Kotlin Collections: A Developer’s Guide for Android developers

Kotlin Collections: A Developer’s Guide for Android developers

Fix bugs faster! Log Collection Made Easy

This guide illuminates how Kotlin Collections revolutionize data management in Android apps, significantly enhancing efficiency and coding elegance.

Kotlin has gradually replaced Java as the lingua franca of Android programming. It’s a more concise language than Java, meaning your code works harder and you can build leaner applications. And Kotlin Collections are fundamental.

These collections play a fundamental role in our work as programmers by simplifying the organization and management of data. Whether it’s a list, set, map or other data structure, they allow us to categorize and store data logically. So we can save, retrieve and manipulate information, and manage a range of tasks from simple data presentation to complex algorithm implementation.

Collections also facilitate code reusability, enabling us to utilize their existing functions and methods rather than developing individual data-handling mechanisms for every task This streamlines development, reduces errors and enhances code maintainability.

At a granular level, collections enable us to perform operations like sorting, filtering, and aggregation efficiently, improving the overall quality of our products.

Key Takeaways:

  • Kotlin Collections greatly enhance data management in Android app development.
  • They lead to more efficient, maintainable, and elegant code.
  • Crucial for developers aiming to advance Android app performance through optimized data handling.

Overview of Kotlin Collections

Kotlin Collections come in three primary forms: Lists, Maps, and Sets. Each is a distinct type, with its unique characteristics and use cases. Here they are:

Kotlin List

  • A Kotlin List is a sequential arrangement of elements that permit duplicate values, preserving the order in which they are added.
  • Elements in a list are accessed by their index, and you can have multiple elements with the same value.
  • Lists are a great help when storing a collection of items whose order needs to be maintained – for example, a to-do list – and storing duplicate values.

Kotlin Map

  • Kotlin Map are collections of key-value pairs. In lightweight language, a method allows us to link values with distinct keys, facilitating effortless retrieval of values using their corresponding keys.
  • The keys are also ideal for efficient data retrieval and mapping relationships between entities.
  • Common use cases of Kotlin Maps include building dictionaries, storing settings, and representing relationships between objects.

Kotlin Set

  • A Kotlin Set is an unordered collection of distinct elements, meaning it does not allow duplicate values.
  • Sets are useful when you need to maintain a unique set of elements and do not require a specific order for those elements.
  • Common use cases of Kotlin Sets include tracking unique items, such as unique user IDs, or filtering out duplicates from a list.

The choice between Kotlin lists, maps, and sets depends on your specific data requirements. Lists are suitable for ordered collections with potential duplicates, maps are ideal for key-value associations, and sets are perfect for maintaining unique, unordered elements.

Kotlin Immutable vs Mutable Collections

Kotlin provides support for both immutable and mutable collections, giving you flexibility when managing data.

Kotlin Immutable Collections

An Immutable collection cannot be modified once it is created. They provide both general safety and specific thread safety, making them ideal for scenarios where you want to keep the data constant. Immutable collections are created using functions like listOf() , mapOf() , and setOf() .

Mutable Collections

A mutable collection can be modified after creation. These collections are more flexible and versatile, allowing you to add, remove or modify individual elements. Mutable collections are created using functions like mutableListOf() , mutableMapOf(), and mutableSetOf().

Converting Between Mutable and Immutable Collections

In Kotlin, you can easily convert between mutable and immutable collections when working with them. Kotlin’s flexibility in converting between mutable and immutable collections allows you to adapt to different scenarios and requirements in your codebase, improving clarity and maintainability.

  • toList(), toSet(), toMap(): These functions are used to convert a mutable collection to an immutable list, set, or map, respectively. They create a new immutable collection with the same elements.
  • toMutableList(), toMutableSet(), toMutableMap(): These functions convert an immutable collection to a mutable version. They create a new mutable collection containing all elements of the original collection.

Now that we have a foundational understanding of Kotlin collections, let’s dive deeper into each type.

Using Kotlin List

You can check the whole Kotlin List reference in the Koltin List language reference.

