8 Proven Kotlin Tips for Android App Development

Introduction to Android App Development

Kotlin claims to be a modern coding language that makes programmers happier. Many Android developers agree. It seems too young to dominate the world of Android when compared with Java.

However, Kotlin has emerged as a potent alternative to Java. And all these happened within just a matter of a few years.

Google announced support for Kotlin in its I/O 2017 conference. Then in 2019, the tech giant enlisted Kotlin as a preferred programming language for Android. It set in motion a new era in Android app development

Kotlin is a statically typed coding language compatible with Java Virtual Machine and JavaScript. It offers a swarm of functional features that are seamlessly interoperable with Java.

You can significantly improve Android development efficiency and code quality using Kotlin. It dramatically improves the coding experience. One of the crucial areas of Kotlin’s focus is to enable mixed-language projects for app development.

How to Best Use Kotlin for Your Android App Project

  1. Use the Let Functionality for Null Safety

While writing your Android app code in Kotlin, ensuring null safety gets easier. Use the “let” functionality to avoid any complex branching in the code logic.

You can also use the Elvis operator to create default values for nullable properties. Null safety is one of the most striking features of the Kotlin platform.

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The null safety capability is determined by the type system that can differentiate between nullable and non-nullable references.

It’s particularly crucial when your references could be null, so you don’t have to face null point exceptions.

  1. Use the Lazy-Loading Functionality

Lazy loading enables you to achieve faster startup time. It makes sure that loading is deferred to when a variable is accessed.

Lazy loading is particularly useful when building an Android app, rather than a server app. While working on an Android app development project, reducing startup time so that the app’s response becomes faster.

Besides, lazy loading is also memory efficient. It loads resources into the app’s memory only when called upon.

Memory usage is a critical concern among Android app developers. So, selective loading capability improves the app’s usability and overall UX.

  1. Personalized Getters and Setters

You can use custom getters and setters offered by Kotlin. These are based on a model structure. But to get and set behaviors, you need to set the fields that are specified.

Kotlin stores non-class local variables in some custom ways.  You can also use models like Parse SDK to customize the getters and setters. If you change the Parse model to other data models, you’d only require a mild alteration in the code.

  1. Use Data Classes

Kotlin also enables you to simplify classes by using data classes. You can add equals (), hash code (), copy (), and toString (), and other classes using automated processes.

These classes clarify the intent of the model and specify what you should use in it. When you use data classes with JSON or other data libraries, you can easily create a default constructor with default values in it.

  1. Utilize Lambdas

By using lambdas, you can reduce the number of overall code lines. Shorter codes have many benefits. It reduces the chances of bugs in the code.

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Besides, a cleaner code enables you to ensure the highest level of code quality. You can easily use lambdas in Android app development. The build configuration of your Android app will remain the same.

Besides, the Kotlin framework makes sure that you don’t have to deal with a retro lambda. Lambdas work particularly well when you’re implementing a single method.

Besides, lambdas are also useful when setting a listener for an Android SDK with numerous cases in a project.

  1. Apply Collection Filtering

Android developers frequently have a deal with collections while building APIs. You often need to filter or modify the contents of a collection.

Kotlin lets you use its collection filtering functionality to make your code better. With the collection filtering in place, you can quickly tell what the resulting list of your collections should contain.

  1. Use Object Expressions

With object expressions, you can create a single definition of a class. It also means that you don’t have to store singletons in the app class or as a static class.

When you use object expressions, you don’t have to declare a constructor as private. Also, you no longer need to find out the location where the static instance is stored. You can create a single instance of the class as a declared object in the code.

Further visit: Avoid These 4 Silly Mistakes During App Development

  1. Diversify Features Using Extensions

Kotlin extensions enable you to add more functionalities to the app. And you can do that without inheriting any functionality from a class.

By using extensions, you can also seamlessly eliminate the need to have separate utility classes or methods.

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Extensions not just let you expand the app’s scope of functionalities, but also help improve experiences.

Using more extensions means the capability to add more user-centric features and diversify the app’s features.

Wrapping Up

Kotlin’s popularity has skyrocketed over the past few years. And its demands are likely to remain high in the coming years.

As the programming language evolves rapidly, Android developers need to understand its nitty-gritty to use its capabilities optimally.

The tips we discussed in this post are likely to improve your Kotlin proficiency. Stay updated about the new features announced by JetBrains (the maker of Kotlin) to best use its programming capabilities.

Author Bio

Sylvia is a Senior Developer at Mobi India, a mobile app development company. Besides creating tech-rich apps, she loves to delve deeper into the trends and happenings in the world of software development. She writes passionately about app development tools and techniques.

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