Kotlin: a new programming language ready to rule Android’s ecosystem
This is something exciting! A language, developed by JetBrains and adopted lovingly by mobile app developers over the years, is now officially a part of Google’s Android Studio .There are some of the reasons why Kotlin is special for us. In case, you are unaware of the existence of this awesome language or don’t know about the possibilities it will bring to the market,
Kotlin is a great fit for developing Android applications, bringing all of the advantages of a modern language to the Android platform without introducing any new restrictions:
Compatibility: Kotlin is fully compatible with JDK 6, ensuring that Kotlin applications can run on older Android devices with no issues. The Kotlin tooling is fully supported in Android Studio and compatible with the Android build system.
Performance: A Kotlin application runs as fast as an equivalent Java one, thanks to very similar bytecode structure. With Kotlin’s support for inline functions, code using lambdas often runs even faster than the same code written in Java.
Interoperability: Kotlin is 100% interoperable with Java, allowing to use all existing Android libraries in a Kotlin application. This includes annotation processing, so databinding and Dagger work too.
Footprint: Kotlin has a very compact runtime library, which can be further reduced through the use of ProGuard. In a real application, the Kotlin runtime adds only a few hundred methods and less than 100K to the size of the .apk file.
Compilation Time: Kotlin supports efficient incremental compilation, so while there’s some additional overhead for clean builds, incremental builds are usually as fast or faster than with Java.
Learning Curve: For a Java developer, getting started with Kotlin is very easy. The automated Java to Kotlin converter included in the Kotlin plugin helps with the first steps. Kotlin Koans offer a guide through the key features of the language with a series of interactive exercises.
WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH KOTLIN?
Kotlin is designed to be type and null-safe, which makes it a better option for mobile app developers to use. Leveraging from Kotlin code and libraries is very simple if you are making use of Kotlin in your code. So, the language is a perfect present for the Java lovers.
Decreasing the redundancy, Kotlin makes the Android development faster and better managed. Its suitability for the Enterprise Java users and ease of implementation can help the users in developing high-quality Android apps for great performance and extensibility. It means Kotlin is a first-class choice for the enterprise as well as commercial applications.
BENEFITS OF KOTLIN’S EARLY ADOPTION FOR APP DEVELOPERS
As an organization, if you look at the benefits of being early adopters, there are many:
- Kotlin is declared as the first-class supported language by Android itself. So, you can expect more libraries, tools, source codes, tutorials and other learning aids to arrive for Kotlin. It ultimately helps in the development of better products if you adopt it early and start learning.
- Kotlin is not another laboratory-made language. It is developed by people who are currently working in our industry and understand the real shortcomings of the present ecosystem. So, it is an obvious thing that it targets at resolving the existing issues (successfully).
- What do you fear about… the cost? It costs nothing to implement an open-source language. Apart from being open-source, it is amazingly interoperable with your existing Java code. And hence, no change is needed to adopt Kotlin. You can utilize the one-click converter tool to make things smooth for you.
- The most advanced frameworks of Java libraries and framework, even the ones utilizing the annotation processing, can be used through Kotlin programs. It integrates with Maven too. So, mobile app development companies will not strive to use the existing solutions.
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