Even now that Kotlin is an officially supported language for writing apps on Android, you may still feel that there is not enough reason to switch. Java has proven to work through all of these so why should we change?
Here are my reasons why I think that, far from being a long shot, moving to Kotlin is one of the best things you can do. And for your info, Kotlin developers are increasing in number over time.
1. Language and environment are mature
Unlike other languages like Swift, the Kotlin release has gone through many stages of maturation before releasing the final 1.0 version. This means that you will not encounter problems when working with Kotlin, everything works as expected. The IDE plugin works perfectly and already supports many of the features that exist for Java. Therefore, working with Kotlin is wonderful in that sense. It is interesting to know that before going to production, the language spent several years in alpha and then in beta and that before the beta came out there were people who were using it in real projects.
2. It makes Android development much easier
If you have been reading all these articles, you will have seen it clearly many times. Kotlin is simplicity mixed with power, so you have an open world of possibilities if you came from Java that you couldn’t even imagine before. I sincerely believe that it is the only viable alternative to Java to develop great applications on Android. Other alternatives like Scala are tremendously heavy, and the compile times and tools are not comparable. The compilation in Kotlin today is already comparable to that of Java (in some tests it has been shown that it is even superior), and the library necessary to use it is very small, so it does not generate problems with the limit of methods in Android.
3. It is perfectly integrated with Android Studio
It may seem silly, but the fact that everything works so well out of the box for Android is a potential advantage. You will have already seen it if you have tried it, but without knowing anything about Kotlin you can have a project assembled and ready to work in less than 10 minutes without any problem. And from there everything works the same as if you were working with Java: you can run from the IDE, debug without any problem, do refactors, use instant run… Everything you imagine is still there and can still be used.
4. Its evolution is well covered
IntelliJ is the company behind Kotlin, and they use it for their own products, so they’re more than interested in developing it further. Also, speaking specifically of Android, now with the support of Google we have two great companies working together to bring the best of the language and tools to our development environment. From features like the Kotlin Android Extensions to libraries like Anko to constant size and compile-time optimizations, it all shows that JetBrains is putting a lot of effort into improving the Android development experience.
So…are you now interested in using Kotlin?