How to create a list in Kotlin

Creating a Kotlin list is straightforward. Kotlin standard library provides the following two methods to create a list, each method will be used to create an immutable collection or a mutable one.

listOf: Create an immutable Koltin list

To create an immutable list in Kotlin we can use listOf(), which allows us to easily create a collection that cannot be modified once it is created. Check out the following example:

// Example Of listOf function 
fun main(args: Array<String>) {
    //initialize list
    var listA = listOf<String>("Anupam", "Singh", "Developer")
    //accessing elements using square brackets
    //accessing elements using get()

In this example, we create an immutable list called fruits using the listOf() function. We pass in the elements “apple”, “banana”, and “orange” as arguments to the function, and it returns a new immutable list containing these elements.

In the Kotlin console, you will see the following output:

[Anupam, native, android, developer]

mutableListOf: Create a mutable Kotlin list

If you want to create a mutable list, we should use the mutableListOf() method. As we will have a mutable list now, it can be modified. Here is an example:

// Example of mutableListOf function

fun main(args: Array<String>) {
    //initialize a mutable list
    var listA = mutableListOf("Anupam", "Is", "Native")
    //add item to the list
    //print the list

In this example, we are using Kotlin’s mutableListOf function. We start by creating a mutable list named listA with the elements “Anupam”, “Is”, and “Native”. Then, we add the word “Developer” to this list, which cannot be done on an immutable list.

And this is the output :

[Anupam, Is, Native, Developer]

Working with Kotlin Lists

Kotlin lists are versatile data structures with an extensive set of functions available in the Kotlin Standard Library to operate with them. These functions allow you to perform common operations like finding the size of a list, accessing elements at specific indices, or even transforming the entire list based on a given predicate.

Accessing elements from the List

We can reach a list item using its place or index. Here’s we have an example to get the first item from a Koltin list called cantChangeList.

// get first item from list 
var cantChangeList = listOf<Int>(1, 2, 3)
val firstItem = cantChangeList[0] 
println(firstItem) //Output: 1

Be careful when accessing elements by index, because if you are accessing an element that’s not in the collection, you will get an IndexOutOfBoundsException. To safely access an element in a Kotlin list and prevent errors when the element doesn’t exist, you can use the getOrNull() function. Here’s an example:

val cantChangeList = listOf(1, 2, 3)
val safeItem = cantChangeList.getOrNull(0) // Safely get the first item
println(safeItem) // Output: 1, or null if index 0 doesn't exist

In this code, getOrNull(0) will return the first item of cantChangeList or null if the index is out of bounds. This method ensures no IndexOutOfBoundsException is thrown.

Iterating over a Kotlin list

There are multiple ways to traverse a list effectively, leveraging higher-order functions such as forEach or utilizing for loops. This enables you to handle the list’s elements one after the other, in sequence. For example:

var MyList = listOf<Int>(1, 2, 3)

// print each item from list using for loop 
for (element in myList) {


// print each item from list using forEach loop 
MyList.forEach {

// Output:
// 1
// 2
// 3

The for loop and forEach loop essentially do the same operation: iterating through each element in the list and printing it. The key difference lies in their syntax and style, with the forEach method being more functional programming oriented.

Adding elements to a Kotlin list

Modifying a Kotlin List is a great option for mutable lists that harness functions like add(), remove(), and set().

If we want to add an element to a list, we will simply use the add()method.

// Example of add() function in list

val numberAdd = mutableListOf(1, 2, 3, 4)
println(numberAdd) //Output : [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

Removing elements from a Kotlin list

Removing elements from a mutable Kotlin list is also a straightforward process with the remove() method. Here’s a coding example:

// Example of remove() function in list
val numberRemove = mutableListOf(1, 2, 3, 4)
println(numberRemove) //Output: [1, 2, 4]

In this example, we use the remove() function to remove the specified element (3 in this case), and the updated list is [1, 2, 4], as shown by the output.

If you attempt to remove an element that isn’t present in a Kotlin mutable list using the remove() function, the function will simply return false, indicating the element was not found and thus not removed.

