Kotlin the New Official language of Android
While the syntax is not compatible with Java, Kotlin is designed to inter-operate with Java code and is reliant on Java code from the existing Java Class Library, such as the collections framework. As of Android Studio 3.0 (Beta version), Kotlin is a fully supported programming language on Android and lets the user choose between targeting Java 6 or Java 8 compatible byte-code.
Kotlin came as a breath of fresh air in the Android development ecosystem to make “Android development faster and more fun. But, what about the numbers? How many developers are making a shift to Kotlin? Let’s find out.
Why do we need a new language when Java already existed?
Kotlin is derived from the java language and inherits its advantage and overcomes its limitations. Overcoming the drawbacks of old language has become the advantage of the new language. There are some advantages of Kotlin over Java.
1. Concise – Drastically reduce the amount of boilerplate code.
2. Safe – Avoid entire classes of errors such as null pointer exception.
3. Interoperable – Leverage existing libraries of JVM, android and the browser.
4. Tool friendly – Choose any java IDE or build from command line.
5. Companies like Pinterest, Uber, Evernote and Coursera, etc. are using Kotlin language in many parts of application program and apps.
Kotlin have made certain changes to protocols of syntax which make semicolon, mentioning package is optional.
Where do Future of Kotlin lies in coming years?
Year 2018 is seen as a year of Kotlin, As it is expected to make Android development a faster process and make it fun. The language is inter-operable with Java. A major benefit of Kotlin is the lesser number of lines of code. Its compiler can automatically infer types in variable declarations which can save time and improve productivity. As per data, 20% of the apps built with Java before Google I/O are being built in Kotlin, which is a fast growth given the time-frame of 4-5 months.
“Kotlin may even change how Java is used on the server, too. In short, Android developers without Kotlin skills are at risk of being seen as dinosaurs very soon,” the report states. As per predictions, Kotlin will overtake Java in December 2018, which would be about 17 months after the official support announcement.
Are You Interested In Learning Kotlin? Check out these Awesome Courses:
- Kotlin for Android O Development: From Beginner to Advanced
- Kotlin Learn The Complete Programming Language for beginners
- A short course on kotlin 2017
So, if you are an android developer you must try Kotlin and due to its inheritance from Java, it would not be much difficult to shift to Kotlin. Java to Kotlin converter is also provided for preexisting android applications by its developer.