We live in a digital era. With the advancement of modern smartphone technology, the world has indeed become a smaller place.
There are over 2.7 billion smartphone users across the world. As such, there is no denying the fact that the mobile industry is thriving.
App development and smartphone penetration are growing at a rapid rate with a graph for more growth in the coming times.
Out of all mobile app development technologies, Android app development is a highly sought-after technology by the app developers.
When it comes to Android app development, it is widely accepted that Java is the most useful programming language offering great ease of using the necessary steps to develop an app interactively.
Before the advent of Kotlin, Java used to be the default language for the design and development of feature-rich Android apps.
At the classic 2017 I/O Conference, Google left its audience surprised by unveiling Kotlin as the all-new platform for Kotlin mobile app development.
All You Need to Know About Kotlin as a Programming Language
Kotlin is referred to as the official language used for coding programs for Android mobile app development services.
While Java still remains one of the most favored programming languages for app development, Kotlin is gaining a huge impetus in the modern times due to its wide range of high-end features and benefits to the developers and business owners.
Kotlin is the first-ever programming language supported by Google for the development of Android-based apps in addition to Java.
Kotlin is an open-source, general-purpose programming language for Android and JVM that is known to combine the features of both functional and object-oriented programming.
The main reason for the overall popularity of Kotlin is that it is famous for its advanced features like interoperability, tooling support, clarity, and immense safety.
The best feature of Kotlin is that it has been designed exclusively to inter-operate completely with Java. To top it all, the JVM version of the respective standard library tends on the Java Class Library.
Since the unveiling of the Android Studio 3.0 during October 2017, Kotlin was included to serve as an ideal alternative to Java and its standard compiler.
The advanced Android Kotlin compiler allows android app developers to choose between the options of targeting Java 8 or Java 6 bytecodes that are compatible.
Why Prefer Kotlin for Android App Development?
Currently, Kotlin is the ideal alternative to Java when it comes to Android app development. Here are some of the top reasons why Kotlin is referred to as the new-age preference for Android app development:
- Fewer Lines of Codes
- Co-ordination with the Existing Java Code
- Multi-platform App Development Platform
- Highly Reliable
- Improved Safety
- Ease of Learning
- Strong Community
Fewer Lines of Codes
When it comes to programming, the lesser, the better. Less code is essential to ensuring the overall success of any application.
In addition to paying attention to the lines of code needed to implement a particular application, you should also pay attention to factors like readability and enhanced desirability of the code. When you are working with Kotlin, you get access to all such features.
the mastermind behind the advent of Kotlin is known to deliver the best when it comes to minimizing the lines of codes with Kotlin.
As such, the company has managed to make the given programming language as short as possible. When you are coding with fewer codes, it leads to the generation of fewer errors when implemented properly.
With this mechanism, you will end up focusing more on important aspects as the code is responsible for taking up some of the essential aspects of coding.
With Kotlin, you can get access to improved readability, simplicity, and the overall ease of developing mobile applications.
Co-ordination with the Existing Java Code
Another major benefit of Kotlin is that it is completely compatible with Java. All the respective Java libraries and frames remain open to Kotlin developers when they wish to write simpler and more concise code.
As such, the Android app developers can look forward to ensuring effective mobile app development by switching apps from Java to Kotlin.
In case you have a specific Java-based project with several lines of codes, you can simply convert the same into a Kotlin file at a single time.
Multi-platform App Development Platform
The best thing about this programming language is that you can use Kotlin not just for Android app development.
In addition to this, the founders of the programming language have included the exclusive Gradle support to allow the developers to write the respective Gradle files with the help of Kotlin.
At the same time, the developers are also involved in actively creating Kotlin/Native. This allows them to develop high-end iOS applications. As such, you can look forward to adding native apps as well as using this programming language.
When compared with other high-end programming languages for app development, Kotlin serves to be highly mature.
Kotlin was established in the year 2011. Since its inception, Kotlin has undergone several stages of both beta and alfa right before the final release.
The latest version of Kotlin tends to be reversely compatible with various versions of other programming languages.
The experienced Kotlin developers have implemented most of the high-end concepts that help in preventing some of the common errors at the time of software delivery to the semantics.
One of the major advantages of Kotlin over Java as a programming language is the higher security rates offered by Kotlin during app development. In comparison to Java, the security levels are relatively higher and effective.
With the help of Kotlin, you are able to execute more tasks with minimal effort and time. When the overall code tends to be simple and readable, it becomes harder to create errors. Moreover, it also becomes immensely simpler to find while trying out the options get reduced significantly.
