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Kotlin vs Java 2019: Which is Better for Android App Development?

Kotlin vs Java 2019: Which is Better for Android App Development?

Kotlin vs Java 2019

Java has prevailed in the market as the lead programming language for a while now. That left a giant hole when it came to Android mobile app development. Kotlin is a programming language that filled this gap in the Android world when it was announced as the official programming language for Android last year.

So yes, Kotlin is a strong contender in the market, is flexible and has much more options than Java does. However, what makes it the best programming language for Android?

Do we just disregard the fact that Java has been around for over two decades now and has been the very base of Android up till now?

Java has its own special place which is very difficult for any other programming language to compete against in the market which begs the question: which programming language is the right fit now when it comes to android app development? Is it Kotlin or is it Java? Read along with us to find out more.

Java or Kotlin?

The answer to this question is subjective. In order to understand which programming language is worth learning today, you’d have to look closely at each programming language’s pros and cons. But before that, it is important to say that in order to understand and learn Android app development, every developer must be familiar with the basics of Java even if the language you wish to specialize in is Kotlin or another.

However if you are already a Java developer and wish to start learning Kotlin, you may do that right away. Though for beginners, it is important to start with Java which is the very foundation of Android app development and then move on to Kotlin. Learning Java first will provide you with the necessary basics, etiquettes and the bedrock for app development.

Case for Java

Java as a programming language happens to be object-oriented and was first created by Sun Microsystems but is now owned by the Oracle. It is one of the oldest programming languages and does a lot more than just develop android apps. If you have an understanding of Java, you will open up a whole new world of job opportunities for yourself. Perhaps at that point, you may even venture out of the world of Android app development, but more on that later.

Pros of Java

  • Easy to understand and work around
  • Java works efficiently for both native as well as cross-platform applications
  • There are several Java libraries to help you for development since Android itself is based upon Java which is an open-source programming framework
  • Apps created with Java are lighter and compact when compared against Kotlin-based apps which enhances the overall user experience
  • Java has faster processes and let’s you code more in less time

Cons of Java

  • It is a type-heavy language which increases chances of bugs and errors
  • Java has faced problems with Android API Designs because of certain limitations in its code
  • It requires more memory compared to Kotlin-based apps

Case for Kotlin

Kotlin came into existence when Android started to require a more modern programming solution to provide qualities in its development that Java simply could not cover. The creators of Intelliji, known as JetBrains, are the masterminds behind the creation of Kotlin.

They made it an open-source programming language that statically types language which is based on JVM (Java Virtual Machine). Kotlin provides you several advantages over Java which includes compiling itself with JavaScript so it functions with Java.

This gives developers the opportunity to update outdated Java apps using Kotlin and to carry old projects previously done in Java ahead in Kotlin.

Pros of Kotlin

  • Kotlin happens to be faster to write when it comes to coding which is why it is so widely-popular amongst developers globally. What would have taken Java 50 code lines to accomplish, can be done in a matter of 2-3 lines in Kotlin. This also means that there is less room for errors when apps are created with Kotlin.
  • Kotlin allows the development of clean APIs.
  • With the help of Java Bytecode, Java libraries along with its frameworks can easily be used in Kotlin which makes the migration from Java onto Kotlin quite seamless.
  • Kotlin incorporates null in its type system which Java did not have. Android uses this feature to represent a missing value as null in Kotlin which could not be done in Java.
  • Developers can benefit from the Anko Library found in Kotlin which has a lot of projects to learn from on GitHub.

Cons of Kotlin

  • There is a learning curve which happens to be quite steep when it comes to Kotlin development. It uses complicated syntax which has many benefits but is also quite difficult to understand at first.
  • Kotlin has a slower compilation speed when compared to Java in several cases even though it prevails over Java in many areas.
  • The community of Kotlin is quite young and so the learning resources available are limited in many ways which can make finding solutions to complicated problems very hard. However, one can’t deny that as it’s gaining traction, it’s resources are bound to grow with time.
  • Due to the newness of Kotlin, it may be difficult to find experienced developers who can be acting mentors for teams.
  • There are features of Android Studio such as auto-complete and compilation that run slower in Kotlin-based applications rather than the ones created using Java.

Who Wins?

There is a chance that you can easily find Java developers for your team. However, it can be quite a challenge to switch your development team onto Kotlin as a programming language which is why this transition must take place slowly, one developer at a time.

That being said, Kotlin is the new official programming language for Android due to its modern nature and will become the most commonly used coding language in the future. It is inevitable which means that though you may put it off for some time, you will eventually have to adopt it into your development techniques.

However, this doesn’t change the fact that Java will never be completely out of our lives as it can never be completely replaced.

At the end of the day, it is important to understand what your team feels comfortable with. As far as android development is concerned, you need to have the basics of Java and then move on to Kotlin as one cannot happen without the other.

So perhaps we can say that as far as a winner is concerned, there can’t be one. Java is the dowager when it comes to Kotlin as the new and reining development language for Android. Code Creators is the leader in Android application development, known for providing reliable mobile application development to its global clients.

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