Modifying Kotlin list items

Altering list items is simple. You can swap them directly with new data via their indices or by using the set commands. Here we have an example of changing an item value, either through its place marker or by using the set method:

var myList = mutableListOf<String>("Anupam","five", "test", "change")

// Changing value via index access
myList[0] = "FreshValue"

// Ouput:
// FreshValue

// Changing value using set method
myList.set(0, "SetValue")

// Ouput:
// SetValue

Other Kotlin list functions and operations

In Kotlin, list methods are essential tools when we work with collections. While there are numerous methods available, we’ll limit our focus to the most commonly used ones today.

Each of these methods brings its own unique power and utility to a Kotlin collection. Now let’s explore them in detail.

  • sorted() : Returns a new List with elements sorted in natural order.
  • sortedDescending() : Returns a new List with elements sorted in descending order.
  • filter() : Returns a new List containing elements that satisfy a given condition.
  • map() : Transforms each element of the List, based on a given predicate.
  • isEmpty() : Checks whether the List is empty.

Here are some key examples of these methods:

Sort a Kotlin list

One of the most common operations an Android developer will perform on a Kotlin list is sorting it. Let’s see how we can sort a Kotlin list using the sorted method and its variations. In the examples, we will use a list with the following elements: (3, 1, 7, 2, 8, 6)

Here they are in ascending order:

// Ascending Sort 
val numbs = mutableListOf(3, 1, 7, 2, 8, 6)
val sortedNumbs = numbs.sorted()


// Before Sort : [3, 1, 7, 2, 8, 6]
// After Sort : [1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8]

Now, here’s an example of sorting in descending order:

// Descending Sort 

val numbs = mutableListOf(3, 1, 7, 2, 8, 6)
val sortedDesNumbs = numbs.sortedDescending()


// Before Sort : [3, 1, 7, 2, 8, 6]
// After Sort : [8, 7, 6, 3, 2, 1]

As the methods returns a new list, you can use these methods in mutable and immutable collections, because they don’t modify the original collection.

Sort a Kotlin list of custom objects

In the previous examples, we have seen how to sort lists with native Kotlin types. However, you’ll often store custom objects in a list. In this case, Kotlin has you covered. It’s a versatile language that allows storing any type of object in a list, including instances of custom classes.

Let’s see an example on how you can achieve this:

data class Person(val name: String, val age: Int)

val people = listOf(
    Person("Alice", 30),
    Person("Bob", 25),
    Person("Carol", 35)

val sortedPeople = people.sortedBy { it.age }

This code defines a Person data class with name and age properties. Then we create a list people containing some Person objects. Once we have the list, we sort it by the age property of each Person object using sortedBy. With sortedBy you can easily sort a Kotlin list containing any object type and by using the sorting criteria you prefer, by using a Lambda function to sort the items.

Filtering a Kotlin list

If you want to filter a Kotlin list, you can use the filter function. This allows you to specify a condition that each element of the list must satisfy in order to be included in the filtered list. Here’s an example:

val listOfData = listOf("Anupam","is","native","android","developer")
val longerThan5 = listOfData.filter { it.length > 5 }

In this example, we have a list of strings under the heading listOfData. We use the filter function to create a new list, longerThan5 , that contains only the strings from listOfData with a length greater than five characters. As in other methods, the filter function is a lambda function you can use to filter any object you might be storing in the list.

Finally, we print the filtered list. The output will be:

[Anupam, native, android, developer]

Check whether a Kotlin list is empty

Here you can use the isEmpty() function, as you can see in this example:

val myList = listOf<Int>()
if (myList.isEmpty()) {
    println("The list is empty.")
} else {
    println("The list is not empty.")

// Output:
// The list is empty.

In the following example we’ll create a list, myList , with values using the listOf() function, so the isEmpty will return false:

// example of isEmpty()  return false
var list = listOf<String>("Anupam")
if (list.isEmpty()) {
	println("Its empty.")
} else {
	println("Its not empty.")

