Android Now Officially Supports Kotlin Programming Language

May 17, 2017 - Written By Dominik Bosnjak

Google announced that it’s adding support for Android development in Kotlin that will now be considered as one of the official programming languages for its ubiquitous operating system. The announcement of yet another expansion of the Android development community aptly came at the latest iteration of the company’s Google I/O developer conference that started earlier today in Mountain View, California. Developed by Czech software company JetBrains, Kotlin is a contemporary programming language that runs in a Java Virtual Machine (JVM). Originally introduced in 2011, Kotlin was already usable for Android development with the help of some add-ons, but Google now decided to support it as a “first-class” programming language, meaning the Alphabet-owned company will be rolling out Kotlin tools for developers. The toolset is shipping with Android Studio 3.0 as of today, while JetBrains and Google will collaborate on improving the language in the future.

The Mountain View-based tech giant collaborated with JetBrains in the past seeing how the integrated development environment (IDE) created by the Prague software company was also used as the basis for Android Studio, the official suite of Android development tools. Kotlin has often been praised by developers as a language that facilitates the process of resolving common development issues like source code verbosity and runtime exceptions, as well as a language that’s relatively accessible to all profiles of coders. Kotlin is also somewhat similar to Java, the default Android development programming language, as both are object-oriented and typed statically, meaning that the variables they’re dealing with are known at the point they’re compiled. However, being a relatively young language, Kotlin is significantly more streamlined than Java and boasts a cleaner syntax, as well as some unique and highly functional features.

JetBrains also revealed that its partnership with Google will see it establish a nonprofit foundation for Kotlin, adding that the language will continue enjoying support from its creators for the foreseeable future. The move will likely be met with positive reception from developers, especially in light of the fact that Google decided to support Kotlin without pressuring its creators into dropping their ambitions related to other platforms, including Android’s direct competitor iOS. As things stand right now, JetBrains will keep developing Kotlin for all platforms and an update on their efforts will likely follow later this year.