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Why Should You Start Android App Development With Kotlin?

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Currently, there are lots of JVM languages one can try to use while developing Android apps. Since the last decade, JAVA has been the only language that supports Google’s official IDEs to develop Android apps. Since JAVA is an old language, you may have come across a few obstacles while developing Android apps. Sometimes you may have felt a limitation on your creativity due to the restraints exercised by the language. To overcome those limitations, a new language, KOTLIN, is developed by JetBrains, which is more powerful yet simpler than JAVA.

Kotlin has been receiving attention since Google announced its official support as a programming language. Kotlin also allows the developers to make use of Android Studio, Google’s primary IDE for Android.

Many android developers were not convinced in switching from Java because of their expertise in that field. But when they started looking into Kotlin, they changed their minds and started using it for developing applications.

What Is Kotlin?

Kotlin is a programming language for the JVM and Android that combines Object-Oriented and Functional Programming features, which is for a general-purpose, statically typed pragmatic, and open-source. Its main focus is on interoperability, safety, clarity, and tooling support.

Kotlin has been developed as a solution to the problems that Android developers have faced over some time. It allows you to overcome obstacles most easily and quickly.

Benefits Of Kotlin Vs Java

Concise

Kotlin is more concise than Java because it solves problems within fewer lines of code. Enables a change in the code effectively and efficiently. This improves code maintenance and readability.

Safer

It prevents common programming mistakes such as design and application crashes. In Java, certain error causes are more likely to occur again. Using this, write more robust code.

Better Support For Functional Programming

Functional programming is a development pattern that allows programmers to solve problems more consistently and easily. Performance can be improved using inlining which is not possible in Java.

Reduce Errors And Bugs In The Code

Kotlin compilers’ main focus is to fail – fast whenever possible. Kotlin compiler performs many checks, the effort of error fixes place, and avoiding runtime errors.

Other Key Advantages To Start Android App Development With Kotlin

  • Open Source and provides an easier way to develop android apps.
  • Kotlin Programs use JAVA frameworks and libraries.
  • Very easy to learn and understand.
  • Adopting Kotlin is low risk.
  • Fewer Errors.
  • Null Safety.
  • Kotlin supports multiple platforms.
  • Kotlin is having very crystal & intuitive syntax.
  • Sophisticated language with great IDE support.
  • It makes developers more versatile

Target Platforms For Kotlin

Kotlin is used for the following types of development: server-side, client-side web, Android, and native code. A recent survey conducted after the release of Kotlin recorded the response from developers who counted Kotlin among the top three programming languages. It indicated that 66% of them used Kotlin for Android, 57% used Kotlin for JVM, 8% used Kotlin for Native, and 5% used Kotlin for JavaScript.

The developers who used Kotlin for Native said they targeted Linux, Android, macOS,watchOS, tvOS, Windows, iOS, WebAssembly, and embedded systems.

Programming In Kotlin

To begin with, Kotlin allows top-level functions. It supports higher-order functions, inline functions, generics, closures, anonymous functions, and tail recursion. All the features and functions of the programming languages are combined in Kotlin.

As an alternative programming style, it preserves most of the object-oriented nature of Java, which is very easy while converting Java code. Kotlin has classes with constructors.

Kotlin has a single inheritance from the named superclass, and all Kotlin Classes are with default superclasses, which are not the same as Java classes.

To allow other classes to inherit with kotlin classes, Kotlin classes have to be marked with an open keyword.

Variable Declaration

In Kotlin you can declare a variable as var x : Int = 10, or you can use the shorter but just as clear version var x = 10

For read-only variables, Kotlin has something called val declaration that is equivalent to Java variables. Once those variables are final, they cannot be reassigned.

String Templates

Strings contain something called template expressions; these are basically expressions which are evaluated with results inserted into the string.

