Why Unicorns Prefer Kotlin for Android App Development?
Published: Jul 24, 2019 Last Updated: Apr 27, 2023Views: 172215 min. read
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A comparatively newly coined term, Unicorn, stands for a startup with an over $1 billion valuation. However, In 2019, there are estimated to be more than 300 unicorns worldwide.
Today’s startup ecosystem is growing and changing exponentially, and with it, so is technology. Startups and technology go hand in hand. In today’s time and date, it is inevitable for startups to function with technology; in fact, most of these unicorns depend entirely on technology. With technology comes an unnerving need for app development.
However, recently, there has been a significant shift in the number of developers considering Kotlin over Java. Kotlin is a JVM language developed by JetBrains. Java has been used for years for app development, but its limitations, such as how old it is, error-prone, and its verbosity, forced the shift to Kotlin. As per Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2018, Kotlin is the 2nd most loved programming language and the 4th most wanted.
Kotlin: A Java Alternative
Kotlin is considered the future of Android app development and is quickly becoming a better alternative to Java. Kotlin is a modern and fast-moving (but well-developed) language and is the way to go for all your future Android development projects. Since May 2017, when Google announced its support of Kotlin for Android development, it has become the ideal alternative to Java. Kotlin is the 3rd language to become a part of Android, after C/C++ and Java.
Unlike Java, Kotlin comes with great IDE (Integrated Development Environment), is an open-source language, and can be adopted into existing Java code. Kotlin, at the very start, allows top-level functions of the functional programming story. It also supports generics, closures, lambdas, and higher-order functions.
10 Reasons Why Unicorns Prefer Kotlin for Android:
1. Open Source
Since the start, the JetBrains developers who worked on Kotlin made it a point to go for an open-source form instead of keeping it internal. Open source aids in supporting core products that are developed in Kotlin, and it also assists in Kotlin development.
2. Fully Compatible with Java
A significant positive aspect of Kotlin is that it is completely interoperable with Java. Developers can start working with Kotlin on existing Java projects and get complete access to all Java frameworks and libraries, all while working on much more precise and concise code.
The compatibility provides Android developers to work in both languages, especially while building mobile apps. Many mobile app developers are now working on Kotlin but using Java only to maintain old projects. Some developers also convert their Java-based projects to Kotlin. If moving to Kotlin, the compatibility is so excellent that your existing codebase will be able to perform correctly with Kotlin. Since it is 100% compatible, adopting Kotlin becomes more straightforward and risk-free.
3. One of the Best IDE
IDEs or Integrated Development Environments are software applications that provide a platform of comprehensive facilities to developers developing their software. Since JetBrains developed Kotlin, the company has offered its most specialized and most used IDEs across the globe. IDE features of Android Studio work smoothly in Kotlin.
4. Write Less & Hassle-Free Coding
Java requires writing codes in detail while coding; however, Kotlin offers relief from that. Kotlin helps save precious time and effort since the Kotlin compiler bases its understanding and writes a large part of the code. Some of Kotlin’s features include the responsibility of data classes, type interface, properties, etc. Kotlin offers readability and simplicity; if done correctly, less code has minor bugs and fewer errors.
Kotlin enables developers to tackle the same problem with fewer lines of code, ensuring fewer bugs and crashes. Code conciseness makes the system easier to maintain, read, and editable (changes can be applied whenever needed).
5. Strong Community Base
As mentioned earlier, the fact that JetBrains developed this ensures it is continuously improving. JetBrains’ commitment to the project can be easily seen in the large and competent team that works on Kotlin and is constantly evolving and converting parts of their flagship product to use it.
6. Not just Object-Oriented but also a Functional Language
Kotlin is not just Object-Oriented, but it is also a functional language, and that has been a major factor why it has a cutting-edge advantage over other languages. The language can be used in both the programming styles (OO and FP styles) or mix various elements. Kotlin has brilliant support for certain functional programming features such as function types, lambdas, higher-order functions, etc.
Kotlin is a collection of functions on top of Java implemented by KotlinX libraries; it works with all Java libraries since Java is object-oriented object-orientation stays despite taking some functionally lovely shortcuts.
7. Helpful in Server-Side Development
Due to its full compatibility with Java Virtual Machine (JVM), it supports side development. This language for Android app development allows the usage of frameworks like Vert.x, Ktor, Spring, and Kotlinx.html, to name a few.
Kotlin supports coroutines, helping build server-side applications that can scale to massive numbers of clients with moderate hardware requirements. Server-Side Kotlin applications can be installed into any host as long as the host supports Java Web applications. This includes but isn’t limited to, Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform.
8. Kotlin can use all the present Frameworks and Libraries of Java
As mentioned above, Kotlin programs allow unlimited usage of frameworks and libraries available in Java. These libraries and frameworks can be integrated with systems like Gradle, Maven, etc. This is a massive advantage for any developer since Kotlin allows full access to Java, all while writing clear and concise code.
9. Allows Extension of Functionalities
Android framework sometimes creates a barrier and makes things difficult regarding extension functions. Kotlin allows Android app developers to compose Kotlin functions with extensions, similar to C# and Gosu. The flexibility of Kotlin allows you to extend the functionality of classes without making any changes to the existing code. Essentially, any new functionality can be developed without inheriting the class.
10. Kotlin Development offers More Safety
Kotlin’s high level of safety lies in its benefits. The developers behind the language integrated into the language the principles that prevent common mistakes that generally take place during program execution. Since it enables the same tasks to be done with less time and effort, the scope of making errors becomes low. When the code is simpler and easier to understand, errors become easier to find and rectify.
Kotlin development also offers null safety by eradicating the null references danger from any code. The system completely denies compiling code that tries to assign null.
Kotlin: Breakout Project of the Year at OSCON
OSCON (The O’Reilly Open Source Software Conference) is an annual convention that brings together like-minded people to discuss free and open-source software. Kotlin was named Breakout Project of the Year at OSCON 2019. This award recognizes a project that started “breaking out in a big way” last year. This fast-moving language enables developers to write clear and concise code.
Unicorns today, in this ever-changing world of technology, need a language for their development that gives them the flexibility to be fast and precise and change and develop with time. Due to these (and many more reasons, as discussed above), unicorns are fast moving to Kotlin for Android app development instead of relying on Java.
Kotlin has made life more accessible, and companies like Uber and Pinterest are moving towards Kotlin, mainly to ensure a complete package of premium services. Find out more about how TechAhead, a top app development company, can help you build a successful app that’s right for your customers.