Who will win the battle in Android App Development? Java or Kotlin

By Jigar Agrawal Android, Mobile April 19, 2019 11 min read 968 Views

With every passing day, technology is changing with fast speed. Our quest for finding new havens led us to the techniques which were hard to believe even a decade ago. The emergence of mobile phones has drastically changed the way we see the world.

Talking in terms of the Applications we use in our mobile phones, it is such a pleasant surprise that these mobile based applications have changed the way we used to study, book tickets, entertain ourselves and the list is endless.

In terms of Jobs, Mobile Based App Development has created millions of high paying jobs. Those ambitious aspirants who are planning to make a career as mobile app developers should and must keep themselves abreast of the new advancements of programming and coding.

Kotlin Programming Language with its simplicity and compactness has confused the new aspirants as to which way to choose and where is the future lies? Not only the programmers or developers are confused, but also, it is big corporations too who are doubtful as to which way to choose.

No doubt, to date, Java is the most acceptable and recognized programming language with millions of developers making a vibrant and robust community.

But, its complex code, primary user graphic interface and lots of other things compelled developers to search and develop new languages like Kotlin.

Here, we will compare both programming languages Java and Kotlin. We will make a thoughtful comparison of both languages in terms of applicability, popularity, complexity in code, what programmers and developers think about both languages, user graphic interface and a lot of other things with a conclusion on “where is the future; Java or Kotlin.”

“There are two ways of constructing a software design. One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies, and the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies. The first method is far more difficult.”

– C.A.R. Hoare
(British computer scientist)


Let Us See What We Have In This Article

  1. About Java Programming Language
  2. The popularity of Java worldwide
  3. Pros and Cons of Java
  4. About Kotlin Programming Language
  5. Popularity of Kotlin
  6. Pro and Cons of Kotlin
  7. Where the future lies – Java or Kotlin

Let us dive into the details of each section.

1.  About Java Programming Language

Did You Know, Developers created Java for Digital Cable Television and small embedded systems in electronic appliances like Set-top Box? BUT, the technology was too advanced for that time.

Later, people adopted the same language in the Internet era for developing eye-catching web as well as mobile based applications.

Initially, the name of Java was “Greentalk” having file extension .gt. This language was renamed as “Oak” later as the Oak tree was a symbol of strength and its omnipresence in the countries like USA, France, and Romania. It was the year of 1995; Java got its present name “JAVA” after Indonesian Java, which is still in practice till date.

2.  The popularity of Java worldwide

Talking in terms of Popularity

  • When technology is changing with lightning speed, the tech community recently celebrated the 20th Anniversary of Java.
  • Java is one of the most popular and widely adopted Programming Languages. It is used by 9 million developers on 7 billion devices worldwide.
  • According to plumber.io/blog, talking in terms of the Job market, analytics of Indeed and Monster.com shows that ~18% of Monster.com applicants can program in Java and ~16% of open engineering/programming positions scanned by Indeed.com are looking for Java talent.
  • Tiobe, a software quality company which publishes the “TIOBE Programming Community Index” which is as an indicator of programming language popularity has given the title of “Most Popular Programming Language in the world” to JAVA Programming Language.
Dec 2018 Dec 2017 Change Programming Language Ratings Change
1 1 Java 15.932% +2.66%
2 2 C 14.282% +4.12%
3 4 Picture1-1 Python 8.376% +4.60%
4 3 Picture2-1 C++ 7.562% +2.84%

3.  Pros and Cons of Java

  • Simple 
    Java is much less complicated than C++ as a result of Java uses automatic memory allocation and garbage collection.
  • Object Oriented
    Ability to form Standard programs and reusable codes.
  • Platform independent
    Ability to work on flexible systems
  • Distributed
    For distributed computing with networking capability.
  • Safe and secure
    It is one of the safest and secure languages.
  • Performance
    Slow performance is the main headache with Java.
  • Graphics User Interface
    The default graphic user interface feels of applications developed using Java is entirely different from other native languages.
  • Complex Code
    Long, complicated sentences that form the Code is less readable and scannable. As compared to rivals like Python, Java code is very complex and hard to understand.

