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How to Increase App Stability with Kotlin?

  • Last Updated : 19 Sep, 2021

Kotlin is a new yet already mature programming language that aims to make developers happy. It’s succinct, safe, and compatible with Java and other languages, with several methods to reuse code across platforms for productive work. We know from talking to the community that one of the primary motivations for adopting Kotlin is a safer code. In this post, We’ll discuss how Kotlin enhanced the stability of some of our partners’ code, but we’ll also look at some Google Play store statistics to see whether there’s a link between using Kotlin and the frequency of crashes.

The standard of the app

The quality of your app affects more than just the user experience. A large frequency of collisions will have an impact on numerous other factors, including:

  1. App discoverability — The Google Play store’s suggestions are based on a combination of human curation and computer calculations, with quality being one of the most important factors.
  2. Brand – The performance of your product can influence your ratings and reviews, which can influence brand perception.
  3. Increased number of (engaged) users – Increased organic traffic and brand perception can lead to increased user acquisition and retention, which can also influence engagement and down funnel KPIs.

Runtime, Null Pointer Exception

A RuntimeException is a NullPointerException. An object reference in Java can be assigned a specific null value. When a program attempts to utilize an object reference with a null value, a NullPointerException is raised. What is Kotlin’s involvement in this? So what’s stopping you from using Kotlin Pal?

Apps developed by using Kotlin are 25% less crash prone.

Example:

Zomato’s engineering team, where 80 percent of their code is written in Kotlin, experienced a 54 percent reduction in crashes after switching to Kotlin for new feature development. To avoid NullPointerExceptions, make sure the object references you’re working with aren’t null before executing methods on them or attempting to access their members. 

Nullability is a part of the type system in Kotlin. 

A variable, for example, must be defined as nullable or non-nullable from the start. By incorporating nullability into the type system, you no longer have to rely on your memory and knowledge of the codebase, or on compile-time warnings (if you annotate your fields/parameters with @Nullable), but rather nullability is enforced, resulting in compile-time errors rather than warnings.

Keeping common problems at bay

There are many issues that we developers create without realizing it, and many of them are subtle and difficult to analyze. Here are a handful of the difficulties that may be avoided by utilizing Kotlin.

If two objects are identical, their hashcode should be the same; nevertheless, it is easy to forget to implement one of these methods or to update them when new attributes are introduced to the class.

Use Kotlin data classes when working with classes whose sole purpose is to hold data. The compiler generates hashCode() and equals() for you in data classes, so they are immediately updated when you alter the class’s attributes.

Structural equality vs. referential equality

Are two objects structurally equal (have the same content) or referentially equal (have the same pointers)? Because you would usually use == for primitives in the Java programming language, a typical error is to call == (referential equality) for objects as well, when you actually want to check if they are structurally equal (tested by calling equals()).

First, Kotlin does not use basic types; instead, it utilizes classes such as Int or String; this implies that you no longer need to distinguish between objects and primitive types because everything is an object.

When if-else is insufficient

When dealing with enums, you must often check that you have covered all of the potential scenarios. This necessitates the use of a switch or a series of if-else. When you edit your enum to add a new value, you must manually verify each code snippet where the enum is used to ensure that you are handling the new situation. However, this is prone to mistake. If you use when as an expression in Kotlin, you can rely on the compiler to do this: you’ll get a compiler error if you don’t cover all potential branches.

Conclusion

Your app’s reliability is critical for both your consumers and your business. Begin utilizing Kotlin to minimize crash rates, keep your users happy, and keep your retention and acquisition on track by maintaining a good app rating.

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