Kotlin vs. Java

Kotlin vs. Java: Which Is Best for Developing Android Apps?

May 27, 2022 11:00 PM

Kotlin vs Java

Android applications have evolved into an essential aspect of our everyday lives. Companies are now utilizing them as an effective medium to communicate with their audience. However, choosing the best programming language for Android development is a herculean task.

Creators were satisfied with Java until Kotlin made its glorious entry. Now, someone who enters the globe of Android development meets a dilemma: Should I use Kotlin or Java?

In this article, I’ll compare Kotlin and Java to assist you to create an informed decision.

What Is Kotlin?

Kotlin is trending from JetBrain's open-source programming language. It’s an integrated development environment (IDE). Also, it’s a statically-typed language for JavaScript and Java Virtual Machine (JVM.)

Kotlin is a combination of practical and object-oriented programming that’s easier, cleaner, and quicker to compile reached to Java. However, as Kotlin can collect code to bytecode and run on JVM, it can operate on almost any device and platform.

Great tech houses make their Android apps in Kotlin. Some of the popular apps made using this language are Twitter, Trello, and Netflix.

Pros of Kotlin

Kotlin is quicker to write and thus, much valued by developers. If it carries 50 lines of code in Java, it only takes 1-2 lines in Kotlin. This also suggests there are many more occasional errors and bugs.

1. Kotlin assists in the building of clean APIs.

2. Thanks to Java bytecode, you can utilize Java libraries and frameworks in Kotlin, creating the transition from Java to Kotlin a seamless one.

3. Kotlin has the much-needed null in its kind system, something that was missing in java. Android uses null to describe the absence of a value and Kotlin lets you utilize null, significantly easing that pain point.

4. The Anko library available for Kotlin is of tremendous help for developers and there’s a very active and wide collection of projects on Github.

Cons of Kotlin

1. There is a steep learning curve with Kotlin. Its highly concise syntax, while a significant benefit, does need some learning upfront.

2. Kotlin shows a slower compilation rate than Java in most cases, even though it accomplishes beat Java in a few samples.

3. The Kotlin community is always young and the learning resources are limited, so finding answers to issues can be a little difficult. However, with its growing popularity, the resources and community will grow in time.

4. Since Kotlin is still unknown, finding experienced developers who can serve as mentors for your team can be a little difficult. Everyone out there is still just learning and experiencing it.

5. Some parts of Android Studio like auto-complete and compilation tend to run slower in Kotlin in comparison to Java.

What Is Java?

Java is one of the oldest object-oriented programming languages that found its way into the numerous advanced programs, and Android apps. The immediate cause is the Open Handset Alliance created the user interface (UI) of Android OS using Java programming language.

Almost any device, server, and operating system will support Java. Furthermore, as programmers can assemble Java programming code into bytecode, it also performs on JVM.

Pros of Java

1. Easy to know and understand.

2. Works well for native as well as cross-platform apps.

3. Since Android itself is created on Java, there are a bunch of Java libraries for your aid.

4. Also, Java has a wide open-source ecosystem.

5. Java apps are lighter and more close, even when compared to Kotlin apps, resulting in a more rapid app experience.

6. Java yields a quicker form procedure too, letting you code more in less time.

7. Thanks to the accelerated group with Gradle, assembling large tasks becomes simpler in Java.

Cons of Java

1. Java is a type-heavy language, which implies you write a lot more code, improving the possibilities of errors and bugs.

2. Java experiences some issues with Android API design due to inherent limits.

3. Java needs more memory compared to other languages and hence tends to be slower.

What Are The Similarities Between Java And Kotlin?

Kotlin and Java have many parallels. For instance, Kotlin ’s classification system is a lot like that of Java, which suggests that developers can readily convert their current code into the new language if they like to try it out.

Type System: Both languages’ kinds are equal, so you don’t require to worry about transforming your current code to the new language.

Collections Library: Kotlin ’s collections library is very similar to Java, and classes are straightforward to convert as well, which makes it easy for developers who like to try out this programming language.

