Kotlin programming language was first developed by JetBrains, a company known for creating tools for software developers, in 2010. The language was designed to improve upon some of the shortcomings of Java, which was (and still is) one of the most popular programming languages in the world.
In 2011, JetBrains released the first public version of Kotlin, version 0.1. Since then, the language has gone through several major updates, with the most recent version being 1.7.0
Kotlin is fully interoperable with Java, meaning that Java code can call Kotlin code and vice versa. This made it relatively easy for Java developers to start using Kotlin in their projects.
In 2017, Google announced that Kotlin would be an officially supported language for Android development, along with Java and C++. This was a significant endorsement of the language and led to a rapid increase in its popularity among Android developers.
Since then, Kotlin has become increasingly popular, not only for Android development but also for developing server-side applications and other types of projects. It has been praised for its brevity, type inference, and improved type safety compared to Java. Kotlin also solves some pain points of Java like null safety, smart-casting, and many more.
Now Kotlin is the 2nd most loved programming language by developers according to the StackOverflow survey.
As a company, Jetbrains also provides many tools for Kotlin development, like IntelliJ IDEA and Android Studio, and also provides support for Kotlin-based web development and data science.
What is Kotlin programming language?
Kotlin is a programming language that is designed to be concise, expressive, and safe. It is fully interoperable with Java, which means that it can be used to build applications for any platform that Java supports, including Android, the web, and the backend.
One of the main goals of Kotlin language is to improve upon some of the shortcomings of Java, such as verbosity and lack of safety features. Kotlin addresses these issues by providing improved type inference, better support for functional programming, and improved syntax for common programming tasks.
In addition to its compatibility with Java, the Kotlin language also has excellent support for Android development. In 2017, Google announced that Kotlin would be an officially supported language for Android development, along with Java and C++. This has helped to make Kotlin language a popular choice for developing Android applications.
Overall, Kotlin is a modern programming language that is designed to be easy to learn and use while also providing powerful features for Kotlin developers. It is increasingly being used for a wide range of projects, including Android apps, web development, and server-side applications.
Why learn Kotlin for Android?
There are several reasons why you might want to learn Kotlin for Android development:
- Kotlin is concise and expressive: Kotlin code is often much shorter and easier to read than the equivalent Java code, which can make it easier to write and maintain.
- Kotlin is safer: Kotlin includes several safety features that help prevent common programming errors, such as null pointer exceptions. This can make it easier to write bug-free code and reduce the time spent debugging.
- Kotlin is fully interoperable with Java: This means that you can use Kotlin and Java together in the same project, and even call Kotlin code from Java and vice versa. This can make it easier to adopt Kotlin incrementally in your existing projects.
- Kotlin is supported by Google: Google announced in 2017 that Kotlin, along with Java and C++, will be an officially supported language for Android development. This has contributed to Kotlin’s popularity among Android developers.
- Kotlin is increasingly popular: As Kotlin becomes more widely used and the first approach for android developers, there will likely be an increasing demand for Kotlin developers with experience in the language. Learning Kotlin for beginners can be a good career move.
Apps built with Kotlin
Some well-known apps that have been built with Kotlin include
- Evernote: A note-taking app that allows users to organize their notes and lists.
- Trello: A project management app that allows users to organize their tasks and collaborate with others.
- Coursera: An online learning platform that offers courses from top universities and organizations.
- Netflix: A popular streaming service that offers movies, TV shows, and original content.
- Postmates: A delivery app that allows users to order food and other items from local stores and restaurants.
- Uber: A ride-hailing app that allows users to request and pay for rides from drivers.
- Slack: A team communication app that allows users to send messages, files and organize conversations in channels.
- Instagram: A social media app that allows users to share photos and videos and interact with other users.
- Shazam: A music recognition app that allows users to identify songs and artists by listening to a snippet of audio.
- Pinterest: A visual search engine that allows users to discover and save new ideas and inspiration.
It’s worth noting that the language used in an app is not necessarily the only language used, and a lot of apps are built with multiple languages, but Kotlin is a great language for Android development and is used in many big companies.
Kotlin VS Java
Kotlin and Java are both programming languages that can be used to build Android applications, but they have some key differences:
- Syntax: Kotlin has a more modern and concise syntax than Java. It has fewer lines of code and more expressive features, like type inference and properties, which makes it more readable and easier to write.
- Safety features: Kotlin includes several features that help prevent common programming errors, such as null pointer exceptions. For example, it has null safety features which eliminate null pointer exceptions and makes the code more robust.
- Interoperability: Kotlin is fully interoperable with Java, which means that you can use Java and Kotlin together in the same project, and even call Kotlin code from Java and vice versa.
- Functional Programming: Kotlin has more expressive and powerful support for functional programming than Java.
- Extension functions: Kotlin provides the ability to extend a class with new functionality without having to inherit from the class.
- Updated version: Kotlin being a newer language, supports more modern features, like coroutines, which allows us to write asynchronous code more simply.
Overall, Kotlin programming language is a more modern, expressive, and safe programming language than Java. But Java still has some advantages over Kotlin, like a more stable ecosystem, more libraries, and more experienced developers. And also because of its wide adoption, Java has more documentation and community support.
Kotlin Programming language example
Here are a few examples of Kotlin code that demonstrate some of its key features:
- Variables: In Kotlin, you can declare variables using the “var” or “val” keywords. “var” declares a mutable variable, while “val” declares an immutable variable.
- Control flow: Kotlin supports common control flow structures, such as “if-else” and “when” statements.
- Functions: In Kotlin, you can define functions using the “fun” keyword. Functions can take parameters and return values.
- Classes: Kotlin supports object-oriented programming, and you can define classes using the “class” keyword. Classes can have properties, methods, and constructors.
These are some basic examples, there are a lot more Kotlin capabilities, such as null safety, extension functions, and lambdas, that make the language more powerful. I hope these examples give you a sense of how Kotlin code looks and how it can be used to solve problems.
Kotlin programming language is a powerful, modern programming language that offers many features that make it well-suited for building robust and reliable Android apps. It provides a more expressive and concise syntax than Java, making it easier to write and maintain code. It also includes advanced features like null safety, extension functions, and lambda expressions, which help to eliminate common programming errors and make code more readable and maintainable.
Its high level of functionality, ease of use, and interoperability with Java make it an excellent choice for anyone looking to develop Android apps. Its great support, community, and resources will help to continue making the development process more efficient
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