There was a time when there were only a small portion of people had the knowledge about programming languages to create a mobile app. but now the time has changed and there are a lot of people who have adopted the programming field as a promising career.
It is the fastest growing field when it comes to career or creating a feature-rich mobile app. Nowadays, mobile app development companies emphasize more on programming languages in order to provide cutting-edge mobile app development services.
Looking at the well-growing market and popularity of both programming languages and mobile apps, it won’t be wrong to say it is the best time for businesses to invest in mobile app development. And guess what, they are doing so at a large level. Alongside this, many potential software developers are pursuing computer programming as a promising career choice.
Are you one of them and do you have all the knowledge about programming languages? If not, then, this is the right place for you where we have brought a complete mobile app development guide to know everything about programming languages used in mobile application development.
Whether you are going to hire a mobile app development company to create a desired solution or you want to start your journey as a software developer, this guide will help you to get details about the best programming languages. Let’s dive in-
What Are Programming Languages?
Programming language can be said an approach used by developers or programmers to write instructions followed by computers, smartphones, tablets, etc. Programming languages comprise a set of rules permitting string values 0 and 1 to be changed into different ways of machine code generation. Basically, programs are set of instructions written in specific languages including C, C++, Python, Java, etc. to complete a particular task.
There are two main categories of programming languages, let’s get to know about them–
Low-level programming languages are difficult for humans to read and are closer to binary or machine code. These types of programming languages give little or no abstraction from a PC’s instruction set architecture. The benefit provided by low-level language includes that it is easy and fast to use and enables specific control over the functioning of the computer.
Unlike low-level programming languages, high-level programming languages are closer to the way humans communicate. These languages prefer to use words such as an object, run, order, class, request, etc. that are similar to the words we use regularly. Mobile app development companies use high-level programming languages more than low-level programming languages because these are easier to program. However, these languages take time to convert into machine code for the computer.
Different Types of Mobile Apps
While knowing about the best programming languages to create apps, it is preferable to know what are the different types of mobile applications. Various types of mobile apps demand different programming languages; hence, businesses need to hire mobile app developers who have expertise in various top languages along with experience.
The following are the types of mobile apps –
- Native Mobile Apps
- Web Apps
- Hybrid Mobile Apps
- Cross-platform Mobile Apps
1. Native Mobile Apps
The native mobile apps are developed specifically for one platform and OS. These apps can be accessed by a particular segment of audiences and are also written using top app development languages for native platforms.
If you are going for Android OS, then hire android app developers who are experts in C, Kotlin, Java, etc. but if you are going for iOS OS then hire iOS app developers who are experts in Objective-C or Swift. When businesses are going to create an app from scratch, they must know that native apps perform better and have a good speed than other apps.
2. Web Apps
Mobile Web apps or Web apps can be accessed by users via an internet browser window. The best part is the app doesn’t require any additional installation process or storage space and is available in different screen sizes. A web app can be used on any device easily as it is more responsive and functional while performing similarly to a native app. The major difference between both is native apps can work in both online and offline modes, whereas web apps can’t work in offline mode, they need an active internet connection to work.
3. Hybrid Mobile Apps
Hybrid apps can be called the best combination of both native and web apps. They run via web browsers but can be installed on devices as well. However, these apps are not as reliable and fast as native apps, but they do have a higher capacity to manage the development process.
4. Cross-platform Mobile Apps
Cross-platform mobile applications are developed for different platforms such as Android, iOS, Windows, etc. using a single code base. There are various cross platform app development frameworks and technologies as well that are used in cross-platform mobile app development.
Tips to Pick the Best Mobile App Development Languages
At the time of choosing tech stack for mobile app development, picking up the best programming language is always a tough task. There must be technologies according to the type of mobile applications, to fit with the latest trends, and more.
Let’s get to know some considerable tips while selecting the suitable mobile app development languages –
- App Types
- Time to Market
- Scalability & Performance
- Offered Security
1. App Types
2. Time to Market
While introducing any new technology or program to your team, always ask yourself, is it the right time to do so? If it is possible, always try to leverage the existing skill set so that there can be less time to market. Try to work with a smaller code to make the solution fast to market.
If there is sufficient library support, modules, or packages, then, there is no need to create everything from the scratch or follow a mobile application development guide as these will make your work easier and will save development time as well.
3. Scalability & Performance
How your app will perform, this question immensely depends on the programming languages you select. It is much more considerable when the existing development environment doesn’t allow you much scope for scaling. Hence, to bring out the best performance of your app, you have to use suitable programming languages.
It will also include how many users your built app can manage and what will happen if there are a large number of users in the future. Popular tech stack to ensure the scalability and performance of the app is LAMP, .NET, Ruby on Rails (RoR), Java Spring, and MEAN.
While using web or mobile app development best practices, technologies, or languages, developers also get huge support from the libraries along with their vendor support. To be sure about the tech stack, you need to look at the latest trends and update the release cycle as these are necessary for app maintainability. At the time of application development, businesses always think about higher user engagement for the long term and there can be situations when they will have to shift the code base to another development team.
