Kotlin: The Java alternative

Kotlin is a young programming language developed by the Russian company JetBrains. This language appeared in 2011, but gained success only in 2017 when Android developers announced that Kotlin native received official support for developing applications for the Android OS.

So Kotlin is a statistically typed language that is capable of supporting both procedural and object-oriented programming.

It is often compared to the Java language, with which it is fully compatible. But actually, this is the next stage in the development of Java, an improved version that can work easily and more efficiently.

Kotlin and Kotlin Multiplatform Mobile Differences-

Kotlin as a language used to create Android apps has evident constraints of working ONLY on Android.

Kotlin Multiplatform Mobile (KMM) is a multiplatform framework that needs TWO developer teams. In KMM you need Kotlin and Objective-C/Swift developers. KMM uses Kotlin to build the business logic of the app and Android UI of the app, but for iOS, Objective-C or Swift developers are needed.

Key Features-

Speed of coding- The first build of Kotlin code takes about 15-20% more time than a similar process in Java. However, Kotlin’s incremental build is slightly faster than Java’s.

Performance- The main reason behind Kotlin being faster than its competitors is that the Kotlin code is compiled in the same format as the platform for which it is intended. This feature makes Kotlin a very robust platform with superior performance.

Popularity- Kotlin is an open-source and free tool. Because of this, developers all around the globe are gaining interest in working with Kotlin. According to Statista, at the beginning of 2020, Kotlin was among the ten most popular programming languages ​​among developers around the world.

Community- Google is evolving to become Kotlin-centric, and this is one of the reasons mobile app developers are leaning towards it.

Easiness to learn- The learning curve of Kotlin is shallow. The reason being that it is Java compatible. In addition, Google offered various Kotlin training courses a few years ago.

However, Kotlin Multiplatform is a new ecosystem with limited market resources hence the learning curve is on the steeper side.

What is Kotlin good for?

The relatively new language is compiled into the JVM bytecode (there is also compilation into JavaScript). This means that it may be of interest to everyone who deals with Java machines and languages.

The two main features of Kotlin can be its simplicity and full compatibility with Java. Kotlin was built by a company that makes a lot of Java products and is well versed in modern development tools. 

Despite the complexity of creation, many developers prefer to use native code and write applications in Kotlin.