“Every once in a while, a new technology, an old problem, and a big idea turn into an innovation.”

– Dean Kamen

4.  About Kotlin Programming Language

On July 2011, KOTLIN a new Programming Language for Android Development, named after Kotlin Islands, St. Pittsburgh, Russia having the extension ‘.kt’ or ‘.kts’ was born. It is a statically-typed programming language based on Java Virtual Machine.

JetBrains, the father of Kotlin, said that most of the languages did not have the features they were looking for, except for Scala. However, the slow compile time of Scala as a glaring deficiency lead to developing Kotlin. One of the stated goals of Kotlin is to compile as quickly as Java.

According to Development lead Andrey Breslay, “Kotlin is designed to be an industrial – strength object-oriented language and a better language than Java, but still be fully interoperable with Java code, allowing companies to make a gradual migration from Java to Kotlin.”

To know in detail about the technicalities of Kotlin, you can hire Cheap App Developers in India from a well-known firm. He/She should provide you with all the necessary information.

5.  Popularity of Kotlin

Kotlin, due to its simple, safe and being 100% Java Compatible, is getting favorite day by day. On 17th May 2017, Google announced that it would officially support Kotlin on Android as a “first – class” language.

Though it Kotlin came into the limelight way back in the year 2011, the interest for Kotlin peaked following the announcement about its official support as first-class Android development about its official support as first-class Android development language at Google I/O 2017 which can be better understood by the graph as follows


Following the big announcement, the language for the first time, entered into the top 50 languages in June 2017, according to the TIOBE Index, over 30 positions up since May 2017.

It is the big brother Google whose support is helping Kotlin to gain adoption. As per the official website of the language, some of the leading technology companies like Uber, Pinterest, Evernote, Atlassian, and Pivotal are actively using Kotlin.

6.  Pro and Cons of Kotlin

  • Can Increase the Team’s Productivity
    Unlike to Java, Kotlin eliminates the cumbersomeness. It is straightforward, compact and efficient with a concise and intuitive syntax. It takes less time to write and deploy new code. For example, when the “App Lock” was re-written from Java to Kotlin, the number of lines of codes were reduced by 30%. 
  • Compatible with existing code
    Kotlin is compatible with existing languages like Java. Moreover, this makes it possible to migrate to Kotlin gradually or to use both languages within the same project successfully.
  • Lesser Bugs
    Clear codes and Compactness of the language make it tough for bugs not to get detected easily. 
  • Reliable
    Kotlin is not a new language, it is here with us since 2011, and during this time, it has been matured ultimately enough making it secure. In fact, the new version of Android, i.e. Android 10 also supports Kotlin.
  • Way different from Java:
    Kotlin still differs from Java in many aspects. It needs time, resources and training for an aspiring Kotlin developer.
  • Slow Compilation Speed:
    If to trust the reports of some of the developers, Kotlin has slower Compilation Speed forming its one of the main drawbacks. Though in some cases, Kotlin beats Java (in terms of speed), but sometimes it is much slower than Java.
  • Smaller Developer Community:
    Though Kotlin is getting the attention of developers with high speed, it still lacks “a good number of developer community.”

“One of my most productive days was throwing away 1000 lines of code.”
– Ken Thompson

7.  Where the future lies – Java or Kotlin

Till here, we have seen and discussed programming languages in detail, their pros and cons, popularity and developers community. Now, let’s talk in particular where the future is going- Java or Kotlin OR who will win the battle?

For Future Developers

If you are an aspirant developer who is confused about which way to go and master, to become a good mobile based application developer, one line answer of this question would be it’s “both Kotlin and Java.” One needs to marry both languages initially and then switch to Kotlin.

