Kotlin was introduced by JetBrains in 2011. It wasn’t stable during the initial releases; hence, 5 years down the line 1.0 Kotlin was presented with new functionalities and additional stability. In 2017 at Google I\O, a stimulating announcement was made regarding support for Kotlin as a top-class programming language. Thus, with the release of Android studio 3.0, Kotlin was integrated.
Why Developers Prefer Kotlin Over Java?
It has a sensible approach including its own build system or package manager. Open source availed in the market is popularly used. For example, Maven and Gradle can handle the build functionality extremely well.
In addition to that, Kotlin is easily compatible with JDK collection interfaces without breaking any current implementation of the project.
Moreover, Kotlin is interoperable with java which means you can invoke Java code from Kotlin and vice-versa. Byte code generated by Kotlin and Java is the same so in your existing project, you can use Kotlin along with your Java code.
Understand Kotlin Benefits and Why It Is A Perfect Fit for Android
Compatibility: Kotlin can smoothly run on old Android devices and has compatibility with JDK 6 version. It is having support in Android studio, and it is also easily attuned with the Android build system.
Performance: Having a similar structure in bytecode, java and Kotlin application run equally fast. Kotlin has an advantage wherein inline functions like Lamba is used while executing the code written in java language.
Footprint: A compact run time library is available in Kotlin, with the use of proGuard this can be reduced further as well. Realistically, Kotlin adds only a few methods to the application and less than 100Kb to the size of the .apk android application package.
Time of Compilation: There is incremental compilation and performance of a compiler is what matters the most. All source files are recompiled in a project when there is a normal build. Whereas on the other hand, for an incremental build, it will have a track of files which have been modified since the last built with only tailored files. In version 1.0.2 of Kotlin, incremental builds were introduced.
Learning Curve: One has to adopt changes with the technology and thus, keep pace with the latest technologies. Converter for Java to Kotlin is available in Android Studio and IntelliJ. Besides, an amalgamation of Kotlin and java can be easily done in the same project.
As the above characteristics of Kotlin are smooth to use and have extended support with Java and ongoing projects. Therefore, developers prefer Kotlin and are moving towards it gradually.
Real-life Examples of Kotlin Implementation
Most of the companies have successfully implemented Kotlin, among which a few have shared their experiences.
- With a user base of 150M people every month, Pinterest has introduced Kotlin in their applications.
- Android app Basecamp is implemented with 100% Kotlin code; they are able to report the humongous difference in the happiness of programmer along with improvements in speed and quality of work.
- Keepsafe’s app lock is also converted to 100% Kotlin code which showed a 30% decrease in the source line count and method count showed a 10% decrease as well.
To conclude, Kotlin is gaining around and would be the next BIG change in an Android ecosystem. So, are you ready to go ahead with Kotin for Android?
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