A template expression consists of a simple name or probably an arbitrary expression that is enclosed in curly brackets. The code begins with a dollar sign ($).

println(“Name: $name, Department: $dept”)

Extends And Implements

In JAVA, a class can extend another class and implement one or more interfaces. That concept is the same in Kotlin just syntax is different

class Study : Book, Comparable<Book>

‘if’ Statements And Expressions

In Kotlin, if statements can be used for control flow with Java, but it can also be used as an expression. Java’s cryptic ternary operator (?:) is replaced by the clearer but somewhat longer if expression.

val max = if (x >= y) then x else y

‘When’ Statement

Kotlin allows a replacement of switch statements with a when statement. You can include ranges of values without Break Statements.

when (x)
{
in 1..10 -> print(“x is in the range”)
in validNumbers -> print(“x is valid”)
!in 10..20 -> print(“x is outside the range”)
else -> print(“none of the above”)
}

Difference Between Kotlin And Java

  • The main question of the developers about choosing Kotlin or Java as a programming language for Android. The shortest answer is that the Kotlin code is safer and more concise than Java code.
  • Both Kotlin and Java files can coexist in Android Apps, so Kotlin is not only for new applications but also for expanding existing Java applications too.
  • The only argument I have ever seen for choosing Java over Kotlin would be for the case of complete Android development newbies.
  • For anyone doing Android development, the advantages of Kotlin are compelling. The time for Java developers to learn Kotlin is a few hours. The basic estimate indicates approximately 40% cut in the numbers of lines in code in Kotlin than Java.

Kotlin Working With Java

You might be wondering about the ways in which Kotlin handles the results of Java calls, considering the differences in null handling and checked exceptions. Kotlin reliably infers on a platform type that behaves exactly like a Java type, it means that is it nullable, but it can generate null-pointer exceptions.

Kotlin may also inject an assertion into the code at compile time to avoid aiming actual null pointer exceptions. There is no confirmed language notation for a platform type, but in the event, Kotlin has to declare a platform type such as an error message, it happens ! to the type.

In most cases, calling Java code from Kotlin works in the way you might expect. Anytime both getters and setters exist in a Java class, Kotlin treats them as priorities with the same name. Similarly, Boolean accessor methods are treated as priorities that have the same name as the getter methods.

For example

import java.util.Calendar

fun calendarDemo()
{

val calendar = Calendar.getInstance()

if (calendar.firstDayOfWeek == Calendar.SUNDAY) { // call getFirstDayOfWeek()

calendar.firstDayOfWeek = Calendar.MONDAY // call setFirstDayOfWeek()

}

if (!calendar.isLenient) { // call isLenient()

calendar.isLenient = true // call setLenient()

}

}

This trick break-down for the case of the Java set only properties, which are not supported in Kotlin. If Java class has only a setter properties, it will not be visible as a property in Kotlin.

It offers a bunch of useful features and provides null safety through nullable and non-nullable types. If you already know Java, you will be an expert in Kotlin very quickly.

Converting Java To Kotlin

As Kotlin is receiving unstaggered growth, it may be possible that you will not get the solution / third party libraries developed with Kotlin easily as compared to JAVA. But not to worry about that, it’s very easy to convert JAVA code to Kotlin.

Even if you are having applications developed with JAVA, and thinking to migrate JAVA

Kotlin, You Can Convert That Code By Following Just Simple Steps:

  • Past java code into Kotlin file.

  • Select Java file go to code option then select “Convert Java file to Kotlin file”

To Sum It Up

Kotlin is a developer-friendly language that allows breathing space to developers to come up with unique solutions to regular problems.

With Google turning Kotlin-oriented, major developers and multinational companies are moving towards adopting it, since many Java apps are now being rewritten in Kotlin.

As above, with the tremendous features of Kotlin, at ZealousWeb, Mobile Application developers have started to Android app development with Kotlin. If you are an Android developer and passionate about your profession, this is a great chance for you to fire up creativity and develop innovative Android applications without any hurdles of the programming language.

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