Google announced Kotlin as the new language to build Android applications. Kotlin language has been added as an official programming language for Android development. Kotlin is a new language that runs on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) to help solve issues such as runtime exceptions and source code verbosity.
Kotlin first appeared in 2010 as a new language for Java Virtual Machine from a team of Saint-Peterburg programmers called JetBrains. Kotlin is a statistically typed programming language used for writing multi-platform applications. It is fully interoperable with Java, which was Google’s primary language for writing Android apps until now. The reasons for Android adopting a new language are quite simple to understand-
a) Java has been around for more than 22 years which means there are lots of features that cannot be implemented in Java due to its massiveness and obsolescence.
b) Java takes time to compile as it requires long code combinations.
Whereas Kotlin is lean and has a convenient syntax. It balances readability in syntax which helps you write simpler and faster code leading to better productivity. Some advantages of switching to Kotlin are:-
1) Kotlin requires less code to write:
Kotlin requires at least 20% less code. As previously mentioned, Java is a 22-year-old language which is a bit outdated. Java was created as a backend compatible language which means that every new feature has to support all previous features. As a result, with every new update, it becomes difficult to include new features. On the contrary, Kotlin’s has been created from scratch, causing the absence of layer to layer architecture.
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2) One-click Java to Kotlin converter tool:
It is open source and has a high quality, one-click converter tool that converts all your Java files into Kotlin with a strong focus on Java binary compatibility. If you are currently working on an Android application, you can convert your Java code into Kotlin, one file at a time, even the most complex programs with millions of lines of code.
3) Kotlin comes from industry, not academia:
It solves working programmers problems like research languages do not have null at all, but this is of no use to people working with large codebases and APIs which do.
4) It can be learned in a few hours by simply reading the language references(docs) as the syntax is lean and intuitive.
5) Supports functional programming.
6) It imposes no runtime overhead.
You can go ahead and start using Kotlin in all your Android projects by installing the plugin. JetBrains has created an IntelliJ/Android Studio Plugin for Kotlin. You can simply start by applying the Kotlin plugin to the root project’s build.gradle. After adding the Kotlin Gradle plugin, the next step is to apply the plugin. To do this, you need to add apply plugin: kotlin-Android to the app-module’s build.gradle file.
It is a chance for Android developers to use a modern and powerful language that helps in solving issues like runtime exceptions and source code verbosity. It is not difficult to adapt as you can gradually introduce Kotlin into your existing projects.