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Java vs Kotlin: What to Consider for Your Android App

Sitaram Sharma By Sitaram Sharma | July 22, 2019
java-vs-kotlin

Mobile app development is the industry that never ceases to amaze anyone with new tech trends and programming language addition every year. However, there are many companies that still prefer Java for development instead of the new android app languages.

This 24-years old language, Java still manages to stir up a lot of conflict between developers. One of the major reasons behind this conflict is the trust that android app developers have on Java that makes them pick it again and again.

However, with other programming languages like Kotlin in play, we have witnessed a shift in the development world. Many languages have come forward as a challenge for Java. There are a few things that lag in Java due to which other platforms gaining popularity.

Nevertheless, many people still wonder “Kotlin vs Java” and ask questions around. To solve the trouble, we have compiled the major pros and cons of both the platforms while following it to show the best out of both.

What is Java?

Many android app developers might not be aware of the fact that Android is written in Java only. Sun Microsystems built Java in 1995 which is now is under Oracle. It is an object-oriented programming language that is still favorite for many developers even after 24 years of its development.

So, let us give a sneak peek about android java development that makes it everyone’s favorite. 

Pros of Java

  • It is easy to run Java on a virtual machine or browser window making it flexible in nature. 
  • Codes reusability while updating the software is essential.
  • Open-source ecosystem that makes it easy to work on Java Virtual Machine (JVM) during android java development.
  • Java works on different standard Java libraries in Android SDK.
  • Easier and compact android apps that can be optimized easily.
  • Java Gradle is easy to assemble in an accelerated way. 

Cons of Java

  • Java is a verbose language that requires more lines of code that increases the chances of bugs and errors.
  • It is not very flexible with Android API designs due to limitations.
  • Java can be a bit slower and consumes more memory.

What is Kotlin?

There is no doubt that Kotlin app development is slowly taking over Java over time. JetBrain owned Kotlin has added new and modern features to the developing world in a definite manner. In 2018, at Google I/O it was announced as an official Android app development language gaining momentum.

It is a statically typed language with open-source nature that can be worked upon JVM. However, the code is not limited to JVM and can be compiled with native or JavaScript to work on iOS apps as well. Kotlin also allows android app developers to configure the project with its plugins list. 

Pros of Kotlin

  • Kotlin is for Backend projects along with Android app development.
  • It helps in Gradle build scripts due to its scripting capabilities.
  • The language can a bit difficult for native, JavaScript, JVM, and Android with one common codebase. 
  • The modern programming concepts can help for out-of-the-box ideas, delegates, high-order, and extensive functions.
  • It is easy to android java development to Kotlin app development with plugins.
  • Kotlin is expressive and concise with minimal error.

Cons of Kotlin

  • Kotlin has a slower compilation rate.
  • It follows the concise syntax for Kotlin app development.
  • Large community but no expert in Kotlin that can manage a team easily
  • Highly decorative language can lead to boilerplate generation.

Java vs Kotlin – Which Language Is Used To Create Android Apps?

For Android app development, Java and Kotlin both are famous among the developers. However, there are a set of differences that make mobile app development companies decide one of them for a project.

To understand it in a better way, here are the major points that showcase the Kotlin vs Java differences.

#1 Interoperability

Kotlin works as the core due to its nature to use existing data and experience that makes it easy for developers to work round libraries. In addition to this, for Kotlin app development, developers need to write the modules so that Java code can be used directly. 

Even the bytecode helps in making it easy for the developers to work on the same project simultaneously. This can be a great way to move a step forward that puts one point in Kotlin chart for “is Kotlin better than Java for Android”.

#2 Built-in Null Safety

When it comes to built-in security then Kotlin is not usually considered. Java and Android usually face the NullPointerException error during the development cycle. This is mainly due to the fact that Java uses Null to place the value in the app. However, a single null value can be a big error for the app.

This is not an issue in the Kotlin app development that uses null security in the code. Along with this, developers don’t have to write a lot of code while solving the problem.

#3 Checked Exception

There is no doubt that Java faces a lot of issues due to exception features. It uses a checked exception that is to re-throw an exception or capture the exception while calling a function. This leads to capturing empty and unnecessary blocks.

The developers require a proven exception to check the code since they need to check the code in order to check the possibility of this exception. This will automatically improve the type of security with minimal verbosity that answers why Kotlin over Java.

#4 Raw Types

Previously, Java developers used raw types in their code. This works on backward compatibility but along with this CastClassException can generation continues. This leads to an error during the time of execution with no mention during compilation time.

There is no need for unformatted type in during Kotlin app development that can anyhow develop secure code. 

#5 Brevity

When it comes to productivity in android app development, it is essential to keep Brevity in mind. If the developers are working on the code completely with no interference then there is easy to work on the Java android app development for larger products. However, it lacks brevity.

This is different in Kotlin apps since they focus a lot on brevity making syntax concise and legible for substantially. Apart from this, the readability of code plays a vital part in the development. It is essential to make sure that code is not just understandable but also readable by others. Kotlin is able to follow up on the simplification factors but conciseness is not its forte.

Java or Kotlin For Android Development

The points mentioned above are the major showcase for Kotlin vs Java android app development. However, there is no correct answer to showing which one is better. The mobile app development company is still working on Java and has adopted Kotlin as well.

It is still a debatable topic with no proper answer to perfection. Java is a bit difficult language with its own set of features and trust factor in the mobile app industry. Whereas Kotlin is a new language will take some time to reach the level of trust the same as Java. 

Over time, Kotlin has become more congruent and stable in nature as compared to Java. Due to these factors, many believe that in the coming years, Java will be considered as an outdated language.

On the other hand, many developers believe that there is no major difference between android app development Kotlin vs Java. They have their own importance in the developing world and will run parallelly to each other. Hence, Kotlin is an enhancement of Java but not a replacement.

Wrap Up Showing Android App Java vs Kotlin

If we talk on a general-purpose then Kotlin Vs Java are just two major platforms that help in the app development. The debate about both is going on for a longer period of time and it is not going to end anytime soon.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Kotlin Used For?

Kotlin can be used for the development of cross-app platforms due to the addition of plugins. However, it is mainly used for the android app development and code is shared for iOS apps.

Is Kotlin Cross-Platform?

Yes, as mentioned above, Kotlin code-sharing features can help in developing cross-platform apps for both android and iOS.

Is Kotlin Easier and Faster Than Java?

If we consider Kotlin vs Java then no, it is not easy to deploy apps developed in Kotlin that is actually a bit easy with Java android app. But yes, it is not that difficult to get hands-on Kotlin and to understand the language.

Sitaram Sharma
Sitaram Sharma

Co-Founder and VP Mobile Architect of Appventurez. A software professional who is highly experienced in Android, Flutter, React Native. He is a passionate developer with excellent programming skill who believes in bridging the technology gap and making the life of a large number of people much easier through his wide knowledge and experience.

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One Reply to “Java vs Kotlin: What to Consider for Your Android App”

  1. (5/5)

    The kotlin vs java debate is a new, with each language having their own merits but what exactly makes them stand apart? Get interesting and informational post here!

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