Kotlin Vs Java: Which One Is Best For Android Applications?

A significant majority of the population uses the Android operating system. It has become the most common household name these days. And with the innovation and development of applications, the demand for the features of Android is on the rise only. But to get the most out of it, how can we select which language is best suitable for Android Applications. 

Table of contents: 

  • Introduction
  • Background of Kotlin
  • Background of Java
  • similar features of both Kotlin and Java
  • comparison between both the languages
  • Kotlin should be preferred when
  • Java should be preferred when
  • Conclusion


Everyone has become so demanding and eager now that it has become imperative to impart the best functions efficiently. Otherwise, there is so much competition that it can be lost even in the blink of an eye. Mostly, people get confused about which language to choose from, Kotlin or Java, for producing an android application. Well, they both have their advantages as well as disadvantages. To help you make an informed choice, we are presenting to you the features of each of them as well as their comparison with each other.

Background of Kotlin

Kotlin is an open-source language that was developed in 2010 by JetBrains. You can use it for desktop apps, IOS, and Android applications. It is interoperable with Java, and this implies that your knowledge about Java can be easily used here in Kotlin. It’s surely an integrated development environment (IDE). Moreover, it’s a language that is statically typed for languages from Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and JavaScript.

  • 7.8% of the industrial specialists now use Kotlin.
  • Kotlin is among the five languages, namely Go, TypeScript, Rust, and Python which developers are increasingly adopting as a new generation language.
  • Popular brands, including big names such as Twitter, Netflix, Google, Amazon, etc., are using Kotlin now.

Features of Kotlin:

  1. Kotlin is null safe. It means that the incorrectly initialized parameter, as well as absent type errors, can be prevented by Kotlin. Therefore it should be kept in mind to never use the type as a default value.
  2. Kotlin is interoperable with Java. It is probably the most important feature of Kotlin. What this means is that the knowledge of Java can be easily utilized by a Kotlin developer.
  3. It creates the getters as well as setters properties automatically. This enables easy coding as well as reading by the android developers.
  4. There is no requirement of “null” in Kotlin. This ensures the prevention of absent type and the incorrectly initialized parameter. 
  5. The syntax of Kotlin is simple and compact. There are no unnecessarily long as well as complex codes which make it easy for the developers to work with the codes. And, hence a better performance is guaranteed.

Background of Java

Java was founded in 1995 by Sun Microsystems. It is known for being concurrent, object-oriented, and automatic memory management. You can use it to create desktop applications as well as Android applications. Its major utilization is in the open handset alliance for the user interfaces in Android. But Java classes need to be imported for it to work, and therefore, Java can be considered a bit tougher than Kotlin. Some popular apps built on Java include Cash App, Spotify, and Signal. 

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Features of Java

  1. Multiple platforms are supported by Java. It implies that you can transfer it to any other language as per your requirements and objectives. This makes working with it very flexible.
  2. A garbage collector is used by Java to control the code memory automatically. This lets the developer focus on more important processes rather than manually handling waste resources and stuff.

Now let us focus on the similar features of both Kotlin and Java-

There are numerous similarities between Kotlin and Java. The main similarity out of many similarities is that they have almost identical file types. This makes transferring of code between the two of them more flexible. The other similarities are as follows-

  1. The collection of Kotlin looks a lot like Java. Not only that, but you can convert Kotlin’s classes easily as well.
  2. As said above, the type systems of both- Kotlin and Java are similar. That’s why there should be no worries about transferring from one language to another.

Now it’s turning to the main comparison between both of the languages:

  1. The performance factor- Java is a kind of matured language capable of delivering outstanding performance. But for the development of android projects, Kotlin is a better performer. This better performance attributes to the extensive interoperability with Java and its immutable property.
  2. Easily usage- Kotlin is considered a lot simpler than the Java language. Moreover, Kotlin contains IDEs, nice tool sets, and tutorials.
  3. Cross-platform functionality- Under this parameter, Kotlin steals the show. It is capable of functioning on multiple systems and compiling across various platforms. On the other hand, you can use Java on a single platform only due to its usage of bytecode. And in many instances, there is a need for both the IOS as well as the android version. In such scenarios, Kotlin proves to be extremely handy.
  4. Popularity- As of now, Java is more popular. And it seems obvious also due to its presence and importance for a very long time. But Kotlin can very soon take over Java in terms of complexity as well due to its advancement over Java. Also, Google backs it, which even increases its prospects.
  5. Scalability- One major drawback of languages such as C++ and Java is that they have limited scalability. This makes the chances of bloating possible, hence affecting its efficiency. On the other hand, Kotlin is designed keeping in mind the diverse needs that may arise in android project development.
  6. Extension functions- The functionalities of an existing class in Kotlin can be easily extended just by a prefix addition of class to the function name. On the other hand, extensions are not supported by Java. An existing class’s functionality can be enhanced by its extremely time-consuming process. The functions will need to be inherited from the parent class to the new class.
  7. More as well as mature libraries- It is no doubt that Java currently has available a huge array of frameworks, libraries, and tools to develop android projects. Although Kotlin is much behind right now, it is making efforts to come ahead with its libraries like Coroutines and KTX.
  8. Community support- Surprisingly, the community of Kotlin is advancing at a fast pace which is even surpassing Java’s community. This comes as something shocking given the high maturity level of Java in the industry.Checkout the guide Kotlin vs Java to know for more information

These were the various comparisons between both of them. But as per the different needs, you can select the one out of these which is more suitable for you. It is explained below-

Kotlin should be preferred when-

  • Cross-platform functionality and cross-compilation are needed by the apps. And this is an increasingly important requirement since most of the applications these days require inter-linking.
  • High performance is required, especially for older android devices where the functioning gets extremely slow after a certain time. Its examples include the heavy video-editing apps on the market. Since Kotlin has much better and more advanced features to handle the issue, it is regarded much better than Kotlin.

Java should be preferred when-

  • Large apps with several functions and objectives are needed for functioning across all the platforms like Windows, IOS, Linux, or Android. In such cases, the mature set of libraries of Java is highly valuable.


In the end, no language out of the two can be designated as the best. It depends on your resources, objectives, and the result that you want. Go with Java in case you are looking for an open-source or library flexible language. On the other hand, Kotlin would be an ideal choice for you if you are on the lookout for a Google-backed language.