When it comes to Android Application Development Solutions in the market, Java is not only just popular with the Developer community but it is a world-renowned programming language as well. Having stayed a favorite for the development of mobile and web-based solutions for a long time is no easy task. Java vs Kotlin comparison has become one of the major decisions that client companies and IT firms have to make while launching an Android application project.

Java has withstood all technology trends through continuous evolution and re-invention. However, times are changing and so are the inclinations in the IT world. The latest buzz is around Kotlin which is becoming a primary language alternative for Android development. For android developers and IT companies on a global scale, both languages hold their own stance.

Java vs Kotlin - What is Best for Android App Development
Java vs Kotlin – What is Best for Android App Development

Java or Kotlin – Head-to-head comparison

With platform independence being its core strength, Java boosts off concurrency, object-oriented and class-based features. Java has its own platform with an engine, compiler, and set of libraries. Another important factor is that its syntax comes majorly from C and C++. So, Java is an enriched language by all means.

While Kotlin is an open-source language. It is a JVM-based programming language that can be compiled into JavaScript, Android, and Native languages. It offers a great combination of both functional and object-oriented programming capabilities.

Let’s now start off the Java versus Kotlin showdown and compare and contrast both languages.

Kotlin – Official Google language for Android development

Originally introduced in 2011, Kotlin was built by JetBrains, the same company that has built several IDEs to take over the shortcomings of Java. It is safe to say that Kotlin picks up from where Java left off. Here’s why:

  • Kotlin is efficient as it has a very concise and highly intuitive syntax. Not only is it a coder’s delight it helps boost the efficiency of writing fine code that is simple with an easy construct. This also enhances the overall efficiency and performance of the program.
  • It has a wide range of IDEs for higher manageability. You can use Android Studio, SDKs, and even your own choice of toolkit for managing Kotlin.
  • It is fully interoperable with Java. So, any methods that are applied in Java can also be applied in Kotlin too. So, transitioning from Java to Kotlin is very much possible especially if you want to migrate the Java database into Kotlin.
  • Any language with such a simple syntax is easier to learn as well. It is easy to pick up, especially for newbie programmers who are starting out on their Android app development services venture.
  • Kotlin has extensive support from Android Studio support which enables the developers to work with Kotlin and Android Studio at the same time.
Kotlin - Official Language for Android App Development by Google
Kotlin – Official Language for Android App Development by Google

What doesn’t work for Kotlin?

  • The speed of compiling code varies and is inconsistent.
  • Being the new kid on the block in comparison to Java which has been there for over 3 decades, Kotlin’s developer community is still to become a force to reckon with.
  • Another consequence of the previous point, there are not just too many Kotlin developers out there yet.

Java – Constant driving force in Android application development

Languages come and go but Java is here to stay. It has withstood the winds of change, here is why:

  • In case, you are considering the aspect of learning in Kotlin or Java argument. Then, you will notice that Java holding its prominence in the developer community enables it to have extensive sources of learning, tools, and a wide pool of help online. Therefore, anyone who wants to learn Java has to just simply raise their hand.
  • Java can run both on a virtual machine and the browser. How many programming languages can do that flawlessly?
  • Remember that Java has Android’s back and we mean it literally. Java built Android into what it is now. This is one of the reasons there are several SDKs loaded with Java libraries. Therefore, it has a huge open-source ecosystem of libraries and SDKs.
  • The Android apps built on Java are a lot more compact in comparison to Kotlin’s developed apps.
Java - Driving Force in Android App Development
Java – Driving Force in Android App Development

What doesn’t work for Java

For Android application development solutions, Java is a primary choice because of all the plus points mentioned above. But still, the powerhouse language like Java also has some limitations:

  • It has some restrictions that may lead to issues in the Android API design.
  • Coding can be quite extensive in Java; you need to write a lot more lines to get the same result as required.
  • The overall app development and turnaround times are relatively more in Java as compared to Kotlin.

Read more: Android development with Kotlin

Verdict on Java and Kotlin battle

Java is the foundation for Android programming and holds a certain position in the developer community. After all, it has seen seasons and has been everyone’s favorite for all these years. Because of this reason, you can’t deny its presence and overall contribution to the IT world. Kotlin with the official backing by Google for Android app development is the new wonder kid on the block taking mobile application developers by storm. However, it will take Kotlin some considerable time and extensive patronage to come to a level with Java.

Although Kotlin’s current set of features is extensive, the overall coding and compilation time make it a current rage for the developers. But the time for Kotlin to have a decent-sized developer community that swears and lives by it will take a while. Kotlin has challenged Java’s supremacy, but Kotlin is far from the position to be considered the “one”. Till then Java remains afloat and awaits Kotlin to rise and take over.

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Java vs Kotlin – FAQs

The following are the frequently asked questions (FAQs) that arise when making a Java vs Kotlin faceoff.

Which language is better for Android development?

Kotlin is robust, statically typed, and much less verbose than Java which makes it a better language for Android development.

What is the difference between Kotlin and Java?

Java is an object-oriented programming language while Kotlin is a new programming language with some modern features. Kotlin is also a statically typed programming language. Kotlin is a good choice for developing server-side applications as it allows users to write concise and expressive code.

Is Kotlin better than Java?

Similar to Java, Kotlin is nowadays the top choice for developing Android applications. This is evident from the fact that Android Studio comes with inbuilt support for Kotlin like it has for Java.

Should I learn Java before Kotlin?

Yes, especially if you’re completely new to programming, start with Java first. Most Android code is still written in Java, and at the least, understanding Java will be a boon for understanding the docs.

What is the advantage of Kotlin over Java?

Kotlin is way more concise than Java in many cases, solving the same problems with fewer lines of code. This improves code maintainability and readability. Therefore, coders can write, read, and change code more effectively and efficiently.