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Kotlin vs Java: Which is the best fit?

Published on Jun 28,2019 253 Views

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With the undisputable notoriety of Java as a programming language, Android was found wanting a cutting edge language to compete. Kotlin filled that hole no sooner it was declared as the official language for Android development. So, I am writing this blog on Kotlin vs Java in order to help you spot the major differences between them.

I’ll be discussing the topics in following order:

Let’s begin!

Kotlin vs Java: What is Kotlin? What is its importance?

Kotlin logo- Kotlin vs Java- EdurekaKotlin is a statically typed programming language used for Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and JavaScript. The Kotlin project was born out of the aspiration for heightened productivity.

Kotlin is officially supported by Google for mobile development on Android. Ever since the release of Android Studio 3.0 in 2017, Kotlin was included as an alternative to the standard Java compiler.

  • It is also described as a general-purpose language.
  • Kotlin introduces functional features to support Java interoperability.
  • Helps to improve the coding experience in a way that is both practical and effective. 
  • The advantage with Kotlin is that you can compile it to a JavaScript and interoperate it with Java.
  • It is supported by leading IDEs and is compatible for Java version 6 or 8.

Talking about the importance of this language, it is the most strongly supported JVM language in the Android ecosystem, aside from Java. With Kotlin you can write significantly less code when compared with Java. Fewer lines of code imply smaller file sizes for Kotlin, compared to Java equivalents.

Kotlin vs Java: What is Java?

Java - Kotlin vs Java - Edureka

Java is one of the oldest and easiest languages. It has been at the top for more than two decades and it is still a very popular programming language. It is an object-oriented programming language developed by Sun Microsystems, which is currently owned by Oracle.

Java does a whole lot more than just develop Android applications. So if you know your way around Java, you become a part of the bigger Java community and market, hence you have a lot more career opportunities

This is a reputable programming language. It is mainly:

  • Concurrent where you can execute many statements instead of sequentially executing it.
  • It is class-based and an object-oriented programming language.
  • Independent programming language which follows the logic of “Write once, Run anywhere” i.e. the compiled code can run on all platforms which supports java.

In simple words, it is a computing platform where one can develop applications.

Now that you’ve got a gist of what is Kotlin and what is Java, let’s discuss the parameters to compare Kotlin & Java.

Kotlin vs Java: Parameters to compare Kotlin and Java

I will consider the following parameters to compare Kotlin vs Java.

Compilation time

Kotlin shows slower compilation speed than Java in most of the cases.

Java’s compilation time is comparatively fast.

Null safety

Kotlin has inbuilt null safety. The not so famous NullPointerException is largely responsible for Android development mistakes. Android mainly relies on Null to represent the absence of a value, but it can easily destroy an application. Kotlin easily solves this problem by incorporating inherent null safety. Due to this addition, many developers are saved from writing extra code to work around the issue.

Java does not support Null safety as this was incorporated in recent updates.

Development speed

Kotlin’s code development speed is fast.

Java’s code development speed is comparatively faster.

Lambda expressions

Kotlin supports Lambda expressions which are essentially anonymous functions that can be treated as values. You can pass them as arguments to methods, return them, or do any other thing you would do with a normal object.

Java does not support lambda expressions.

Community support

Kotlin has limited learning resources as it is a small and new community.

Java is a vast programming language so the community circle is bigger than Kotlin.

Kotlin vs Java

ParametersKotlinJava
Compilation time           Slow      Pretty fast
Null safety           Yes                               No
Development speed Fast        Faster than Kotlin
Lambda expression Yes             No
Community support        Limited       Very large

Kotlin vs Java: Advantages of Kotlin over Java

  • Kotlin is interoperable.
  • Concise.
  • Easy learning curve.
  • Provides an enhanced run-time performance.

Interoperability

Kotlin is interoperable with Java, which means that you can leverage all existing Java libraries, JVM, and the frameworks.

Concise

This helps in drastically reducing the amount of boilerplate code in your project.

Easy learning curve

The developers who know Java can easily learn Kotlin. Switching from Java to Kotlin does not have much overhead and adapting to it doesn’t possess any cost.

Provides an enhanced run-time performance

Performance during the run-time is high.

Now let us talk about the disadvantages of Kotlin.

Kotlin vs Java: Advantages of Java over Kotlin

  • In Kotlin, there is definitely a steep learning curve with Kotlin. Its highly concise syntax, while a great advantage, does require some learning up front.
  • Kotlin shows a slower compilation speed than Java in most cases, even though it does beat Java in a few instances.
  • The Kotlin community is still young and the learning resources are limited, so finding answers to problems can be a little difficult. However, with its growing popularity, the resources and community will expand in time.
  • Since Kotlin is still new, finding experienced developers who can act as mentors for your team can be a little difficult. Everyone out there is still just learning and experiencing it.
  • Some features of Android Studio like auto-complete and compilation tend to run slower in Kotlin in comparison to Java.

Kotlin vs Java: Is Kotlin going to replace Java?

    Now, I’ll answer your most frequently asked question, is Kotlin going to replace Java? The answer is no. Kotlin has powerful features and so does Java. They both bind together to treat us with more improvised versions. So, yes, Java and Kotlin go hand in hand for android development.

    This brings us to the end of this article where we have discussed the major differences between Kotlin and Java. Hope you are clear with all that has been shared with you in this tutorial.

    Now that you have gone through our Kotlin vs Java blog, you can check out Edureka’s Android App Development Certification Training Got a question for us? Please mention it in the comments of Kotlin vs Java blog section and we will get back to you.

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