Ease of Learning
Kotlin is aimed at improving and not simply rewriting the respective Java features. A Kotlin app development project can also leverage the benefits offered by a skilled mobile app developer while gaining impetus in Kotlin. Hire Kotlin developers with relevant experience.
When it comes to delivering benefits to both the Android app developers and agencies, there is immense scope. Jet Brains aims at improving the programming language on a continuous basis.
Therefore, it is known to feature a highly competent industry-specific community along with a stable business model.
The language is also effective in transforming specific parts of the respective flagship product as utilized by the end-users.
Language Features and Libraries
Android applications are known to embody specific features that deliver optimized experiences to the clients. Most of the Android applications are known to symbolize common features that are quite typical of most of the applications featuring a graphical UI (User Interface).
For instance, some applications leverage the potential of asynchronous calls. In such a case, Kotlin is known to provide access to relevant support for the users with the help of its advanced libraries in case the language itself is not capable of doing so.
Some of the advanced features or libraries in Kotlin to look out for are:
- In-depth Interoperability
- Function Arguments
- Nullable Types
- Functional Features
- Kotlin Android Extensions
The advanced feature of interoperability between Java and Kotlin ensures a smoother transition between these two programming languages for Android app development.
The given feature of interoperability is known to cover all major aspects –right from the language alone to the produced bytecode.
The fact that makes the feature of interoperability highly sought-after in Kotlin is that it allows for reusing some of the vital libraries responsible for analyzing the same.
As far as the language itself is concerned, you can come across a complete list of the advanced features for Java Support in Kotlin documentation.
The feature of interoperability serves to be deep and smart. For instance, Kotlin is also responsible for providing support to some relevant conventions of Java development.
This serves to be a great aspect for Android app development because the available SDKs are still available for Java.
Therefore, by ensuring great interoperability, the dedicated developers are capable of delivering productive Kotlin codes while making use of the respective Java libraries.
When it comes to function arguments in Kotlin, these can be easily named and tend to feature default values. This helps in simplifying the processes of reading and understanding at the respective call site while allowing to limit the total number of function overloads.
As there is no requirement of making a function every time for every argument that might be optional, you are just required to put the default value on the given definition.
With Kotlin’s programing language, you are explicitly required to claim that a particular variable could represent a null value.
However, by default, it cannot. As such, this allows the developers to develop apps while avoiding the dreaded and highly common “NullPointerException” during runtime.
This is because most of the major mistakes get recognized by the compiler during the compilation time. Null references tend to be highly risky such that the creator of the code with a null reference might refer it to as a major coding mistake.
Kotlin is known to leverage the advantage of nullability. At the same time, it could also be said that the programming language takes advantage of the safety of all types while programming at multiple levels.
The utilization of the “safe call operator (?.)” helps in offering the guarantee that the variables would get accessed only when the “unsafeText” does not feature a null value.
Nullable types tend to be specifically useful in the Android app development scenario because of the wide utilization of the null value.
This could lead to the generation of a lot of bugs. However, with Java, you do not have proper alternatives. In fact, the null factor is used for a wide number of reasons –right from optimizing the overall performance to ensuring the maximum lifecycle of the given application.
In the modern programming paradigm, you must be aware of the concept of functional programming. However, its overall success tends to be relatively new.
Android applications do not serve to be the best use case when it comes to fully functional applications. However, these applications also need to make use of asynchronous calls for improved User Interface interactions.
As such, the applications can look forward to benefitting from the concept of functional programming available in Kotlin.
The applications take benefit of the concept of functional features in Kotlin with respect to imperative programming. Some of the most common types of functional features in Kotlin are lambdas and high-order functions.
High-order functions are regarded as functions that tend to accept functions in the form of ‘return one’ or arguments.
At the same time, lambdas serve to be anonymous functions that could be easily passed around. The only problem with Java version 8 was that the language started including them.
However, with a language like Kotlin, you can take full advantage of the fact that it takes functions right from the beginning.
Kotlin Android Extensions
You can also come across Kotlin Android Extensions that allow you to replace the bug-ridden and confusing findViewById() calls featuring synthetic properties.
There are some specific Java libraries that allow you to achieve something similar. However, in most cases, the codes would require annotations with Java. Kotlin prefers to keep things simpler without taking any extra runtime or lines of code.
Kotlin offers multiple benefits for Android app development. As such, developers can leverage the potential offered by Kotlin to deliver bespoke Android-based applications to the end-users. Ensure maximum ease of use and functionality with the help of Kotlin programming language.