Java vs Kotlin for Android

Before starting the development of an Android application, it is important to choose which language to use. Chosen language will certainly affect the speed of application development, as well as performances. Because of its easy availability, Java was the first choice for a large number of developers. However, with the introduction of the Kotlin programming language, things started to change. Majority of developers have started to use Kotlin, and in this article advantages and disadvantages of both languages will be listed. 

Java

Java is one of the powerful general-purpose programming languages, which was created by Sun Microsystems. Even though Java is object-oriented, it is not considered purely object-oriented since it provides support for primitive data types. It is the most powerful language which supports the development of multiple software applications operating systems, and the reason for its outstanding superior performance is its features.

There are numerous advantages of using the Java programming language, and some of them will be listed below. 

Pros

  1. Java works practically on any device, server or operating system because it is multiplatform
  2. Java is considered secure, because it has strong security measures. 
  3. Java has a good coding base which makes it strong
  4. Java has the ability of using third-party libraries and code so it makes writing code easier
  5. The standards of safety in Java are of higher quality than Kotlin

However, like with any other programming language, Java has disadvantages. Some of the most important cons will be listed below. 

Cons

  1. Java is a little bit slower that other programming languages
  2. Development in Java requires more code writing than other languages, which makes it more exposed to bugs and errors. Development in Java is mostly test-driven 
  3. Java syntax is a little bit more difficult to understand when compared to other programming languages, such as Python or C++
  4. It has been noticed that Java has some issues with API design in Android

Kotlin

Kotlin is a general purpose, free, open source, statically typed “pragmatic” programming language initially designed for the JVM (Java Virtual Machine) and Android that combines object-oriented and functional programming features. Kotlin relaxes Java’s restriction of allowing static methods and variables to exist only within a class body. Static objects and functions can be defined at the top level of the package without needing a redundant class level. It has become an official language for developing android applications.

Pros of Kotlin programming language:

  1. Application development using Kotlin programming language takes less time for compilation, it is lightweight and it prevents applications from taking too much space
  2. Code written with Kotlin is less exposed to bugs and errors, since it is smaller in size
  3. Kotlin incorporates coroutines
  4. Kotlin is secure when it comes to NullPointerException

Cons of Kotlin programming language:

  1. Since Kotlin is newer and “younger” than Java, it has a smaller number of users and smaller support community.
  2. This programming language is not yet very well established. 
  3. It matches weak patterns, which makes it very complex to read the code.

Not one programming language is perfect and flawless. Before every application development, longer time should be dedicated to choosing the technologies, programming language, architecture and other design patterns. Whether a programmer will choose Java or Kotlin programming language depends firstly on his preferences and habits, as well as knowledge. But, after reading and learning about all of the possibilities, decision making should be at least a little bit easier.