Xamarin vs Kotlin

Developers all around the world are in search of new tools and platforms to make app building easier. Recent times have seen a rise in several software companies that help in creating performant applications.

When one thinks of Xamarin vs Kotlin, the choice becomes incredibly difficult as both platforms have a unique set of tools and various easy-to-use features. You can make a detailed study of both to decide which one would be the most suitable for your application development. Once you get a hold of what the platforms are capable of delivering, you can make an informed choice.

Key Takeaways

  • ​Xamarin is a tool utilized for cross-platform app development that enables engineers to share up to 90 percent of code across platforms
  • Kotlin is the tool Google recommends to develop Android apps
  • Both Xamarin and Kotlin are open-source technologies

What is Xamarin?

Founded in 2011, Xamarin was originally released by a software corporation. It was then acquired by Microsoft in 2016.

Hailed as one of the most cross-platform application development programs, Xamarin has a number of tools that work in the favor of developers. The process of app development becomes much easier with Xamarin and developers find it rather convenient to work on its interface.

Xamarin’s framework is mostly suitable for creating a C# mobile cross-platform app. While there are various structures used for the development, JavaScript and HTML are used mostly. These two frameworks can be used for JS libraries in order to build applications.

Websites suitable for a mobile device can be easily built with this framework. The website gets the look of a local application as it comes packed in a container.

Xamarin presents C# and runtime language that will operate on three mobile platforms. The C# codebase generally has access to most of the features of the native SDK.

Core Features of Xamarin

When it comes to developing apps within the Microsoft ecosystem, Xamarin is one of the most popular cross-platform products. Even though it is a new tool compared to its counterparts, Xamarin already boasts of a community of around 1.4 million developers.

Take a look at the following features to know more about Xamarin:

  • C# Language

Developers find a single language within the Xamarin framework in order to create applications across all mobile platforms. Xamarin’s compilation is native which makes it a convenient choice for creating applications that have both higher performances and a native feel and look to them.

  • Compilation

The platform comes with two important products – Xamarin.iOS and Xamarin.Android. In iOS, the native ARM assembly code is compiled directly into the source code.

The picture differs slightly in the Android structure. The Android Xamarin applications are initially compiled down to Intermediate Language and then get moved into the native assembly code at runtime.

Both in iOS and Android, the process is automated and designed in a way to handle garbage collection, platform interoperability and memory allocation by default.

  • Platform-specific Code Bindings

Most of the time, it is seen that developers can manage to give the development a native look and feel well within the Xamarin environment.

Even then, Xamarin allows the developers to call existing platform codes in the cases where one has to reuse certain modules. With Xamarin, you can easily integrate some platform-specific functions like that of Google Analytics, barcode scanning or Paypal.

Advantages of Xamarin 

Xamarin’s numerous benefits make it a suitable platform for application development. Companies like GitHub, Slack and Trello rely on Xamarin. The following are some of the advantages that work in the popularity of this platform:

  • One Technology Stack

Xamarin uses .Net with #C framework to build applications across all mobile platforms. This enables you to share around 80-90% of the code among different platforms, thus giving a boost to the engineering cycle.

Xamarin works without the need to switch between the development environments as the apps can be easily built in Visual Studio Code or Visual Studio. The cross-platform tools come at no additional cost.

  • Hardware Support

Xamarin gives your solution a native-level functionality. From specific APIs to using plugins, Xamarin does away with all hardware compatibility issues. This also enhances the functionality across all platforms.

Apart from giving access to platform-specific APIs, the platform has the feature of linking to native libraries which paves the way for better native-level functionality and customization.

  • Open Source Technology

Xamarin SDK includes libraries, runtime and command-line tools. All these have become open source and the developer can avail them under the MIT license that comes as a part of the Visual Studio.

Microsoft, by removing the cost of the license, has considerably contributed to further growth of the platform.

What is Kotlin?

A statically-typed programming language with cross-platform features, Kotlin has type inference and can interoperate smoothly with Java.

Although mainly targeting the JVM, Kotlin also compiles to native code or Javascript. In 2019, Kotlin’s easy-to-use tools made Google announce it as the most preferred programming language for Android application developers.

Kotlin has mostly been seen as a better alternative to standard Java compilers. Kotlin’s versatility is great to work with as many developers around the world have settled for this ‘one-stop language’ for different kinds of app development.

