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Google Goes Kotlin-First for Android Mobile Development

Two years after tapping Kotlin for use in Android mobile development -- long dominated by Java -- Google is making it the No. 1 option.

"Android development will become increasingly Kotlin-first," Google said in a blog post today (May 7). "Many new Jetpack APIs and features will be offered first in Kotlin. If you're starting a new project, you should write it in Kotlin."

Android Jetpack comprises a collection of Android software components to make it easier to create Android apps.

This writing has been on the wall for some time, as Google promoted Kotlin to first-class status in May 2017 and subsequently reported it was a hit with Android engineers, eventually edging out Java jockeys among Android developers.

The advantages of using Kotlin, the company said today, include often having to write less code when creating Android apps.

Google also announced the Kotlin embrace will be expanding.

"In partnership with Jetbrains and the Kotlin Foundation, we're continuing to invest in tooling, docs, trainings and events to make Kotlin even easier to learn and use. This includes Kotlin/Everywhere, a new, global series of events where you can learn more about the language, new Udacity courses, and more.

On its Kotlin developer site, Google describes Kotlin as "a modern statically typed programming language that will boost your productivity and increase your developer happiness," saying it's modern and expressive, provides safer code and is interoperable with Java.

Noting that it has been two years since the company announced Kotlin support for Android, Google today said: "Our top developers loved it already, and since then, it's amazing how fast it's grown. Over 50 percent of professional Android developers now use Kotlin, it's been one of the most-loved languages two years running on Stack Overflow, and one of the fastest-growing on GitHub in number of contributors."

Google announced the elevated status of Kotlin at its Google I/O 2019 conference.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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