Flutter vs Java vs Kotlin: Which One is Better for Mobile App Development in 2022?

Let’s get to know which platform is better out of Flutter, Java, and Kotlin for mobile app development. Java and Kotlin are both easy-to-learn languages while flutter is developed on the Dart programming language which is also pretty easy to learn.

5 min read
Jun 10, 2022

Before the emergence of Kotlin and Flutter, Java was primarily used for Android app development. But after the rise in popularity of Kotlin, Flutter, and other app development platforms, the significance of Java slowly started fading.

However, it’s still a powerful and capable language for developing Android applications. On the other hand, Kotlin has been acknowledged as the official language for Android development. At the same time, Flutter is the most popular cross-platform app development framework in the world.

So, choosing one platform over the others in 2022-23 has become a challenge for many businesses and even developers. This requires in-depth knowledge and understanding of the roots of all the platforms to select the one. So, here delve deeper into each to help you make the right decision for your mobile app development project.

Basics About Flutter

The first version of flutter was known as 'sky' and it ran on the Android operating system. Dart programming language is used in the flutter framework. Flutter is an open-source cross-platform UI toolkit from Google that offers developers the flexibility to craft the most elegant, fast, pervasive, and natively compiled apps for web, mobile, and desktop.

Features of Flutter:

  • Cross-platform development capabilities to write code once and run on different OS platforms.
  • Open-source framework to experiment and develop various kinds of applications.
  • The Hot Reload feature helps developers to see code changes in real-time, which helps fix bugs instantly.
  • Flutter offers widgets to customize the designs that provide a glitch-free experience on all platforms.
  • Flutter is used for game development and it has the best upgrades for the camera and web plugin.
  • The latest devtool 'enhance tracing' helps you to resolve debugging issues.
  • Flutter has native feature accessibility allowing developers to access native code, 3rd-party integration, and APIs for development.

There’s a lot more coming in for the Flutter framework as we have seen in the below article:

Flutter in 2022-23: What are the Plans & Roadmap for Flutter?

Basics About Java

Java has been here for more than two and a half decades now. It was the default language for Android development when the OS was launched back in 2008. You can say Java is the father of all mobile development languages.

Sun Microsystems organized the first annual conference to discuss java technologies among java developers where many developers were inspired to develop apps from java code to Kotlin.

Features offered by Java:

  • Java supports Object-Oriented Programming which makes it more scalable, extensible, and flexible.
  • The first version of java languages was released in 1996. the stable variable, JDK 1.0.2 which is also known as java 1.
  • Java is a platform-independent language that makes its tagline “Write Once Run Anywhere” true in a real sense.
  • New updates in java improve the performance of vector extension, it supports the ARM scalar vector extension(SVE) platform.
  • Java is also an open-source programming language since it provides a great collection of open-source libraries.
  • Java has one of the largest communities that support all beginners in solving problems.
  • Tools in java are useful for ad-hoc coding, prototyping, and testing purposes, inclusively in educational contexts.

Basics About Kotlin:

Kotlin is developed and seen as an extension of Java. It is a general-purpose, open-source, and cross-platform programming language that runs on JVM. The language can pretty much be used everywhere Java is used. Seeing its workability, Google made it an official language for Android development.

Features of Kotlin:

  • Developers can write concise codes using Kotlin which reduces the effort to write additional code.
  • kotlin is now available in the alpha version which offers high speed and it is also available for JVM.
  • The new alpha version of kotlin has 2.2 times boost in performance, it has strong support for generating standard executables for android native targets.
  • kotlin has been designed in such a way that requires less coding, which is why developing android apps with kotlin is advantageous.
  • The language offers null safety features that aim to eliminate the NullPointerException from the code interoperable.
  • The interoperability feature of Kotlin allows developers to easily call the Java code as well as the Kotlin code.
  • The smart cast feature enables developers to explicitly typecast the immutable values and insert them in the safe cast.
  • Flutter vs Java vs Kotlin: Which One to Choose for Mobile App Development?

1. Performance

Comparing Java and Kotlin performance with Flutter would feel like a comparison between apples and oranges. They don’t have common grounds to start with since Flutter is a UI development kit while Java and Kotlin are programming languages.

The Kotlin codebase is smaller which is more supportable than Java.

Kotlin complies a little slower than java, the average time for doing a clean build in java is 14 seconds while kotlin takes 16.5 seconds. java complies 13% faster than kotlin.

Still, apps developed using Flutter have the upper hand in performance. Moreover, it has faster development and debugging tools because of features like Hot Reload and Hot Restart.

2 . Easy to Learn

Java and Kotlin are both easy-to-learn languages while the flutter programming language is Dart, which is also pretty easy to learn. Learning Java and its syntax is always a good thing since Kotlin’s syntax is also based on it.

Java is widely used by developers worldwide. It has a great community for support, learning resources are easily available.

As mentioned, Kotlin has a concise syntax which makes it one of the easiest languages to learn. To learn to code on Flutter, first, you’d have to learn Dart which offers comprehensive documentation.

3. Popularity

It's been more than two decades since java was introduced thus java was popular among many developers, as we know the world is updating every day so new alternatives have been found which gain more popularity due to their friendly environment.

Even though Flutter has recent footprints, it has gone on to become the most popular cross-platform development framework around the globe among mobile app developers.

Kotlin may not be on par with Java and Flutter, but it still has a loyal fan following. However, Flutter is way ahead when it comes to developing cross-platform mobile apps.

4. UI/UX Design

To get high downloads for your mobile apps, it’s essential to have immaculate user interface designs. It helps persuade users at first sight. UI/UX design has the power to make or break your customer base.

Kotlin and Java slow down the UI elements and do not offer specific instructions for developers when designing. On the other hand, Flutter offers a variety of widgets that contribute to better UI design that helps the design team pursue a simple process.

Conclusion

There are many aspects where Java and Kotlin lag and a few come on top too. However, Flutter has been consistently growing and offering advanced features and improved cross-platform capabilities that make it a robust technology for mobile app development in 2022-23. You should learn more about software and product development at ashutec.

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