Over the years, this platform has paved its way into a new dimension owing to its rising popularity. More and more Android developers are learning the Kotlin interface and shifting to it.

Google’s statistics verify that around 50% of professional developers prefer Kotlin for their Android mobile application development. This programming language makes the procedure of app development faster for being interoperable with Java.

Core Features of Kotlin

Kotlin is mostly used by Android developers in the context of easy application development. Many argue that Kotlin has become a viable alternative to Java as a programming language in recent years. Go through the following features to get an idea about Kotlin:

  • Open-source

Being an open-source programming language, Kotlin has become convenient for developers around the world. It has a single-click tool due to which developers can convert an already-existing Java code. Kotlin is easy to learn and its features can be grasped quickly by developers who are getting acquainted with it for the first time. 

  • Java Interoperability

Being interoperable with Java is one of the best features of Android Kotlin. Many Java, as well as, Android developers have resorted to learning Kotlin owing to this feature.

Apart from running on JVM, Kotlin fully supports Java tools and libraries. Both languages are coexisting in nature and thus become convenient for developers. The interoperability function enables easy compilation of one Android project in both languages.

Without changing the codes, the programming languages can be switched easily and it considerably saves time in app development.

  • Lazy-loading Feature

Kotlin’s lazy-loading feature increases the startup time and makes it useful for Android app development. The app content gets shown faster with this feature and only the important resources can be loaded into the main memory. Developers find the lazy-loading feature one of the best tools in Kotlin’s framework.

Advantages of Kotlin

Kotlin’s documentation enables its codes to be implemented in a much faster and better manner. People have started preferring Kotlin over Java due to its type inference, security, syntax and functional programming.

Take a look at the following advantages of using Kotlin for Android app development:

  • More concise than Java

Kotlin is way more precise and concise than Java. With just a few lines of code and fewer crashes and bugs, Kotlin gets the problems solved much faster than Java. Code conciseness results in easy to read and easy to maintain features that work in the favor of developers. Kotlin’s type inference and data classes pave the way for its code conciseness.

  • Safer Code

A compact, concise and clear code is definitely safer than its complex counterparts. Its compact nature lessens the room for errors and there are negligible programming mistakes.

With a reduced number of system failures and fewer crashes, Kotlin’s concise and safer code feature works well with developers, who cautiously write more stable and robust codes in production.

  • Easy to Maintain

There is a reason why Kotlin is hailed as a ‘one-stop language’ for all app developments – the platform supports lots of IDEs including Android Studio. This enables the developers to use the already tried and tested tools so that they can comfortably maintain the codebase at scale. 

Xamarin vs Kotlin Comparison

XamarinKotlin
DescriptionOpen Source and free mobile platform for creating high-performance and native appsModern, cross-platform, concise and safe programming language
DeveloperMicrosoftJetbrains
Open-SourceYesYes
LicenseMITApache 2.0
Started20112010
Cross platformYesYes
Popular appsUPS
Alaska Airlines
Aggreko
Pinterest
Trello
Evernote
AdvantagesNative UX
Shareable Code
Single Tech Stack
Compatible with Java
Preferred by Google
 Strong community

Conclusion

This article compared Xamarin and Kotlin.

Xamarin is an open-source, free mobile platform for creating high-performance and native apps. Microsoft owns it; it uses C# as a single language to build apps and enables to share up to 90 percent of code across platforms.

Kotlin is a cross-platform, modern, and concise programming language. Jetbrains created it; it is fully compatible with Java, and it is Google’s preferred native technology to create Android apps.

FAQ

What is Xamarin?

Xamarin is an open-source, free mobile platform for creating high-performance and native apps. Microsoft owns it; it uses C# as a single language to build apps and enables to share up to 90 percent of code across platforms.

What is Kotlin?

Kotlin is a cross-platform, modern, and concise programming language. Jetbrains created it; it is fully compatible with Java, and it is Google’s preferred native technology to create Android apps.

What are the differences and similarities between Xamarin and Kotlin?

– Xamarin is a tool utilized for cross-platform app development that enables engineers to share up to 90 percent of code across platforms
– Kotlin is the tool Google recommends to develop Android apps
– Both Xamarin and Kotlin are open-source technologies


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.