Java vs .NET: Have Your Best Pick for Android App Development

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While the primary approach to Android app development consists of downloading Android SDK and writing apps using Java; .net can be an easy catch. Read ahead to know more!"

JavaScript and HTML/CSS are quintessential building blocks of any project across, with nearly 68 percent of respondents stating that they used JavaScript and 63.5 percent using HTML/CSS. As JAVA rounds up into the top five most widely used programming languages around the world in 2019, it is also being encouraged by Google. In this context as we try to differentiate Java and .Net, we realize that there are some subtle differences and peculiarities and all Android developers need to get their heads around them. Some common queries that an Android Programmer might have:

  • How to make use of an Object-oriented programming concept for Android Apps?
  • How an app on Android does differ from a Java program on a PC?
  • How do .net or Java annotations help in Android App development?
  • How is Java Interface used to communicate with other parts of your app?

For many good reasons, Android developers still swear by Java, being a long-lasting programming language that is extra durable and a tech juggernaut for being portable and capable of operating similarly on any operating system or hardware. Java has been one of the most widely used languages according to Statista:

most used languages

Source: www.statista.com/statistics/793628/worldwide-developer-survey-most-used-languages/

Although different from traditional Java code, Android programming is largely made up of java and its subsequent API’s that are designed to be called primarily from Java. Later stood as an official programming language for Android programming, until the emergence of Kotlin. And also although it is possible to develop C and C++ app using the Android Native Develop Kit (NDK) currently Google does not promote it. It says that the NDK will not be able to benefit most of the apps. The benefits have to be balanced against its drawbacks possibly by making use of native code on Android. This, in general, does not lead to any particular performance improvement, rather always increases your app complexity.

Java has been succeeded by Kotlin; later has become official programming language for Android App Development. Kotlin is one such JVM compatible programming language that compiles down to Java byte-code and has caught the attention of the Android Community.

Java for Android Development

Converting Java files into Bytecode is the same as compiling an Android App. But the scenario is the other way round. As soon as the app composed of Bytecode is installed on the device. That Byte code is optimized into machine code for that Android device, which improves the app’s runtime performance. This process is better known as Ahead of Time compilation (AoT) and is made possible by the Android Runtime (ART) virtual machine.

.Net for Android Development

Asp.net developers can go for Android Development via Xamarin Studio IDE (MonoDroid/MonoDevelop) from Xamarin. An Android application built with Xamarin Studio has to be executed within an instance of a Mono-based virtual computer. The Mono virtual computer, in turn, executes side-by-side with Android’s virtual computer. A bunch of classes can be used to access native Android functionalities that look like classes in the .NET Framework except that they bind to the Android API under the hood.

All this process goes through four essential steps: (1) processing resources from Android resource files into .NET-compatible resource files; (2) creation of the .NET code; (3) processing of the .NET code to create Java wrappers; and (4) final packaging of the Android executable.

This is particularly helpful in case there is a requirement of quicker startup time, holding onto Visual Studio IDE and writing the code in C#. The size of the resultant Android Application can be a bit too long creating an issue for an iOS or Windows Device owing to limited memory capabilities. But a better side to the same story is that the same code can be reused across multiple mobile platforms.

Frontal Comparison: Java vs .net

Differences Java.Net
DefinitionJava is a portable programming language that can run on any device and any operating system and also provide JVM which allows code..NET (pronounced dot net) is a framework or virtual machine that provides programming guidelines that can be used to develop a wide range of applications–from the web to mobile to Windows-based applications. The .NET framework can work with several programming languages such as C#, VB.NET, C++, and F#. At Konstant, we use all of these except F# yet.
Supporting Languages:Java supports a variety of languages including Python, C++, Ruby, C#, PHPProgramming languages designed within .Net framework –

  • C#.NET
  • VB.NET
  • C++.NET
  • J#.NET
  • F#.NET
  • JSCRIPT.NET
  • WINDOWS POWERSHELL
  • IRON RUBY
  • IRON PYTHON
  • C OMEGA
  • ASML(Abstract State Machine Language)
Main ComponentsMain Components of Java:
Main ComMain Components of .Net Frameworkponents of Java
Main Components of .Net Framework:
main-components-of-net-framework
Ten things to Know about Java vs .net:Seven things to know about Java:

  • Java is a platform-independent language (portable), can be used across platforms due to the presence of JVM.
  • Java is different from JavaScript (which is essential for any web application) for the browser or client-side programming.
  • Java was an official programming language for Android App Development before Kotlin.
  • Many companies make use of Java including GM/Onstar, Facebook, eBay, Ford, SalesForce, etc.
  • Java is the most-favored server-side or backend programming language for Android.
  • Java application development has been used for creating many different types of versatile applications including finance, insurance, e-commerce, healthcare, etc. that can be packaged or hosted in the cloud.
  • Being versatile, secure, refined, portable and stable – Java has been there on the block for a while now (way back since 1996).
Six things to know about .net framework:

  • .Net is not just for Windows or PC users. It is also for Mobile Platforms – thanks to the set of tools consisting of the runtime, library and compiler components that makes it easy for the developers to create apps that run on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. .NET Core runtime, libraries, and compiler are all open-source on GitHub and are making contributions.
  • .net was perceived to be used as a licensed software framework, but several parts of .NET were made available under open-source licenses(C# compiler Roslyn) allowing contributions from any developers. (Source code available on GITHUB)
  • C# is the official programming language of the .Net framework. It is an object-oriented programming language, boasts type-safety, garbage collection, simplified type declarations, versioning and scalability support, and other features that make developing solutions faster and easier.
  • Visual Studio is a very powerful Integrated Development Environment (IDE) where you write your C# or .NET programs. It’s popular because it supports code editing, interface design, server management, debugging, and performance analysis.
  • Net library contains a huge collection of predefined class libraries (pre-written code) that has support for simple and complex data structures.
  • .Net framework web development covers Javascript, CSS, and HTML, it is focused on the server-end and will not provide the in-depth knowledge needed for front-side development.

Key Takeaways from the .Net vs Java Discussion

Writing an Android App looks somewhat familiar to the Java developers, but the familiarity abruptly ends when it is compiled and executed. How the Android framework handles its apps during the compilation process is completely new.

Various programming languages can be used for mobile app development based on the information provided and the requirement of the business, their budget, available skillset, and time constraints. Each programming language comes with a set of benefits and drawbacks. Thus, the choice is individualized.

At Konstant, we focus on encouraging the strong habits of successful professional developers. In addition to incorporating industry tools and practices like version control and test-driven development, we put special emphasis on building applications with clean code; we consider that a programming language should never be learned or used in a bubble! Have any queries or planning to develop a web or mobile application, we are Asp.Net Development Company that’ll work with you to deliver a revolutionary digital product. Contact us to learn more!

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About Author
Neeti Kotia

Neeti Kotia

Neeti got her master's degree in software engineering in 2009 and has been working since for software companies of all sizes as a technical writer. What started as a high school passion has now been converted into a serious profession. She has a special knack of learning from all verticals and imbibing the extracts into her writing. She enjoys learning technical aspects of writing from her tasks where her experience and understanding are most impactful.

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