Kotlin is a new object-oriented and functional programming language from JetBrains, the company that created the IntelliJ Java environment to work alongside Microsoft Office suite. The best thing about Kotlin is that it allows Android developers to write code while still running Java for their apps. This interoperability with Java gave Kotlin all the promises to become the most powerful language for Android app development. No wonder, it gained worldwide popularity in quick time, and developers are learning Kotlin for their new Android projects.
The core of Android is Java, and so, all Android applications are written on Java. Java is capable to build applications having the capability to run on any type of hardware. Java is flexible, versatile and features rich. You can use Java to write code for the most complex set of features and can use the language for different types of functional output. Now Kotlin allows app developers to build apps that run on Java with a lot of added boosts to performance and feature set. Additionally, Kotlin is capable of doing away with the complications of Java while delivering a high-performance and feature-rich app.
Here we are going to explain some of the critical features of Kotlin that made it overwhelmingly famous as a new programming language for Android app developers.
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1. Lazy-Loading Feature
Faster loading speed is crucial for a mobile app to stay competitive and popular. Kotlin programming language comes with the in-built capability to help apps load quickly without making the users wait not more than a couple of seconds. This happens because of the lazy-loading feature of the Kotlin language. The feature helps to prioritize the app contents to load the demanded contents immediately while continuing to load other contents in the background.
Thanks to the lazy-loading feature, app developers can use Kotlin to load the key and most necessary resources into the principal memory, while the rest are loaded subsequently in the background. For instance, in a shopping app, the product sections along with search function and filters need to be loaded faster and instantly while the payment section can be lazy-loaded. The logic is to boost the speed of initial loading by allowing other resources to load on a lazy speed.
2. Data Classes
Being equipped with data classes makes Kotlin further advantageous as a programming language for Android apps. While Java also comes with data classes, it comes with a range of boilerplate code that developers always need to avoid only to get to know the actual utilization of the data class. In contrast, by using Kotlin the developers can find and use the same Java code in a much simpler method involving a lesser amount of code. This is why Data Classes make Kotlin so useful and developer friendly a language.
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3. Null Safety
One of the key features that the Kotlin language offers is null safety. While using Kotlin language, the Android app developers can ensure complete null safety by removing the danger of the null references from the app code. With Kotlin, the system will automatically deny compiling code that assigns a null value. This helps the developers to get relief from NullPointerExpections.
4. Java Interoperability
One of the most popular and critical features that made Android Kotlin widely acclaimed is the full interoperability with Java. Simply thanks to this vast majority of Kotlin developers having Java background became attracted to Kotlin language. Kotlin not only runs of Java Virtual Machine (JVM) but also offers full support to the Java tools and libraries.
5. Named Arguments
For Android developers, Kotlin came with a lot of promises to make the development experience easier. For instance, every Java developer faces the challenge of dealing with a vast number of parameters including the names and order. To write code accurately in Java the developers all the time needs the help from documentation or IDE. This is where the role of Kotlin looks really promising. This language helps writing code without any help from IDE. The best thing is, the code looks much cleaner and convenient in shape.
6. Supported by Google
The last but not the least of advantages for this language is the support from Google. The company behind the Android operating system announced in 2017 I/O summit that the new Kotlin language will have the official support of Android. As soon as this announcement came, Android developers all over the world started using Kotlin in all their app projects. As the situation stands now, Kotlin will continue to gain popularity among Android developers thanks to the Google support and a whole range of features.
Kotlin has come as a paradigm-shifting language to Android app developers who in spite of boasting about the versatility of Java always had to deal with lots of complexities and unnecessary stumbling blocks. Kotlin apart from offering a full range of features actually helped developers with unprecedented ease of coding.
| About the Guest Author:
Juned Ghanchi is a marketing strategist at IndianAppDevelopers, a high-quality Android and IOS platforms based Android app Development Company that he co-founded. He guides a range of organisations from big brand company to startups for developing top-notch mobile applications.