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Table of contents
What is Java?
Advantages of Java
Disadvantages of Java
What is Kotlin?
Advantages of Kotlin
Disadvantages of Kotlin
Key Difference Between Java And Kotlin Programming Languages
Kotlin Vs Java
Using Kotlin over Java language in Android
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is better Kotlin or Java?
Will Kotlin replace Java in future?
Is Kotlin faster than Java?
Why did Google choose Kotlin?
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

Kotlin VS Java - What's the Difference?

Author Lokesh Sharma
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Anubhav Sinha
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In the world of programming languages, Kotlin and Java stand out as two prominent contenders, each with its strengths and use cases. Kotlin's rising popularity, concise syntax, and null safety appeal, while Java maintains a robust legacy and broad ecosystem. Choosing between them hinges on project specifics and developer preferences. 

kotlin vs java

We will start by discussing the basics and overview of both languages. We will then compare the functionalities of each language and look at their pros and cons. After comparing  Kotlin vs Java from head to toe, you will realize the right language to start with.

So let us begin with the basics.

What is Java?

Java is a powerful object-oriented programming language that is very secure. It is one of the most popular and widely used languages that provide multi-platform functionality. Java has its API and a runtime environment known as JRE. Let us tell you one amusing fact, Android itself is written in Java.

Historically, Java was coded and released by Sun Microsystem in the year 1955. Later, Oracle acquired the company. Java is also known as Oak.

Advantages of Java

  1. Java provides a large bundle of third-party libraries.
  2. Being one of the most popular languages, lots of documentation and guidelines are available for learning Java.
  3. You can manually try and catch errors in Java. This method makes error handling easy.
  4. It has a huge developer community. 
  5. Applications created in Java are very secure. 
  6. Java provides excellent performance while running code and has fast compilation abilities.
  7. Java allows multi-threading. It allows you to perform multiple tasks in a single program parallelly. 

Disadvantages of Java

  1. Java has large and complex syntaxes. It is difficult to learn for beginners. 
  2. Java consumes lots of system resources and requires high processing speed.
  3. It does not offer functions like delete() and free(). This lack of functionality reduces control over garbage collection.
  4. Java is not recommended for designing Android APIs.
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What is Kotlin?

Kotlin is a universal, platform-independent programming language. It combines the features of both object-oriented and functional programming languages. Kotlin is an open-source programming language that Java strongly influences and runs on the Java Virtual Machine. This language is specially designed for android development and is fully interoperable with Java. 

Historically, Kotlin started as an open-source project in 2010. JetBrains officially released it in the year 2016. 

Advantages of Kotlin

  1. Kotlin is more expressive than Java and lets you write concise code. This way, it reduces the chances of errors.
  2. It provides built-in Null exception handling, which resolves significant stress for programmers.
  3. Kotlin is very easy to read and understand. It is a statically-types language.
  4. Applications made from Kotlin are pretty easy to deploy.
  5. It is interoperable with Java and allows the exchange of information between the two languages.
  6. Kotlin divides large applications into smaller layers. 
  7. As discussed above, Kotlin automatically adds constructors and other essential methods in the newly created data class. This way, we save up a lot of time while writing new code.

Disadvantages of Kotlin

  1. Kotlin is a new language less popular than Java. Its community is small. Therefore, less documentation and tutorials are available, which makes learning difficult. 
  2. The compilation and processing speed of Kotlin is lesser than that of Java.
  3. Kotlin has a high memory consumption. Its memory management is less efficient than that of Java.

Key Difference Between Java And Kotlin Programming Languages

There are several key differences between Java and Kotlin:

  • Conciseness: Java code tends to be more verbose, requiring additional lines for common tasks. On the other hand, Kotlin known for its concise syntax, reducing the amount of boilerplate code and improving developer productivity.
  • Null Safety: Java lacks native null safety features, making developers rely on manual checks to avoid null pointer exceptions. On the other hand, Kotlin integrates null safety into its type system, reducing the risk of null pointer exceptions and improving code robustness.
  • Interoperability: Java is well-established and has a vast ecosystem. Can coexist with Kotlin in a project, allowing for a gradual migration. On the other hand, Kotlin seamlessly interoperates with Java, enabling developers to leverage existing Java libraries and gradually adopt Kotlin in their projects.
  • Extension Functions: Java lacks built-in support for extension functions. Developers typically use utility classes for similar functionality. While Kotlin introduces extension functions, enabling developers to augment existing classes without modifying their code, promoting a more functional programming style.
  • Coroutines: Java relies on traditional approaches like threads and callbacks for asynchronous programming. On the other hand, Kotlin introduces coroutines, a more concise and expressive way to handle asynchronous tasks, simplifying the management of concurrent operations.
  • Tool Support: Java benefits from mature tooling support with a long history, including a wide range of Integrated Development Environments (IDEs). On the other hand, Kotlin strong support in modern IDEs like IntelliJ IDEA, enhancing the development experience with features tailored for Kotlin.

Kotlin Vs Java

Following is a brief comparison of Kotlin vs Java.

Parameters Java Kotlin
Null Pointer Exception Java does not handle Null pointer exceptions.  Handles Null pointer exceptions using the Safe Call operator. 
Static Members  It supports Static members for a class.  It doesn't support static members for a class. 
Primitive Types  Primitive types are not considered as objects.  It considers primitive types as objects.
Compilation Time  Java provides a fast compilation of code.  Slower compilation in comparison to Java. 
Checked Exceptions  We use try-catch to handle exceptions in Java.  No need to declare or try-catch exceptions. 
Deployment  Code written in Java is hard to deploy.  Deployment is easier in Kotlin. 
Semicolons  Using semicolons after every statement is necessary.

It does not require using of semicolons.

Data Type Data type of the variable must be specified while declaring it.  It does not require the specification of data type.
Smart Cast feature  Doesn't have the smart cast feature. It supports the smart cast.
Expressions  Java does not support expressions in string.  Strings declared in Kotlin support expressions such as variables and methods.
Wildcards  Support Wildcards.  It does not support Wildcards. 
Lambda function  Older versions of Java do not provide this feature.  Kotlin supports Lambda function. 
Community support  Java has a vast community. 

Kotlin is a relatively new language and has a smaller community than Java.

We must always know both sides of the coin. So let us now discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each language.

Using Kotlin over Java language in Android

Developers choose Kotlin for Android development over Java because of its code's speed and readability. It also prevents common errors associated with null values, enhancing app stability. Furthermore, Kotlin attracts innovators due to its seamless integration with Java. With modern language features, enhanced Android extensions, and native support, Kotlin provides an improved developer experience. App development becomes faster and more efficient with Kotlin's modern features and tools.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better Kotlin or Java?

The choice depends on project needs. Kotlin offers concise syntax and modern features, while Java remains a stalwart with a vast ecosystem.

Will Kotlin replace Java in future?

Kotlin and Java coexist, each with unique strengths. Kotlin is increasingly popular, especially in Android development, but Java maintains widespread use.

Is Kotlin faster than Java?

Generally, performance differences are negligible. Both languages run on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM), so execution speed is comparable.

Why did Google choose Kotlin?

Google chose Kotlin for Android development due to its concise syntax, enhanced features, and seamless interoperability with existing Java code, improving developer efficiency.


Hey Ninja! We hope you are feeling relieved after resolving your doubts. You can now choose the right language per your requirements. We will be ending our discussion on Kotlin vs Java. We sincerely hope the above discussion helped you to understand the basics and differences between the two languages.

If you are interested in Android development and want to learn more about it, we strongly suggest you try our android development course. This course will give you a headstart in development.

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