Java or Kotlin for Android development

In case of android app development Java is most favourite language of many developers .But did you know that kotlin is ready to challenge Java’s leadership in the Android application development and a lot of developers are switching from java to kotlin.

Let’s have a detailed comparison of java and Kotlin.


  • Java

In case of android development Java is mostly used and favourite of many developers also Android itself is written in Java. Java is a object oriented programming language that holds the cap of second most active programming language ion Github. And probably one of the oldest programing language around 20 years of active.

Pros of Java

  • Simple : Java is easy to learn,use,write,compile and debug than alternative programming languages.
  • Compilation speed is high
  • In case of cross platform applications Java is a far better choice .
  • Most of the android applications are running on Java and A lot of java libraries are available for android SDK
  • Java has a large open-source ecosystem, partly as a result of Google’s adoption of the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) for Android;
  • In comparison to Kotlin  Java applications are more compact and lighter
  • The build & compilation speed is high than Kotlin  
  • Lot of tutorials and online materials are available  for android development using java ,In case of Kotlin as its a new language the materials are limited.

Cons of Java

  • Java has limitations that cause problems with Android API design
  • As compare with Kotlin , More code is needed to be written in java .
  • It is slower and more memory consuming .than many other languages



  • Kotlin

Kotlin was designed by programmers from JetBrains to add some modern features to Java that come in handy in mobile development. Kotlin is an open source, statically typed language based on Java Virtual Machine (JVM), but you can also compile it to JavaScript or Native for building code that can run on iOS. All it takes is installing the Kotlin Plugin and letting it configure your project.

Pros of Kotlin

  • Fully compatible and easy to convert from java to Kotlin : Just install Kotlin plugin in Android SDK and sync gradle then click Convert to convert java files to Kotlin
  • All major java frameworks started supporting Kotlin (Like Spring started support Kotlin from Spring 5)
  • Well management in NullPointerException : Introduction of !! operator aimed to eliminate NullPointerException’s the  code.
  • Fewer chance to get errors in code and in compare to java less coding needed.
  • Easy to switch from Java to Kotlin
  • All java libraries are fully compatible with Kotlin
  • Compilation time in kotlin are improving well and almost same as that of Java.

Cons of Kotlin

  • Slower compilation speed than Java
  • Switching entire team from Java to Kotlin might be challenging
  • The availability of developer community and finding answers for questions are limited , but its growing fastly.
  • In android studio auto_completion are working slower than Java.


  • Conclusion


In my opinion If you are a beginner in android development and you have a decent knowledge in Java , its better to start with Kotlin instead of Java. But of course you might have some  good knowledge in Java.

Kotlin is now an Official language for android development and a lot of brands like Amazon,pintrest and netflix are already converted to kotlin.  As the article name says it is a new era in android development and Kotlin is only beginning to ride in the growth curve. With support from Google and heavy-hitting brands making the switch kotlin quickly proving itself to be a superior programming language for android application development.