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Kotlin Vs Java Comparison: How to Choose the Best For Your Business App?

  • By Hidden Brains
  • October 10, 2023
Kotlin Vs Java Comparison

Kotlin vs Java – a clash of titans in the world of Android app development. Let’s settle the war in this blog. 

Java is a well-established, widely adopted programming language with a rich history, spanning diverse domains like web and mobile app development, desktop applications, and gaming.

On the other hand, Kotlin considered a younger language for the app’s programming, has been swiftly gaining traction in recent years. Both languages have boldly paved their way to build Android applications using Java Virtual Machine (JVM), but they are different in terms of syntax, features, and performance.

With its extensive community and abundance of libraries, Java has had a long-standing presence. Whereas, Kotlin, a more modern language, boasts contemporary features and a concise syntax, making it an increasingly attractive choice for developers.

Whether you’re a seasoned developer or just stepping into the realm of mobile app creation, understanding the dynamics of Kotlin and Java is a crucial step toward crafting remarkable Android applications. So before you hire a web development company in the UK, make sure you are well-versed with the detailed features and potentials of each language. 

Let’s dive into this comparison and pave the path for informed choices to build successful apps. 

Kotlin Vs Java: Understand the Basics

As Google Play Store is capturing the major mobile app market share, Android app development is the primary choice of businesses to target the larger section of the market. But Java was the only programming language used for a long for Android app development. However, with the launch of Kotlin, Java has gradually started to lose market share and Kotlin has become a quick alternative to the developers. 

The battle between Kotlin Vs Java has remained the same because some traditional language seems to be more authentic whereas tech-startup are inclining towards the concise syntax of Kotlin. So what would be the better option when it comes to Java Vs Kotlin?

Let’s understand the basics first…

What is Kotlin?

Kotlin is an open-source, statically typed, general-purpose programming language which is initiated by JetBrains. The first stable version of Kotlin was launched in 2016. But despite being young, Kotlin gained substantial traction, especially in the sphere of Android App development. 

In fact, Google played a significant role by officially supporting Kotlin for Android development in 2017 and further endorsing it as the recommended language in 2019. Now, over 20,00,000 apps have been developed using Kotlin boasting over 900 billion downloads and a remarkable 87% of the top 500 US apps have been coded using Kotlin.  

Kotlin’s popularity isn’t limited to Android. It’s making waves in other domains too. From front-end and back-end web development to data science and cross-platform mobile development, Kotlin is proving its versatility. Its quick rise to being the top choice for Android app development showcases its potential and adaptability.

Here are industries that have successfully adopted Kotlin for Android app development solutions!


Image Source: appbrain

Outstanding Features of Kotlin For Android App Development

Before you get confused between Java Vs Kotlin- which one is a better choice, it is better to take a look at the key features of Kotlin.

  • Concise Code: Kotlin allows developers to write more functionality with less code.
  • Smart Casts: Automatically cast types, reducing boilerplate code.
  • Extension Functions: Modify classes without inheritance, enhancing flexibility.
  • Null Safety: Mitigates null pointer exceptions through type system enhancements.
  • Coroutines: Simplifies async programming for efficient, non-blocking code.
  • Interoperability with Java: Seamless integration with existing Java codebases.
  • Type Inference: Automatically infers types, enhancing code readability.
  • Operator Overloading: Customize operators for user-defined types.
  • Mutable and Immutable Variables: Supports both mutable and immutable variables.
  • Standard Library: A rich collection of APIs for common programming tasks.

Read more: If you are wondering how much it costs to hire Kotlin app developers in the UK, then click here to learn about the hourly cost and its services. 

But the central question here arises what apps have been developed using Kotlin?

Popular Apps Using Kotlin and Their Market Success

Since Kotlin is not limited to just Android app development solutions, therefore, it is widely adopted by the leading tech giants. Here is a table below for ready reference.

