With so many platforms, languages and frameworks available in the m market, choosing your favorite type of technology is a bit challenging task these days. This is not the most difficult part; choosing the right technology is. Factors like project requirements, budget and resources must be considered before opting for any new technology.

Most small businesses suffer with which technology to choose for their business. Sometimes even established firms may also suffer in selecting the right one because of the availability of many technologies. Plus, mobile app development platforms offer hybrid and cross-platform development.

Building a mobile app requires a lot of effort; you need to decide the app’s functions, budget, how well it is planned and executed, and which language to choose for your app.

Most leading development tools, like React Native, JavaScript, Flutter, Native Script, Kotlin, etc., now support mobile app development.

In this blog, React Native vs Kotlin, we have compared the two most prominent languages, React Native vs Kotlin, to make your selection easy.

Let’s begin.

What do we cover in this blog post?

The article React Native vs Kotlin will cover the following points:

  • What is React Native?
  • Pros and cons of using React Native
  • Examples of popular apps built with React Native
  • Current trends and updates in React Native
  • What is Kotlin
  • Pros and cons of using Kotlin
  • Examples of popular apps built with Kotlin
  • Current trends and updates in Kotlin
  • Comparison of React Native vs Kotlin
  • When to use which?
  • Conclusion

What is React Native?

React Native is a framework based on Javascript that integrates the best elements of Native development with React. It is used for building native applications for both Android and iOS. In the past few years, it has rapidly become famous for multi-platform application development.

Advantages of using React Native

Let’s highlight the main advantages of React Native.

Strong performance for mobile environments

React Native is built in a way that its structure is well-suited for mobile devices. React uses GPU, while Native uses CPU, which makes React Native superfast.

Quick reloading

The changes made in the application’s code by developers can be quickly seen in the preview window. These changes can be viewed in real-time. This will make the feedback and development process quick.

Affordable feature expansion

Adding new features to the existing application is cost-effective in React Native. You don’t have to rewrite the whole code from the beginning; just add UI components to the application, and you are good to go. This helps in increasing the features of the application.

Limitations of using React Native

Of course, with advantages, it has some limitations too: 

Basic understanding of Native coding

The knowledge of native coding is mandatory for building an app by using React Native. It can be tough to develop an application without a basic understanding of the language.

Commitment issues

React Native must be maintained consistently to last for app development. You may have trouble finding long-term support for React Native.

The framework is new

React Native is a recently discovered language, so it has to go a long way.

Its user interface and bug resolution need to improve to compete with the other popular languages. Overall it is not recommended for app development.

pro and cons of react native

Examples of popular apps built with React Native

The popular app built by using React native is Discord, Facebook, UberEats, Airbnb, Skype and Walmart.

Current trends and updates in React Native

With the upcoming trends and technologies, React Native is considered a modern mobile technology worldwide. Even with its weakness, React Native is a powerful tool for mobile development.

What is Kotlin?

It is a modern programming language which is a general-purpose, statically typed and open source that initially runs on JVM (Java Virtual Machine). Kotlin is considered a more concise and streamlined version of Java. Its primary focus is interoperability, safety, clarity, and tooling support. 

To know more, read our blog: Java Vs Kotlin: Beyond the Basics- An in-depth look at Java and Kotlin

Advantages of using Kotlin

Let’s look at all the top-rated advantages of Kotlin app development.

Shorter program for the same task

Kotlin is easy to read and write; that’s why it has a shorter and simpler codebase. The debugging is super simple because of its simple readability.

Easy Code

The language is easy to understand because there is no use of semicolons. Plus, it has smart casts and string templates and has fewer chances of bugs. Kotlin simplifies the mutable and immutable declarations for different data structures.

Less problematic

Kotlin creates a solid codebase that makes the foundation of the application more reliable and robust. So errors can be identified early and can be fixed in the meantime.

Limitations of using Kotlin

For your benefit, we have listed some of the highlighted disadvantages of Kotlin. Let’s have a look:

Minimal Learning Opportunities

Kotlin doesn’t provide learning opportunities, that’s why it has less number of developers. Developers don’t opt for Kotlin due to a lack of learning tools.

Different from Java

Many consider it a replacement for Java due to its similarities. But it has several differences too. Kotlin is a very different language, and its developers face difficulty learning other programming languages.

Examples of popular apps built with Kotlin

As a modern language, it has plenty of successful languages in the market, including Trello, Baidu, Autodesk and Zomato.

