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Kotlin Language – Why is it Becoming so Popular in Android apps?

Date: 16-11-2023

Jet Brains developed Kotlin as a statically typed, general-purpose programming language that combines the features of object-oriented and functional programming. It can run on Java Virtual Machine (JVM), as the Kotlin compiler generates byte code similar to the Java compiler. Kotlin is interoperable with Java, allowing both languages to share and use information. 

Kotlin is a programming language that is widely used for multiplatform mobile development, developing server-side applications, Android applications, and much more. It is similar to Java but includes additional features and can incorporate Java libraries into Kotlin projects. Kotlin’s developers are focused on simplifying the code and increasing transparency, so the language is streamlined and easily comprehended.

Features of Kotlin

Kotlin is a versatile language offering several features, including:

Platform versatility

Kotlin can be used on multiple platforms, reducing the need to write and maintain code on different platforms. This is possible because Kotlin is not dependent on virtual machines on the target platform.

Modern features

Kotlin comprises modern features like null safety reducing null reference issues. It also supports lambda functions (anonymous functions) and smart casts (used for tracking conditions inside if expressions).


Kotlin offers many extensions that allow adding functionality without inheriting from the class using no decorative pattern, making the code easy to maintain and read.

Higher-order functions

Functions can be passed as parameters to the function, which means the function can act as a variable and be passed just like variables. This is also known as a higher-order function. Its functionality performs two things: take functions as parameters and return a function.

Interoperability with Java

Kotlin is compatible with Java and fully interoperable with it. You can even convert a Java file to a Kotlin file with just a script. It also works on JVM, and Java libraries work well on Kotlin.

Data class

Kotlin has a data class that only contains a state and does not perform any operations. The advantage of this class is that it avoids the implementation of methods within the class and provides self-generated code. 

The Benefit of Kotlin

Allows to work with write less code

Kotlin offers both less code and improved readability. With a focus on simplicity and high readability, the language reduces the likelihood of bugs and allows developers to concentrate on more significant aspects of app development. By taking care of mundane coding tasks, Kotlin streamlines the development process.

It addresses developer challenges

JetBrains, the company behind IntelliJ IDEA, developed Kotlin to overcome the limitations of Java for their product. Kotlin is an effective programming language that works seamlessly with Java and solves common programming challenges. Its type system helps prevent null pointer exceptions, which is especially useful for software engineers working with large codebases and APIs that rely on null values. Unlike most research academic languages, Kotlin is designed to be practical and useful for real-world applications.

Adopting Kotlin is easy

Consider assigning 2-3 engineers to move a small part of the codebase to Kotlin. This can facilitate product maintenance and streamline custom Android app development.

Fully compatible with Java

Kotlin is fully compatible with Java, allowing developers to use all Java frameworks and libraries while writing clearer and more concise code.

So, android engineers can use both Java and Kotlin for building mobile products and migrating applications. It’s easy to convert a large Java-based project to Kotlin one file at a time, with everything still compiling successfully. At BLAKIT, we write code in Kotlin and use Java only for maintaining old projects.

It imposes no runtime overhead

The standard library is compact and efficient, consisting mostly of specific extensions to the Java standard library. By using compile-time inlining extensively, functional constructs such as pipelines of map/filter/reduce compile in a similar way to an imperative version of the same code.

Kotlin has a strong community

JetBrains has a skilled and dedicated team, a stable business model, and is actively enhancing the language. They are even converting parts of their flagship product to use it.

Kotlin suits multi-platform development

Kotlin has JavaScript support and interoperability, making it useful for front-end development. It also supports writing Gradle files and building iOS apps with Kotlin/Native.

Kotlin development offers more safety

Kotlin’s developers ensured that its semantics prevent common program execution mistakes, resulting in a higher level of safety compared to Java. This is one of the benefits of using Kotlin.

Uses of Kotlin

Web development

Kotlin is also used for web development. It is compatible with Java and much easier to use. Kotlin works well with Spring and other frameworks, making it a good replacement for Java in web development. 

Data Science

Kotlin’s features, such as null safety, statically typed, maintainable code, and JVM compatibility, make it a good choice for working with data. 

Android development

Android developers also use Kotlin for app development since Google announced it as a first-class language. This announcement sparked increased interest among developers and created a large community. Kotlin allows developers to write more expressive and concise code, and its interoperability with Java is one of its main attractions.

Benefits for businesses for switching to Kotlin

Kotlin is a programming language that simplifies app development, making it easier and cheaper to maintain. It’s faster than Java and can reduce the lines of code by up to 40%. This means less money and time spent on coding. There’s also an automatic converter for Kotlin-to-Java. 

Kotlin is versatile, making it easy to transfer your app from one platform to another. The framework is efficient, exciting, and new, attracting good developers.

The implementation of simpler and more comprehensible code expedites the completion of tasks while minimizing errors. This approach significantly reduces the likelihood of encountering errors and improves the ease of locating them.

Bottom line

Kotlin is a versatile and popular programming language that is widely used in developing Android apps, server-side applications, and multiplatform mobile development. It offers modern features, extensions, and interoperability with Java. Developers can write less code, address developer challenges, and adopt it easily. With no runtime overhead, Kotlin is efficient, easy to work with, and has a strong community and multi-platform support.

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