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The advantages and disadvantages of developing Android apps with Kotlin

The advantages and disadvantages of developing Android apps with Kotlin

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Google, during its I/O annual summit 2017, announced Kotlin as an official programming language for Android app development. Of course there are certain reasons that prove Kotlin better for developers, testers and users, but as the Swift’s launch for iOS app development did, Kotlin too has brought up a number of questions.

Many businesses newly entering the mobile world with an Android app are curious whether developing the app with Kotlin will really make a sense and, if it would be advantageous to rely on a new technology over the traditional stack.

We take this article a step ahead and try to learn the key advantages and disadvantages of using Kotlin for Android application development.

Let’s do a background check.

Kotlin, the powerful statically-typed programming language runs in Java Virtual Machine (JVM). It means any computing device, machine or gadget that supports JVM will also support Kotlin based program.

Kotlin is built by JetBrains, the same company which has also built TeamCity, YouTrack and several others IDE solutions. Kotlin is a fully open-source programming technology.

It’s now officially an Android’s programming language, but it isn’t new at all. It was first introduced in 2011 but it succeeded to build interest in itself only after Google adopted it.

And of course, Google adoption to the the language has led it to reach into the list of top 50 languages in June, according to TIOBE Index. It is 30 positions up since May this year.

For now, the language is rapidly getting traction and, more and more Android developers have showed interest to build app with Kotlin. Leading companies which have already started to build Android apps with Kotlin are Atlassian, Pivotal, as well as giants like Uber, Pinterest, and Evernote.

Increases Your Team’s Productivity

Kotlin is based on Java, but it eliminates the obsolescence and cumbersomeness of its predecessor. It’s way more compact, clear and efficient with clear, concise and intuitive syntax.

This helps the developers increase their productivity because a code can be written and deployed in less time. Also, it  maintains better code maintainability.

There is live example of compactness of Kotlin. A developer who recently converted his App to Kotlin required only 70% of code lines than of Java. 

No compatibility issues with existing Java code

The biggest advantage of using Kotlin is that it’s fully compatibility with Java interoperability. Kotlin works best with Java along with all related tools and frameworks which form a rich ecosystem for it.

Also, it allows developers to gradually migrate an app from Java or they can even use both languages together in a single project. 

Easy maintainability

Because Kotlin comes with JetBrains-developed stellar support of a number of IDEs, including Android Studio which developers are already familiar with, the maintenance always goes easier.&

Fewer bugs and less time required in quality assurance

Kotlin’s code base is compact and clear which means there is greater stability during production and are are less chances of making errors. The complier detects all errors at the time of compile which means when the app will run, it will have almost no error.

This also significantly reduces the development time of an Android app development.

Reliable

Kotlin is more reliable than Swift. As I mentioned above, it was introduced back in 2011, which means it has already gone through a number of Alfa and Beta stages before its final 1.0 release.

The latest version is quite compatible with its previous versions.

But as we know, every action has opposite reaction and so is the case with Kotlin too. Here are some disadvantages of Kotlin.

  • Kotlin still differs from Java in many aspects. A new developers needs to go through proper learning before developing an app with this language. This will require extra investment of time and training.
  • Developers are complaining about the slower compilation speed as the key disadvantage to work with Kotlin. But in some tests, the language in fact beats Java in compilation speed. So there are mix results.
  • Kotlin is rapidly getting popularity but it still has relatively smaller community. Smaller community simply means limited support  in terms of references and resources.
  • Kotlin is quite new and this is why not all expert Android developers have mastered it so far. You will hardly find experienced Kotlin professionals in this domain.

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Rapidsoft Technologies - Global Software SolutionRapidsoft Technologies
Category: Mobile App DevelopersCompany profile: Rapidsoft Technologies is a Global Software Solution firm offering Total Software Solution, Services and Products for Mobile and Web platforms. We, at Rapidsoft Technologies, Discover, Design and Deliver from simple to complex mobile & web solutions for diverse business verticals from across the world. With the extensive competence, we are able to offer our clients with end-to-end business solutions to accelerate their internal & external processes. Our mobile application development an ...