Android is a flourishing platform with billions of daily active users engaged in it. And that’s why, many businesses are looking at it as a window of opportunity to try their hands in developing an Android app.
With many available options, they offer several tools and advantages to enhance the Android app. But from all of them, Kotlin vs Java are the top languages that stand out when it comes to the need for fast-paced application development.
Being said of Android, as your business needs a sturdy platform to execute your application, you cannot decide between Kotlin and Java.
Where Java is an old-age but robust platform, Kotlin is an advanced take on making the codes easier to write for developers. Many such differences can help you determine to choose between one of them.
So, let’s dive into the differences between Kotlin vs Java to answer all your dilemmas!
What is Kotlin?
It hasn’t been that long post-launch of Kotlin by JetBrains as the programming language was launched in 2017 as an official language for Android development. That is why Kotlin is the contemporary programming language majorly used for Android. It is designed to simplify the way of writing code for the developers so that they can maneuver the application.
The code is inscribed for various applications that are compatible with Android functionalities. Moreover, its structure is similar to Java. It means Kotlin can be interoperable with Java to seamlessly compile with its code.
One of the major benefits of this programming language is it has concise syntax to hasten the developer’s productivity. Kotlin reduces boilerplate code so that the code structure remains to be transparent for the developer.
Kotlin also contains the features like null safety and type interference. In that way, developers can find the code readable and steadfast to quickly complete the Android app development project.
On top of that, Kotlin has been rapidly adopted by many developers thanks to its easiness in code writing. So, regardless of the developer’s experience, it won’t take a long time for them to deploy the code without compromising on the quality.
Best Kotlin Features to Use in Your Android App
1. Concise Syntax
One of the top features of Kotlin is its readability of code. The language reduces the repetition of codes in the code structure, making it convenient to check errors. Thus, Kotlin developers can quickly read and write code.
2. Null Safety
In many code structures, identifying between nullable and non-nullable types is a common issue hindering the application’s performance. To do that, Kotlin provides null safety to avoid null pointers exceptions.
3. Type Interference
Implementing a method requires the classification of type interference. Hence, Kotlin’s compiler resolves the issue by sorting the type of variables. It reduces the need for explicit type declarations.
4. Extension and Plugins
Kotlin avails the developers to add new functions in existing classes, without altering the source code. This feature keeps the code organized.
The Kotlin language enables the synchronizing of the program via coroutines. It allows non-blocking of the code execution to make the code readable.
6. Interoperable with Java
Due to gradual migration and code reusability features of Java, Kotlin code can call Java and even Java code can call Kotlin. The attribute enhances the development process.
7. Labeled Objects and Default Variables
This language helps the developers to provide default values for function parameters by categorizing parameters by name, increasing flexibility when working on app functions.
Pros and Cons of Kotlin for Android App Development
Kotlin Pros for App Development
1. Fast Code Execution
As Kotlin’s syntax can be quickly interpreted by the developers, they can implement and modify syntax in the Android project. So, it is faster to deploy the Android app.
Kotlin consists of features like data classes, infix functions, and a type interface. These aspects improve the productivity of writing code within a short time.
Kotlin has a highlighting feature for declaring an object as an expression. The language maintains the flow of single-thread events and keeps it safe.
4. Implicit Delegation
Kotlin utilizes composition instead of inheritance design patterns. In this manner, it holds multiple inheritance.
5. Passed as Expressions
Another feature of Kotlin is its ability to pass any function as an expression through rangeTo, which is helpful to iterate several values. It elevates in reading the code.
Kotlin Cons for App Development
1. Bytecode Size
Kotlin uses a colossal amount of bytecode-size files. This hinders the applications’ capacity for real-time functionality.
2. Android Integration Issues
Regardless of being the simplest programming language, at times it can be difficult to integrate with Android Studio, i.e., Integrated Development Environment (IDE).
3. Limited Ecosystem
Considering Kotlin was launched in 2017, it is a newly launched programming language. Because the program is a novice language, the ecosystem is still in its growing phase.
What is Java?
Launched in 1996, Java is a widely-used programming language that has been known by every developer. It offers independent coding for its platform and extensive usage in a range of applications. Developed by Sun Microsystems (now owned by Oracle), Java has a write-once-run-anywhere philosophy, meaning code written in Java can run on different operating systems without modification.
Java’s strength lies in its robustness, thanks to features like automatic memory management (garbage collection) and strong type checking, which help prevent common programming errors. It offers a vast standard library and a massive community that is suitable for everything from web applications to mobile apps and enterprise software.
In the context of Android app development, Java has been the traditional language of choice for years, forming the backbone of countless apps in the Google Play Store. Its familiarity, extensive documentation, and mature ecosystem have contributed to its enduring popularity.
