Embracing the Kotlin Coroutine: Revolutionizing Asynchronous Android Programming published 10/8/2023 | 3 min read

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Asynchronous programming is an integral part of developing Android apps, critical to ensuring smooth and responsive user experiences. Traditionally, Android developers have used Callbacks, RxJava, or LiveData to handle asynchronous code, and each comes with its unique set of pros and cons. Recently, the Kotlin language has introduced a new game-changer - Kotlin Coroutines - that is designed to tackle the challenges we face with asynchronous programming. This blog post explores what Kotlin Coroutines are, how they work, and why they can revolutionize Android development.

What are Kotlin Coroutines?

Kotlin Coroutines are a design pattern that you can use in Android development to simplify code that executes asynchronously. Coroutines were added to Kotlin in version 1.3 and are built on top of the existing suspendable computations feature available since Kotlin 1.1.

A coroutine is a concurrency design pattern that you can use on Android to simplify code that executes asynchronously. Coroutines were added to Kotlin in version 1.3 and are based on established concepts from other languages.

On Android, coroutines help to manage long-running tasks that might otherwise block the main thread and cause your app to freeze. Since freezing an app is a bad user experience, managing the main thread is essential.

The Power of Kotlin Coroutine

Here's a simple example of how Coroutine may look in a practical application:

GlobalScope.launch { // launch new coroutine in background and continue
    delay(1000L) // non-blocking delay for 1 second (default time unit is ms)
    println("World!") // print after delay
println("Hello,") // main thread continues while coroutine is delayed
Thread.sleep(2000L) // block main thread for 2 seconds to keep JVM alive

The GlobalScope.launch method launches a new coroutine in a GlobalScope, meaning the life cycle of this coroutine will be limited till the time the application is alive.

Inside this method, we have the delay(1000L) function which will delay the coroutine for 1 sec (nonblocking), and then the program will execute the next line.

The interesting part here is, the main thread will not wait for coroutine to finish. After launching the coroutine the main thread will move to the next line & execute the next line which is println("Hello,").

So the output will be:


Kotlin Coroutines present a new way of asynchronous programming. They are light-weight threads - you can create many coroutines without significantly straining system resources. What’s also intriguing is writing asynchronous code using Coroutines that resembles sequential programming. The language provides suspend functions that enforce logical sequence, making asynchronous code easier to follow and understand.

Adopting Kotlin Coroutines can radically simplify your code base, making it easier to read, write and maintain – providing a significant advantage over traditional methods of handling asynchronous tasks in Android. See how Kotlin Coroutines can revolutionize your coding practice and contribute broadly to modern Android development.

Wrap It Up

With Coroutines, Kotlin has offered a high-level solution for writing asynchronous non-blocking code. It allows you to write asynchronous code in a sequential manner, making it easier to read and understand. If you're an Android developer and still dealing with the traditional ways of writing asynchronous code fetching actions, it's time you leverage the Kotlin Coroutines to simplify your task.

Note: Adopting new techniques or tools often comes with a learning curve, and Coroutines are no exception. However, considering the potential long-term benefits, it's worth investing your time to understand Coroutines and integrate them into your Android development workflow.

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