Kotlin Basics to Build Native-like Mobile Apps

By Abhishek Amin Aug 25, 2021, 10:29:17 AM , In Mobile Apps
Kotlin Basics to Build Native-like Mobile Apps

Google I/O 2017 keynote, where executives led by CEO Sundar Pichai revealed Android Studio is going to provide outstanding support for Kotlin language feature. Famous apps like Pinterest, Expedia, and a few more already have leveraged the brilliance of Kotlin in their production. Without discussing much, let us jump to the scene of Kotlin.

What is Kotlin?

Kotlin is interoperable with Java, i.e. you play with members of one Kotlin class from another Java class and vice versa. You may want to add Kotlin Language support, but it’s completely optional. 100+ lines of Java code could come to less than 1/4th lines when converted to Kotlin. This results in faster code execution that saves you time and cost.

Converting Code from Java to Kotlin

Let’s consider, you know to write a piece of code in Java but don’t know how to write it in Kotlin. So first, write your code in Java, and then simply copy and paste it into the Kotlin file. Android Studio IDE automatically converts your Java code into Kotlin code. Simple.

In doing so you will see a pop-up message where you have to click Yes and the rest will be taken care of. 

What does Kotlin bring to the table?

  • It runs on the JVM (Java Virtual Machine).
  • It providing programmers the ability to write extension functions to existing classes.
  • It is being supported by Android programming and a JavaScript execution engine.
  • It interoperates with existing Java code and libraries.
  • It is statically typed. Hence, easy to refactor. 
  • It has an evolved system compared to that with Java.
  • It is much safer compared to Java. 
  • It distinguishes between immutable and mutable structures itself.
  • It has support for type inference, which helps reduce boilerplate and keeps code shorter.

Benefits of Kotlin for Cross-platform Mobile Apps

Modular Integration

Kotlin is an SDK and not a framework. This is its biggest benefit. Hence, it empowers the teams to add a module or migrate a small part to assess its viability into the existing apps. There is no need to make a handful of changes. Here, it addresses the biggest deterrent when moving to a new codebase.

Ease to Learn 

Kotlin has become one of the most popular programming languages in mobile app development lately. Moreover, the syntax is very similar to programming languages such as Swift and Java. This motivates the developers’ community to pick up Kotlin as an alternative.

Single Codebase for Business Logic

For cross-platform app development, many frameworks allow a single codebase to reuse later for developing mobile apps for a different platform. In this scenario, Kotlin is no different at all. Kotlin lets you share logic and libraries below the UI layer. 

Better Native UI Experience

For multi-platform development, Kotlin enables mobile app developers to directly interact with their native environments of iOS and Android platforms. It lets you utilize native UI elements to their fullest as if you are developing natively. This is unlike other cross-platform technologies like Flutter, React Native, etc. that demand developers to follow their own UI. 

Enhanced Naive-like App Performance

Kotlin developed apps perform as efficiently as native Android and iOS apps, which is because of the utilization of the native components. This makes it more preferable for the developers looking to build a full-fledged mobile app after an MVP for the next phase of development.

Lives of Developers Made Easy with Kotlin

  • It is easy to learn. 
  • Being a statically typed language, Kotlin helps enormously speed up refactoring exercises. 
  • Kotlin uses the JVM, which is a fine and fast runtime engine.
  • Kotlin is safer compared to Python or Java, and delegates one of the most frequent tasks of programming-null checking to the compiler. That results a reduction in the number of probable defects. 
  • Kotlin is non-opinionated. It allows you to write a library that is heavily used in mutation, as it maintained very low memory usage by keeping extra object allocation counts down.
  • The interoperability has been an absolute breeze. No matter whether you are dealing with HTTP client APIs, integrating into a Slack HTTP service, interfacing with Java PKCS API—Kotlin does it easily and safely.

Concluding with a Question 

Is Kotlin The Future of Mobile Apps?

Can’t really say that given the so many innovative technologies and preferences around the world of mobile apps. But speaking of developers, it is definitely the technology to look for and add this language to your existing skillset. There are also no signs of early aging or slowdowns so far in 2021. 

In short, this is the right time to get your grips on learning Kotlin. It promises a value addition to your technical resume.

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