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Google Makes Kotlin A First Class Language For Writing Android Apps And Developers Are Glad

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There was an article on Kotlin last year on TechBooky and in that post it was said that in a perfect Android world, the main language of Java is really modern, clear, and elegant. You can write less by doing more, and whenever a new feature appears, developers can use it just by increasing version in Gradle. But the news that Google is making Kotlin a first class language for developing Android apps should gladden the hearts of its advocates.

Now Kotlin is a new language (sometimes referred to as Swift for Android), developed by the JetBrains team, and is now in its 1.0.2 version. What makes it useful in Android development is that it compiles to JVM bytecode, and can be also compiled to JavaScript. It is fully compatible with Java, and Kotlin code can be simply converted to Java code and vice versa (there is a plugin from JetBrains). That means Kotlin can use any framework, library etc. written in Java. On Android, it integrates by Gradle. If you have an existing Android app and you want to implement a new feature in Kotlin without rewriting the whole app, just start writing in Kotlin, and it will work.

The primary proponent of Kotlin is JetBrains and open sourced the language and you could already write Android apps using Kotlin, it’s the fact that Google is officially backing it up that’s making the news. Kotlin supports features that Java doesn’t at the moment and as they put it in a blog post, “Android Studio 3.0 ships with Kotlin out of the box, meaning Android developers no longer need to install any extras or worry about compatibility. It also means that moving forward, you can rest assured that both JetBrains and Google will be supporting Android development in Kotlin.”

JetBrains will be partnering with Google to set up a non-profit foundation going forward.  

The news was received with a loud applause at the ongoing Google I/O developers’ conference which started yesterday.

See here for an introductory tutorial on Kotlin here 

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