BrandApp DownloadsApp CategoryRevenue GeneratedUse Cases
45jyTXSga jX4Bf1NRDQ1pxAgXdvKQTGw3ZW5dgLLXCwzYN2OBderzLvRmbYMHkSgB560hcx8KmhHdx4ssdZLNGc4B8tCG3kbRW R OA5S76LQpl43huScUSFM4CXZ1mmDiSkvLWXXBfme0XjoAirbnb100M+TravelRevenue ModelAccommodation booking, Property listing
3Z9d 1gb JZmXPKgwEnlEmUFyskeU2Mk0H3EFXkEYJ Y4Q53MD5dEdnaeMQFKwEvernote225M+ProductivityFreemiumNote-taking, Task Management
h KxzUVJP 9qoZIBoDHjLzx 3nBM0CXAFPiOj7tMDOMhzAVJd7saWkvsRXoGgEOLhay54KpS gem7x9jg26St3UmjHkPPNOrrQ LY18mq3r5Qv3dlnbBE
500M+TransportationPaid ServiceRide-hailing, Food Delivery
5B7nVB54ReGIDbkMn1raJLaGgM 64keCySjy3PONeMF0DE9RV2JcNQJtFHja69DO PbDbGv8Ab3s7qbesj5sz6g3Bn37dR6xWmQB0pMIlUABiNPR61LHnoK6ICH QSnzZslSWHJHp13U62OMGfT1cgg
400M+SocialAdvertisingImage Sharing, Idea Discovery

60M+EducationSubscriptionOnline Learning, Course Delivery

Are you confused that which programing language is more for Android app development and what would be the features that are not available in Java and why choosing Kotlin be a brilliant choice over Java? To get an answer to this question, you need to dig deep into the details of Java. 

Kotlin Vs Java- which would be the better choice for Android app development?

Let’s jump to the basics of Java and its details…

What is Java?

Java is a versatile and object-oriented programming language that can be used for building a wide range of applications including web software, enterprise applications, Android mobile apps, and more. 

With its extensive range of features, it has stood at the top since its introduction in 1995 but in 2010 it was acquired by Oracle. Initially used as one of Android’s primary languages, it has evolved into a multi-platform powerhouse.

Developers find Java appealing due to its speed, security, and network-centric nature, making it a go-to choice for a diverse range of projects. From crafting user-friendly mobile apps like Twitter and Spotify to building robust software systems like Signal, Java’s adaptability shines through.

The vast array of readily available third-party libraries and extensive codebase empowers developers to efficiently deploy their programs, enhancing Java’s appeal in the ever-evolving tech landscape.

Kotlin Vs Java- which one seems to be a better choice for Android app development? 

Key Features of Java For Android App Development

There are a plethora of reasons why a large number of developers and businesses are choosing Java for Android app development. Here are the major key features of Java that makes it an ultimate choice for software developer. 

So before you hire a Java app development company in the UK, let’s check out the features of Java:  

  • Platform Independence: Write once, run anywhere (WORA) principle.
  • Object-oriented: Organizes data and functions into objects.
  • Robust and Secure: Strong memory management and built-in security features.
  • Multithreading: Efficiently executes multiple threads for concurrent processing.
  • High Performance: Optimized for efficient execution.
  • Portability: Can run on any hardware or operating system.
  • Rich APIs: Vast standard library for various functionalities.
  • Dynamic: Adaptable and supports dynamic memory allocation.
  • Simple and Familiar: Syntax similar to C and C++ for ease of adoption.
  • Architecture-Neutral: Supports both client-server and distributed computing.

We at Hidden Brains UK have specialized in developing Android apps using Java for our various clients and helping them turn their ideas into reality. Here you can read more about hiring Java developers in the UK. 

Popular Apps Using Java and Their Market Success

There are a number of companies that have used Java for Android app development, but here is the list of a few top companies that have adopted Java for their business success:

BrandsApp DownloadsApp CategoryRevenue GenerationUse CasesActive Users
4XsGil krAReQ7J4gRQyuMAcFC 5g nCQFvYqCC5W9 PVWBnf78IFacebook5+ billionSocial MediaAdvertisementSocial networking, communication, content sharing2.8+ billion

nPNr7rLf3cer4rf4pzGts8XOQjQntmyLLgsyCNrCgIK6oDSdIWnSZ0G1H51uQbtGYw3gcHL172YhJw3CM VJJ2ajtGt673HIHBLXemVzb 7 h k
5+ billionCommunicationSubscriptionInstant messaging, voice calls2+ billion
2+ billionSocial MediaAdvertisementPhoto sharing, social networking1+ billion

MtBBMP3bCePQPiI8 wKDnndZlHZ2Zoj2NWcz5tGPKLAtlgVhTYitFZqQi597UMqZmcVZ7KzjkglDz6T6Spotify
500+ millionMusic & AudioSubscriptionMusic streaming345+ million

uDLC70AbqY7KfZVJdlONWrawbtAGUPR44HROXIChJXHiGPcfEddcFA6ZNTZaABB08yPRUAhNAAr3gCUGCLsF6oDC2fT8Wa3e3ls80 UEQm4n4vN6OPXGvn1JixPBSgYlVKQzzsvCStq5qs LQWehpSITwitter
500+ millionSocial MediaAdvertisementNews, social networking330+ million

So now you know the basics of Java and Kotlin and their strengths, but when it comes to Kotlin Vs java, which would you think will be a better choice for Android app development?

