Google Adds Kotlin As An Official Programming Language For Android


Google's Java-centric Android mobile development platform is adding the Kotlin language as an officially supported development language, and will include it in the Android Studio 3.0 IDE. You can download the Kotlin plugin today for Android Studio.

Google describes Kotlin, which is an open sourced project under the Apache 2.0 license, as "a brilliantly designed, mature language that we believe will make Android development faster and more fun".

But Google's choice didn't just come down to the team believing Kotlin will make writing Android apps easier.

Additionally, Studio 3.0 now has the ability to "debug an arbitrary APK", something which Google states would be "especially helpful for those who develop [their] Android C++ code in another development environment, but want to debug and analyze the APK in the context of Android Studio". 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. JetBrain's partnership with Google will also introduce a non-profit foundation for Kotlin, and development of the language will continue as usual. Kotlin can call Java, and Java can call Kotlin.

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Developers should also note that Kotlin compiler emits Java byte-code.

Kotlin was first announced in July 2011, with version 1.0 arriving in February 2016.

For Android developers, Kotlin support is a chance to use a modern and powerful language, helping solve common headaches such as runtime exceptions and source code verbosity. We'll be updating this article with more information.