// Output:
// Its not empty.

Transforming a Kotlin list using map

As we mentioned earlier, the Kotlin map function is a powerful tool for transforming each element of a list into a new form. It applies a specified transformation function to each element and returns a new list with the results. This gives us a concise way to modify the elements in a list, without mutating the original collection.

val numbers = listOf(1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
val squaredNumbers = numbers.map { it * it }

// Output: 
// [1, 4, 9, 16, 25]

In this example, we have a list called numbers, containing integers. We apply the map function to numbers and provide a lambda expression as the transformation function. The lambda expression takes each element in the numbers list and returns its square. The map function applies this transformation to each element of the list and creates a new list, squaredNumbers, with the squared values.

Searching elements in a List

Check whether element exists in the list

To search for an element in a Kotlin list, you can utilize the various methods available in the Kotlin standard library. One widely used method is the contains() function, which allows you to check whether a list contains a specific element.

Here’s an example of how you can use the contains() function in Kotlin:

val myList = listOf("apple", "banana", "orange")

val isElementFound = myList.contains("banana")

if (isElementFound) {
   println("Element found!")
} else {
   println("Element not found!")

// Output:
// banana

You can also use the filter() method we mentioned earlier to filter all the elements that match a given criteria.

Search the element and get its index

Another option is to use the indexOf() method, which returns the specific position of an element in the list.

val myList = listOf("apple", "banana", "orange")
val index = myList.indexOf("banana")

if (index != -1) {
   println("Element found at index $index")
} else {
   println("Element not found in the list")

// Output:
// Element found at index 1

Searching in a Kotlin list of custom objects

When working with Kotlin collections, specifically lists of custom objects, it is often necessary to search for specific elements based on certain criteria. If this is the case, we can use the same methods using a Lambda function:

data class Person(val name: String, val age: Int)

fun main() {
    val people = listOf(Person("Alice", 30), Person("Bob", 25), Person("Carol", 35))

    val index = people.indexOf(Person("Bob", 25))

    if (index != -1) {
        println("Element found at index: $index")
    } else {
        println("Element not found!")

In this example, we have a list of Person class and by using the indexOf function we can find the index of a given Person object in the list. The code will successfully find “Bob” because equals (and hashCode, implicitly) is correctly implemented in the data class.

You can also search for a specific object using the method find, which in contrast to indexOf that uses the equals method of a custom class, it will use a Lambda function to evaluate the condition.

class Person(val name: String, val age: Int)

fun main() {
    val people = listOf(Person("Alice", 30), Person("Bob", 25), Person("Carol", 35))

    val person = people.find { it.name == "Bob" && it.age == 25 }

    if (person != null) {
        println("Person found: ${person.name}")
    } else {
        println("Person not found")

In this code, find searches for a Person named “Bob” with an age of 25, using a lambda expression to specify the search condition.

Working with Kotlin Map

A Kotlin Map is a powerful and versatile data structure for storing key-value pairs. It offers efficient data storage and retrieval, making it a very useful tool for developers. With the structured storage and extended functionality, developers can easily manipulate and extract data. The map supports operations like transformation, filtering, and sorting, providing flexibility and adaptability. Additionally, a mutable Kotlin Map allows developers to modify it’s elements.

You can go over Kotlin documentation to get a list of all the method available in for Kotlin maps.

Creating and initializing a map in Kotlin

In Kotlin, you can create and initialize a map by utilizing either the mapOf function for immutable maps or the mutableMapOf function for mutable maps. Here is an example of how you can create a map containing names and ages:

// Immutable Map Example. Syntax is mapOf<key,value>
val myImmuMap = mapOf<Int,String>(1 to "Anupam", 2 to "Singh", 3 to "Developer")  
for(key in myImmuMap.keys){  

// Output : 
// Anupam
// Singh
// Developer

The mapOf() function allows you to create an immutable map, ensuring that its content cannot be altered once initialized. Conversely, the mutableMapOf() function enables you to modify the map, transforming it into a mutable map.

