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Introducing Kotlin Multiplatform Mobile

Published on Oct 17, 2022

JetBrains’ Kotlin Multiplatform Mobile allows developers to build native iOS and Android apps with native UI from a single codebase, leaving the experimental phase behind.

JetBrains tried several approaches to memory management, libraries, and project configuration during the experimental phase and refined the balance between cross-platform features, including networking, data storage, and analytics, as well as access to the native SDKs.

Kotlin Multiplatform Mobile beta implements a native automatic memory manager that facilitates the sharing of objects between threads by providing lock-free concurrent programming primitives.

According to JetBrains, the beta release provides sufficient stability for developers to begin to adopt Kotlin Multiplatform Mobile. JetBrains highlights the growing multiplatform library ecosystem, community support, and a number of early adopter case studies, including Autodesk, VMware, Netflix, and many others.

Kotlin Multiplatform has already been adopted by a number of popular libraries, including Ktor, SQLDelight, Apollo, and Koin, a dependency injection framework.

As Kotlin Multiplatform is integrated with Android Studio, it leverages the tooling and ecosystem that are familiar to Android developers, whereas iOS developers will be faced with a somewhat less gradual learning curve. Xcode will still be required to build iOS apps and submit them to the App Store even though Android Studio is the main IDE for Kotlin Multiplatform development.

As of the time of this writing, the Kotlin Multiplatform Mobile plugin is still in the alpha stage. A collection of Kotlin Multiplatform directives are available for use in Gradle files, including new targets for iOS, watchOS, and tvOS, sourceSet, compilation, and others.

Alternatively, you can use Kotlin Multiplatform to create cross-platform libraries and then use them within your independent iOS and Android projects.

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