Kotlin vs Java: Which One to Choose for Android App Development

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If you’re a mobile app developer, Java has to happen to be your favored language. Ever since Android apps made an appearance in the Play Store, Java programming language continues to be at the heart of Android app development.

But over the past ten years, many other programming languages also have challenged Java, with Kotlin being the primary flag bearer. The main competition was when Google acknowledged Kotlin as the second official language of Android app development.

Although relatively nascent, Kotlin using various programming features and effective coding has caught plausible attention in the mobile app development framework. Today, Kotlin threatens to replace Java in the app development ecosystem.

The leap to cross-platform Kotlin development is seen in a time when an increasing number of apps are pouring in. This year, enterprises like Netflix, Airbnb, Trello, and Uber have already adopted Kotlin to build their app.

But why exactly is Kotlin becoming popular as opposed to Java? Let us figure out which is better!

Introduction to Kotlin

Kotlin came into existence when Android development had the newest language to grow Java’s qualities and aid in mobile development. It’s a statistically designed programming language, which runs on the java virtual machine. This framework targets the JVM, JavaScript, Android, as well as Native. It’s created by JetBrains and it’s completely functional and compatible with Java. The very best aspect of this Kotlin language is that it consists of the JavaScript source code. The framework is modern and has complete support from Google. It may be utilized for any development as a programming language – website, client-side, or server-side.

Key Features:

  • Low adoption cost
  • Highly efficient
  • Interoperability
  • Extension function
  • No runtime overhead

Kotlin Benefits:

1. Reliable

The newest version of Kotlin is reversely compatible with the previous versions. This simplifies the largest pain point of Android programmers: dealing with many versions.

2. Interoperable

In simple terms, Java methods can be called from Kotlin. This feature is beneficial not just for the programmers but also for businesses with a large Java codebase.

3. Android Studio Support

Android Studio provides extended support and adaptation tools. Programmers can work concurrently on both languages.

4. Performance

Having a concise and intuitive syntax, Kotlin provides an increase in the efficiency of their working team. Fewer code lines and not as much time are needed to compose and deploy an application. Consequently, you’ll receive your app developed fast.

5. Learning Curve

Aspirants can learn Kotlin much easier than Java since it does not require any previous mobile app development knowledge.

Drawbacks of Kotlin:

1. Difficult to Find Developers

There are very limited numbers of programmers available for Kotlin. The talent gap in the Android app development market has improved with regard to Kotlin.

2. Compilation Speed Issue

Programmers have reported concerning the fluctuation from the compilation rate of Kotlin codes. Sometimes, it’s extremely fast, and also, in some other circumstances, it’s significantly slower.

3. Less Community Support

Kotlin has a small developer community, which leads to restricted resources to learn the language. There’ll be plenty of questions that will be unanswered.

Kotlin Use Cases:

Listed below are a couple of amazing apps written in Kotlin:

  • Trello – a visual tool for organizing tasks and works with customizable to-do lists.
  • Pinterest – a mobile app for the popular creative thought sharing social app;
  • CarLens – an automobile recognition app powered by machine learning created by the Netguru R&D team to detect cars and reveal information relating to them.

Introduction to Java

What’s in mind as you hear about Java? Naturally, Secure and High Performance.

Java, released by Sun Microsystems in 1991, is an object-oriented and class-based programming language that’s quite like C++. Now owned by Oracle, it is famous among the developer community globally. Java is one of the earliest programming languages used in just about any device platform available. It includes simplified and advanced features that simplified the programming for both web and app development.

Key Features:

  • Object-oriented
  • Platform independent
  • Simple to understand
  • Multi-Thread
  • Secure
  • Robust performance
  • Dynamic

Benefits of Java

1. Cross-Platform

Java language isn’t only restricted to Android app development. Java supports cross-platform app development too.

2. Large Community

Developers get help on just about any issue, bug, or difficulty of the Java code with the assistance of big GitHub and Stack Overflow communities.

3. Portable

With the support of this platform-agnostic Java Virtual Machine, Java programs can run on just about any system. Because of this, Java gets the vast majority of all Android applications.

4. Resources

Since Java has developed the Android, it’s existing libraries and SDKs to aid in the development process.

Drawbacks of Java

1. Type-Heavy Language

Java necessitates long codes, which leads to more time consuming more errors and bugs.

2. Speed

Java needs more memory and is a lot slower compared to other languages.

Java Use Cases

Here are some examples of notable open-source programs written in Java:

  • WordPress Engineering – an official android app for WordPress. (Although new features are developed in Kotlin, the center codebase remains composed of Java code.) 
  • Android-oss – an official social platform for financing creative jobs for android;
  • New Pipe – a simple video streaming app for android;

Difference Between Kotlin vs Java

An image chart showing differences between Kotlin vs Java

Code Deployment: it’s difficult to deploy Java code, whereas deployment is easy in Kotlin.

Data Classes: Java programmers write and construct plenty of elements to come up with classes, while Kotlin does not require a lot of work for data classes.

Extension Function: Kotlin enables users to create an extension function. Java does not offer you any extension functions.

Objects & Variables: There aren’t any null variables or objects in Kotlin, but null variables or objects are part of the Java language.

Implicit Conversions: Java supports implicit conversions, whereas Kotlin does not provide implicit conversions.

Wild-Card: Wide-card is offered in Java, whereas Kotlin does not have any wildcard-types.

Secondary Constructors: In Kotlin, we could have one or more secondary constructors. However, when it comes to Java, we cannot have secondary constructors. But it may have multiple constructors.

Programming Concepts: It supports modern programming concepts like delegates, extension, higher-order functions. Java supports OOPS programming concepts.

Lazy-Loading: Lazy-Loading feature is offered in Kotlin. However, this feature isn’t available in Java.


For programmers, Kotlin is a fact they’ll need to deal with eventually. Developers who are familiar with Java, Kotlin will probably be easy to learn. With its increasing popularity, Kotlin has become a larger portion of the app development world to generate massive effects. With the future in mind, programmers must ideally be proceeding towards learning it to get ready for the long run.

In the past couple of years, Kotlin has become a more suitable and powerful app development alternative for Android Studio. At the same time, some programmers think that the growth of Kotlin will come with the demise of Java, which will become obsolete. Another group of believers sees Kotlin functioning together and coexisting with Java, together with Kotlin improving Java’s ecosystem by its distinctive advantages.

More Resources:

Author Bio:

Monica Ross is a content writer and manager at Devathon –One of the leading web and app development company. She writes mainly on web development, mobile app development, AI, and technologies around them.

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