17 May 2017
At the ongoing Google I/O 2017 conference, Google announced that Kotlin is now officially supported as the programming language for Android development. With this, it has become only the third language to get official support after the existing C++ and Java languages.
Kotlin is an open-source programming language from JetBrains and is described by Google as "a brilliantly designed, mature language that we believe will make Android development faster and more fun.” One the good things about Kotlin is that it is compatible with Java code and vice-versa. It means developers working on a project can easily switch between the two languages at any time and as per their needs or preferences.
Android Studio 3.0 will come with native support for Kotlin language so that interested developers can start coding in the language without having to download and install anything extra. It will be an out of the box support for the language. As for previous versions of Android Studio, developers will have to install a plugin for Kotlin language to make it work. And since it supports Java, devs can start using it on their existing projects without making any changes or starting from the scratch.
In the official announcement, Kotlin said,
"For Android developers, Kotlin support is a chance to use a modern and powerful language, helping solve common headaches such as runtime exceptions and source code verbosity. Kotlin is easy to get started with and can be gradually introduced into existing projects, which means that your existing skills and technology investments are preserved."