As developers are moving toward more modern ways of thinking and developing applications, a native open source programming language called Kotlin is gaining more traction and popularity. It was developed and introduced in 2011 by the company JetBrains, which is a software vendor specializing in creating intelligent developer tools with the goal of speeding up app production. Kotlin is a language closely resembling Swift for iOS and runs on the Java virtual machine.

Ever since its adoption by Google as an official language for Android development in May of 2017, Kotlin continues to expand and grow in success with the increasing number of developers using this system. It was projected that by the end of 2018, roughly 50.7% of developers would be using Kotlin which is a big jump from May 2017 when the statistics were at 7.4%. Now that there is a higher demand for apps to be developed using this language, Kotlin has been used to create well-known Android apps like Slack, Lift, Netflix, Expedia and American Express.

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Why Choose Kotlin for Android Development?

Kotlin is certainly transforming into a trending programming language which is now becoming an interesting choice for Android development. Let’s take a closer look as to the reasons why Kotlin should be considered for Android app development processes.

Google support. It was at the annual developer festival Google I/O 2017 where Kotlin announced itself as a first-class Android development language. With it being officially adopted and supported by Google, there is now a lot of confidence built-up around Kotlin. In fact, 20% of apps that were developed with Java before the announcement at the Google I/O, are now being built in Kotlin.

Readable and modern. Concise, expressive, modern, flexible, readable and safe are some of the positive characteristics associated with the Kotlin programming language. It is easy to learn and can be understood and read by someone unfamiliar with the language. Developers are also able to write safer code in a functional programming style. Coding with a more modern language like Kotlin allows for different ways of thinking critically, being creative and problem solving, making developers more versatile in their ability and skill to understand programming languages.

Compatibility. Kotlin is 100 % compatible with Java and all its tools and frameworks. This means developers can keep using Java while learning to integrate Kotlin code and libraries. And vice versa, older Java code can be converted to Kotlin, making it possible to use both languages at once instead of losing time rewriting code.

Since Java apps can be rewritten in Kotlin, there is complete interoperability between the two languages where developers can mix both within a project. This is especially helpful for developers wishing to migrate a project from Java to Kotlin. And, because they are compatible with each other, the transition from knowing Java to learning Kotlin is smooth and simple. This ease of adopting the Kotlin language removes any complicated barriers for learning it.

Similar to Swift. Kotlin and Swift are modern languages which are very similar to each other, which further helps with the collaboration between iOS and Android developers. The similarities between Kotlin and Swift also makes it easier and faster for Android developers to understand Swift. Therefore, there is the potential to speed up the development time for clients wanting an iOS and an Android app.

Mature Language. Kotlin has a concise syntax and an overall mature language. It went through many stages of development before it was released, which means Kotlin is guaranteed to work smoothly the majority of the time. Because of its clear syntax and first-class support, Kotlin offers developers high-quality development and low maintenance for all of its projects, which inevitably saves on the overall expenses of developing applications.

Compact. Kotlin is known for having a more compact code base leaving very little room for errors and bugs. With less code to work with, it is less likely it will fail, making it more stable and reliable. Because of the smaller library for writing Kotlin apps and dealing with fewer lines of code, this means the project is more concise and the file sizes are much more compact. Team efficiency and productivity are therefore increased when more work can be done writing fewer lines of code for the same results. As you can see, Kotlin offers more brevity which then ensures a faster production rate.

For more information on our Android app development processes and expertise, check out our Android page!

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