Kotlin vs. Java: Choose the Best Language for Your Android App Development

Worshippers of Java or Kotlin? Android developers are currently divided into the two camps and when it comes to opinion each differs from another. Object-oriented, class-based and runtime environment makes java developers enable to run their program anywhere, any Java compatible environment. No need to write again or compilations. Only Write Once, Run Anywhere (WORA) with Java and Developed by Sun Microsystem back in 1995 Java is literally everywhere, undoubtedly became the most preferred language when it comes to Android development.

Now Kotlin burst onto the scene with Google announcing its support for Kotlin in 2017 I/O conference, and later in the 2018 Google actively pursuing developers to use Kotlin for their Android Application Development, lead the industry speculating Kotlin to be the next Swift for Android. More streamlined, running on the same Java Virtual Machine, coding in Kotlin is succinct and shorter than Java. It means developers need to write less in Kotlin, it also means minimizing the occurrence of bugs as less the code less the chances of making an error. Indeed, Kotlin has become a rising star in the Android Application Development so soon.

Now let’s take a brief look at the two languages to understand which one is more suitable for Android app development project and why.

Java

Almost an unmatched ecosystem Java is found in almost every device. With countless libraries, mature APIs, and the support, the object-oriented, class-based programming language very similar to C++, now controlled by Oracle offers the opportunity to develop Android Applications that are incredible in terms of speed and performance.

Advantages of using Java in Android Development

  • Java offers a highly secure Android app development with robust performance
  • It is simpler to understand and learn Java
  • It is suitable for both native and cross-platform app development
  • The codes developed in Java will easily run in a Virtual Machine or in a browser
  • Numerous open source tools and libraries are available in Java making Android app developers job much easier
  • Also, Java has enormous community support providing updates about new versions and features continuously.
  • Considering the Android Studio itself is developed on Java it is easier to write code for Android applications in Java rather other Android application development languages.
  • Java API packages are used by Android OS itself
  • The android application developed in Java will be platform independent implying it will be easier to export or import it to another platform.

Downsides of using Java in Android App development

  • Require developers to write a lot more lines of code. Verbosity is one of the deterrents that make many android developers dislike Java and also makes it more susceptible to mistakes or bugs prone.
  • More the codes larger the files or the application, and so the wait of the Android developers for finishing the execution of the codes
  • Naturally, Java needs more memory than other Android development languages and liable to become a bit slower than its contemporaries.
  • Also, the inherent limitation in Java leads to problems in Android API design in Java.

 

Kotlin

Though the language developed by JetBrains was there for almost six years before promoted by Google as its official language for Android development Kotlin’s popularity is skyrocketing since 2017. A long list of big names like Pinterest Evernote, Uber, Coursera has adopted it for their app development and rightfully so as the benefits of developing an Android application in Kotlin are significantly higher. Kotlin requires a leaner code running on Java Virtual Network. The statically typed programming language is interoperable with Java allowing the android developers to incorporate elements from both functional and object-oriented programming. Android app development with Kotlin offers faster and safer development with powerful features, shrinking the code base considerably.

Benefits of developing Android apps in Kotlin

  • Kotlin has been praised highly by the Android developers for its brevity. It requires the Android app developers to write a lot less code compared to Java.
  • It is easy to develop Android applications with a simple and powerful language Kotlin and with a fewer code to write maintaining the code quality becomes easier.
  • Developers are free from Null Point exceptions as Kotlin supports null in its type system and no need to end each line with a semicolon in Kotlin.
  • Simply, by introducing Data Classes Kotlin offers a great edge over Java for Android app development.
  • With less boilerplates codes Kotlin also offers better readability.
  • Open source programming language Kotlin costs nothing and offers complete freedom with a great IDE support.
  • Kotlin compilers reduce errors and bugs by implementing multiple checks and shorter length of code makes it less prone to bugs and errors making android app development safer in Kotlin compared to Java.
  • Android developers can create clean APIs with extension functions in Kotlin.
  • It is easy to learn especially for Java developers as the same logic and concepts drive Kotlin too.
  • Due to the interoperability, Kotlin supports all the Java Frameworks, libraries, and runs smoothly on the JVM.
  • Also, converting from Java to Kotlin is easy.
  • Highly flexible and with ample features Kotlin offers better productivity.
  • Kotlin has Anko library and other Kotlin based project support.
  • Kotlin supports both Object-Oriented and Functional Programming constructs and it allows Android developers to use or mix elements from both styles of programming.

Disadvantages of Kotlin in Android development

  • Compilation speed of Kotlin is slower than Java. Java compilation is 15% and 20% faster than Kotlin.
  • Still, in its infancy, Kotlin lacks the resources and the support that Java possesses.
  • Insufficient learning resources for Android developers.

The Closing Note

The way the language has been received and adopted so far by the Android developer community it is safe to predict Kotlin definitely has a very bright future in terms of Android app development. With its unique features like code conciseness, the inclusion of Null-Point exception, extension functions, Data Classes, and more makes the Android coding way simpler and safer reducing the code size considerably. Also, it offers a magnificent opportunity to use all the Java libraries and developmental resources. So in a way, Kotlin can be described as a streamlined version of Java with some added perks. But then again Java is here for a long time and Android developers also have to consider the compilation speed of Kotlin. So the answer to the question whether it is Kotlin or the Java which will be the best option for your Android app development depends on the concerned Android development project itself. In Webmatrix Technologies, we have been developing and deploying Android app development projects for a long time and has earned significant business and technological insights with some satisfied clients across the globe.

If you are interested in Android app development or hiring the services of highly experienced dedicated developers for your Android app development project or simply have any other questions, feel free to contact us anytime at sales@webmatrixtech.com. we will be happy to help.