A new mobile app development language for Android is afoot, Kotlin. Kotlin is the brainchild of JetBrains, a software development team who make tools for app development and now computer languages too. Kotlin is considered a successor to Java, the current mainstream development language for Android.
Java is mired with some key issues. For instance, Java is controlled by Oracle, who recently took Google to court over the latter’s massive success with the Android platform, which is built on Java. The gist of the lawsuit was, if Google is doing so well with Android on the back of Java, why don’t they share the wealth? Google’s response was, ‘Uhh dude, read your license terms for Java. You open-sourced it. We don’t owe you anything’. Even though two court battles later, in which juries saw Google’s side in both events, this still left a bad taste in Google’s mouth. Google then set about quietly looking for a successor to Java.
Enter Kotlin, the programming language that is not only fully interoperable with Java, but some would even say a far better version of it. In fact, developers at Google are over the moon about Kotlin. According to a May 17th, 2017 post on the Google Android Developer’s Blog by Mike Cleron, “Kotlin is a brilliantly designed, mature language that we believe will make Android development faster and more fun.” So enthused with Kotlin is Google, that they created a non-profit foundation for the continued development of Kotlin and Jetbrains licensed it under the Apache 2 license. Among other benefits, this also means that Google no longer needs to hand lawyers bales of cash for more court battles against Oracle. To that end, as of Android development kit 3.0, Kotlin is now a default programming language. While the full transition from Java to Oracle for Android development is still a ways off, the writing is on the wall.
We at Avante have embraced Kotlin for some time and our developers are proficient at it. But what does that mean to you, the client who needs an Android app for your business or organization? Indulge us for a top five reasons why you should care about Kotlin.
Kotlin is a far more efficient language than Java wherein you can say in two lines of code what would otherwise take almost 50 lines of code. To that end, compilation time is faster and more efficient. Less lines of code, less compliation/parsing, more responsiveness.
Kotlin is designed with security in mind and to that end it is the language you want your app to run in a world where hardly a week goes by where yet another cyberthreat infects. Because it is a more efficient language, there is also less vulnerability to exploit.
With a cleaner, less cluttered code base, development for Kotlin is faster and less buggy. The code base is easier to audit and more time is spent on improving the code rather than maintenance.
Kotlin code is being adopted by Mac developers to run natively on iOS devices, that means more bang for your development buck. That is one of the great features of Java, that it can run on practially any hardware and now Kotlin is slated in that direction.
Kotlin developers have done important things, like a built in translator that takes pre-existing apps and automatically convert reams of mundane code to Kotlin. This makes a life a lot easier for developers and will be a major incentive to legacy Java. That means Kotlin is the future and we at Avante, are already there.