Are you frustrated while maintaining two codebases for one mobile app? Solution is KMM

KMM App development - Naxtre
24 Nov 2021

Single codebase for the business logic with Kotlin Mobile SDK

Kotlin Multiplatform Mobile (KMM for mobile apps) allows you to use a single codebase for the business logic of iOS & Android apps. You only need to write platform-specific code where it’s necessary. For instance, to implement a native UI or when working with platform-specific APIs.

As the name itself is self-descriptive, it is yet another multiplatform SDK. It allows us to create one common core implementation of our business logic and use it in both Android & iOS.

We can start using the KMM on Android Studio once we finish installing the KMM plugin. However, we can also use IntelliJ IDEA to create multi-platform projects. In order to run & test the IOS application, a Mac system is required since the iOS emulators can run only Mac systems.

However, if you are going to work with shared code then we can use any system that is supported by the android studio.

KMM – Welcome The Beast!!!

We must be able to put our feet in others’ shoes and leave the comfort zone to start with KMM. Given the fact that one must have ideas of writing UIs and business logic in native platforms.

KMM for mobile apps allows us to write platform-based code whenever we feel that certain functionality or outcome cannot be produced by KMM legacy code, we use expect and actual keywords to link our actual native code to expected dummies, the compiler decides which actual code to compile when the project gets built.

It does not hamper the performance since the code is compiled to bytecode and native binaries respectively for Android and iOS.

The best part as per me is that we can move the KMM from a legacy code and integrate it seamlessly.

Is KMM worthy?    

We must make things very clear and precise before we give it a go, if our application is all or mostly about UI logic then the might of KMM will be unused if we may choose it.

In contrast, if our app is complex business logic-driven, uses network calls, data storage, payment, complex computation, and interpretation then we can easily write the shared code and use it on both platforms.

The Benefits of KMM for Multiplatform App Development

  • Reduces the time to write and maintain the same code for different platforms.
  • Decreases time to write and maintain the same code for other platforms and share it using the mechanisms provided by Kotlin.
  • More concise and compatible with Java programming.
  • Retains the flexibility and benefits of native programming.
  • Android developers are familiar with Kotlin and the Gradle build system, so there’s no problem working with KMM in developing Android and iOS.

Apps that are using KMM (Kotlin Multiplatform Mobile)

Below are some popularly known apps that have already used KMM in their product and it’s been proved to be really seamless and optimal for their product goals.

MyChalk – Apps on Google Play

One can say that it’s an app developed using KMM only since the UI only is in native code.

Cash App – Apps on Google Play       

A lot of the app’s business logic, including the ability to search through all transactions, is implemented with Kotlin Multiplatform Mobile.

Yandex.Disk – Apps on Google Play

Started out by experimenting with the integration of a small feature, and as the experiment was considered successful, they implemented their whole data synchronization logic in KMM.

KMM prerequisites

To be able to start using KMM you should install the following:

  1. Java JDK version 11
  2. Ruby and Bundler
  3. Android Studio — version 4.2 or higher — here, I’m using the latest version Arctic Fox
  4. Xcode – version 11.3 or higher
  5. Xcode command line developer tools
  6. Kotlin Multiplatform Mobile plugin for Android Studio (read the plugin release updates). In Android Studio, select Preferences > Plugins > search for the plugin Kotlin Multiplatform Mobile in Marketplace and install it:

CASE STUDIES BY KOTLIN ORG

Case Studies | Kotlin Multiplatform Mobile (kotlinlang.org)

Conclusion

KMM is a potential platform, especially for Android developers. Android developers will find it easier to first adapt to KMM and then learn to develop the iOS platform. For iOS developers, it is not difficult to start learning Kotlin, as it’s a more concise language. The support from Google will significantly impact the development of KMM and increase its popularity.

We, at Naxtre, are excited when it comes to utilizing our skills in trending app development approaches and forefront technologies. We have a dedicated team of app developers currently working on KMM (Kotlin Multiplatform Mobile) to provide our clients with a top-notch experience. Naxtre helps enterprises of all types, from startups and small companies to large-scale enterprises to get most of their apps with KMM app development.

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