13 Nov · 5 min read
Kotlin is a free and open-source general-purpose programming language that was designed for the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). JetBrains started working on Kotlin in 2010, and the project was made open-source shortly after in 2012. The 1.0 version was released in 2016, and Google announced that Kotlin is the preferred language for Android just three years later.
Kotlin was designed to be a replacement for Java and is fully compatible with it. This means that Kotlin can be used to update and modernise Java projects, as well as expand them, which is one of the main benefits of using the language.
Kotlin can be used in a variety of domains, and the list of possible applications is constantly growing. We've highlighted the most common ones in this section.
Kotlin is the recommended language for Android development, and it is primarily used for this purpose. This includes both new projects and those that were originally written in Java, which was the go-to language for Android before Kotlin.
According to Jetbrains' 2020 Kotlin census, more than 80% of the developers polled recommend Kotlin for this purpose.
Though it is less widespread than mobile programming for Android, Kotlin is an excellent choice for backend application development. It enables the development of scalable, rapid applications capable of handling thousands of users.
Because the two languages are entirely compatible, it is also possible to write new code in Kotlin while keeping previous code in Java.
Although Kotlin is not the first choice for cross-platform programming, this use of the language is gaining appeal among developers. You may utilise one code base for all your Android and iOS applications using Kotlin Multiplatform, a software development kit designed for producing cross-platform apps.
The features and applications of multiplatform projects are still being evaluated, and the features and applications may change in the future, but it is establishing itself as a very promising cross-platform alternative.
Kotlin is frequently considered as an alternative to Java, and the vogue of the terminology arises in a huge portion because of the capacity to modernise programs composed in Java. While it’s valid that the terminologies are identical, there are discrepancies between them that cannot be ignored.
Java is notable for its adaptability because it was designed with the idea of "Write Once, Run Everywhere" in mind. However, it is mostly used for backend and Android development - after all, most Android apps were formerly built in Java. It is regarded as a great general-purpose programming language capable of creating sophisticated programmes with a large number of users.
Kotlin is likely the most frequently mentioned alternative to Java, and its popularity originates in large part from its ability to modernise Java-based projects. While the languages are obviously related, there are significant variations between them that cannot be disregarded.
When it comes to Android programming, it's almost a certainty that Kotlin is the way to go. Because the language was recommended by Google, newer Android projects are often developed in it, and the fact that Kotlin is fully compatible with Java makes switching from one language to the other much easy.
The most obvious advantage of utilising Kotlin for developers is that they need to write far less code than when using Java. It is widely assumed that utilising Kotlin decreases the amount of code by roughly 40%, making it less prone to errors and easier to maintain. It's a more pleasant language to deal with, which is why it's so popular.
Kotlin's authors attempted to keep the language as simple and brief as possible. This reduces code bloat and ensures that each line serves a purpose and isn't just there for structure's sake.
Kotlin is a little programming language that may benefit an entire project over time. Not only does this indicate that developers have less time to write, but it also implies that they have less time to read and evaluate, resulting in a faster and more efficient development process.
Kotlin, as a replacement to Java, is intended to eliminate certain flaws and errors that are frequent while using the older language. It enables efficient handling of nullable data thanks to null-safety, which dramatically reduces app crashes. Apps that use Kotlin, according to Android, are 20% less likely to crash.
This is possibly the most crucial benefit of all, especially for those looking to update their Java programs. Because Java and Kotlin may be used interchangeably, you can add new Kotlin code while keeping older components of a system written in Java. To top it all off, Java libraries can be easily used with Kotlin, and the language itself is reasonably simple to learn for Java developers.
Kotlin, as previously stated, was created for the Java Virtual Machine. That is, if a device can run the JVM, it can also run Kotlin. Even while Android programming is Kotlin's major use, its multiplatform features look promising for developing apps for other platforms while retaining the advantages of native development.
Kotlin has quickly established itself as the preferred language for Android development, and its potential for backend and multiplatform programming is growing. It's unknown whether Kotlin will eventually replace Java, but one thing is certain: it's here to stay, and its future seems promising.