Kotlin vs Java: Which is Better for Android App Development?
Android app development has been rising. The reason is that Android has taken over smartphone operating systems in the world. With the rise in demand, most businesses think about which programming app they should use to build a leading and impactful mobile phone.
Whenever anyone talks of Android app development, the name of technologies strikes our mind — Java, and Kotlin. Both of these languages are popular and known for their superior functions and features. Kotlin can be used on android, iOS applications as well as desktop apps.
You can use the existing skills and knowledge of Java. Java can also be used on Android, iOS, and desktop apps, but the coding of Java makes it a bit complicated. You need to hire android app developers from both companies. The android app development company in the UK is one of the trending companies in the world. Their cost is quite close to the global average.
Let’s have a look at the features that are considered before the selection
1. Easy to Use
Kotlin is very easy to use and learn. Kotlin comes with a good collection of tools and IDE’s along with tutorials, making it easier for mobile application development. If you hire android app developers from Kotlin for developing applications, they will deliver your projects in less time. Kotlin allows kaolin which is an interactive app for 3d learning for inspecting 3d data sets for Android app development. Even beginner programmers can easily catch up with Kotlin.
Java is also easy to learn and understand. Java is a heavy language, which means one needs to write more codes which increases the chance of errors and bugs. One can learn it quickly with some effort. Learning Java is hard when you don’t have any technical background, or you do not have the proper steps to learn Java. Java has broad features and frameworks which are integrated into several platforms. This makes it difficult for beginners, but with time Java is easy to learn.
2. Cross-platform Development
Kotlin can run on multiple platforms. They can cross-compile. Therefore, Kotlin has the feature of cross-platform development beyond mobile. Kotlin applications can work on various operating systems like macOS, Windows, Android, iOS, and others. Kotlin can be used to share common code between Android and iOS like connectivity, busy logic, and many more. It is considered pragmatic.
Java is platform-independent since the Java compiler converts the source code to byte code. The byte code can run on any platform using Java Virtual Machine. Java is used mainly for developing enterprise applications. Therefore both Java and Kotlin are platform-independent.
3. Data Classes
Several classes under huge projects are meant to hold data. These classes have little to no functionality. Still, a developer needs to write a lot of code in Java. A developer is needed to define a constructor, several fields for storing the data functions for each field and equals hashcode and toString functions.
Kotlin has a simple way of creating these classes. Only the data keyword is needed to be included by the developer in the class definition, and the compiler will take care of the entire task.
4. High-order Functions and Lambdas
High-order functions in Java are made possible through Callables and Lambdas. In Kotlin, they are pre-built. A higher function order takes functions as parameters or returns a function. Lambdas are anonymous methods that are important. At the same time, these are the few things worth knowing when it comes to Kotlin.
Kotlin is a first-class function. The functions can be stored in data structures and variables. These can be passed as arguments and returned from other high-order functions. Kotlin is a statically typed programming language that makes use of a wide range of function types for representing the functions. They come with a set of specialized language constructs like lambda expressions.
5. Null Safety
Java has let its developers with the feature if the null assigning value to any variable. In case they try to use an object reference that has a null value, there comes the NullPointer Exception.
All types are non-nullable by default in Java, unlike Kotlin. If a developer tries to assign or return a null in Kotlin code at the time of compiling, it will fail. When assigning a null value to a variable in Kotlin, it is necessary to mark the variable as nullable. This is fulfilled by adding a question mark after whatever is typed.
Therefore there are no Null pointers in Kotlin. In case you come across such an exception, then it might be due to some external Java code, or you might have explicitly assigned a null value.
Until the operation is completed, the calling thread is blocked. Android is single-threaded by default, so an application’s UI gets frozen when the main thread is blocked. In Java, the solution provided is to create a background thread for intensive work. Managing multiple threads leads to a rise in the completion of the program, followed by errors in the code.
Kotlin allows for the creation of additional threads. As compared to Java, intensive operations can be easily managed in Kotlin. This is known as coroutines. They are stackless and demand less memory as compared to threads in Java. Coroutines perform long-running and intensive tasks by refusing execution without blocking any thread. It then resumes the execution after some time. It creates non-blocking asynchronous code that is synchronous.
7. Inline Functions
Every function in Kotlin and Java is an object. The object captures a closure. Both the objects and classes call for the allocation of memory. Runtime overhead is introduced with virtual calls along with classes and functions. To avoid additional overhead, the lambda expressions can be inlined in Kotlin. One of the examples is the lock function.
Java does not provide features for inline functions. However, the Java compiler is capable of performing inlining. The reason for this is that subclasses cannot override the final methods. At the time of compilation, the calls to the final method are resolved.
8. No Checked Exceptions
The checked exception feature in Java might be problematic sometimes. Checked exceptions occur when the compiler forces the caller of the function to catch an exception. Checked exceptions are unnecessary and cause empty catch blocks. Non-existent checked exceptions are annoying for developers.
Kotlin features checked expressions that might cause problems. However, Kotlin removes the checked exceptions completely. This minimizes the verbosity and improves type safety.
Collins’s core feature is interoperability. The project intends to utilize the existing knowledge and expertise to make every library available to Kotlin programmers. Simply writing modules in Kotlin can work flawlessly within existing Java code. By removing the byte code, a Kotlin compiler allows two languages to work together in the same project.
Java also can perform on multiple platforms. It has libraries to support this kind of application development.
Most of the developers praise Kotlin for its conciseness. However, Java doesn’t have this feature. Another important thing is that readability should always take priority over concision. Kotlin simplifies the developer’s job and reduces the risk of error but Kotlin does not practice concision. Boilerplate is a problem to read. This leads to more bugs and more waste of time trying to identify them.
Therefore, Java provides a good concision and not good readability. At the same time, the opposite happens in the case of Kotlin.
11. App Crash
Kotlin uses fewer lines of code as compared to Java which uses bigger coding lines. Less coding reduces overall development time. Less coding also supports the maintenance needs.
Since there is less surface area for the bugs to hide and the enhanced readability of the language makes it easier for the developers to locate the bugs. This results in fewer crashes and system failures. System failures occur in Kotlin, but it is less compared to Java.
Java languages are not scalable. They are like C++. They get bloated and affect the performance. This might create a disturbance. On the other hand, Kotlin has a strong focus on scalability and its design.
This improves the performance of the app by reducing bloat. Kotlin also gets bloated and affects the performance sometimes, but it is a bit less as compared to that of Java. It can be said that Java is better for large applications with lots of features that can perform across all the platforms. It has libraries to support this kind of application development.
On the other hand, Kotlin is best where performance matters a lot. Kotlin has an efficient design as compared to Java. It is also best for apps that need to maintain platform independence and can be cross-compiled. Java cannot do this because of its bytecode.
Both Kotlin and Java have their features. So the question of which one is better depends upon your needs. Kotlin is the best choice if you are looking for a language with solid support from Google.
However, Java might be the best option for you if you want an open-source project with more flexibility. To use both languages efficiently, you need to hire android app developers from both companies. By doing such, you can build impactful applications.