Kotlin Vs Java – Which One’s Better For Android App Development in 2021?

By September 16, 2020October 1st, 2021App Development
Last modified: October 1, 2021
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For Android developers, Java app development has always been the number one choice for their Android app development. But ever since Google announced Kotlin as their official language for Android app development in the Google I/O conference, 2017, there was utter confusion on which to choose: Java or Kotlin? And this has led to questions like:

  • is Kotlin better than Java?
  • Java VS Kotlin, which is ideal for Android development?

Even though both are equally good, they have their drawbacks. But choosing the one between Java VS Kotlin that helps meet all your app requirements is what matters. Analyzing each technical aspect of both programming languages is crucial. Let us do a detailed comparison of Java VS Kotlin.

I. A brief on Java App Development

As Android itself is written in Java, it came as no surprise that in the last 20 years Java has been the favorite amongst developers for android app development. Java is an object-oriented programming language that is the second most active language in the GitHub community.

1. Advantages of Java App Development

    • Syntax of Java for Android development is more readable than Kotlin programming language used for android app development.
    • Being an object-oriented language (OOP), Java is easier to maintain, modify and debug.
    • OOP functionality of Java for Android development makes it possible to create fully reusable applications that require lesser code and ensure a faster build process than Kotlin.
    • Java for Android development also offers a huge collection of open-source libraries, which ultimately helps developers reduce development time for their android apps.
    • Java reduces security threats and risks by avoiding the use of explicit pointers that can cause unauthorized memory access.
    • Java is an open-source ecosystem that is free to use for Android app development.
    • Java has incredibly strong support of an expansive community, making it easy to seek out valuable information and advice from other android programmers.

2. Limitations of Java App development

    • Java App development has some limitations due to its inherent characteristics that cause problems with the Android API design.
    • Java does not provide back up for data that might have been corrupted.
    • Java is a type-heavy framework. It requires more code writing which makes it difficult for developers to debug.
    • App development with Java requires a lot of memory due to which its applications tend to be slower.

II. A brief on Android development with Kotlin

Released in 2011, Kotlin was designed by programmers from JetBrains to add some advanced features to Java that would be helpful for android app development. Kotlin is an open-source programming language that supports parallel running with Java and makes compiling possible with JavaScript compiler. Kotlin for Java developers is very similar to Apple’s Swift in terms of its ideas and goals. The similarities between these two languages will help Android and iOS developers to easily switch between developments for each platform.

1. Advantages of Android development with Kotlin

    • Allows Kotlin for Java developers to update existing Java apps to Kotlin. All it takes is installing the Kotlin Plugin and letting it configure your project.
    • Android development with Kotlin is supported by a vast majority of IDEs, including Android Studio, and other SDK tools. This helps increase developers’ productivity as they can continue to work with the toolkit they are used to.
    • Kotlin has ‘null’ built in its type system. Null errors are a common pain point in Java, and since Android often uses null to represent the absence of a value, Kotlin solves it by placing null directly in its type system.
    • Kotlin has a much better way of writing code than Java. Due to this, it has fewer crashes and lesser system failures than Java.
    • Between Kotlin VS Java, Android development with Kotlin exhibits increased team efficiency – Thanks to its predictable language & intuitive syntax, more work can be done as it takes less time and fewer lines to write and deploy working code.
    • Interoperable with Java — developers can write code for new modules in Kotlin and be sure they will work alongside the existing Java code. Kotlin is compatible with all Java libraries and frameworks and can also integrate with the Gradle or Maven build systems.

2. Limitations of Android Development with Kotlin

    • Kotlin’s compilation of code is slower than Java
    • Kotlin For Java developers who have just begun working with Kotlin, it would require a lot of effort to understand it, due to its difficult-to-understand syntax.
    • Android development with Kotlin has a small developer community due to which it has a limited number of learning resources. It also faces difficulty in finding solutions for developers.

III. Is Kotlin Worth the Effort?

Since Google has announced it as an official Android app development language, Kotlin has seen a growing acceptance and recognition by major players in the android development space. As Kotlin is the new official framework for android app development – Between Java VS Kotlin, Kotlin it has considerable potential to be adopted by the android developers in the future. Kotlin has been built with developer productivity in mind. And, it goes without saying that its enhanced productivity tracks back to its concise code that can roughly cut as much as 40% lines of code compared to Java. Between Kotlin VS Java, the intuitive syntax and the overall clean language design of Kotlin, makes developers life easy as they require less time to write new code, deploy it and maintain it at any scale. Due to this the android apps will become easier and cheaper to maintain. Hire expert Android app developers for hassle-free and, end to end solutions today!

A quick overview of Java VS Kotlin:
For now, Java isn’t going anywhere, and it will be a long until it gets completely phased out by Kotlin. Kotlin is here to stay. It will get even more developer-friendly as time goes on. Kotlin definitely has a lot to offer to developers of the future. Apart from Google, there are many companies like Uber, Pinterest, Basecamp, Coursera that are also embracing Kotlin as their official Android programming language!

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