12 Reasons for Using Kotlin for Android App Development

By: Ravi Makhija
  |  Last Updated: May 1, 2023
12 Reasons for Using Kotlin for Android App Development

Are you looking for a new language to develop your Android application? If so, then Kotlin may be a perfect choice! Kotlin is an open-source, statically typed programming language designed to be used with the Java Virtual Machine (JVM).

It has been gaining popularity recently and is now supported by Google as a preferred language for Android app development. It is used by more than 9.6% of developers to build Android apps (source).

In this article, we will discuss 12 reasons why you should use Kotlin for Android app development. From its versatility and readability to its interoperability with existing codebases, Kotlin has many benefits that make it an excellent choice for Android developers. 

1. Open-Source

Kotlin’s open-source status allows developers to access its source code without purchasing a license or paying fees. This makes it easy for anyone to use and adapt the language as needed for their application requirements.

An active developer community constantly improves tools and libraries within the platform, offering excellent support and making coding easier and more efficient than ever before. An open-source language with many libraries available also makes app development faster and ensures they are bug-free before launch.

Finally, an open-source platform also means that anyone can contribute towards improving Kotlin’s features and capabilities. A consistent stream of bug reports and fixes ultimately helps to make the language stronger and more stable with each release.

2. Easier, Flexible Android Development

Supporting code sharing between platforms, Kotlin makes developing apps across multiple Android operating systems, like Marshmallow and Nougat, more efficient.

3. Seamlessly Integrated with Android Studio

Integrating Kotlin with Android Studio is an easy, seamless process. With extensive integrated development environments (IDE) supporting the language, developers quickly learn it without spending much time learning the intricacies of the language.

With the help of tools like Auto-Complete, Syntax Highlighting, Refactoring and Debugging, developing apps using Kotlin is highly efficient.

Furthermore, an integrated Java-to-Kotlin converter enables developers to quickly convert existing projects written in Java into a Kotlin counterpart. This makes it easy and efficient for existing development teams to transition from working with Java to Kotlin.

4. Speed

Kotlin is a highly secure language designed to prevent errors that can cause security issues. Kotlin’s compiler provides early feedback on potential vulnerabilities as you type, making it easier to spot and fix problems before they become a security risk.

Ensuring resources are disposed of properly once no longer needed, Kotlin also prevents memory leaks and other performance-related bugs.  

5. Kotlin is Multi-Platform

Kotlin is a multi-platform language used in Android, iOS, web, desktop and embedded systems. The language allows developers to create applications for multiple platforms simultaneously with fewer lines of code than in other languages. Kotlin also provides a wide range of APIs and libraries that can be used to customize the application further. All this makes it easier to maintain and develop applications across different platforms, while reducing the time spent on development. 

Furthermore, Kotlin’s cross-platform development support eliminates the need to learn several programming languages when developing an app on multiple platforms. If you want to know the difference between web and desktop apps, this article on web app vs desktop app explores the difference between both and which is better.

6. Interoperability with Java

Kotlin is a programming language that is completely interoperable with Java, allowing developers to use both languages in their projects.

Libraries written in Java can be used in Kotlin without issues, and vice versa, making it easy for existing Java code to be seamlessly integrated into Kotlin projects.

Additionally, the interoperability allows for gradual migration from Java to Kotlin, as developers can gradually introduce more and more language features into their existing projects over time.

By sharing the same development environment, no additional costs are associated with using both languages. This makes it easier and cheaper for developers to utilize both languages when creating apps.

Google officially announced support of Kotlin as an Android app development language due to its ability to work with existing Java code. This has made it easier for developers to create robust applications quickly and efficiently.

7. Reduces Boilerplate Code

Kotlin reduces the amount of boilerplate code by introducing several language features. One example is data classes, which enable developers to quickly create classes that store data that can be easily converted into other formats, such as JSON or XML. This means fewer lines of code are needed for basic tasks like parsing and mapping data from APIs. 

Kotlin also supports properties with getters and setters, simplifying accessing fields in a class without writing additional code. Additionally, Kotlin has extensions that add helpful functions to existing classes and objects, further reducing the boilerplate code needed for common tasks. Combining all these features helps developers save time, while maintaining complete control over their projects.

8. Increased Code Brevity and Readability

You can check out the language in the Kotlin playground

Code brevity and readability are two essential features of Kotlin, making it an ideal programming language for Android app development. Developers using Kotlin can write far fewer lines of code, making programming an Android application much faster and easier.

Additionally, the syntax of Kotlin is cleaner, making it easier for developers to understand their code and what others write. This makes collaboration among development teams a breeze, since everyone will be on the same page.

9. Maturity and Great IDE Support

Kotlin is a mature language with open-source developers having years of experience ensuring its features are bug-free and reliable. It also offers excellent IDE support, enabling developers to easily work with IntelliJ IDEA, Android Studio and Eclipse and other development environments. IDE support also makes it easy for developers to create and maintain projects without learning new tools or software.

Kotlin’s detailed documentation further helps developers get up to speed quickly and provides plenty of references for troubleshooting common problems.

10. Kotlin is Easy to Learn

Kotlin has a simple syntax that makes it incredibly easy to learn for those with a background in Java. The language mostly uses the same concepts from Java, such as variables, functions and classes, while introducing several new ones that make programming much easier. For example, Kotlin supports type inference, meaning you don’t have to explicitly define the data types used in your code.

Kotlin also uses lambda expressions, allowing developers to create more concise and efficient code. This drastically reduces the time it takes to write programs in Kotlin compared to writing them in Java or other languages.

11. Integration with Third-Party Libraries and Frameworks

Integration with third-party libraries and frameworks is one of the most critical aspects of developing an Android app. The language also supports various popular Android app development frameworks such as Dagger, Retrofit and RxJava.

12. Helps Reduce Errors and Bugs in the Code

Due to its robust type checker, which checks all of the expressions in a program and ensures types are compatible, Kotlin helps reduce errors and bugs. The type checker prevents developers from writing code that could result in unexpected runtime errors and crashes. Additionally, Kotlin’s concise syntax simplifies the implementation of complex logic in a codebase.

Conclusion 

Kotlin is an ideal language for Android app development with a long list of features for creating great apps. Its compatibility with Java and its interoperability are two main benefits for mobile app developers.

The language also offers many features and libraries, enabling developers to build powerful apps quickly. Furthermore, Kotlin has excellent tooling support from both Google and JetBrains, making it easier to debug applications.

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