Java vs. Kotlin: The Fight for Android App Development

What is the fuss all about? Is one language better than the other? What are the main differences between Java and Kotlin?

Head-to-head competitions between programming languages for the future of mobile app development are nothing new. Java has been an undeniable leader in Android development for a long time, according to Google. More recently, however, Kotlin has gained great popularity, having overtaken Java for the first time in 2018 and taking its place at the top of the list of the most popular mobile app development tools used worldwide, as confirmed by Jetbrains stats.
It becomes increasingly clear that Kotlin is becoming an increasingly attractive option for Android app developers, due to its brevity and expressiveness. This shift in programing trends has made it essential to understand how Java and Kotlin compare to one another.

In this article you will learn how to determine which language is suitable for your development project, by taking into account the key differences between Java and Kotlin, such as syntax, performance, debugging capabilities, features, and more. We’ll also explore the advantages and disadvantages of both programming languages, so that you can make an objective decision about which language is the best fit for your needs.

Java vs. Kotlin: The Fight for Android App Development


Java and Kotlin are both programming languages used to create apps for the Android operating system. Java was one of the earliest programming languages created and has long been the platform of choice for Android app development. Kotlin was initially released in 2016 and quickly gained popularity as a more modern, modern language for Android app development.
Java is a general purpose programming language that is class-based, object-oriented, and designed to have as few implementation dependencies as possible. It is intended to be used in a wide variety of contexts, including server-side and embedded applications. Java is used in Android application development because it is fast and has a large library of existing code.
Kotlin is a modern programming language that was designed to be inter-operable with Java, making it a great choice for Android developers. It is statically typed, object-oriented, and has many features that simplify coding for Android development. Kotlin can compile directly into Java and is fully compatible with existing Java frameworks.
Android is the world’s most widely used mobile operating system developed by Google. It is an open source platform that runs on various devices and has been used for a number of innovative projects. Android supports Java and Kotlin-based app development, making it a popular choice for developers.
App Development is the process of designing, creating, deploying, and maintaining a mobile app. Developing an app for Android requires coding in either Java or Kotlin and knowledge of the Android SDK. Advantages of developing apps for Android include a larger user base and the ability to use the Android framework for features such as notifications and security.
Ultimately, Java and Kotlin are both great options for Android app development. Java is a great choice for developers who need to quickly create an app with existing code or who want to leverage existing libraries. Meanwhile, Kotlin is a modern alternative to Java that is often the preferred programming language for Android app development.

A Comparison of Key Features Between Java and Kotlin for Android App Development

Java vs. Kotlin: The Fight for Android App Development

A Comparison of Key Features Between Java and Kotlin for Android App Development

Arthur had been Android app developer for years, but he had never seen anything like this. He had used Java to develop apps for almost his entire career, but recently, a mysterious new programming language had appeared—Kotlin—and it was taking the development world by storm. Everyone seemed to be trying it out, so naturally, Arthur decided to give it a try.
He had heard that Kotlin was extremely easy to learn, much faster than Java and easier to read. It also saved programmers time in certain tasks. After trying it out for himself, Arthur was not disappointed. He found that it was easier to use than Java.
When it came to creating layouts for apps, coding with Kotlin became an almost second nature to him. The Kotlin compiler inferred the parameter types for data types and data classes, so there was no need to manually cast any type. Plus, the Kotlin compiler could give warnings about any inconsistencies, eliminating the tedious task of searching for typos.
Another great feature Arthur discovered was the support for smart casts in Kotlin. If the compiler knew the type of an object at compile time, it could automatically cast the object without any extra logic. This went a long way in making the code cleaner and much easier to read.
But Kotlin wasn’t only good for coding; it had some other features that Arthur found useful in comparison to Java. For example, Kotlin supported extension functions, which let the developer extend a class with additional functions. This gave a considerable amount of flexibility when writing code. It also had coroutines, which Arthur used to easily manage multiple concurrent threads for his apps.

