Kotlin: a new programming language ready to rule Android’s ecosystem

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. Kotlin is important in many senses. Some may consider it a headache as they have to learn ‘another’ language to survive in Android’s ecosystem but most of the app developers are welcoming this advancement with open hands.

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, this article will brief you will every such detail.

ABOUT KOTLIN: QUICK GLIMPSES

Kotlin is a statically-typed programming language developed to resolve the practical issues, faced by the programmers working in the IT industry. The language is expressive, easy, powerful and interesting – all at once. To help in upgrading the performance of Android applications, it supports nullability and immutability.

Increased safety and concise coding requirements are some features that make Kotlin a delightful treat for users – whether existing or newbies. Its perfect bonding with Java, while overcoming the problems that other JVM languages can’t solve, makes it a suitable language for streamlining the Android development.

WHY IS IT A SPECIAL LANGUAGE FOR ANDROID

Android is a special language for the future development as Kotlin works great with Java and C++. IntelliJ IDEA – the IDE on which Android Studio is built - works flawlessly with Kotlin re-factor, search, navigate through it, debug, perform unit testing or write, do whatever you like!

Kotlin emphasizes on interoperability with Java code and Java standard library as it was developed for improving the performance of JetBrains existing solutions. Unlike Scala or other JVM-alternative languages, it is easier to call the Java code from a Kotlin module and vice-versa.

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.
  • Your mobile app developers must be interested in using a language compatible with their all-time favorite Java. However, Kotlin is also going to attract the coders of Javascript, Go, Scala, Python and Ruby languages who use worse run-time collection. And when it appeals to the app developers, it’ll increase the productivity for sure.
  • 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.

FEATURES OF KOTLIN

Kotlin is the latest language to streamline Android app development. We aren’t going to talk about anything that the official website of Kotlin can’t verify. Here are the major characteristics of this new ninja in the Android development world:

Kotlin is both an object oriented as well as functional language

You can write functional constructs as well as go for the object-oriented style as per your mood (or habit). High-order functions and lambdas will be intriguing for you if you are learning the functional aspects of coding.

Kotlin is ‘for all’

Android, client-side scripting or server-side web programming – Kotlin is for all. Pinterest and Basecamp Android applications, along with many other in the Play Store, are already using Kotlin (up to 100%), it is undoubtedly a great way of coding application. Significantly reducing the coding efforts, it results in higher productivity.

Kotlin is easy to learn

Kotlin team, lead by Andrey Breslav, Language Designer at JetBrains, has planned the language in such a way that it resembles current languages present in the market. It is inspired by C#, Java, Groovy, Scala and JavaScript. It means that no matters what kind of programming you were doing until now, the language will not be tough to learn for you.

Using Kotlin with Android Studio

Previously, you had to install a plugin for Kotlin. But from the latest release of Android Studio 3.0, the language is fully supported and requires no additional efforts. With the built-in Kotlin tools, following things can be done:

  • Convert your existing Java Code to Kotlin in one click.
  • Create new projects and files in Kotlin without following any extra efforts.

WHY DID GOOGLE ADOPT KOTLIN AS A SUPPORTED LANGUAGE FOR ANDROID?

The reason is probably the expressive, concise, modern and easy programming style, mixed with the powerful features embedded in Kotlin. Kotlin’s safety features are another reason for its acceptance in the Android Community. Its bi-directional interoperability with Java and other major languages is the ace card that has made it an efficient memberof Android app development.

JetBrains is an independent vendor of technological tools. The team will be releasing the newer versions of Kotlin, independent of Android or Android Studio. So, the adoption of Kotlin as first-class supported language should not affect the progress of the language. However, the plugin development will be a collaborative effort of Android studio and JetBrains team.

WHY IS IS KOTLIN APPEALING APP DEVELOPERS

Whichever flaw your eyes had caught in Java, must not be found in Kotlin. Mobile app development companies love the language due to the following reasons:

  • Learning is a few hours task if you have sound knowledge of other modern languages.
  • The runtime overhead is negligible.
  • Object-oriented style or functional style – the choice is yours!
  • Whether Java 6 or Java 8, Kotlin can use all existing Java libraries.
  • Automatic Delegation.
  • Cleaner and easier to review code.

FUTURE INNOVATIONS EXPECTED IN ANDROID DEVELOPMENT

Innovation is always possible, no matter how far we come in technology. Same is true with Kotlin.

Native Development

The web and Android development is already possible with Kotlin. In the upcoming days, the native development will also be possible. The idea is to make Kotlin reusable throughout any modern application. The JetBrains team is now developing common modules that will be independent of the platforms.

iOS applications

The Android components will be reused to make the iOS development possible with Kotlin.

More learning resources

As the language is growing fast, you can expect many new learning points, tutorials, newsletters and various other sources where you can find the best resources for learning Kotlin.

Other possibilities

  • Data analysis and scientific computing
  • Game development
  • IoT systems

There will be much more coming into the picture as the language Kotlin advances. Apart from Android, Kotlin is surely going to do great with native, iOS and web platforms. What do you expect from Kotlin?

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About the author
Multidots Solutions
Multidots Solutions

The Multidots development team is proficient in three fields: Wordpress, web apps and mobile apps development. Their compact development team, located in India, has prolonged experience with software outsourcing and have developed projects involving Android, iOS, Wearables and Beacons.

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