Kotlin vs. Java: which is better? Now that the debate is over, let’s decide

May 9, 2023

Is Kotlin better than Java? Is Java no longer relevant? Whether to choose Java or Kotlin for Android app development? These are some of the queries that have led to the debate of Java VS Kotin and the constant comparison between the two. When a business approaches an Android app development company, the choice of language is one of the major questions.

We bring to you all the necessary information and a comparison between the two languages in this blog. This would help you in understanding which one to choose as an Android app developer and also if you are looking for Android app development for your business. Before starting the comparison between Kotlin VS Java, Let us get into the introduction of them.

What is Java?

Java is a high-level, object-oriented programming language. It was developed by James Gosling at Sun Microsystems and was first released in 1995. After all these years Java is still a popularly used language with versatile applications. It is simple to learn and easy to use. Java is a class-based, object-oriented programming language. Java works on the main principle of writing once and running anywhere, allowing developers to build applications and software independent of the platform.

What is Kotlin?

Kotlin is a general-purpose, statically typed programming language. It was developed by JetBrains and first released in 2011. Kotlin has a combination of features of both functional and object-oriented programming languages. Kotlin is a modern language, relatively new, and was developed with a focus to be interoperable with Java. Kotlin has marked its presence as being easy to learn and versatile, in 2019 Google officially recommended Kotlin for building Android apps.

Java VS Kotlin

To get a clear picture of the comparison between Java and Kotlin, we need to look into their similarities and differences.

1. Null Safety

It is a feature that helps to avoid errors when the program accesses the variable which is set to null in the code. Java lets the variables assign null values and therefore when referred to it calls a null pointer exception. Java developers face difficulty to handle Nullpointerexception, it is a matter of concern. When it comes to Kotlin, a null value assigned to a variable is not allowed, when tried it causes a compiler error. Therefore Kotlin doesn’t throw any Nullpointerexception.

2. Data Classes

It is a class that is responsible to hold data or it can be defined as a list of data set allocation and their values.
In Java to create a data class, it is required to write boilerplate code. Some tasks need to be performed to store data in a class, like defining constructors, the getter/setter functions for the variables and fields, toString functions, the hashcode, etc. In case you are using Kotlin for application development it is easier to create classes and store data. The keyword “data” is included in the class definition.

3. Extension Functions

The functionality of the existing class can be extended without the need of inheriting from the class. While working with Java, to extend the functionality of the class, a new child class is to be created. This new child class would have the functionality of the parent class.
In Kotlin, one can use an extension function by prefixing the name of the class and function to the new function. There is no requirement of creating a new class for extending the functionality.

4. Type inference

It is declaring the type of the variable.
While coding in Java developers need to explicitly specify the type of the variable. In the case of Kotlin one doesn’t need to declare the type explicitly.

5. Implicit Conversion

This feature in a language allows automatic conversion of data type by the compiler.
Java supports several data types and Java lets the conversions of similar data types on its own. Whereas Kotlin does not support implicit conversion of data.

6. Coroutines Support

To process requests, threads are created to perform the operations. Certain operations require a lot of CPU time to complete.
Java creates multiple threads to manage these long operations. With the increase in the number of threads, keeping track of these threads becomes difficult. Similar to this approach Kotlin also manages the operation by creating multiple threads.

Coroutines is a method used by Kotlin that helps in managing operations. With the help of a coroutine, the developer can pause the running program and allow other operations to complete and resume the paused program. This helps in avoiding blocking the main thread by executing the code asynchronously.

7. Functional Programming

Java is an object-oriented programming language and Kotlin also supports object-oriented programming. Kotlin also supports functional programming while Java doesn’t. Kotlin as a functional programming language works on the principle of mathematical function style. High-order functions, operator overloading, lazy evaluation, and lambda expressions are some of the methods used by Kotlin.

8. Checked Exceptions

This feature enables the compiler to check for exceptions, which helps in avoiding any runtime error. Java supports checked exceptions, which means any unexpected event or error is checked during compilation. In the case of Kotlin, checked exceptions are not supported, so even if there is any unwanted event, the compiler doesn’t throw any errors at compile time.

9. Scalability

While developing an application, the scope of scalability is one of the most important concerns for developers. Therefore choosing a programming language that supports scalability is a prerequisite.
Android applications developed with Java and Kotlin are equally scaleable, both languages support scalability.

10. Learning Curve and Community Support

Java and Kotlin both use similar syntax. Java is one of the oldest languages, and uses the concepts of object-oriented programming, making it easy to learn. Kolin is a relatively new language but was built to be interoperable with Java. The familiarity with Java makes it an easy-to-learn language.

The community support for Java is huge as it is a popular language among developers. Anyone who wants to learn the language or developers stuck with any problem has access to innumerable resources. There are a large number of developers working on the language. Kotlin in comparison to Java has smaller community support but it is constantly growing.


While this comparison gives you a detailed explanation of how both languages function, what are the differences and similarities? Both Java and Koltin are preferred for developing high-performance Android applications. In case you are looking for an Android development company for developing an application that can take your business to the next level, connect with us. We have Expert Android developers on our team who have worked with different industries to create applications unique to their demands. You can consult with us regarding your objectives, and we will connect you with the expert you can start developing your Android application by hiring our Android developer.


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