The Pros and Cons of Java and Kotlin

There were clear benefits to using Kotlin vs Java, but there were also some drawbacks. One downside was that the support for libraries was not as extensive as it was for Java. While this was slowly changing, it was still limiting for some tasks. Additionally, compiling Kotlin code was a bit faster than Java, but it was still not as fast as many expected.
On the other hand, Java had been on the market for much longer and was well supported by the development community. It was also far more feature-rich than Kotlin, with a large library and framework ecosystem. However, Java code could become quite lengthy and sometimes unmanageable due to its verbose syntax.

The Verdict

Ultimately, which language was better depended on the task and the developer’s requirements. For example, if an Android app needed to be quickly and easily built, and with a smaller amount of code, Kotlin would be the preferred choice. However, if a more feature-rich framework was needed, then Java would likely be the best option.
For Arthur, after considering the pros and cons of both languages, he decided to move some of his projects to Kotlin and stick with Java for the more complex programming tasks.

  • Kotlin is easier to learn and faster than Java
  • Automatic parameter type casting helps make coding easier
  • Smart casts in Kotlin make code cleaner and easier to read
  • Kotlin has useful features such as extension functions and coroutines
  • Java has a more extensive library/framework ecosystem than Kotlin
  • Java code can become longer and more complex than Kotlin
  • Which language to choose depends on the task and the developer’s requirement

Exploring the Pros and Cons of Using Java vs. Kotlin for Android Applications

A Tale of Two App Languages

Which is better for developing Android apps? Java, by far the most popular, or Kotlin, the rapid up-and-comer? It’s curried a sort of debate right through the world of app development, with developers and app development businesses alike all choosing which to use for their projects. This arouses, of course, the question – what exactly can each language do?
To understand that a bit better, each language’s strengths and vulnerabilities must be explored. Java has been the app development language of choice for many for the better part of two decades. This old-school language is incredibly robust and heavily leveraged for most types of apps. But, Kotlin offers a much cleaner look and feel.

Pros and Cons of Java and Kotlin

The primary benefit of Java is its wide swath of support libraries, making it so developers can use existing code blocks. Further, its consistent performance and solid industry support make such a language reliable over the long haul. However, due to Java’s age, it’s been known to produce bugs and has an unfortunate reputation for being clunky and verbose.
On the flip side, Kotlin has been around a few years now and has earned its reputation as a reliable language for Android app development. It provides developers with a cleaner, more concise code base, plus it’s highly interoperable with Java, meaning that any existing Java language code can also be used within a Kotlin project. And, despite its relative newness, it’s incredibly secure, and its safety features make Kotlin one of the most secure languages available to developers today.
One thought-provoking query hovers above all the others – is Java’s incredible amount of support libraries enough to offset its clunkiness and bugs, or will Kotlin take the app development industry to a new and improved level of safety and clean code? Ultimately, the decision of which language to use must be made on a project by project basis. If there are bugs to resolve and pre-existing code to consider, then Java may be the better choice. On the other hand, if the goal is to develop a brand new app in as secure and concise a manner as possible, then Kotlin may be the way to go.

Spotting the Latest Trends in Java and Kotlin for Android App Development

The Showdown Between Java and Kotlin

It’s been two years since Android app development went head to head with Java and Kotlin. Many developers have long been struggling to pick the most suitable tool for their projects. While both programming languages offer powerful features, which one is better, and is it really a dilemma?
Rumors have been circulating, yet no one could tell for sure… until now! Exciting news for all Android app developers on the lookout for the latest trends in the app-building arena – this showdown between Java and Kotlin does not have to happen. In fact, it can actually be quite beneficial, as both languages offer unique advantages and reasons for you to consider either one.
Thought-provoking: Is it enough to choose one programming language only for Android app development?
At first glance, it might look that way – a choice forced upon us that is not beneficial in any way. But it turns out that both languages can be useful for developers if used properly. Java, for example, is a multiplatform language, allowing developers to build apps that work on multiple platforms, such as Windows, Linux, and Mac OS. Incorporating JavaScript into the mix even further broadens the possibilities, enabling the creation of mobile applications and Web apps. On the other hand, Kotlin is a modern language that can run on the same hardware that other languages can, providing an advanced level of reusability and flexibility.

