Kotlin has created a buzz among developers. And it’s almost impossible to overlook the word-of-mouth — and a gazillion blogs — about the programming language. If you’re an Android app developer, you belong to the most enthusiastic (and skeptical) audiences of this hype. And you may have already asked: Is the buzz worth it? Does Kotlin have the potential to become a top coding language?
Those are precisely the questions we address in this blog post. And we are not merely giving you assumptions and opinions. We’d be providing some useful data about how Kotlin is building up its base. This post will also delve into how Kotlin still has a long way to go. So, without any further ado, let’s dive right in.
How Kotlin got Here?
The demand for Kotlin app development services surged remarkably throughout 2020. And it’s no coincidence that JetBrains, Kotlin’s creator, announced several notable updates last year alone. It all started at Google’s I/O 2017 conference; the tech titan announced support for Kotlin in its Android Studio IDE.
Two years later, at I/O 2019, Google announced that Android development would be increasingly Kotlin-first. And that’s when Kotlin’s popularity shot up. “Kotlin has become quite popular, especially since it’s been made the language of choice for Android development,” says Hadi Hariri, VP of Developer Advocacy at JetBrains. Kotlin’s official developers have continually tried to make Kotlin more versatile by incorporating capabilities like data science, web frontend, server-side native, and cross-platform capabilities.
Kotlin has grown in the domain of native Android development services more than any other area. The programming language is popular among developers in India. With around 90% market share of Android, India has contributed significantly to Kotlin’s rise in the software industry.
Is Kotlin Living up to the Hype?
According to the latest TIOBE Index, Kotlin’s rank as a programming language dropped four spots from 36th to 40th. TIOBE publishes a global ranking of popular coding languages using an extensive method. It considers data from several leading platforms, including Google Search, Wikipedia, and YouTube.
Kotlin’s decline in the rankings, however, gives a narrower story rather than the larger picture. For a better understanding, let’s compare it with the Swift language. Apple launched Swift in 2014 as an alternative to its aging framework Objective-C. Despite the tech giant’s aggressive promotions, it took Swift several to become a successor of Objective-C.
In the TIOBE Index we just mentioned, Swift’s rank is several spots higher than Objective-C. But that’s after six long years! The same story could very likely be the case with Kotlin — a couple of years down the line. As mentioned earlier, Kotlin app development services are already getting traction across industries. Google is continually pushing Kotlin as its preferred language for app development.
Kotlin’s Rapid Diversification
JetBrains is focusing more on expanding the framework’s capabilities. For instance, it recently released Jetpack Compose to build Android UIs for desktops. It’s a framework for building native UI for Android apps. It simplifies and speeds up UI development for Android. You can quickly create a UI with less code and using intuitive Kotlin APIs.
Google, too, has been aggressive about promoting Kotlin. And that’s critical to the programming language’s growth. Google has created an Android Basics in Kotlin course. It helps Android app developers quickly learn the language and write apps in Kotlin. Besides, an array of Google-powered Kotlin courses is there, including the Kotlin Boot camp for Programmers, Android Kotlin Fundamentals, and Advanced Android in Kotlin.
Kotlin still has a long way to go to become the likes of Java and Python. In the Hacker Rank 2020 Developer Skills Report, survey participants mentioned Kotlin as the third programming language they plan to learn next. However, considering its remarkable growth over the past couple of years, Kotlin’s future looks promising. At Android Developer, we have a team of Kotlin enthusiasts who promptly learn every new functionality released by JetBrains. If you’re an entrepreneur or a business executive planning to build an app, you could hire Android developers from us for the desired ROI.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Is Kotlin better than Java?
Q. How much does it cost to build a Kotlin-based Android app?
The costs of developing a Kotlin-based Android app depend on several factors. Design complexity, development time, type of features, etc. play a key role in calculating the costs. We build impeccable Kotlin apps at a competitive price.
Q. What is native mobile app development?
Native mobile apps are built in a specific programming language, for the specific device platform, either iOS or Android. Native Android apps are written in Java or Kotlin programming languages.