Major Features of Java Programming Language
1. Independent Code
Java code has the quality of ‘write once, run anywhere’ to execute on various platforms. It doesn’t need to get excessive modifications thanks to Java Virtual Machine (JVM).
As Java provides functions to be expressed as objects, it represents the attributes and behaviors. This feature enables the reusability of code templates on any platform.
3. Storage Management
Java has an in-built garbage collection system. It manages all the data by deallocating the nonfunctional objects to prevent memory leaks and storage management errors.
4. Vast Standard Library
Since Java is being used for a prolonged time, it has gained a broad number of developers as community support. They keep maintaining and upgrading the language to create various application domains and resources.
5. Supports Various Threading
The popular programming language has a feature of multi-threading to build coherent applications and efficiently use system resources.
6. IDE Support
Java consists of supportive Integrated Development Environment (IDE) tools such as Eclipse, NetBeans, and more. It helps dedicated Java developers to code and debug.
Pros and Cons of Choosing Java Development
Java Pros for App Development
Through its main feature of strong type checking, Java enhances the code structure by detecting errors before finally compiling it in Android. This makes custom Java application development more effortless.
Through its security functions like bytecode verification, Java is suitable to integrate authentication features in the application.
3. Vast Community Support
Java was introduced in 1996, making it the most popular programming language to date. So, the majority of the developers are either experienced or many of them are beginners, forming a broad community.
4. Wide Application Range
Various Java development services can utilize the popular language via Java EE (Enterprise Edition) for web development and various applications.
5. Backward Compatibility
Java allows developers to reuse older code without impacting the app quality and newer versions.
Java Cons for App Development
1. Increased Boilerplate Code
Java allows more boilerplate code, resulting in the complexity of reading the code and rectifying the errors.
2. Null Pointer Exceptions
Due to the lack of in-built null safety methods, Java is likely to increase runtime errors resulting in loading time.
3. Requires More Lines
Java’s syntax is more difficult to read compared to Kotlin. As a consequence, the Java developer has to write more lines of code.
4. Steeper Learning Curve
Adapting the language might not be a disadvantage for experienced developers in Java, however, it can slow down the learning time for the newbies entering this field.
Kotlin vs Java Differences: Point-by-Point
|Released in January 2016
|Released in February 1996
|Launched by JetBrains
|Launched by Oracle
|It is new in the market so less popular
|Has been in the market for a long so has the highest popularity
|It is a combination of both object-oriented and function-oriented programming language
|It is an object-oriented programming language
|Requires few lines of code
|Requires more lines of code
|It has limited community
|It has a wide community
|Doesn’t necessarily need to mention the data type explicitly
|It needs to specify the data type explicitly
|It supports to create of various threads
|It is incompatible to create various threads
|It cannot assign null values to objects or variables
|Due to its null pointer exceptions, it assigns null to any variable
|Kotlin passes Lambda functions as expressions
|Java passes Lambda functions as objects
What to Choose Between Kotlin Vs Java?
Kotlin vs Java is a prevailing debate that has been taking place among developers for past years. So when Kotlin was launched in the market, it offered an alternative to Java for making Android app development easy.
Coming to Java, it will remain to be a salient platform even in the upcoming times as it is the kernel of Android apps. Besides their launch time, both programming languages are nearly alike to each other.
However, since both have huge gaps in their use cases and functionalities, your major doubt still might be stuck on ‘What to choose between Kotlin and Java?’, isn’t that?
It all narrows down to your need. If you want to create an application initially, Kotlin is the best-suggested language.
But, if your existing application has used Java codes, you need to approach a reliable Java software development company. The dedicated Java developers can augment your application and provide maintenance services.
To know more about the differences between Kotlin vs Java, approach our Nevina Infotech team of developers for the needed guidance.
What is more useful? Kotlin or Java?
Kotlin is a more comprehensible language than Java. Kotlin has accelerated development with lesser coding time and hence, it is a cost-saving preference. Whereas Java has a steep learning curve, as a result, it takes a longer time to organize the code.
When to choose Kotlin over Java?
Kotlin and Java both are notable languages. Depending on your project needs, you can choose either of them. While Kotlin has concise syntax, it is convenient to execute. So, Kotlin is an ideal language for creating new Android apps. Meanwhile, Java can be used only by its experienced community. Hence, it can be used when the application already has Java codes.
Can Kotlin be used with Java?
Absolutely! It is compatible using Kotlin with Java. Regardless of their different features, Kotlin is likely similar to Java. Hence, Kotlin code can be called from Java and so Java code from Kotlin, making them interoperable and interactive. The developers will only have to look for syntax typing.