A Comparison of Features

Sifting through each language’s advantages and disadvantages, we can starting making comparisons. Java is generally considered the more reliable, mature language of the two; having been around and used by developers for some time now. Plus, its framework makes the process of app development a more straightforward matter. Kotlin, however, offers some features and enhancements that Java doesn’t, such as fewer programming elements for developers to write, more concise syntax, and 100% interoperability. This implies that Java and Kotlin codes can be written side-by-side and still work in a compatible manner.
Regarding performance, both languages allow for faster loading times, making them ideal for building future-oriented apps. That said, Kotlin’s compiler is said to its five times faster than that of Java, making it the better choice for developers who wish to speed up their process even more.
Lastly, Kotlin’s compatibility with the Java environment allows developers to make use of all the important libraries and SDKs of Android development. Plus, its functionality features higher safety, helping developers to avoid issues like NullPointException. Such capabilities could prove instrumental in producing advanced mobile applications that stand out from the crowd.

The Final Verdict

In conclusion, it appears that both Java and Kotlin offer numerous advantages for Android app developers. And while Kotlin might appear to have a slight edge, you cannot go wrong with either language. It all depends on the situation and the application you wish to create. Experienced developers may find using both languages beneficial, as they can take advantage of the strengths of each one. Thus it is clear – there is no need for a fight, as both programming languages can make for a strong combination for your Android app development.


So, which language is better for app development on Android applications? Java or Kotlin? This is a question that will divide the development world wide. Many developers have looked at the pros and cons of each language and made their decision; however, it is not an easy question to answer. With the constant updates and advancements in mobile app development, no matter which language we choose today, tomorrow may be completely different.
As Android developers continue to explore and debate the differences between Java and Kotlin, there is no right or wrong answer. It will depend on the capabilities of the developer, the end user experience and the type of application that is being built. One way to stay informed on the latest in development trends is to follow established mobile development blogs. By doing so, you can continue to be at the forefront of Android development tools and trends, and catch the newest updates that help you decide if Java or Kotlin is the better language for your mobile app development needs.
At the end of the day, it is up to the individual developer or development team to decide which language is best for their project and their overall goals. What works for one development team might not be the best solution for another. So, what can be done to ensure the best choice is made when it comes to Android app development? The best solution may be to wait and see what new releases come out and how developers are utilizing these new features to create stunning mobile app experiences.


Q1. What are Java and Kotlin?
A1. Java is a programming language, developed in 1995. It has a wide range of able use cases from mobile to desktop applications. Kotlin is a general-purpose programming language launched in 2011 and designed to be fully interoperable with Java. It has become widely popular among developers due to its use in Android development.
Q2. What are the main differences between Java and Kotlin?
A2. The main differences between Java and Kotlin are their syntax, safety, readability, and scalability. Java is known for its verbose syntax, while Kotlin has a much more concise syntax, making it easier to read and debug. In addition, Kotlin is safer with its null safety features, and its scalability is much better than Java.
Q3. What have been the key developments in the Java vs Kotlin debate?
A3. The debate between Java and Kotlin brings the question of which language is more suitable for Android development. Google recently announced first-class support for Kotlin with their ‘Kotlin for Android Developers’ program. This signals a drastic shift in the industry away from Java and towards Kotlin.
Q4. What makes Kotlin more attractive than Java?
A4. Kotlin has a few advantages over Java. Its syntax is more concise, its development time shorter, and it offers features like null safety and better scalability. Additionally, Kotlin supports functional programming that is easier to use in comparison to Java. These factors make Kotlin an attractive choice for developers.
Q5. What is the future of Android App Development?
A5. Since Google is now actively supporting Kotlin, it is likely that it will become the key language for Android developers and has the potential to completely replace Java. Kotlin is the preferred language among many developers due to its syntax, scalability, and features.