Java has remained the official language for Android app development since the very beginning of the platform. But now, since 2017, Google has brought Kotlin as the new official language for Android app developers worldwide. Though it is important to remember that Java is not outdated, it can be used interoperably with Kotlin.
Both Java and Kotlin are languages that are now in use for Android app development projects worldwide. What are the key factors that made Google consider Kotlin as a better alternative to Java is something we need to think about first when comparing these two languages in the context of the Android framework. Kotlin has already started to settle.
While Java is on its exit from the Android development space. So, we are here to compare. Since, for any Android app development company, Kotlin is here as the replacement for Java, the comparison is obvious. Here we will go deeper into this comparison, their strengths and weaknesses, and the key areas where Kotlin left behind Java regarding development capabilities.
Java, the granddad of many development platforms and a continuous alley of evolving software development innovations for years has also been the core coding language for the world’s most popular mobile operating system, Android.
Here are the key strengths and weaknesses of Java.
- Strong object-oriented programming language for a multitude of use cases.
- The massive volume of learning resources further pulls down the lower learning curve.
- Performance-savvy language for building both native and cross-platform apps.
- A vast repository of ready-to-use elements through Java libraries.
- A free, flexible, open-source development ecosystem with access to many third-party libraries.
- Lean and fast-paced development with engaging user experience.
- Java helps in assembling large business app projects efficiently.
- Java language involves writing a lot of boilerplate code resulting in more errors.
- Too much code footprint of Java slows down development.
- Java has some limitations in working in sync with the new Android APIs.
- Java consumes significant memory space that, results in slower performance.
Google brought Kotlin to address the limitations of Java for Android app development. Created by JetBrains, it is a modern language with open-source licensing, interoperability with Java, and a great security layer.
- Kotlin ensures quicker coding as it helps write code with less effort.
- Besides helping boost productivity, Kotlin, with far less code, also helps reduce errors and bugs.
- The lean and low-footprint apps built with Kotlin ensure much-improved app performance.
- Kotlin is completely interoperable with Java, allowing developers to use both code and components simultaneously in a project.
- Kotlin has a much steeper learning curve thanks to the less expressive and extremely concise code syntax.
- For compilation, Kotlin performs slower than Java.
- Kotlin, as a comparatively new language, still has a smaller community than Java, making getting support difficult for developers.
- Because of the feeble developer community support, developers must come across experienced online guides and help troubleshoot an app project.
Why Choose Kotlin Over Java?
Java has received wide popularity and acceptance simply because of its platform-independent nature. The typical ‘Write Once and Run Everywhere’ approach of Java gives developers much freedom and flexibility. Moreover, a rich set of tools, robust libraries, and significant community support all these factors together make Java a popular language.
Kotlin, launched as an interoperable and open-source alternative to Java-based upon the JVM environment, has been brought by Google to address the shortcomings of Java. Since Kotlin is entirely compatible with the Java technology stack while offering low-footprint coding advantages, it became famous for building high-performance Android apps.
There are many areas where Kotlin proves to be more potent than Java as a programming language, especially in mobile app development. Now let us understand why using Kotlin over Java is even preferred by Google and the large Android developer community worldwide.
Kotlin to reshape Android development
When Apple brought Swift language as an alternative to Objective C, it quickly became famous for its advanced features and performance. The same goes for Kotilingeshwara as well. It brings an advancement from Java to Android development.
Robust data security
Despite being a strong and extensive programming language, Java lacks some crucial things that modern Android developers need. For example, Kotlin ensures top-notch data security compared to Java for Android apps.
Lower code footprint
The most significant advantage of using Kotlin is that with Kotlin, developers can achieve the best app performance while writing far less code Kotlin is also known widely for its low footprint and clean coding conventions, ensuring faster build-time for app projects.
- Unparalleled reusable components and tools
Kotlin is much more improved over Java for building Android apps since it offers a full range of development tools and ready-to-use components from libraries. Kotlin Kotlin also offers easy, and out-of-the-box access to all familiar IDEs developers often need.
The future of Kotlin stands as dominant over the slowly replenishing popularity of Java for Android app development. Kotlin will replace Java for Android development within a few years. But Java’s supremacy as a leading and widely used language will still be there, at least for software projects outside of mobile app projects.
Since Kotlin became the official Android programming language, it will prosper and become the de-facto option for Android development in the coming years. The emergence of Kotlin Multiplatform as a new cross-platform framework further shows how the language is set to break new ground in mobile app development.
Java is out, and Kotlin is in.