Categories: Technologies

Kotlin for Android

The Android team announced during Google I/O 2017 that Kotlin is now an official language for developing Android applications. This is amazing news for Android developers, which now have the ability to use a modern and powerful language.

Kotlin is a  new JVM based language developed by JetBrains, a company well known by IDE for programming languages like Java, C#, Go, Ruby, Python, PHP, SQL, Objective-C, C++, and JavaScript. Android Studio, the official Android IDE, is based on IntelliJ Idea and will support Kotlin.

Kotlin is a great fit for developing Android applications, bringing all of the advantages of a modern language to the Android platform without introducing any new restrictions:

  • compatibility: Kotlin is fully compatible with JDK, ensuring that Kotlin applications can run on older Android devices with no issues. The Kotlin tooling is fully supported in Android Studio and compatible with the Android build system.
  • performance: A Kotlin application runs as fast as an equivalent Java one, thanks to very similar bytecode structure. With Kotlin’s support for inline functions, code using lambdas often runs even faster than the same code written in Java.
  • interoperability: Kotlin is 100% interoperable with Java, allowing the use of all existing Android libraries in a Kotlin application. This also includes annotation processing.
  • footprint: Kotlin has a very compact runtime library.
  • compilation time: Kotlin supports efficient incremental compilation, so while there is some additional overhead for clean builds, incremental builds are usually as fast or faster than with Java.
  • learning curve: for a Java developer, getting started with Kotlin is easy.

Developers want to get work done – and the less hassle, the better. Coding with Kotlin means less hassle. The Kotlin programming language offers an expressive syntax, a strong intuitive type system, and great tooling support along with seamless interoperability with existing Java code, libraries, and frameworks. Many Android developers have already found that Kotlin makes development faster and more fun.

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