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In the mobile app technologies world, Java vs Kotlin is one of the most popular search terms. If you too are looking for the comparison of Java vs Kotlin frameworks, this blog is for you!
But first, let’s begin with a small introduction to both these programming languages.
Java is a well-known language that came into existence 24 years ago (established in 1995 by James Gosling). It has a supreme position in the list of the most popular programming languages.
In fact, Java holds the highest usability record with a huge number of developers and systems. And most of the entrepreneurs prefer to hire Java developers to build tailored solutions for their business.
Java dominates the enterprise programming language realm.
Google is still utilizing Java for building Android mobile applications. Moreover, it is a primary driver of eCommerce engines including eBay and Amazon.
In addition to this, Java is a major contributor to the open-source community i.e. a wealth of resources and a lot of fun tools.
Despite the undisputed reputation that Java holds, there was a need for a modern programming language. Kotlin fills this gap. Especially when Kotlin was declared as the official language for Android apps.
Kotlin has actually turned the tables especially since Google has officially announced Kotlin as the best language for Android app development at Google IO on 7 May 2019.
Simply put, the major difference between Java vs. Kotlin is that Java has more coding processes than Kotlin. In addition, Kotlin offers better support for Android development than Java does. This consist of features such as null safety and Android Extensions that promises building Android applications with Kotlin much simple compare to Java.
Let’s have a complete overview of the difference between these two technologies via this blog post.
Definition of the Programming Languages?
How Java Works: Java works on the principle of ‘Write Once & Run Everywhere’, which is platform-independent. The general-purpose computer programming language is concurrent, class-based and object-oriented. The platform includes the execution of an engine, compiler and a set of libraries. As a matter of fact, the language derives most of the syntax from C & C++.
Origin of the Programming Languages
Java: Java was developed by James Gosling and his colleagues at Sun Microsystems in 1995. Java is intended to be compiled to bytecode which is then run by JVM.
Kotlin: Kotlin was introduced by JetBrains in 2011 that is the originator of IntelliJ IDEA, PyCharm, and different top IDEs. The language has got its name from the ‘Kotlin Island’ in St.Petersburg, Russia.
Java: Java is still the most popular programming language according to the TIOBE Index and is the second most searched language in PYPL (Popularity of Programming Language).
Kotlin: More than 50% of the professional Android developers now use Kotlin to develop the apps. And in the latest Stack Overflow developer survey, it ranks as the fourth-most loved programming language.
Java vs Kotlin Compilation
Java: Programs do not compile into executable files instead they compile into bytecodes. Then the JVM executes them at runtime. If you will use Java compiler, the source code will compile into bytecode.
Kotlin: Like Java, Bytecode is the compiled format for Kotlin. The programming code which is once compiled and then run via a virtual machine instead of a processor is called a ‘bytecode’. This approach helps to run the code on any platform.
Despite the differences, both are 100% interoperable. You can call Kotlin code from Java and vice versa. So, it is possible to have Kotlin and Java classes side by side within the same project.
This flexibility helps the developers to swiftly switch between the two languages. For example, there are features you want to write in Kotlin and other you find easier to write in Java. As both compile to bytecode, the end-user will be unable to tell where Java code ends and Kotlin begins.
Java vs Kotlin Comparison in Terms of Features
- Platform Independent: Easily transferable after the compilation of Java program byte codes.
- Secure: Authentication based on public-key encryption. It develops a virus and tamper-free system.
- Robust: Tries to eliminate error-prone situations by focusing on compile-time error checking.
- Multithreaded: Programs that can perform multi-tasks can be created simultaneously.
- Dynamic: Java programs carry large run-time information and are more dynamic than C & C++.
Recommended Read: 15 Top Reasons to Choose Java for Backend Development!
- Highly Efficient: The language reduces the code length. The coding is 20% less than Java. This improves quality and has become code efficient.
- Extension Function: Kotlin developers can add extra features to the existing component without changing the major part of the code.
- Interoperability: You can run Java codes on Kotlin and vice versa.
- Low Adoption Cost: The open-source has a low cost of adoption so there is no need to invest money on license
- No Runtime Overhead: The library us small and doesn’t have garbage. It comprises of focused extensions to the standard library.
IDE Support in Java vs Kotlin
- NetBeans: Open-source integrated development environment accelerated after it became part of Apache. It supports all Java application types: Java SE, JavaFX, Web, and EJB.
- BlueJ: Running with the help of a JDK (Java Development Kit), it’s utilization is for educational purposes but also suitable for those who want to do small-scale development.
- DrJava: DrJava is a very lightweight development environment to write programs of Java that is designed primarily for students. Also, Java developers can use it as a unit testing tool, source-level debugger, and pane for evaluating program text.
- IntelliJ Idea: This IDE has a lot of versatility and stability. It has a number of tools for refactoring, software testing and more. Furthermore, the code coverage analysis and integrated version control the system which is very helpful. IntelliJ supports different languages like Java, Groovy and Scala.
- Android Studio: This is the only mobile development that offers fast tools for building apps on any type of Android device. This studio has full support for Kotlin since May 2017.
- Others include standalone compiler and eclipse.
Although there are innumerable websites that give detailed insights about both the languages but the popular ones are:
Major Applications Built Using Java and Kotlin
Big brands are already using these top two programming languages. Here are a few examples of the applications that are extremely popular:
- Google: The biggest search engine
- NASA World Wind: Open-source virtual globe API
- Uber: A transportation network company
- Spotify: Digital music streaming service
- Linkedln: Social network for professionals
- Pinterest: Social image sharing platform
- Tripadvisor: Largest travel platform
- Postmates: The on-demand food delivery app
- Evernote: The note and task organizing app
- Basecamp 3: The project management app, easily accessible via browser or smartphone
- Gradle: Open source build automation tool designed to develop any type of software
Comparison Table Java vs Kotlin:
Java vs Kotlin: Which one to Choose for Android App development?
As a personal opinion, Java is surviving for a very long time. Kotlin is basically a pragmatic enhancement of Java. Both the programming languages resemble each other in the various instance and offers great support for mobile app development.
Whether you hire mobile app developers for Java or Kotlin, your application will perform optimally. Where Kotlin has just made a fresh start, Java is like a best friend of enterprises, that has stood long and passed every test.
But as Google said, Kotlin is the future of Android mobile applications. It is a reliable, flexible and secure language for both startup and enterprises. Not only it reduces errors but also crashes at run-time making debugging reliable.
Furthermore, being budget-friendly and enhanced efficiency, it’s best for the companies to hire android app developers having hands-on expertise with Kotlin.
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