If there is any particular technology you are working on for your app, then, you will need internal android or iOS app developers for hire and will have to pay for the maintenance cost as well. This cost will get affected by the obtainability and expertise of the developers in your specific area.
For instance, Java and C# developers can be hired easily in the Midwest area in comparison to Python, Ruby, and PHP developers. It indicates that you must think about the app’s long-time existence and easy maintenance while picking up suitable programming languages.
5. Offered Security
Security is the most demanded feature in any type of app. So, when you are going to choose appropriate programming languages, consider that every app has different security requirements. Security makes the app more robust and protects the app users’ data from online hacking and cyber threats.
Developers need to follow specific security guidelines for different applications. For example, to develop healthcare-related apps, they must follow HIPAA compliance and for finance apps, they must follow PCI compliance.
List of the Best Programming Languages for Mobile App Development
It is difficult to itemize the best programming languages to build apps as there is a need to consider many other aspects such as mobile app development frameworks, and mobile app development tools, that go along with the languages.
Each programming language is intended for a specific type of app, whereas, some of them are developed for more than a particular application. Irrespective of the software or hardware, below you can find the right programming languages to build mobile applications.
Android was released officially in 2008 and since then, Java has been its default programming language for development. Originally, the object-oriented language Java was developed in 1995. It is known as a strong-types general-purpose language that has in-built open-source libraries. The language is very easy to handle and provides great community support. It can also help to create appropriate documentation while providing cutting-edge native and cross-platform app development services.
- Server-side, robust programming language
- High security of programs including virtual machine sandbox and access modifiers
- It is architectural neutral of environments and platforms.
- It helps developers when there are issues innate in memory leaks, native code, etc.
- Codes developed in Java can be executed in different environments, platforms, browsers, and virtual machines.
- Java code is flexible, reusable, portable, and easy to understand.
- Chances of errors while running Java in JVM (Java Virtual Machine)
- Intricate operations because of insignificant garbage collection
- Badly written complex syntax and class libraries in some cases
The Swift language was founded in 2014 and since then, it is considered the most preferred language for creating iOS apps. Currently, it is also available for development in Xcode which makes it more reasonable to choose. When it comes to selecting the best language for app development to create iOS apps, there is no programming language to compare with Swift. Swift is developed from the ground up to fit the expectations of the latest iOS development.
iOS apps don’t only run on iPad and iPhones, but also on other operating systems including tvOS (for Apple TVs) and watchOS (for Apple Watches). It is an open-source language supporting everything belonging to Objective-C and it is easy to learn as well. This language goes with fewer coding skills in comparison to other languages and can be used with IBM Bluemix and IBM Sandbox. Some of the best examples of popular iOS apps are Mozilla Firefox, WordPress, SoundCloud, etc.
- Less code, scalable, and open source
- Clean syntax and easy to learn.
- In-Inherent memory management approaches like ARC (automatic reference counting)
- Project scaling is easy.
- Functions for Native error handling
- Coding in Swift is fun and easy to write along with expressive syntax.
- Still not suitable for creating heavy apps as it is in growing phase.
- Unstable language as it has just arrived in the market and requires consistent updates.
- It doesn’t fully support the older iOS versions.
This general-purpose programming language was unveiled by JetBrains in 2011 as the project Kotlin. But the first version of the language was announced in the year 2016. In 2017, Google was also declared to support it. It is considered an alternative or advanced version of traditional Java language while supporting functional programming language. Even, businesses consider to hire Android app developers with Kotlin expertise to smoothly run the mobile app development process.
This language is used to develop Android apps, desktop apps, web apps, and server-side apps. There are various Google apps built with Kotlin and many famous firms are using this language including Pinterest, Coursera, PostMates, etc.
- Less start-up time for Android apps
- Open-source, compatible with Java, and easy to adopt.
- It assists operator overloading.
- Get full support from Google and IDE’s installation packages such as SDK & Android toolkits.
- Versatile and interoperable while overruling the flaws of Java.
- It helps to write simple, less, and cleaner code as compared to Java.
- No static keyword
- Compilation speed fluctuates.
- Limited resources when it comes to learning.
It is an object-oriented, general-purpose language that is also called an expanded style of C language. Objective-C is known as a well-updated & mature programming language with improved features such as Smalltalk-style messaging. It is basically used to build iOS apps and macOS, thus there is a need to have proficiency in Objective-C when it is about iOS app developers for hire.
- It includes an automated garbage collector.
- Simple to introspect items.
- Supports both dynamic and static typing.
- Inherent codes are available to implement the style of nest coding.
- Message syntax like Smalltalk.
- It doesn’t support recent features.
- Not much developer-friendly
- Square brackets are difficult to debug.
It stands among the list of top languages to develop mobile applications which is known as an object-oriented programming language. Mainly, it is popular for command-line scripting for Android operating systems and game development. Similar to Java, C# also executes garbage collection leading to fewer chances of memory leaks. The language has a clear and simple syntax compared to Java which makes code easier. C# is basically used to create cross-platform and windows apps.
