Google endorses Kotlin for Android development

Android Studio 3.0 IDE will include this first addition to Android’s official languages

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Google’s Java-centric Android mobile development platform is adding the Kotlin language as an officially supported development language, and will include it in the Android Studio 3.0 IDE. Its developers had previously promoted Kotlin for Android development.

The revelation was made Wednesday by Google Program Manager Stephanie Saad Cuthbertson at the Google IO developer conference. This is the first time a new programming language has been added to Android. “It makes developers so much more productive. It is fully Android runtime-compatible, it is fully interoperable with existing code, it has fabulous IDE support,“ she said.

The open source, statically typed Kotlin was built to run on the Java Virtual Machine, and has accommodations for JavaScript compilation.

For Android developers, Kotlin offers a chance to use a modern language that will help solve common headaches such as runtime exceptions and source code verbosity, said Maxim Shafirov, CEO of developer tools company JetBrains, which has led the Kotlin effort.

Google and JetBrains will partner on a nonprofit foundation for Kotlin, with development of the language continuing to be sponsored by JetBrains.

There are other languages that also support Android, though are not officially supported by Google as Kotlin now is. Those other languages include Google’s own Go language, Scala, and C++.

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