Java vs. Kotlin: Which is the Better Option for Android App Development?

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Are you an app developer? Or in the making? Have you acknowledged about Kotlin? Are you learning languages of App developing and puzzled to choose between Kotlin and Java? These questions may appear as essential in android app development.

This article will make it worth reading, removing all your confusion. Since Java has emerged, it became the priority language for Android App development to learn and to work. 

According to 2018 data, Java is the second most widespread language on GITHUB with 67% of the share after the Javascript with 97%. 

But after the announcement at Google I/O 2017 making Kotlin the second official language App developers are in such a dilemma – which language should be preferred? 

While Java is reputable, commonly used, and accessible in the App development arena Kotlin steadily making its way. 

Kotlin appeared as a natural language and presented itself more useful, having a partnership with Google Cloud Platform, the Spring Framework, and Gradle. 

With completely interoperability and conciseness code, Kotlin emerged as a fresh wave among app developers. 

It may be quite useful for any app developer to learn Kotlin. However, before shifting blindly towards Kotlin based on words of mouth, only you require a detailed interpretation of Kotlin features along with pros and cons. 

Know About Kotlin

At Google I/O 2017 when Kotlin was announced as an official language of Android it shifted from everyone’s peripheral to the main focus. 

It a programming language used for Java Virtual Machine(JVM) and JavaScript. It was programmed to fulfill the needs of general-purpose language and to support interoperability and intelligibility. 

It was built to make android app development an easier task. Kotlin is a functional programming (FP) language and also compatible with object-oriented(OO). 

It allows developers to integrate elements from each form. Kotlin also supports higher-order functions, function types, and lambdas.

Kotlin was developed to ensure mixed-language projects possible. Its compatibility with Java and Objective C makes it easier to learn a new language. 

Kotlin provides improvised syntax, expressions, and abstractions. While working on Java use of Kotlin remove all the requirements of excessive boilerplate code that is remarkable. Kotlin is getting highlighted in Android app development trends.

Some Key Features of Kotlin

Extension Function: It provides a unique facility to add some extra functionality to the existing component. 

Interoperable with Java: The most exciting feature of Kotlin is that its code can be used directly in your Java codes and allows to enjoy such additional features that Java doesn’t allow. 

Null Safety: It saves the developer lots of time providing an invalid safety feature that detects the null pointer exception mistake. 

Smart Cast: Kotlin check for type and then perform according to it, allowing the only operation that is exactly according to that type. 

Multi-value Return From a Function: Kotlin provides such a facility to get more than one value returned from the function when needed. And it solves a big issue of developers. 

Data Class: this one of the best features that differ it fro Java. In Java, you have to create a model class with setter and getters; however, Kotlin offers you to add data in front of a class that will become a model class itself.

Advantages of Kotlin 

Kotlin has produced some great features to seem like one solution for all problems. It is called “one-stop language” for all app development. There is a specific Cost To Make An App. So, all the app developers should find that out soon.

It is more versatile and concise than Java and completely interoperable with Java. This unique feature makes it a complete alternative to Java. 

Being complete interoperable, it can get used all the places where Java can get considered. Kotlin can produce some new options for a Mobile app development company

Significant Advantages of Kotlin

Completely Interoperable With Java: One of the essential features that makes it a perfect alternative of Java is its interoperability with Java. 

Without making even minor changes, you can add all your Java project in Kotlin. Now it will be a cakewalk if you ever want to shift to Kotlin even between our unfinished projects.

More Concise than Java: Being more concise than Java, it prevents more bugs while coding. In a straight line – less code means fewer bugs. 

The code written in Kotlin would be more compact and precise than Java and hence leave lesser scope for bugs. It is easier to maintain and read. 

When you need to apply some changes, it offers a more natural way than Java. Its promising structure implies a safer code, fewer crashes, and a reduced number of system failures. These advantages may attract any coder towards Kotlin.

Combination of Functional & Procedural Programming: It has always been a tricky question for coders to choose between functional and procedural programming ways. 

Both have their pros and cons, and one cannot consider accepting neglect any of those paradigms. 

Now Kotlin seems to solve this fundamental question by combining both of them. It is a proper combination of functional and procedural programming and gets fixed all the baffling situation. 

Productivity Booster: Its intuitive syntax clean language design leads to more productivity that enhanced with concise code back again. It saves plenty of time coding in Kotlin than Java. 

It provides a more natural way to perform complicated tasks such as object declarations, parameter values, and extension functions. Thus app developers may feel it as a productivity booster. 

Disadvantages of Kotlin

However, it has been created to eliminate some common programming issue that bothers an app developer to finish his or her coding assignment. 

