
Kotlin code can be seen as a simplified version of Java as, generally, it removes the syntax involved in variable classes, methods, and declaration. And since the use of Semicolons is eliminated, the code comes out much cleaner.
Classes in Kotlin can easily be declared in one line so that the code can be much shorter and simpler compared to Java. There is also an additional layer of security because nulls are illegal.
With a well-developed and active community, Kotlin provides great support and easy to access documentation and libraries online. The official community website of Kotlin is a great place to start and a place where developers share and support each other with plenty of talks and events. The website and the resources are maintained by the community, and there are many relevant news articles and relevant links to projects and libraries.
There is a dedicated section in the tutorials on how to use Kotlin as a dynamic library and how to publish Kotlin libraries. Some of the most popular libraries include Glide, Retrofit 2, Dagger 2, and Realm databases.
On the official website, beginners will find the right tools to start with Kotlin’s documentation and learn about basic syntax rules, how to start with Kotlin functions, packages, string templates, and variables.
In conclusion, Kotlin is the best option for both beginner and advanced developers when it comes to Android app development. It provides simplicity and additional depth. Because it is already being accepted by major leaders in the Android development space, it is reasonable to expect that Kotlin will take over Java in the future. Of course, Java can not be entirely written-off for the moment as it provides many features that are not supported by Kotlin currently.