In the example provided, the map contains pairs of names and ages. Each key value pair is created using the to keyword, where the name is associated with its corresponding age. The map’s content is enclosed in curly brackets which look like {}.

By utilizing these functions, you can easily create and initialize maps in Kotlin according to your specific needs.

Retrieving values from a Kotlin map

To access values in a Map, you can use multiple methods, let’s start the easiest one that it’s using associated key similar to accessing any element in an array. For example, to get the age of “Anupam” in ‘immutable map’, you can do the:

val devAges= mapOf<String, Int>("Anupam" to 34, "Singh" to 24, "Aleix" to 44)  
val anupamAge = devAges["Anupam"]


In the example we created and inmutable Kotlin map that contains the age of each developer, as you can see we have used mapOf<String, Int> which means we are creating a Kotlin map where the given key is a string and the value is an Int.

Using getValue()

The getValue() function is a safe way to retrieve values, throwing an exception if the key is not found.

val devAges = mapOf<String, Int>("Anupam" to 34, "Singh" to 24, "Aleix" to 44)
val anupamAge = devAges.getValue("Anupam")

Using getOrDefault()

This method is particularly useful to avoid NullPointerException. It returns a default value if the key is not present in the map. In the following example, if the key is not found, it will return 0.

val devAges = mapOf<String, Int>("Anupam" to 34, "Singh" to 24, "Aleix" to 44)
val anupamAge = devAges.getOrDefault("Anupam", 0)

Using getOrElse()

This method is similar to getOrDefault(), but instead of providing the default value, you can us a lambda expression to allow more complex cases.

val devAges = mapOf<String, Int>("Anupam" to 34, "Singh" to 24, "Aleix" to 44)
val anupamAge = devAges.getOrElse("Anupam") { 0 }

Modify a Kotlin map

In case you have a mutable map, you can modify the values of this mutable Map, using multiple options. In most cases, if the element is not present in the map, it will be added.

Remember than in Kotlin, a map created with mapOf is immutable (read-only ), so you can’t change its elements after creation, if you try do it, you will get a compilation error if you try it. That’s why if we want to modify a map, we need to create an mutable map using mutableMapOf.

Using Key Index

Directly assign a new value to an existing key, if the key is not present, it will add the new value to the collection.

val myMutableMap = mutableMapOf<String, Int>("Anupam" to 34, "Singh" to 24, "Aleix" to 44)
myMutableMap["Aleix"] = 22  // Update the value associated with key "Aleix"
myMutableMap["John"] = 66 // Adds a new entry

Using put() Method

The put() method is almost the same of using the index.

val myMutableMap = mutableMapOf<Int, String>("Anupam" to 34, "Singh" to 24, "Aleix" to 44)
myMutableMap.put("Singh", 25)  // Updates the value for key "Singh"

Updating Multiple Entries with putAll()

If you want to update multiple entries at the same time, you can use putAll() to do it efficently:

val myMutableMap = mutableMapOf<Int, String>("Anupam" to 34, "Singh" to 24, "Aleix" to 44)
myMutableMap.putAll(listOf("Singh" to 26, "NewPerson" to 30))
// Updates key "Singh" and adds a new entry for "NewPerson"

Using getOrPut()

This is a very useful method as it allows to get the value for a given key, or if the key is not present, add the key with a provided default value.

val myMutableMap = mutableMapOf<Int, String>("Anupam" to 34, "Singh" to 24, "Aleix" to 44)
myMutableMap.getOrPut("John") { 40 }
// Adds key "John" with value 40 if "John" is not already present

Removing elements from a Kotlin map

To remove an element from a Kotlin map , you can use the remove() method if as long as the map is mutable. Here is how you can do it:

val myMutableMap = mutableMapOf("Anupam" to 34, "Singh" to 24, "Aleix" to 44)
val removedValue = myMutableMap.remove("Anupam")  // Removes the entry for "Anupam"

As you can see, the remove() method returns the value of the key you are removing, in case you need to use it later in your code. If they key doesn’t exists, the function will return null, so you need, you can check if the element was present or not.

