Google is adding Kotlin as an official programming language for Android development

Google is adding Kotlin as an official programming language for Android development

Google is adding Kotlin as an official programming language for Android development

At its I/O 2017 developers conference today, Google announced Android is gaining official support for the Kotlin programming language, in addition to Java and C++.

Kotlin support is one of the most sweeping changes in the newest Android Studio, but not the most dramatic; the IDE now fully supports Instant Apps, cloud-fed bits of apps that users can use without permanently downloading them. Android Studio is now also able to debug apps that weren't built in it, making it useful to all Android developers, even those who don't want to use Android Studio. Kotlin's primary sponsor is JetBrains, the company behind tools like IntelliJ.

The Kotlin programming language is pretty popular amongst developers.

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Google says that Kotlin is "a brilliantly designed, mature language that we believe will make Android development faster and more fun". Kotlin is also an object oriented and statically typed, but it brings along some add-on features which continue to remain missing in Java itself. 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.

It's worth noting that the Kotlin announcement garnered what was likely the loudest applause from Google's I/O keynote announcement today. At that point, JetBrains committed to maintaining backwards compatibility for stable features from 1.0 forward.

The developers can download Kotlin plugin in Android Studio 3.0 and start playing with it. 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.

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