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10 reasons why you should switch to Kotlin for programming Android apps

Manish Patel
Kotlin
© Shutterstock /  ymgerman

When we talk about Android app development, we immediately think of Java. But should we? Manish Patel explains 10 reasons why we should all think about switching over to Kotlin instead.

“The over-all point is that new technology will not necessarily replace old technology, but it will date it. By definition. Eventually, it will replace it. But it’s like people who had black-and-white TVs when color came out. They eventually decided whether or not the new technology was worth the investment.”

     ―Steve Jobs

Tech is full of stories where a new technological marvel comes along to challenge the long-established order. When we talk about Android app development, Java is the dominant programming language. We all immediately assume this is so. But is it true?

For me, no. There are so many other languages that can be used for writing Android apps that are also compliant with the JVM.

Which brings me to my main point for today: JAVA is obsolete. It has been overthrown by Kotlin.

SEE MORE: Kotlin cheat sheet: Tips & tricks

Kotlin is going to be the future platform for designing and writing Android apps. In fact, many developers have already titled it as the premium class language for writing the Android Apps.

Peter Ducker once said, “For new technology to replace old, it has to have at least ten times the benefit.” Following that maxim, I’m going to go over ten significant reasons why Kotlin should be adopted as the new official programming language for Android apps. These reasons should explain why Kotlin has garnered all the kudos it has despite the crowded field.

1. Kotlin is a simpler language

Java has been around for ages. And every time there’s a major update, it results in adding complexity to the language. New features, new add-ons, etc.They’re all useful, but this means that Java is a much more complex language for programming.

On the other hand, Kotlin is much newer and lacks the complexity of multiple toppings. This makes coding in Kotlin cleaner and easier.

2. Lesser issues

Kotlin’s got fewer issues than Java. (Apart from the NullPointerExeption issue which is currently irrevocable, sadly.) This has a lot to do with relative age: Java’s age means that it’s got creaky joints and a trick knee. Kotlin’s much younger, so it goes without question that it has less issues on record as compared to Java.

3. Fewer bugs means less time fixing bugs

Related to the above, Kotlin also has fewer bugs. And because there are less bugs, there’s a lot less time needed to fix said bugs. Coding in Kotlin is easier and simpler because of this.

SEE MORE: Kotlin Native serverless tutorial: Fun with Fibonacci

4. Ease of interchangeability

The shift from Java to Kotlin is smooth and swift. In fact, one can have Kotlin and Java both alongside each other in the same project. There are no dramatic changes needed to move from one to the other, even if you originally started in Java. Interoperability is a big bonus.

Kotlin

5. Best of procedural and functional programming

Unlike several other programming languages, Kotlin has a balanced blend of both procedural and functional programming. Enough said.

6. Brain child of premium class

Since Kotlin was developed by JetBrains, the company who designed the Android Studio IDE, it has complete support from Android Studio. When a developer wants to convert a Java file into Kotlin, all it takes is a few small changes in the Android Studio menu. And voila! Your file is now smoothly converted into Kotlin.

Kotlin

7. Extension functions

The presence of extension functions in Kotlin ensures cleaner Android App Interface and many more other benefits.

SEE MORE: Serverless Kotlin tutorial — You get the best of both worlds

8. The Anko library

The Anko library is the Kotlin source file to ease out the XML related complexity of programming language.

9. Type safety language

In Kotlin, there are optional safety types and also every class is a function. Overall, this results in more safety checkups.

10. Null in its type system

Since Kotlin could not get rid of Null Point Exception completely, it came up with an alternate solution to it. (After all, the mere presence of NPE can kill an app). Kotlin came up with null in its type system so that none of the developers can otherwise workaround.

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Author

Manish Patel

Manish Patel is a CEO of Concetto Labs, a leading mobile app development company specialized in Android and iOS app development.


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