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Java vs. Python vs. Kotlin: Battle of the Best | Which One You Should Use

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Summary: Here’s a detailed comparison of the most utilized programming languages - Java, Python, and Kotlin to help you decide and make a decision on which language to select for your next mobile development project.

Choosing between various programming languages is quite a difficult task for app developers. Developing an Android app is a great way to bring recognition to your business but picking up the right language that drives business success is the real dilemma. For building a powerful Android application, Java must be your go-to language. However, new languages can prove to be a big challenge for Java in the Android era.

These two languages are Python and Kotlin. Let’s first understand these three languages to know their functionality, and then figuring out which one is best for building an Android app.

Java

Java is an object-oriented programming language and the most preferred option of many developers for Java application development. It's been existing for about two decades, and specialists believe it to be the most proficient programming languages ever developed. Being one of the widely-used languages on the Internet, Java is designed for a distributed environment and comes with its pros and cons.

Pros of Java

  • Simple to learn and understand.
  • Accelerated assembly within Gradle allows assembling larger projects successfully.
  • Android SDK includes multiple standard Java libraries, which means it relies on Java.
  • Java is flexible, which implies that you can run it in a virtual machine or a browser window.
  • It is a multi-platform programming language that works for any device, operating system, and platform.
  • Due to Google’s adoption of JVM (Java Virtual Machine) for Android, Java has a huge open-source ecosystem.
  • Java applications are compact and easy to optimize for better performance. They are lighter as compared to Kotlin.

Cons of Java

  • It is subject to limitations that cause issues with Android API design.
  • Java demands more coding and involves higher risks of bugs and errors.
  • Requires a lot of memory and slower than many other programming languages.

Applications of Java

  • Signal
  • Spotify
  • Twitter
  • Cash app
  • Amaze File Manager

Python

Similar to Java, Python is also an object-oriented programming language that allows developers to work efficiently and quickly by using a simple syntax. It comprises prominent development features that makes it one of the ideal languages for large scale app development. Python development services is extremely easy to learn for newbies and is considered proficient for rapid app development.

Pros of Python

  • Easy to learn, read, understand, and maintain.
  • Offers support for automatic garbage collection.
  • Lowest learning curve, great for data visualization.
  • Python is versatile, approachable, simple, and complete.
  • It offers a simple structure and support for large programs.
  • Developers can include low-level modules to the interpreter.
  • Developers can integrate Python with C and C++ languages.
  • Python supports an interactive mode of testing and debugging.
  • It possesses the ability to run over various hardware platforms.
  • Offers dynamic, high-level data types, and dynamic type-checking.
  • Unmatched flexibility, powerful programming, asynchronous coding.

Cons of Python

  • Not an ideal programming language for mobile app development.
  • Python’s database access layer is quite primitive or under-developed.
  • Python is slower than other programming languages like C and C++.
  • Requires extensive testing as major errors and bugs are visible at runtime only.
  • Python’s Global Interpreter Lock (GIL) doesn’t allow executing multiple threads simultaneously.
  • Not recommended for memory-intensive tasks as Python's memory consumption is substantially high.

Applications of Python

  • Enterprise applications: Odoo, Tryton.
  • Scientific and Numeric applications: Abaqus, FreeCAD, SciPy, IPython, Pandas.
  • Game applications: Battlefield 2, Disney’s Toontown Online, World of Tanks, Vega Strike.
  • Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning: SciPy for advanced computing, TensorFlow, Keras.

What is Kotlin?

Kotlin is an open-source, statically typed language based on JVM (Java Virtual Machine). It was designed by JetBrains programmers to add some advanced features to Java app development. It is clean, simple, includes fewer rules and formalities in comparison to Java.

Pros of Kotlin

  • Kotlin is faster to compile, lightweight, and prevents application oversizing.
  • Kotlin is more versatile and expressive than Java means less probability for errors.
  • The language provides built-in null safety support, which is considered a lifesaver.
  • It compiles the program code to bytecode for making it executable in Java Virtual Machine.
  • Developers can use Kotlin directly in Gradle build scripts due to its scripting capabilities.
  • You can create new modules in Kotlin and let them work alongside the Java code. It is compatible with all Java libraries and frameworks. It can easily integrate with Maven and Gradle build systems.
  • Developers can take advantage of the collection of open source projects on GitHub, learning resources, online courses, books.
  • You can compile Kotlin to any platform, including JVM, Android, JavaScript, and native – through the Kotlin Multiplatform framework.

Cons of Kotlin

  • Comparatively smaller developer community than Java. It means difficulty finding solutions to technical concerns, limited learning resources.
  • Steep learning curve when developers switch to Kotlin. Its concise syntax can be a blessing and a challenge for developers.
  • Though there are a lot of Kotlin developers available, it's hard to find an experienced and skillful mentor for the team.
  • Kotlin is a highly declarative programming language, but it generates high volumes of boilerplate in the corresponding JVM bytecode.

Applications of Kotlin

  • Pinterest
  • Trello
  • CarLens

Conclusion

While Kotlin delivers a set of exclusive benefits that Java doesn't, it involves several shortcomings. If you switch to Kotlin from Java, just remember that you need to learn new tools, codes, and strategies, as transitioning to a new language is often challenging. And always keep in mind that Java, being the most dynamic programming language, is not going anywhere and is always around for Android app development.

If you are a new developer and don't want to bear the pain of extensive coding, then Python can be an option for you as it is concise and simple, with a minimal learning curve. However, if you find it difficult to build an interactive Android application on your own, mobile app development experts at Aegis SoftTech can help.

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