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Java vs. Kotlin: Which is the Better Option for Android App Development

Rakia Binte Khalid Jul 08, 2019

The Kotlin community is expanding. Google acknowledged Kotlin this year, making it Android’s second official language. Android developers finally have the pragmatic and intuitive language they have been waiting for.

But the big problem before developers is whether they should learn Kotlin only or Java as well?

So, we’d recommend, if you’re a Java developer who wants to move into the profitable Android app development industry, then Kotlin is the answer! But if you’re a complete beginner who wants to learn Android development, then we’d suggest learning Java as well. Let’s dive deeper into the details of Kotlin vs Java performance and decide which side feels heavy.

Kotlin VS Java: Which Is Better for Android App Development?

There is no denying that Java has its place to compete, but with time we all need some advancement, so if we can find it, we always look for a better option. Each language has its pros and cons, with which you have to decide which language you can utilize well.


Sun Microsystems developed the Java, an object-oriented programming language. And it is currently owned by Oracle. It was launched in 1991 and is such an old language; it has much more to offer to you. Even Java can offer you more job opportunities as you don’t want to develop android applications all the time. it can let you open your wings and fly to another field. Because Android itself is Java-based, mobile app development firms have always preferred Java over any other language. It becomes essential to see why Java is considered the first official language for Android app growth.


Kotlin launched in 2016, and at that time all developers need to have a modern language for Android development that can contribute to Java’s features and help in mobile development. JetBrains developed Kotlin, an open-source language based on JVM. It can be compiled and interpreted with Java due to its statically Java-based language. Developing Android Apps with Kotlin allows designers to readily update the old Java applications, and you can effortlessly carry their work from Java to Kotlin.

Pros and Cons

After the brief introduction of both the languages. Now, let’s take a look at what merits and demerits Java and Kotlin have in-store for you.

Pros of Java App Development

  • Java Android app development is easy to understand and learn.
  • Compatible with native cross-platform app development.
  • Android itself is dependent on Java.
  • Write it once, run everywhere. Java is the most versatile language. It provides developers the ability to reuse code and operate on various operating systems.
  • Java has a faster process buildup compared to Kotlin.
  • Java consists of an ecosystem that is mainly open source due to Google’s adoption of JVM for Android.
  • Java has a Gradle-oriented accelerated assembly and thus decreases overheads while developing big projects.
  • Java applications are predominantly compact and way too light compared to Kotlin. This is justified by the fact that Kotlin Development induces complicated structures that decrease overall efficiency.

Cons of Java App Development

  • Comparatively slow and require extensive memory.
  • Being verbose, Java Development has more code drafting demands and this accounts for bugs along with errors.
  • Limitations, as Java poses, lead to Android API design problems.

Pros of Kotlin App Development

  • Kotlin eliminates the induction of raw data types and leads to improved code.
  • Switching from Java to Kotlin is too easy and all you need to do is install your plugin.
  • It has no room for ClassCastException to minimize verbosity and leverage code security.
  • Smart expanded features to enable developers to build better APIs.
  • Brevity: Although readability is above precision, Kotlin still has the concision that Java Development lacks. It’s nature also decreases overhead development and is a bonus for all mobile app development businesses. Where a Java code requires 10 lines of code for calculator function, Kotlin requires half. In addition, Kotlin Development does not compromise comprehension while achieving brevity.
  • Interoperability: Right from the beginning, Kotlin developers concentrate on leveraging performance by enhancing existing knowledge and further inducing features that make it the top choice for all android software development companies. Simple modules drafted on Kotlin work seamlessly on Java codes. Moreover, the Kotlin compiler eliminates bytecode and fuses two languages in the same project.
  • Inbuilt Null Safety: Kotlin has inbuilt null safety. The renowned NullPointerException is mainly responsible for Android development errors. Android uses null to depict the absence of a value, but null can readily ruin an app. Kotlin solves this issue by integrating the inherent safety null. This addition saves developers from writing additional code to work around the problem.

Cons of Kotlin App Development

  • It induces complicated structures and thus decreases overall speed.
  • Auto-complete features are less efficient compared to the efficiency of Java projects.
  • Kotlin has a restricted community, so if you’re stuck with a bug, you need to take the pain to decode it all by yourself.

Will Kotlin Oust Java for Android Development?

Java is a reputable programming language with extensive open-source tools and libraries to benefit developers. With that said, there is no language without fault, and even Java is subject to complications that can render a developer’s job tedious. If anything, Kotlin will introduce solutions to prevalent headaches in programming and strengthen the Java ecosystem as a whole.

Over time, Kotlin has become a much more stable and congruous development alternative for Android Studio. Some developers also seemed to believe that in the coming years, it will oust Java for Android development. Other specialists see that Kotlin and Java coexist without one outweighing the other. For most, the strengths of Kotlin outweigh the setbacks of the language. There are definite constraints within Java that impede the design of the Android API. Kotlin is inherently lightweight, neat, and far less verbose, particularly when it comes to writing callbacks, data classes, and getters/setters.

In other words, it is specifically designed to improve existing Java models by providing solutions to deficiencies in the design of the API as android programming is based on Java programming language. Therefore, addresses numerous weaknesses of Java.

The Business Benefits of Switching to Kotlin

The Business Benefits of Switching to Kotlin

For a business, moving to a new tool is a well-thought decision; however, Kotlin app development services provide two indispensable business advantages that impact the decision.

Reduced Project Timelines – Kotlin’s brevity advantages imply that language can solve more problems with fewer lines of code. Its concise nature enables developers to read and adjust code more effectively, which can reduce the time-to-market of a project.

Less App Crashes – Again, Kotlin products use fewer lines of code than Java programs. Not only does less code decrease development time, but also fewer lines of code support maintenance needs. There is less surface area for bugs to hide, and improved language readability makes it simpler for designers to locate bugs, leading in fewer crashes and system failures.

Apart from that;

One of the reasons is the trust built up around Kotlin owing to Google officially supporting the language. This support will expand the Android app development ecosystem that will provide the companies with improved technical support and other capabilities. In the Android app development eco-system, Kotlin is all set for a promising future. The reduced development and maintenance costs of Kotlin projects are a big plus for any business. It has a plethora of great language features and offers brevity that guarantees greater performance with quicker turnaround time.

Who Is Using Kotlin in Their Development Environments?

Several leading organizations have already embraced Kotlin including:

  1. Pinterest
  2. Prezi
  3. Netflix
  4. Evernote
  5. Uber
  6. Corda
  7. Gradle
  8. Pivotal
  9. Coursera
  10. Atlassian

Some Help for Developers

Some Help for Developers


A comparison is always subjective. There are several factors and perceptions that matter a lot when we compare languages, frameworks, or tools. We know that Kotlin is based on Java and because of the influence of one on the other, you can’t easily compare these two languages. Many have embraced Kotlin and are enjoying tangible advantages from it, and there are developers who are stuck with Java in the development of Android apps. One thing is definite that Kotlin has the ability to substitute Java language, but it may take longer than we think.

When comparing Kotlin to Java for Android application development, two things are certain:

  • Java is not going anywhere, and it will be a long time until Kotlin phases it out entirely.
  • On the other side, android app development using Kotlin is here to remain and will become even more developer-friendly as time goes on. In particular, Atlassian, Pinterest, Basecamp, Coursera have all implemented the latest features of Kotlin in their mobile apps.