According to Java developers who are also familiar to Kotlin, the later has still not matured enough to be able to function on its own without the help of Java fully. It is why Kotlin is 100% compatible with Java. In a broader sense, if a developer is familiar with Java and knows how to develop mobile based applications using Java is more likely not to face problem in going with Kotlin in the future.

Read also: Enterprise application & development-The biggest flops & Disappointments in 2018

For Entrepreneurs

If you are an entrepreneur and getting confused in choosing the right platform for your mobile-based application, my answer would choose Kotlin For Android. As mentioned above, in some cases, for Kotlin, it took 30% fewer codes for “App Locker.” So, less code means, fewer bugs and higher speed with the lightness of the application. The shift has started. Giants like Uber is migrating to Kotlin.

Here is the comprehensive list of companies that are already using Kotlin:

  • Pinterest
    The photo-sharing application, after assessing Kotlin officially announced its move to migrate to Kotlin. The brand officially moved from Java to Kotlin and showcased the benefits of the move at Droidcon NYC 2016
  • Gradle
    Gradle is an open-source build automation system that builds upon the concepts of Apache Ant and Apache Maven and introduces a Groovy-based domain-specific language instead of the XML form used by Apache Maven for declaring the project configuration. Gradle recently announced its migration to Kotlin.
  • Evernote
    Evernote is a mobile app designed for note taking, organizing, task lists, and archiving. The Evernote Corporation develops it, headquartered in Redwood City, California. Evernote too, integrated Kotlin in their Android client.
  • Corda
    Primarily designed for Blockchain developers to create inter-operable blockchain networks is using Kotlin.
  • Coursera
    The very popular online learning platform Coursera, though partially, uses Kotlin. The application is viral among millions of students who use the app for different vocational as well as conventional courses.
  • Uber
    So, do you think, Uber needs an introduction? Uber, the giant, too uses Kotlin. If a company, having millions of customers worldwide is using Kotlin, nothing needs to be said.
  • Twidere
    It is an open source, fully featured Fanfou/Mastodon app. Features. Recently Twidere officially announced its intention to move to Kotlin.
  • Spring by Pivotal
    The Spring Framework is an application framework and inversion of control container for the Java platform. Any Java application can use the framework’s core features, but there are extensions for building web applications on top of the Java EE platform. The framework uses Kotlin to provide more concise APIs.
  • Trello
    Trello has an old database in other languages; it is developing its new data using Kotlin. Since Kotlin has 100% interoperability for Java, it can work with both.
  • Simple Calendar
    The calendar application is made entirely on Kotlin.


Though Kotlin is getting popularity and acceptability by every Enterprise Mobile App Development company, still a lot needs to be done to make it fully functional on its own. Java is here for another five to ten years as the new languages are dependent on it. But, indeed, one day, Kotlin with its less complex code, bug-free applications, compactness is going to win the race among Android App Development Company. Till that date, let’s wait and watch.

Looking for an IT organization that can provide with customized Android App Development Services? Then, Connect With eSparkBiz Technologies. Our team of experts craft world-class Android apps that can help businesses to increase their revenue and maximize their ROI.

Disclaimer: We at eSparkBiz Technologies have created this blog with all the consideration and utmost care. We always strive for excellence in each of our blog posts and for that purpose, we ensure that all the information written in the blog is complete, correct, comprehensible, accurate and up-to-date. However, we can’t always guarantee that the information written in the blog correct, accurate or up-to-date. Therefore, we always advise our valuable readers not to take any kind of decisions based on the information as well as the views shared by our authors. The readers should always conduct an in-depth research before making the final decision. In addition to these, all the logos, 3rd part trademarks and screenshots of websites & mobile apps are the property of the individual owners. We’re not associated with any of them.

Jigar Agrawal

Jigar Agrawal

Passionate about exploring anything related to Android . Wants to unlock the world of mobile and Social Media where every day there is a chance of new possibility as well as innovation. Has bulk of experience of writing articles on major development which takes place in Android. Puts his pen on paper & write blogs for eSparkBiz, an Android App Development Company where you can Hire Android App Developer as per your specific needs.


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