Nevertheless, perfection is something that can not get achieved, and Kotlin also fails to answer every question satisfactorily. Below are some disadvantages of Kotlin:

Runtime Size: Kotlin standard library and runtime will increase the size of your App subtly. Although it would exceed only 800 kb that is marginal yet it is enough to put second thoughts on the user’s mind before going to download it. 

Difficult to Decipher: Code conciseness is it’s one of the key features that makes it a natural alternative of Kotlin, but in some instances, it also makes the initial readability more complex. 

In Java, everything is deciphered, but the Kotlin code may have more density that makes it harder to read. Lack of official support:

Android studio’s “autocomplete” and compilation provide significant assistance to java projects it may work slowly while working on Kotlin. That may produce a delicate tendency to hesitate Kotlin. 

Smaller Community: Since Java has been more popular and managed to make a considerable space among app developers, there is a lot of support and helping the community available online. 

While Kotlin is new and has to cover a long distance to grow, Kotlin users may face a lack of assistance online from blogs or helping the community. 

Should I switch to Kotlin?

In the wake of the emergence of new and perfect programing languages, Java users may consider Kotlin as an ideal and more precise alternative. 

It has quite many such features that lead you to make your mind switching to Kotlin over Java. There a plenty of reasons and some are given below:

Java’s readability take over Kotlin’s conciseness, and lesser room for error may be the top right switch to Kotlin

Java is still a procedural language, while Kotlin brings the white side of both of the procedural and functional programming. 

Null pointer exceptions, null-unsafety and lack of extendability have been some of the typical drawbacks of Java that Kotlin seems to remove at the very doorstep.

Java requires to finish the coding with such an extended syntax and invites more errors and bugs while Kotlin paves the way for the eradication of pests more than any language.

The reasons, as mentioned above, may lead a crave for Kotlin to coders, but the story of Java is nowhere to end. 

Android App Development Services trends also approve this statement. Java is the most popular programming language and preferred by experienced app developer also have a massive source of helping material and community. 

The advanced feature may also tend to some quality modification in Java structure to make it more competitive modern language. 

Kotlin is more precise, concise, and foolproof than Java and has the potential to grab the final spot among developers. 

However, some experts see Kotlin and Java can never kick out each other but will exist parallel in the programming arena. Nevertheless, there are more experts who believe that Kotlin is far better than Java. 

Beginners should Learn Java

If you are a fresher or beginner, learning Java can be more helpful with job perspective. 

If you start your career with Java, you can grab a large community and market, which leads you a more promising job in various Android app development companies.

Also, Java will become easier to learn on work because you can find the study and problem-solving materials easily to assist you at any critical stage. 

Hence Java is the earliest and established programming language one can access a broader community for problem-solving. 

When you are a beginner, or you got a new job, you will face some problems and need assistance. At least the latest android app development company trends show precisely the same sign.  

Kotlin is entirely new and emerging, and only a few materials are available online compared to Java. 

Thus it will be more helpful for a beginner to start with Java. However, it is not an unbreakable rule to follow. One can also learn Kotlin if he or she is interested and find it more useful. 

Now if you are a Java programmer learning Kotlin will surely be more useful for you. It can boost your productivity while working on Java is still a quite tedious job. Mobile app development companies might proceed with Kotlin’s option. 

Kotlin provides several ways to increase your limits. While it is completely interoperable with Java, you can quickly shift your outstanding work to Kotlin to access more conciseness and lesser error. 

Kotlin was developed by JetBrains that also has created Java IDEs, IntelliJ IDEA. They built Kotlin to enhanced productivity and counter the most frequently occurred problems in Java. 

However, they might have seen the Java is still useful in some way that’s why they made Kotlin utterly interoperable with Java. 

Now Google has announced it as the official language for Android it might have forced all android codes to change their way to Kotlin. 

Most of the Android app development companies have already started work on Kotlin that makes it essential for Java developers to learn Kotlin in 2019.

In upcoming years a significant shift can be possible from Java towards Kotlin. It is highly excepted that Kotlin can leave behind Java very soon. 

However, it is a way too early to predict any future of Kotlin, but as an aware developer, you should start learning Kotlin for your bright future.


In a very period, Kotlin has managed to catch the attention of every eye and produce a quality competition to Java. It is not any warlike situations between these two programming languages. 

Android app development companies cannot eliminate the Java ecosystem. Java is undoubtedly not on the edge of the end, and Kotlin is far more behind still to overcome Java. 

Java is still the most reputed programming language in android app development by far. However, the exciting features and user-friendly structure may tend to a conclusive shift towards Kotlin. 

Author Bio:-

Full Name: Harikrishna Kundariya

Biography: Harikrishna Kundariya, a marketer, developer, IoT, ChatBot & Blockchain savvy, designer, co-founder, Director of eSparkBiz Technologies, a  Mobile App Development Company. His 8+ experience enables him to provide digital solutions to new start-ups based on IoT and ChatBot.

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