Kotlin vs Java: Comparison Between Both Android App Development Languages

Ease-of-use

Kotlin is much easier to use and comprehend than Java. It also has a good collection of tools, IDEs, as well as tutorials which creates it easier for mobile application development. However, if you select Kotlin developers for developing the application, then they would deliver your project fastly as they are pros at creating use of Kotlin in Android app development.

Performance

Java is a mature language with outstanding performance. Kotlin, on the other hand, functions better than Java for Android development due to its benefits of immutability and properties as well as being 100% interoperable with Java.

Popularity

Kotlin is a unique language but has fast risen to be one of the most popular options for Android app development. In addition, it’s backed by Google, which suggests that Kotlin will resume seeing more support and progress as time goes on. But if I talk about the present situation, then Java is more famous than Kotlin.

Cross-Platform Development

Kotlin can cross-compile and operate on multiple platforms, while Java is limited by its service of bytecode which can only be compiled for a single platform at once. There are numerous issues in mobile development where developers need to make an Android version as well as iOS performances or even Windows versions.

Mature Libraries

Java has an extensive array of libraries, frameworks, and devices known for Android development. Kotlin is beginning to catch up with the opening of newer libraries such as KTX and Coroutines but always has some catching up to do in this area.

Scalability

One downside to using terminologies like Java or C++ is that they are not as scalable. Due to this, the application can sometimes get puffy and affect implementation, especially on older devices like Android phones. Kotlin has a more powerful emphasis on scalability in its design, which enhances the performance of an app by decreasing bloat. So, if you like a scalable solution, then concentrate on Kotlin app development.

Community Support Kotlin is a relatively new terminology, while Java has been around for quite some time. As such, there are more professionals and development resources available to consult with when utilizing Kotlin than Java, which had led it to be the best option for many businesses in recent years.

Java vs Kotlin: Which is More suitable for Android App Development?

Both languages are excellent and deliver a range of advantages that would make them perfect options to use in creating leading mobile applications. However, if you’re examining more particularly Java vs Kotlin, then there are specific types of apps where one might be better than the other

Java is better for:

Large applications with lots of elements and functionality that require to function across all platforms, including Android, Windows, iOS, or Linux. Java has grown libraries that support this kind of application development well.

Kotlin is better for:

Apps where performance matters a lot, such as those that ought to run smoothly on older android phones or ones that are used for photo editing. Kotlin has a more streamlined and efficient design than Java, so it will function better in these types of cases, especially when scaling is concerned.

Apps that must maintain platform independence and be cross-compiled for multiple platforms as well as Android. Kotlin can accomplish these functions while Java cannot due to its usage of bytecode which can only collect code for one exact platform at once.

The Future of Kotlin

The benefits of Kotlin for Android creators are undeniably the future of evolution. Many firms are adopting Kotlin as their official Android programming language. The future of Kotlin as the latest android language is particularly a bright one.

In all right, chances are that you have people on your team who are already familiar with Java. Swapping the whole team to Kotlin at a time can be a time of shock, so it is essential to do this transition gradually, one person at a moment. Having said that, Kotlin is the new authorized language, and owing to its modern nature, it will evolve widely embraced in the future, so learning it and beginning development with it good now would be a good concept. Though Java will resume being a famous language for a long time and isn’t likely to be completely replaced. So bring your time and complete the switch gently.

At the end of the day, it’s all-around what you feel satisfied with. Like I said in the beginning, to be a true blood Androidian, you will require to have an operating language of Java. But if you already do have that, Kotlin is the language of the future, so you might as well pay some time getting better at it.

Closing notes

Choosing sides in the battle between Kotlin vs Java is hard. Though the languages are identical, they are suited for different duties.

On one side, Java is a versatile language. Though mostly the language was used for creating Android applications, it’s found its way to evolving into an ideal option for big eCommerce, data, and business systems. Companies like AppleTV, Hybris, Netflix, and ATG all use this technology.

On the other hand, Kotlin is a better selection for creating modern-day Android apps. Almost every app in the Google Play store is based on Kotlin, which acts as a base for writing microservices. Companie like Trello, Coursera, Pinterest, and Evernote use Kotlin.

In the end, the preference of the language relies upon the developer. If you are a beginner, go for Java. If you are a cognitive thinker who likes to write less code, Kotlin is the perfect option.

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