As a mobile application developer, you must encounter the challenges of developing and maintaining applications for different platforms. You must deal with different programming languages and tools to make the mobile application work across different platforms and devices. Also, you need to rewrite the code and features for each platform activity, increasing the development time and the cost of the application. There are many cross-platform mobile testing labs and tools, but Kotlin multi-platform is the most popular among them.
Kotlin multi-platform is a feature released in 2017 with Kotlin 1.2. This feature allows you to write the same code on multiple platforms directly, focusing on cross-platform app development. In this article, first, you will see what Kotlin multi platform is and what the benefits and limitations of Kotlin multi-platform are. Then, you will learn how Kotlin multi-platform improves your mobile app development.
Kotlin multi-platform is a feature that was released in 2017 with Kotlin version 1.2. The Kotlin multi-platform feature allows the developer to focus on the concept of code reusability. It means you need to write the code once, and you can use it in your software application as many times as you want. These codes can be used for different cross-platforms, and their objective is to improve the efficiency of cross-platform app development.
As we know, Kotlin is a modern, user-friendly, and expressive programming language that runs on the JVM ( Java Virtual Machine). Kotlin multi-platform is mainly used for Android application development. Still, it is also useful in the development of other different platform applications such as iOS, web applications, desktop, and native applications. Also, the developer can share common code and logic across different platforms while still writing platform-specific code where needed. Hence, it saves the developer’s code writing time and increases the application development efficiency.
Getting Started with Kotlin Multi-Platform for Mobile Application Development
Before moving further in this article, let us briefly review how you can get started with Kotlin multi-platform for improving mobile application development. The steps and prerequisites for the developer are given below.
- First, you need to install the latest version of Kotlin and the KMM plugin for Android Studio or IntelliJ IDEA.
- The second step is to create the project. You can then create a new KMM project or convert an existing Android project to a KMM project and add the iOS target to your project, configuring the Xcode project settings.
- After that, the developer must write the common code in the shared module and your platform-specific code in the Android and iOS modules.
- The final step is running, testing, and debugging your mobile application on both platforms. You can use the KMM project plugin tools to run the code. However, leveraging cloud testing platforms is the best option. One such platform that can be used to improve and test mobile app development is LambdaTest.
LambdaTest is an AI-powered test orchestration and execution platform to run manual and automated tests at scale. The platform allows you to perform both real-time and automation testing across 3000+ environments and real mobile devices.
Kotlin multi platform feature has various features and advantages that make mobile application development easy and user-coder-friendly. In this section, you will see how Kotlin multi platform improves the developer experience in mobile app development.
● Kotlin Multi Platform is Modern
Developing applications for mobile is always a creative and engaging development process. There are some compulsory needs for app development, such as programming language and platforms to develop the application. Kotlin multi platform is a modern language feature that increases the code reusability to a great extent.
The developer can learn a few programming languages and cross-platform fragmentation. With Kotlin, you get the best of both worlds; you can use all the latest language features while still accessing older APIs and technologies. If you are searching for a modern and efficient language for mobile app development, Kotlin is a great choice due to its easy language and multiplatform features.
● Quick and Clean Code
Kotlin multi-platform allows the developer to write the code once and use it many times in the development process. The developer can easily share the same code for different platforms using the Koltin multi-platform feature. Sharing the same code for different platforms saves the coder’s time and can be used in other productive work of the mobile app development process.
● Fast Development
Kotlin’s multi-platform ensures that the mobile application development process is fast enough to increase development productivity and efficiency. The concept of common code sharing helps to save a lot of time. It has several features, such as null safety, IDE support, interoperability with Java, etc. All these features make the development process fast.
As we know, Kotlin code is fully compatible with Java code. Java Interoperability is the process in which the existing Java code can be easily called from Kotlin code, and Kotlin code is also called from Java code in a normal way. All these make mobile app development fast using Kotlin’s multiplatform.
● Native Interoperability
Kotlin multi-platform allows the developer to use any native library from any available platform. The only thing to remember is that this library should be available on the JVM (Java Virtual Machine). The developers are free to combine any of their preferred platforms. For example, you can mix Objective-C and Java without errors like overhead or costing.
● No UI Required
Various other multiplatforms available in the market work similarly to the Kotlin multiplatform. But one thing that makes Kotlin multi-platform different from others is that it does not require creating any user interface for the different platforms. Since most mobile applications require touch input, we must recreate the UI from scratch for each device.
This problem can be easily solved with the Kotlin multiplatform. The developer can easily develop a mobile application with no user interface. It’s much easier to work with just one codebase than juggling multiple projects so that you can run them on different devices.
● Community Support
Kotlin multi-platform is a very popular and powerful feature of Kotlin language. Kotlin is becoming very popular among mobile application developers due to its cross-platform support and various features. These days, many successful tech giants and business companies are choosing Kotlin language for their software applications. Also, the tech giant Google has recently announced Kotlin as the most preferred language for mobile application development. After this announcement, many companies opted for Kotlin over any other language for mobile application development. This makes a huge community of this language.
Kotlin’s multi-platform has great community support for users. The Kotlin community is always there to help you in any need. Apart from this, the active community team always works to find and fix any errors. There is a good presence of developers and testers in the community that continuously helps you increase your software’s functionalities and features. Also, online research papers and tutorials about Kotlin and its features, like Kotlin multiplatform, are available online.
You might not be able to solve every issue you have when developing mobile apps with Kotlin multiplatform. You should be aware of the following restrictions and challenges: you will need to deal with platform differences and compatibility difficulties and learn and use native languages and frameworks for each platform. The trade-offs between sharing more code and adding more functionality for each platform may impact performance, usability, and maintainability. To prevent problems and unfavorable changes, it’s also critical to keep up with updates and modifications to Kotlin, the native platforms, and the multiplatform libraries.
Kotlin multi-platform is a feature that was released in 2017. Kotlin multi-platform allows the mobile app developer to rewrite the code and features for each platform. Kotlin multi-platform is mainly used for Android application development, but it is also useful in the development of other different platform applications such as iOS, web applications, etc. Some prerequisites exist for using Kotlin multiplatform, such as the latest version of Kotlin, the KMM project plugin, etc.
Kotlin multi-platform is very helpful in improving the whole mobile application development process. It is a modern and advanced feature, quick and clean code, native interoperability, fast development, a time-saving process, great community support, etc. All these features of Kotlin are multiplatform, making it a great choice for developers to develop mobile applications for cross-platform devices.