Developing an Android app is a great idea if you’re looking to take the next step in your online branding. Regardless of what industry you belong to, all companies can benefit from having an official app. It’s an excellent way of improving your digital presence and attracting new customers.
Android app development is not a particularly easy field to master, which is why many companies opt to outsource development to a third party, like Newpath Web. Our experienced team can guide you through every step of the journey, from initial brainstorming to ongoing maintenance.
One of the first decisions we make when faced with a new mobile application development project is what programming language to use. For those unfamiliar with the process of app development or web development in general, a programming language is a specific set of vocabulary and grammatical rules that enable a developer to communicate with a computer. You use English (or any other language) to write a book and you use a programming language (like Java or Kotlin) to write an app.
There are many different types of programming languages, even within the field of Android application development. Programming languages all achieve the same thing, which is producing a digital product. The main difference between them is how they go about reaching this goal.
Still confused? We don’t blame you. Programming becomes a lot easier when you have hands-on experience, which is why we’ve taken it upon ourselves to put together this short guide to two of the most popular Android programming languages: Kotlin and Java.
What is Java?
Java is a general purpose programming language that was first launched in 1995. As far as programming languages go, that makes Java pretty old. There’s a reason it has been around this long — it’s considered to be fast, reliable, and very secure.
Java works on many different platforms, including both Windows and Mac. It is what is known as an “object-oriented language”, a computer programming model that organises software around data and code rather than functions. This allows code to be reused across other parts of the program, theoretically lowering costs.
Java is one of the programming languages supported by Android Studios, which is the official development environment run by Google.
What is Kotlin?
Kotlin is a much younger programming language. It was first released in 2016 and in three short years, was announced by Google as the preferred programming language for Android app development. It is considered to be quite easy to learn and is a good option for beginners looking to get their head around the worlds of programming and mobile application development.
Like Java, it has a wide variety of applications from general web development to Android applications. In fact, Kotlin is considered to have been inspired by Java, meaning there is a close relationship between the two. They can even exist within the same project.
Kotlin combines object-oriented programming with functional programming features. The language itself is more concise; it removes the need for null point exceptions and does not require the use of semi-columns, making for cleaner code.
How do the two compare?
For many years, Java was the only option when it came to Android application development. Because of this, the majority of app developers still consider it to be their programming language of choice. While it is not particularly easy to learn, once you’ve got it under your belt, it tends to stick.
The announcement of Kotlin as Google’s preferred language for Android app development in the Android Studio made many people sit up and take notice of the newcomer to the field.
Generally speaking, Kotlin is more concise than Java. What would take two lines of code in Java can be condensed to half that size using Kotlin. This is certainly an advantage if you’re working to a tight timeline.
Oftentimes, the choice of programming language comes down to personal preference of the developer. Or, it is based upon project-specific behind the scenes requirements that can’t really be neatly summarised in an article or blog post.
Part of Newpath Web’s approach to Android app development is sitting down with our clients to work out exactly what they want their end product to look like. From here, we determine which language — Java, Kotlin, or any other of the popular Android programming languages — is most suitable. You can trust in our experience and skills. Top clients including Porsche Centre Melbourne and Dairy Australia have done so with no complaints.
Contact the friendly team at Newpath Web today to learn more about our approach to Android application development and what resources we’ll use to get your project off the ground.