Kotlin is a relatively new development language. First launched in 2019, it is the primary language used for Android development. Currently, around 60% of professional Android developers use Kotlin and this number is expected to grow. Kotlin has been used to launch many Android apps, including renowned streaming and messaging platforms.
The development of Kotlin Multiplatform Mobile increases its reach significantly, but there are still limitations as it is an experimental technology. The multiplatform means that Kotlin can now be used to create software for both Android and iOS, vastly expanding the range of opportunities and the efficiency of developers exploring the possibilities of Kotlin.
Kotlin Multiplatform Mobile offers all the benefits of creating cross-platform and native apps. With Kotlin Multiplatform, you can maintain a single codebase for networking, data storage, analytics, and the other logic of your Android and iOS apps. You can quickly and easily develop software packages and apps that can be deployed on both platforms. You can also implement native UIs and leverage other features specific to Android and iOS devices, but it is currently mostly used to create libraries.
Developing apps for both platforms can be time-consuming and labor-intensive. It requires work to be duplicated and it may be challenging to adapt the app from one platform to the other. An agnostic SDK capable of working on both platforms is an essential tool for a software development team looking to streamline the production of apps for both iOS and Android simultaneously.
Kotlin is growing in popularity and is being increasingly adopted by developers and now it is improving software development efficiency on both iOS and Android with ease. Previously, before the development of Kotlin Multiplatform, the same app would have to be developed separately for the two platforms. Kotlin Multiplatform enables teams to develop orphans of the app for both platforms without having to duplicate their work. By eliminating the extra work, Kotlin Multiplatform Mobile will create greater efficiency and more opportunities for developers.
SwiftUI is intended for use in the building of iOS UIs, while Android Jetpack Compose is designed for work on Android UI projects.
You can share code for business logic that often falls out of sync, while keeping all the advantages of native programming. Kotlin Multiplatform plays a complementary role to existing platform-specific technologies and is geared toward replacing platform-agnostic code. You would not need to learn an entirely new toolset; you can simply add this platform to your current selection of tools.
So, how does Kotlin Multiplatform compare to other options like React Native and Flutter? These options can be compared on various grounds such as UI, interoperability, and integration with existing projects. With Kotlin Multiplatform, the UI is coded separately for Android and iOS using native code. Flutter uses Canvas from native SDK of different platforms and React Native uses native components mapped to js code. Kotlin can interop with Java and other languages, but with Flutter needs to use Dart and React Native can only use js. With Kotlin Multiplatform, you can integrate into existing projects but Flutter and React Native need to stick to their own infrastructure.
Kotlin Multiplatform Mobile leverages the multi-platform capabilities of Kotlin to provide tooling for cross-platform mobile development in Android Studio. The multi-platform library ecosystem continues to grow. Several of the biggest libraries, such as Ktor, SQLDelight, Apollo, and Koin have already adopted Kotlin Multiplatform.