#IO2017 Code News

Google adds support for Kotlin as an official programming language for Android

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Android developers, here’s some exciting announcement for you. During the developer keynote at Google I/O 2017, the search giant has announced that Android will now officially support Kotlin as a ‘first-class’ programming language for Android app development. This is the third language developers can now use to develop their Android apps, in addition to C++ and Java.

This is the third language developers can now use to develop their Android apps, in addition to C++ and Java. It has, however, been clarified that Kotlin is an additional language and won’t replace the existing ones. Speaking on the surprising addition, Mike Cleron, Director, Android Platform said:

Kotlin is a brilliantly designed, mature language that we believe will make Android development faster and more fun.

Kotlin, for those aloof, is one of the many programming languages which runs on JVM (Java Virtual Machine) and is already being employed for simpler Android app development.

Android doesn’t exactly use the JVM architecture but the programming languages based on this technology does has its similarities to Java in structure. 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. It provides a cleaner syntax, smart casts, and extension functions among other things.

It has been developed by the team at JetBrains, the company who is known for developing the IntelliJ IDEA Java IDE (interactive development environment). It is also the same solution that Google’s coding tool, Android Studio is based on. Kotlin initially made an appearance on the scene in 2011, it was open sourced in 2012 and the very first stable version of the language arrived in Feb’16.

Kotlin is an Android-compatible language that is concise, expressive, and designed to be type- and null-safe. It works with the Java language seamlessly, so it makes it easy for developers who love the Java language to keep using it.

This programming language, as also stated in the blog post, is 100 percent interoperable with Java– which is presently the primary standard for coding Android apps. Due to this very reason, Kotlin has already been adopted by several leading app developers such as Expedia, Flipboard, Pinterest, Square, and others. It can be seen as part of its allure among the huge developer community.

If you’ve been direly waiting for such an integration in the near future, then this initiative is a godsend on Google’s part. The Kotlin plug-in is now available for download but will come natively bundled with the upcoming Android Studio 3.0. Since both Google and JetBrains are backing this language, one can expect expanded support and features for the same.

A hands-on guy fascinated by new apps, technologies and enterprise products.

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