Iterating over Kotlin map entries via the map keys

You can use a for loop to iterate over a map. In this case we are iterating the map using the keys property, which contains all the keys present in the Map:

val myImmuMap = mapOf<Int,String>(1 to "Anupam", 2 to "Singh", 3 to "Developer")
for(key in myImmuMap.keys){  

// Output:
// Anupam
// Singh
// Developer

Iterating over Kotlin map values

We can also use a for loop to iterate over a map’s values, ignoring the map keys:

val myImmuMap = mapOf<Int,String>(1 to "Anupam", 2 to "Singh", 3 to "Developer")
for(value in myImmuMap.values){  

// Output:
// Anupam
// Singh
// Developer

Other map functions and operations

Kotlin provides several useful functions and operations for working with maps. Some common ones include:

  • keys : This method retrieves a set, comprising all the keys present in the map.
  • values : The values function ensures retrieval of a collection, containing all the values stored in the map.
  • containsKey(key) : Determines whether a key exists in the map.
  • containsValue(value) : Checks whether a value exists in the map.

We have seen keys and values in the previous examples. Now let’s see the other methods in action.

Checking the existence of keys or values in the map

As we have mentioned, you can use the containsKey(key) function to check whether a specific key exists in the map, or the containsValue(value) function to determine whether a particular value is present in the map.

val myImmuMap = mapOf<Int,String>(1 to "Anupam", 2 to "Singh", 3 to "Developer")  

// example of containsKey(key) 
println(myImmuMap.containsKey(2)) // exists so will print true
println(myImmuMap.containsKey(4))  // not exists so will print false

// Output: 
// true
// false

// example of containsValue(value)
println(myImmuMap.containsValue("Ajay"))   // do not exists so print false
println(myImmuMap.containsValue("Anupam"))   // exists so print true

// Output : 
// false
// true

Working with Kotlin Set

Creating and manipulating sets in Kotlin

Creating a Kotlin Set is similar to other collections. You can use setOf() for an immutable set and mutableSetOf() for a mutable set. Here’s an example:

// Immutable Set
val intImmutableSet = setOf(1, 2, 3)
for(element in intImmutableSet){  

// Output: 
// 1
// 2
// 3

// Mutable Set
val intMutableSet = mutableSetOf(14, 24, 35)
for(element in intMutableSet){  

// Output: 
// 14
// 24
// 35

Other useful Kotlin set operations and functions

Sets have unique characteristics that make them useful in certain scenarios. Common set operations include:

  • union() : Returns a new set that is the union of two sets.
  • intersect() : Returns a new set that is the intersection of two sets.
  • add(element) : A new element is added to enhance the set.
  • remove(element) : Removes an element from the set.

In the following example we show how to use the union() function:

// Example of Union function
val firstNum = setOf(1, 2, 3, 4,5)
val secondNum = setOf(3, 4, 5,6,7,8,9)

val finalUnionNums = firstNum.union(secondNum)


// Output : 
// [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]

And here we have an example of intersect()

// Example of Intersect function
val fArray = arrayOf(1,2,3,4,5)
val sArray = arrayOf(2,5,6,7)

val iArray = fArray.intersect(sArray.toList()).toIntArray()


// Output:
// [2, 5]

Iterating over Kotlin Set elements

Iterating through a set bears resemblance to iterating through a list. You can use a ‘for’ loop, or other iterable operations, to process each element.

val intImmutableSet = setOf(1, 2, 3)
for(element in intImmutableSet){  

// Output: 
// 1
// 2
// 3

Use cases and examples of sets in Kotlin

Sets are particularly useful when you need to maintain a collection of unique elements. For example:

  • Keep track of unique user IDs in a chat application.
  • Ensure that a shopping cart contains only distinct items.
  • Manage tags or categories without duplicates in a content management system.

Sets also simplify the process of checking for duplicates and ensuring data integrity.

Kotlin Collections FAQs

How do I filter strings from a Kotlin list?

