Kotlin vs Java: Which One to Choose for Android App Development?

Mobile phones are an integral part of our lives. People fancy doing everything from shopping to making payments to entertainment, over their smartphones. If we go by the statistics, around 45% of the world's total population owns a smartphone, and this number is constantly increasing.

Mobile apps are one of the strongest marketing media and businesses, whether small-scale or a large-scale, are leaving no stones unturned to utilize the full potential of these apps, for their benefits. Numerous new interactive and innovative apps are being launched every day, to grab the attention of users towards the brand. Having a mobile app would help your business to outshine among the pool competitors. Due to this, there is a huge demand for an experienced and proficient mobile app development company, among the entrepreneurs.

Why Android App Development?

While launching their first mobile app, entrepreneurs are often confused between Android and iOS, which platform they should choose to launch their mobile app first. However, seeing the popularity and usage of Android phones, experts have always advised targeting this platform first. And this is because the number of Android phone users is comparatively quite high from those using iOS phones. 

As per Statcounter, approximately 70 percent of the world’s smartphone market is dominated by Android smartphones, whereas, around 29 percent of the market is captured by iOS phones. Most businesses either go for Android app development first, or they choose cross-platform app development.

Also, the Android app development cost is slightly on the lower side as compared to iOS app development. So, businesses that are working on a strict and limited budget prefer getting an android app developed first, rather than choosing iOS app development.

Kotlin vs. Java: Which one to go for

There are a lot of technologies and languages available in the market for app development and entrepreneurs often get confused in choosing the right one for their mobile app. The choice of language entirely depends upon your project's requirements. However, if you talk about Android app development, Java and Kotlin are two of the most popular languages that are being widely used by app developers across the globe. But still many people are still not able to pick the right language for their project. 

Here in this article, we are going to talk about both the language and which one to go for based on your app requirements. 

What is Java?

Java, developed by Sun Microsystems and now owned by Oracle, is an object-oriented programming language, which is widely used for android app development. Even after being such an old language, it is one of the top picks by android app developers and is capable of doing a lot more than just app development.

Android development services

Java being one of the most popular android app development languages comes with its own set of pros and cons. Here is a complete list of them for you to make the right choice for your mobile app development.

Pros

  • Easy to Use
  • Easy to Learn
  • Perfect for both Native and cross-platform app development
  • Rich Libraries and Modules 
  • Light and Compact
  • Facilitate agile development process
  • Faster Compilation
  • Large Community Support

Cons

  • Heavy Language
  • Requires a lot of Coding
  • Requires a lot of memory
  • Less support for low-level Programming

What is Kotlin?

Although Java has been the top picks among the android app developers for the past 20 years, they were looking for some modern alternative for this language, which can overcome its challenges. Kotlin met all the requirements, which developers were looking for and has been then declared as an official language for Android app development.

Kotlin app development

So talking about Kotlin, it is an open-source, language based on Java Virtual Machine (JVM). Kotlin development came into the picture when Android developers were in search of a modern language that can add some values to the qualities of Java and help them in mobile app development. Kotlin is a highly robust language that requires much less coding as compared to Java. One can easily compile this language to JavaScript and combine it with Java. This allows developers to even migrate old apps that have been developed using Java to Kotlin. 

Just like Java, Kotlin also has its own benefits and limitations. Although Kotlin was developed to overcome, all those challenges that developers face, while developing apps using Java. So, let us first discuss the pros and cons of using Kotlin.

Pros

  • Faster Development Process
  • Lesser code
  • Easy access to Java libraries
  • Ability to develop clean APIs
  • Null Type present

Cons

  • Slower compilation speed
  • Steep learning curve
  • Young and growing developer’s community

Now that we know individually, about the pros and cons of both Java and Kotlin, let us compare them side by side to see the areas of opportunity in both the languages.

Java or Kotlin

Kotlin is in conjunction with Java, which is a great advantage as you can easily use all the existing Java libraries, JVM, and the frameworks. Writing code in Kotlin is much easier than Java. A 50 lines written code in Java can be written in just 2 to 3 lines in Kotlin. As compared to Java, Kotlin is much easier to learn. A developer having proficiency in using Java can easily learn and develop software solutions using Kotlin. Kotlin is a highly robust language and offers a really high run-time performance. Developers can easily test the app for errors at any point in time. 

Although learning Java can get a little bit difficult, it has a highly concise syntax. Compared to Java, Kotlin has way slower compilation speed. Also, the developer’s community of Kotlin is smaller as compared to Java with limited learning resources. So a Kotlin developer may find it difficult to find solutions to their queries. However, the popularity for Kotlin is growing and the resources and community will expand with time. There are an abundance of Java developers available in the market, but one may find it difficult to find a Kotlin developer, who has both experience and expertise in handling all kinds of complexities. In Kotlin some features of Android Studio like auto-complete and compilation may run a bit slower when compared to Java. 

Entrepreneurs are often confused where to launch their mobile app first. Android vs Java this is the one which most of them have. But seeing the popularity of Android apps to go with Android app development is more preferred. And then comes choosing the language. So one must choose the language based on the size and scale of your project. Every language has its own  benefits which you must choose per your project’s requirements, as they rightly say, a technology can either make or break your app. 

Is Kotlin going to replace Java?

This is the question which is doing the rounds for quite some time now. Some believe that after the development of Kotlin, Java is dead and it won’t be used anymore, however, this is not the case. Although Kotlin has some outstanding features, so does Java. They both are great for the projects having different requirements. So, Kotlin and Java go hand in hand for creating Android apps. Entrepreneurs often go for the one which helps keep their app updated as per the latest Android app development trends. 

Final Words

Although choosing one particular language can be a difficult task, Kotlin definitely has a certain edge over Java. It is new, has some amazing features, can use Java libraries, and has been declared as the new modern Android app development language. Within such a short span Kotlin has become so popular in the world of app development that most Android app developers are drawn towards it. 

Whereas Java is concerned, it is a classic language that will never go out of this development world. Although it has some limitations, this language isn’t likely to be entirely replaced. At the end, it is all about your project’s requirements and the language with which you are comfortable working. So, if you are also planning to get your first Android app developed for your business and are not able to make the choice between these two popular languages, you can contact any proficient and experienced app development company, and they will surely help you with this.

 

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