Kotlin vs Java – What is Better for Android App Development?

kotlin vs java

Android applications virtually rule the app development market. The demands for Android app development services has spiked significantly over the past few years. This trend will grow over time. Until recently, Java was the most widely used coding language across the software development industry. That has changed now. A growing number of developers are switching to a more ‘modern’ programming language: Kotlin.

The rise in popularity of Kotlin followed an announcement by Google to make Kotlin the second official coding language for Android. This shift in coding trends also impacted how businesses hire Android app developers. Tech-savvy business owners seemed more inclined toward Kotlin mainly due to the buzz around the programming language.

This buzz created by Kotlin, however, doesn’t mean an end to the years-long reputation of Java. With a vast swath of open-source libraries and tools, Java still has a formidable acceptance in the developer community. We’ll talk more about that in the latter part of this blog. As the title clearly suggests, this blog intends to compare Kotlin and Java, two of the most popular Android app development frameworks.

Java currently has one of the largest development communities in the world. It’s a comprehensive language with an immense role in the arena of mobile app development.

Key features of Java include:

  • Java is platform-independent and easy-to-learn.
  • It enables developers to create modular programs and reusable code.
  • With Java, developers can do network-centric programming.
  • Java has robust security and high performance under different circumstances.
  • It’s a dynamic and exceptionally efficient language.

What Makes Kotlin So Popular?

There are convincing reasons why Kotlin is the best Android development framework and so popular among developers. Kotlin is a general-purpose programming language for Java Virtual Machine and JavaScript. It was introduced by JetBrains in 2011. The name Kotlin comes from “Kotlin Island” in St. Petersburg, Russia. Kotlin focuses on mixed-language projects. The programming language also improves syntax, alongside expressions and abstractions. Enterprises worldwide have already started to hire Android developers with proficiency in Kotlin programming.

As its popularity and consequent use grew, Kotlin focused more on accessibility across platforms. Multi-platform coding enables developers to share codes across platforms. This has also prompted remarkable improvement in Android development services.

With its latest release, Kotlin 1.3, the platform improved the multi-platform capabilities even further. If you’re an Android developer, you can seamlessly use the integrated development environment of Kotlin to build powerful applications.

Key features of Kotlin

  • Kotlin uses existing Java libraries and frameworks.
  • The framework adheres to Java Virtual Machine bytecode and JavaScript.
  • Kotlin offers substantial null-safety.
  • Kotlin can be automatically converted from Java.
  • With Kotlin, code review becomes much easier and more effective.

Now that we have an overview of the major features of both Java and Kotlin, let’s dive deeper into this Kotlin vs Java blog. In the following paragraphs, we’ll discuss the most prominent features of Kotlin and how some of the issues associated with Java.

Interoperability is a core feature of Kotlin. The framework enables you to use any existing library for Android, JVM, and the browser. A programmer can easily write modules in Kotlin and use the existing Java code. The Kotlin compiler also enables you to combine the two coding languages and build your product.

The NullPointerException in Kotlin creates errors in Android and Java. Since Kotlin-type systems have no in-built security, it needed to be addressed. Kotlin incorporates inherent null security. This solves the problem of writing additional code.

Use of Raw Types 
Kotlin enables you to use raw types. It helps developers to rely on backward compatibility. However, raw types may create CastClassException and error may occur during code execution. This risk is averted efficiently by preventing unformatted types and producing more secure codes.

Kotlin provides brevity which gives developers more control over each line of code. The framework does not overlook the role of brevity. The syntax of Kotlin is concise and legible that makes the framework highly productive.

Why You Should Switch From Java to Kotlin

  • Simply put: Kotlin is a modern and more efficient form of Java.
  • Coding for both Java and Kotlin can be done simultaneously. Besides, the codes can seamlessly combine to create a robust solution.
  • While switching from Java, you don’t have to convert the entire project. Instead, you can just convert small chunks of codes and insert them when required.
  • Kotlin has access to almost every Java library and framework.
  • Coding in Kotlin is comparatively easier, more efficient, and easy-to-understand.
  • Kotlin is supported by Android studio. Once you’re done with installing Kotlin, configuring it for your project is easy.

Wrapping Up

Considering the advanced and superior features of Kotlin, the framework seems more preferable than Java development. However, both these languages have their own strengths and weaknesses. For example, the documentation is process is more efficient in Kotlin. With its continuous evolution and rising popularity, Kotlin is proving itself as a better choice for Android app development. If you’re a business owner, consider these technical features that would help you to make a better decision while choosing Android app development services. We would suggest you discuss the requirements in detail before you hire android developers.


Is Kotlin better than Java?

Kotlin is a more modern and efficient language than Java. It allows some more shorthand coding along with compiling onto JVM and JavaScript. From a technical perspective, it can be said “better” than Java as you would be able to perform more work with comparatively less coding.

What is the difference between Kotlin and Java?

Android often uses null to represent the absence of a value. Kotlin solves it by using null directly in its type system. Kotlin is more concise than Java and compatible with all Java libraries and frameworks. Additionally, the Java Virtual Machine can be integrated with Kotlin.

What is Kotlin and why use it?

Kotlin is the most preferred language to build Android apps after Java. It’s the second most strongly supported JVM language in the Android ecosystem. Kotlin an open-source, statically-typed language developed by JetBrains and was released in 2011.

What is the use of Java?

Java is a general-purpose programming language used for developing Android apps and the distributed environment of the internet. Java is among the most favored languages for the development of edge and IoT devices.

What language is used for Android app development?

The official languages for Android development are Java and Kotlin. Large parts of Android are written in Java and its APIs are designed to be called primarily from Java. However, it is possible to develop C and C++ apps using the Android Native Development Kit.