To filter the strings of a Koltin list, which can contain elements of any type, utilize the filterIsInstance() method. This method should be invoked on the list, specifying the type T as String within the filterIsInstance() function.

The appropriate syntax for filtering only string elements within a list is:

var myList: List<Any> = listOf(41, false, "Anupam", 0.4 ,"five", 8, 3)
var filteredList = myList.filterIsInstance<String>()
println("Original List : ${myList}")
println("Filtered List : ${filteredList}")

// Output :
// Original List : [41, false, Anupam, 0.4, five, 8, 3]
// Filtered List : [Anupam,five]

Executing filterIsInstance() will yield a list containing only the String elements present within the original list, if any are found.

How do I create a list of lists in Kotlin?

To create a list of lists in Kotlin you can use the listOf() method. This methods accepts multiple arguments which can be another list. In the following example you can see how to create a list of lists.

val listOfLists = listOf(
        listOf(1, 2, 3),
        listOf("Anupam", "Singh", "Developer")

[[1, 2, 3], [Anupam, Singh, Developer]]

How do I filter only integers from a Kotlin list?

To filter only integers from a Kotlin list, you should utilize the filterIsInstance() method. This method should be invoked on the list, specifying the type T as Int within the filterIsInstance() function.

The appropriate syntax for filtering integer elements within a list is:

var myList: List<Any> = listOf(5, false, "Anupam", 0.4 ,"five", 8, 3)
var filteredList = myList.filterIsInstance<Int>()
println("Original List : ${myList}")
println("Filtered List : ${filteredList}")

// Output :
// Original List : [5, false, Anupam, 0.4, five, 8, 3]
// Filtered List : [5, 8, 3]

What are the different types of Kotlin Collections?

Kotlin’s official docs provide an overview of collection types in the Kotlin Standard Library, including sets, lists, and maps. For each collection type, there are two interfaces available: a read-only interface that allows accessing collection elements and provides some operations and then a mutable interface collections where you can modify the items. The most common collections are:

  • List
  • Set
  • Map (or dictionary)

How do I find out the length a Kotlin list?

To find out the length of a Kotlin list, you can use the size property. Here is an example:

val myList = listOf(1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
val length = myList.size
println("The length of the list is $length")


The length of the list is 5

What is List<*> in Kotlin?

A List<*> in Kotlin is a generic list with an unspecified type. When you use a generic list, you’re essentially saying, “I want a list of something, but I don’t care what type of things are in it”. This can be useful when you are writing generic code that can work with any type of list.

fun printList(list: List<*>) {
	for (item in list) {
val intList = listOf(1, 2, 3)
val stringList = listOf("a", "b", "c")

printList(intList) // This will print 1, 2, 3
printList(stringList) // This will print a, b, c

Can we use iterators to iterate a Koltin collection?

Yes, you can use iterators to iterate Kotlin collections. In the previous examples we have seen how to iterate a Kotlin collection using for or forEach. In case you want to use iterators, here you can see an example of iterating a Kotlin list with an iterator.

val myList = listOf("apple", "banana", "orange")
val iterator = myList.iterator()

while (iterator.hasNext()) {
	val value = iterator.next()

In the example, we call iterator() on the list to get the iterator for the list. The while loop then uses hasNext() to check if there is another item in the list and next() to get the value of the current item.

To sum up…

In the realm of Android development, Kotlin Collections provide invaluable tools for managing and manipulating data. Lists, maps, and sets provide different ways to structure and organize information, each with its own set of advantages and use cases.

As you venture further into Android development with Kotlin, a solid understanding of its collections will become a fundamental tool in your kit. If you are developing a complex application, a game, or a basic utility, Kotlin Collections will play a central role in managing many of your data tasks.

In conclusion, you should embrace the power of Kotlin collections, experiment with their capabilities, and integrate them into your projects to enhance your Android development skills. By leveraging lists, maps, and sets effectively, you’ll be better equipped to tackle the challenges of Android app development and build robust, efficient, and user-friendly applications.

If you want to explore other areas about Kotlin development, you can checkout the following article:

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