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Kotlin vs Java: Parameters to compare Kotlin and Java

Till around two years ago, the job description of an Android developer, across the world, called for people who had an in-depth understanding of the Java language. Entrepreneurs, looking to make an entry in the Android app market had Java experience on top of their shortlisting list. 

But then came Google I/O 2017 and things changed. 

In its 2017 developer conference, Google made a big unanticipated announcement. One that completely changed the dynamics of Android app development for not just developers but also entrepreneurs. 

And this announcement was of Making Kotlin the official language for Android mobile app development.

Kotlin vs Java: What is Kotlin

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.

“I think it definitely is a step of independence for a lot of people that don’t have that at all. They feel like they are kind of controlling in some way an illness that you can’t control at all.”

Kotlin vs Java: Parameters to compare Kotlin and Java

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

  • Compilation time
  • Null safety
  • Development speed
  • Lambda expressions
  • Community support

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.

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

Parameters  Kotlin Java
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: 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.