Current trends and updates in Kotlin

Kotlin fully supports IntelliJ IDEA, an IDE built by JetBrains, with further expansion plans to other IDEs. Furthermore, JetBrains is also working on making the code run on multiple platforms as well.

pro and cons of Kotlin

Comparison of React Native and Kotlin 


React Native allows developers to build apps using native modules and JavaScript. React Native can work on both Android and iOS platforms. JavaScript makes an app quickly and efficiently by combining with native components and APIs. If you are a newbie and have a low budget, then React Native is an excellent choice.

On the other hand, developers who use Kotlin can smoothly write specific code related to the platform. Apps built with Kotlin are comparatively faster and allow a great user experience.

Development Experience

React Native is one of the favorite languages of developers due to its features like ease of use, quick reloading and native development ability.

By leveraging JavaScript and native UI, developers can easily develop Android and iOS applications using the same code. 

Whereas, Kotlin allows developers to write specific code for different platforms faster and hassle-free. You can build UIs according to you, and the Kotlin community consistently makes an effort to increase developers’ productivity and improve the development experience.

Users And Community

React Native’s developer community makes it the most widely used and discussed cross-platform for app development. Big firms like Tesla, Instagram, Salesforce and Uber use this technology. In 2018 on Github, it had the second-highest number of contributors.

Kotlin is fully interoperable with Java, that’s why it is popular among Java developers. Kotlin came into the picture when Google announced Kotlin as an official language for Android app development. Several leading companies use Kotlin, like Coursera, Atlassian and Evernote.

A growing community of Kotlin developers is growing and supporting each other and constantly making it a more robust and advanced programming language.

Cost And Time

If your budget is less, then go for React Native. React Native is easy to work with, so it is a good option for startups and small businesses. Both iOS and Android applications can be built by using the same code.

On the other hand, applications with Kotlin as its core language require fewer resources and faster building Kotlin makes cross-platform development reliable, faster, and enjoyable.

Learning Curve

Even though React Native uses JavaScript and powerful libraries, it has an abrupt learning curve due to JSX. It is easy to learn because JavaScript XML allows using HTML in React. Because of the high demand for React Native, you can easily find developers and the necessary skills.

On the contrary, Kotlin doesn’t have a sharp learning curve and is completely interoperable with Java. Hence, it is unsuitable for beginners, but experienced Java and web developers can easily learn it.

React Native vs Kotlin: when to use which?

Use React Native when:

  1. You want to build a cross-platform app for both iOS and Android.
  2. You have limited resources or a small development team.
  3. You want to leverage a vast ecosystem of pre-built components and libraries.
  4. Speed of development is a priority.

Use Kotlin when:

  1. You are primarily targeting the Android platform.
  2. You want to build a highly optimized and performant app.
  3. You prefer a more native approach and want to take full advantage of the Android platform’s features and APIs.
  4. You have existing Java codebases that you want to integrate or migrate to Kotlin.

React Native vs Kotlin: Comparison at a Glance

FeatureReact NativeKotlin
Development LanguageJavaScriptKotlin
Platform SupportiOS, Android, WebAndroid
Development EnvironmentJavaScript environment (e.g. Node.js)Java Development Kit (JDK)
Community SizeLarge and activeGrowing
Learning CurveLow-to-moderateModerate
Code ReusabilityHighHigh
Deployment SpeedFastFast
Debugging and TestingDebugging can be challenging; testing is easy with React NativeDebugging and testing are straightforward with Kotlin
Comparison of React Native and Kotlin 

React Native vs Kotlin – Who wins?

We can conclude that both React Native vs Kotlin languages have their own pros and cons. But one thing is sure both languages can successfully and efficiently aid multi-platform development. However, what you choose entirely depends on your project.

As we know that React Native is more established, and many big firms have used it, that’s why it is a go-to language for most companies.

But this isn’t the case anymore, Kotlin is a modern language, but there are many reasons to opt for it.

Whether you choose Kotlin or React Native development company, picking the right option will help you turn around the software faster and cost-effectively. 

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About Yash

Yash is a virtual marketing assistant with a passion for creating content in the digital and IT space. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for communication, Yash has helped numerous clients to enhance their online presence and reach their target audience. When not busy crafting marketing strategies, Yash enjoys staying up-to-date with the latest trends in the world of technology.