Google’s Android KTX May Streamline Kotlin Programming

Google really wants developers to build apps with Kotlin, which it recently named a “first class” programming language for Android.

In order to streamline that adoption, Google unveiled a preview of Android KTX, a set of extensions designed to make writing code in Kotlin much easier. “Android KTX provides a nice API layer on top of both Android framework and Support Library to make writing your Kotlin code more natural,” read a note about the new platform on Google’s corporate blog. “The portion of Android KTX that covers the Android framework is now available in our GitHub repo.”

KTX can help developers do things like convert strings to URIs “more naturally,” and shorten the code needed for certain functions. Once KTX is synced with your current Android project, extensions should appear automatically in the IDE autocomplete list.

“Today’s preview launch is only the beginning. Over the next few months, we will iterate on the API as we incorporate your feedback and contributions,” the blog added. “When the API has stabilized and we can commit to API compatibility, we plan to release Android KTX as part of the Android Support Library.”

In January, a relatively small Kotlin release (1.2.20) squished some bugs and offered a few tooling updates, including tweaks to the IDE; you can read the full change-log on GitHub. (A subsequent update, 1.2.21, featured just two minor fixes.) Kotlin’s last big update (1.2, in November 2017) saw some big upgrades, such as the ability to reuse code between JavaScript and JavaScript Virtual machine.

Developers already appreciated Kotlin’s interoperability with Java, as well as its ever-deepening integration with Android Studio, Google’s IDE for Android development. Now, it seems that Google is betting that streamlining the coding process will fuel Kotlin’s adoption even more. If you’re exploring Kotlin for the first time, check out Dice’s handy introduction to it.