Google I/O 2017 keeps on giving, and Android developers are being offered new and better ways to create excellent experiences for mobile. A big announcement today was the introduction of first-class Kotlin support, a well-regarded programming language that’s able to power Android apps, and that is now shipping in Android Studio.
Kotlin being officially supported by Google to such degree is big news given Android apps have been primarily written in Java, and this alternative offers a new and different approach that many are welcoming as breath of fresh air in Android development. Kotlin is open-source and features clearer syntax as well as many modern language features, with a great degree of interoperability with Java. For Android developers, it means less common headaches such as runtime exceptions and verbose source code.
It’s a programming language that’s easy to get into and can be gradually introduced into existing projects, too, allowing developers to transition without undermining previous investments and commitments. You can find a (admittedly one-sided) comparison with Java here, where you can find some of the advantages Kotlin provides and some of the Java issues it specifically addresses, as well as what Java has that Kotlin does not.
— Kotlin (@kotlin) May 17, 2017
Starting now, Android 3.0 will ship with Kotlin support out of the box, allowing developers to program in Kotlin with an excellent development environment and features, without having to worry about computability. JetBrain’s partnership with Google will also introduce a non-profit foundation for Kotlin, and development of the language will continue as usual. JetBrains will also continue work on the Android Studio plugin, collaborating closely with Google, and support for other IDE’s will continue to be provided just as before.
Response to this addition to Android development has been extremely positive thus far. If you’d like to get started developing on Kotlin, you can check out these tutorials that include hands-on learning as well as books on the matter.
Are you excited to get started with Kotlin? Sound off in the comments!