To decide between Kotlin vs Java, you need to get into a detailed comparison that helps you understand whether Kotlin is more powerful or Java.

Kotlin Vs Java – A Detailed Comparison 

There is no doubt in this fact that Java seems to be the king of programming languages when it comes to developing an Android app development but Kotlin has quickly taken the central stage since 2017 in the field of mobile app development. But it doesn’t mean declaring anyone winner or loser here. Hiring a software development company in the UK will be a worthy decision to choose the best choice of programming language but still, here we have a detailed comparison between Kotlin vs Java to give you a better idea.  

Kotlin Vs Java – Null Safety

Kotlin’s approach to null safety is a significant departure from Java. In Java, NullPointerExceptions are a common source of errors. These exceptions occur when a variable is assigned a null value, requiring developers to diligently handle them to prevent crashes. 

In contrast, Kotlin enforces strict null safety by design. By default, you cannot assign null values to variables or objects, effectively eradicating NullPointerExceptions. However, if there’s a legitimate need for null values, Kotlin allows developers to explicitly denote this by appending a question mark to the variable type. This approach enhances code reliability and reduces the risk of runtime errors.

Kotlin Vs Java – Extension Functions

In Java, modifying existing methods can be a cumbersome and time-consuming process. Kotlin addresses this issue with extension functions, which enable developers to add functionality to existing classes without altering their source code. This feature simplifies code maintenance and opens up a world of possibilities for extending class behavior.

Kotlin Vs Java – Code Conciseness

Kotlin excels in code conciseness compared to Java. While Java code can sometimes become verbose and complex, Kotlin offers a more streamlined and readable syntax. It achieves the same functionality with fewer lines of code, improving code clarity and reducing the potential for human-made errors. This conciseness contributes to enhanced developer productivity and code maintainability.

Kotlin Vs Java – Coroutines Support

Multithreading in Java can be challenging to manage, especially when dealing with CPU-intensive operations. Kotlin’s coroutine support simplifies asynchronous programming by allowing developers to pause and resume execution within a function without the need for complex thread management. This feature enhances code readability and simplifies the handling of asynchronous tasks.

Kotlin Vs Java – Smart Casting

Kotlin’s intelligent compiler reduces the need for explicit type-checking during variable operations. In Java, developers must often verify and cast variables to the correct types manually. In Kotlin, the compiler automatically handles typecasting, reducing code clutter and enhancing developer efficiency.

Kotlin Vs Java – Checked Exceptions

Java enforces checked exceptions, requiring developers to declare and handle exceptions explicitly. While this approach ensures robust error handling, it can also be perceived as verbose and time-consuming. Kotlin takes a different approach by not mandating checked exceptions, allowing developers to focus on code logic without the overhead of exception declarations. This aspect can be viewed as both a blessing and a potential challenge, depending on coding preferences.

Kotlin Vs Java – Type Interface

Java necessitates explicit type declarations when creating variables, offering fine-grained control over variable types. In contrast, Kotlin introduces type inference, allowing the compiler to automatically deduce variable types based on their assigned values. This feature reduces verbosity and simplifies code while maintaining strong static typing.

Kotlin Vs Java – Compilation Time

Java traditionally boasts faster compilation times compared to Kotlin. However, both languages demonstrate similar performance in incremental builds, making them competitive choices for development.

Kotlin Vs Java – Widening Conversions

Java supports automatic widening conversions, wherein smaller data types are automatically converted to larger ones. In Kotlin, explicit conversion is required when transitioning from smaller to larger data types. This difference ensures more predictable behavior but may necessitate additional code in Kotlin.

Kotlin Vs Java – Use Cases

Java remains a versatile choice for a wide range of projects, including standalone applications and backend development. In contrast, Kotlin has gained prominence as the preferred language for Android app development. Both languages offer robust capabilities to satisfy diverse development needs, with Kotlin excelling in Android app creation due to its concise syntax and null safety features.

 With this comparison, you will have a fair idea of the features that Kotlin offers over Java and wise versa. But how will you decide what programming language you need to choose and when and what type of project you can develop…?

