Google Announces the “Kotlin-First” Approach for Android Development

Chet Haase, Developer Advocate at Google, announced the Kotlin-first approach to Android development during his portion of the developer keynote presentation on day 1 of the yearly Google I/O developer conference. Google’s intention is to position Kotlin as the favored programming language for Android application development moving forward.

According to Haase, “Android is becoming increasingly Kotlin-first, with many new JetPack API’s being introduced first for Kotlin developers. We also think that if you have a new project that you’re starting, you should be doing it in Kotlin because, frankly, there’s less to type, less to test and less to maintain.”

As part of the Kotlin-first initiative, the company will ship a new Library for Kotlin Development named, JetPack Compose. JetPack is a set of API’s designed to accelerate Android development. JetPack Compose allows developers to create modern reactive style web programs comparable to React Native and Vue.js.

In support of Kotlin-first, Google is working with the software tools company, JetBrains to deliver a series of global educational events titled, Kotlin Everywhere. Kotlin Everywhere sessions will be held worldwide in the US, India, Pakistan, Vietnam, Japan, South America, Europe and Central Africa.

Presently 50% of professional Android developers use Kotlin and it’s the fastest growing language on GitHub. Still, Haase reiterated that Google is committed to investing in and supporting Java and C++ for Android. Haase stated, “We have always been committed on Android to compatibility and interoperability in our ecosystem.”

Be sure to read the next Application Development article: Google I/O: Android App Bundle Updated to Reduce App Size and Increase Customizable Delivery