Kotlin is now an officially supported language for Android

The I/O news is starting to turn to developer-centric topics, and one of the more significant things to come out of the keynote is an official declaration that Google is now officially supporting Kotlin as a first-class language for developing Android apps. Starting with Android Studio 3.0, Kotlin is included out-of-the-box, so there are no additional setup steps or add-ons to install.

Kotlin was created by JetBrains and officially released early last year. It gained popularity largely because it runs on the Java Virtual Machine and can be used alongside java to build apps. This means developers can take existing code and easily build new features or replace Java code in pieces. Since Kotlin is dependent on Java, it means both languages will continue to be supported.

Google will now contribute to the further growth of Kotlin and build new tools directly into Android Studio to make it even more useful.

To learn more about Kotlin, check out the sessions titled Intro to Kotlin at 10:30 on Friday and Life is great and everything will be ok, Kotlin is here at 2:30. Also, check out the dedicated Kotlin website.

Source: Kotlin BlogAndroid Dev Blog

Flutter: Google’s new mobile SDK

Google has released a new cross platform Software Development Kit (SDK) for developing iOS and Android apps. With the stated goal of enabling development of “high-performance, high-fidelity, apps for iOS and Android, from a single codebase”, Google has officially entered the cross platform development arena.

Flutter is still in early-stage, and not being recommended for developing production applications at this time. It is also missing a whole set of features offered by any other SDK like accessibility, text input, localization, and more. The pre-release was published in December of 2015, and there has been no new releases on their GitHub since then. It is not clear how well supported this new SDK will be, but it does look promising.

To develop apps in Flutter, you need to learn Google’s Dart programming language. Dart has a very c# like syntax, so it is relatively easy to pick up for people with Java or C# experience. The following code snippet shows how to write a method and call it in Dart


// Define a function.
printNumber(num aNumber) {
  print('The number is $aNumber.'); // Print to console.
}

// This is where the app starts executing.
main() {
  var number = 42; // Declare and initialize a variable.
  printNumber(number); // Call a function.
}

In the coming months, we will be posting tutorials on how to get started with Flutter to build apps.

References

1. Flutter
2. Dart