Here we have a roundabout table of comparison to help you make a better decision…

Now the question is what language do you need to adopt and when?

SyntaxConcise and expressive syntax.More verbose compared to Kotlin.
PerformanceComparable performance to Java.Slightly faster due to mature optimizations.
ToolingMature tooling with strong IDE support (e.g., IntelliJ IDEA).Rich tooling and robust IDE support (e.g., IntelliJ IDEA, Eclipse).
CommunityGrowing community with active contributions and support.Mature and vast community with extensive resources.
Learning CurveShorter learning curve for developers familiar with modern languages.Steeper learning curve, especially for beginners.
InteroperabilityExcellent interoperability with Java code.Full interoperability with existing Java codebases.
ConcurrencyImproved concurrency support (e.g., coroutines).Traditional concurrency mechanisms (e.g., threads, Executors).
SafetyStrong type system and null safety features.Less emphasis on type safety compared to Kotlin.
Functional ProgrammingStrong support for functional programming features.Supports functional programming, but not as strongly as Kotlin.
Use CasesWell-suited for Android app development, modern web development, server-side development, and cross-platform development.Widely used in enterprise-level applications, Android app development, server-side applications, web development, and more.

Choosing the right programming language for your app development project can greatly impact the success of the app, so you should know what would be the best choice of technology for Android app development.

Kotlin Vs Java: Who is the Winner?

Though both Kotlin and Java are the titan programming languages for Android app development which would be the great choice for what type of project. It will make a great difference in your app’s success. By hiring an app developer in the UK you can easily make the best choice, but still here is a brief that you should consider before making an investment in app development.

Kotlin is a great choice for modern, concise, and safe development, especially for Android apps and modern web development. Java, on the other hand, remains a strong and mature choice for a wide range of applications, especially in the enterprise sector, given its vast community and well-established ecosystem. 

The decision ultimately depends on the specific requirements and context of the project. So here is a quick guide to help you decide on the best programming language. 

Decision CriteriaKotlinJava
Android App DevelopmentHighly recommended due to its conciseness, safety, and strong support for Android development.Commonly used for Android development and has a vast community and ecosystem.
Modern Web DevelopmentSuitable for modern web development with frameworks like Ktor and Spring Boot.Frequently used with frameworks like Spring, Java EE, and more.
Enterprise ApplicationsOffers concise and safe code, making it suitable for building robust enterprise-level applications.Widely used and preferred in the enterprise sector for its maturity, performance, and ecosystem.

Read more: A Guide For API Development Without Coding: Its Types, Tools, Best Practices and Features

Conclusion: How Does Hidden Brains UK Can Help You Develop The Best Android App?

Are you faced with the crucial decision of selecting a mobile app development partner? Look no further. To make a choice between Kotlin vs Java, you can hire a mobile app developer in the UK, Hidden Brains UK is your dedicated partner, backed by a rich experience in crafting powerful mobile apps in both Java and Kotlin.

Your app deserves a committed team that not only understands your project’s unique needs but is also adept at choosing the best technology solution for it. We pride ourselves on staying up-to-date with the latest advancements in the mobile app development landscape, ensuring that your project benefits from the most cutting-edge solutions.

With a team of skilled experts, we are ready to support your application development needs. Whether you’re leaning towards Kotlin or considering migrating from Java to Kotlin, we’ve got you covered. Our expertise extends to both languages, allowing us to provide you with the best guidance and execution for your specific requirements.

At Hidden Brains UK, we don’t just develop apps; we transform digital experiences into something extraordinary. So, if you’re ready to take your app to the next level, get in touch with us today. Let’s embark on a journey to create a remarkable digital experience together.


What Language is Better For Developing Ecommerce App- Kotlin Vs Java? 

For developing an eCommerce app, both Kotlin and Java are suitable choices. Kotlin, known for its conciseness and modern features, is highly recommended for Android app development. On the other hand, Java, with its mature ecosystem and extensive libraries, is also a strong choice. Ultimately, the decision depends on the specific project requirements, team expertise, and platform considerations.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Kotlin App Developer in the UK?

Hiring a Kotlin app developer in the UK can cost between $20 to $30 per hour, depending on the experience, location, and complexity of the app.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Java Developer in the UK?

The average cost to hire a Java developer in the UK generally ranges from $25 to $50 per hour, with variations based on skills, expertise, location and project complexity.

Which is Cost-effective To Develop An Android App – Kotlin Vs Java?

Kotlin is often considered cost-effective for Android app development due to its concise code, reduced development time, and strong community support.

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