Is Kotlin Bringing Native Mobile Development Into A New Era?
With Support from Google, Kotlin can Bring Android Development into a New Stage of Its Existence
Nowadays everybody has a Smartphone in their hands. No boundaries exist, so it is kind of logical that the mobile development industry is advancing more and more. The user demand exists and everybody is becoming more knowledgeable and involved on the topic.
In times like these, the evolution in technology always brings something revolutionary, something that changes the game and is fortunately beneficial for the consumer. In our opinion the game-changer this time is Kotlin, and the fact the Android development process would soon fully support it proves it.
Kotlin is a statically typed programming language that has many unique and useful features, including the fact that it is totally ‘inter-operable’ with Java frameworks and in short has no limitations. Let us share our 7 lucky reasons why someone should adopt Kotlin into their working habits.
1. The Open Source Factor
First of all, Kotlin is an open source language which makes it very accessible. Converting existing Java code is handled through a single-click tool and has never been as easy.
You can build Kotlin apps using normal Eclipse, Android Studio or IntelliJ IDEA. Besides that, learning Kotlin from scratch is also not that hard as many beginner courses exist and are accessible over the internet.
2. Data Classes that are Easily Written
The ordinary data class in Java contains too much boilerplate code that needs to be skipped in order to find out what this class is really about. The Kotlin programming style allows you to write an identical ‘class’ in an easier manner, with less typing and less mental effort involved.
3. Aimed Against Null References
Many people see the main advantage of Kotlin in the fact that it does not compile code that returns or assigns a null. This is far different from Java where this is a pretty common complication and was even referred to as to the ‘billion dollar bug’.
With Kotlin’s nullable types, this risk of null references in the code is reduced substantially. The language is type-safe and the intention of the Kotlin programming team was to create a safer language than Java.
4. Function Extending
Kotlin supports extension of functions thanks to which methods can be added to classes without making any changes to their source code. This feature is somewhat similar to Scala’s implicit methods. In Kotlin, adding methods on a per-user basis to classes is possible and might be very useful in your Android development routine.
5. When Speed Is Needed
Sometimes we lose a lot of time in our Mobile development process until we write the whole needed code, because unfortunately, everything needs to be explained in Java.
Luckily enough, Kotlin can help you in that because the compiler is able to understand the ‘meaning’ of the code and even finish lines like assuming types in variable declarations. You will be surprised how much time does this save you!
6. Mixing Java and Kotlin in Your Work
As we said in the beginning your new Kotlin development skills might even come in handy in your old apps. Let’s say it straight – you can mix the two languages in your Android development work and without an effort.
Kotlin is actually compiled to Java 6 byte code so calling Java code from a Kotlin class works like a charm. With this function you can worry less about adding lines that are unsuitable to an already written code.
7. It matters that JetBrains are involved
JetBrains had proven themselves as an enterprise that creates quality development tools suitable for professionals. JetBrains are responsible for Android Studio which is the official IDE for Android development. Other popular programs in their production line are IntelliJ, AppCode and PyCharm and they are also quite popular in the mobile development community.
Another forthcoming plus is that Google and JetBrains are intending to move the language to a non-profit organization which will definitely serve as some affirmation that the future of Kotlin will not depend only on one company’s decisions.
As a conclusion we might assume that Kotlin programming is the future of mobile development as it was announced as an official language for Android development just last month. Many huge companies are now using Kotlin along with other programming languages.
The fact that the amount of code increased from 2.1 million lines from 2016 to 10 million lines in 2017 is just an ongoing proof that it will be used more and more in the future. Is it worth it to switch? Well…it depends on your preferences but if you are into Android development you will have to get acquainted with Kotlin sooner or later.
Mobile development is advancing at a fast pace and Google’s announcement that full support over the Kotlin programming language is coming might just shape the future of Android development. We already see some trends for this and they cannot be a misunderstanding.
Kotlin programming could bring a new era for mobile development because it is an open source programming language that is safe, tool friendly and easy to learn. Not to mention that it is 100% interoperable with Java but lets you cut off your Java code by 40%. In short, it is a good idea to try it out now, because if you like it you can be ahead of your competitors.