C# is the language that provides you with everything similar to other languages such as Objective-C, Swift, and Java. It is best when you are going to develop a high-performing and interactive game application.
- Feature-rich library for developers
- Structured, interoperable, and scalable language.
- Higher security with type-safe code.
- Component-oriented, fast & easy-to-use, and imperative
- General-purpose, and simple language
- Most favored programming language
- Less flexible
- Poor X-platform GUI
- A case-sensitive language that causes errors
C++ is considered the top language for app development especially when it comes to creating game apps, animations, and mobile applications. Being a friendly programming language, businesses prefer it to build eCommerce pages & platforms, websites, and desktop apps.
This language provides web and mobile app development tools to handle difficult and large projects along with the vast community that provides continuous updates and support. C++ is also popular for cloud computing app development and is adaptable to changing ecosystems or hardware.
- Built-in libraries to help developers with different functions.
- High-level, portable, & object-oriented language
- It is a compiler-based language facilitating better speed of executing the code.
- No garbage collector in the background.
- Stable & fast with extensive libraries & compilers.
- Provides full control, the built app can run on any platform, adaptable to any hardware.
- Less flexible due to the dependency on Microsoft .Net framework
- Complex syntax
- Poor X-platform GUI
The language was created in 1995 and was formerly known as LiveScript. It was also marketed as a ‘younger brother’ of Java language, but it progressed with time and is now considered a fully independent language. It was created originally to build web browsers, but now it is also counted for server-side website deployment along with non-web browser apps.
- It supports object-oriented programming & dynamic typing.
- Platform-independent, lightweight, and prototype-based language.
- It is able to authenticate client-side calculations and user inputs.
- Runs Fast on the client-side browsing and there is no need for compilation.
- Versatile, flexible, and easy to control.
- No set standards with extensive room for variation.
- Sometimes, it gets intricate to write cross-browser code.
- It is vulnerable and can be utilized wrongly for malicious reasons in different cases.
- Server-side scripts generate a similar output and the client-side is a little unpredictable.
HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is the highest demanding language to build web pages and apps. This language can be used to add pictures, links, and other sorts of content to the web page. HTML5 facilitates the development of structured documents by demonstrating underlying semantics for text components comprising paragraphs, headings, links, lists, quotations, and other things.
On the other hand, CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is known as style sheet language that explains how a page is presented that is built with a markup language. It is a style sheet with a set of rules for web browsers that can manage XML or HTML. The HTML tags involving the content in the entire document’s headings, body, paragraphs, etc. are styled using CSS. The use of HTML/CSS helps to maintain the overall mobile app design cost.
- HTML5 has better multimedia and appealing content support to provide engaging web experiences.
- Supports vector graphics while increasing the use of Adobe Flash to build websites.
- Web developers prefer CSS to style HTML tags and create accessible & responsive websites.
- CSS is easy to learn and use and creates websites that are responsive and compatible with different devices.
- HTML5 has an in-built capability to support different media formats including audio and video.
- HTML5 loads faster by using cache or local storage.
- There is a need for a lot of coding using HTML5 for every platform.
- HTM5 doesn’t support older versions or devices initiating a backward compatibility problem.
- CSS can be difficult to debug and is time-consuming as well.
No matter you hire iOS app developers or Android app developers, they need to have expertise in Dart to get an easy focus on productivity, UI, and speed. Alongside the client-side and server-side development, Dart also facilitates native mobile app development.
- It is type-safe and goes for both dynamic and static typing.
- Dart supports iterative changes and ‘hot reload’ for results tracking.
- It has both AOT (Ahead-of-time) and JOT (Just-in-time) compilers.
- It boosts the development of apps for multiple platforms.
- Dart has different compilers for both web and native platform app development.
- Built programs are fast and stable along with familiar syntax (like C).
- Lack of generic and domain packages.
- The backend doesn’t matter to Dart.
- Still need native support to enable Dart for browsers.
It is the time to go and conquer the world of application development using these feature-rich and capable programming languages that we have described above. Some of them are being used specifically to create apps for one platform but some of them are used to develop cross-platform apps. As a developer, first, you should know why businesses need a mobile app before choosing the tech stack as it will be easier to select the appropriate programming language after knowing the development purpose.
We are sure that now you have the right knowledge and guidance to pick up the suitable programming language after reading the above article comprised of tips to choose the best languages, top programming languages, and some of the most asked questions about selecting languages. Hence, choose wisely and if you need any assistance in app development, SemiDot Infotech is right here to assist and guide you on the right path. Contact our expert team to build any type of app including mobile, web, or cross-platform.
We get inquired a lot of questions about the best programming languages, so we are here with some FAQs that will solve your queries-
- Which programming language is best for app development in 2023?
- How to Choose the best programming language for app development?
First and foremost thing while choosing the best programming language is to look at the type of application. If you want to develop an Android app, you can go for Java and Kotlin, for an iOS app, Swift or Objective-C will be more suitable. Also, consider app type, app complexity, maintainability, company culture, scalability, and security.
- How to Choose the app development company to develop mobile apps?
When it is about choosing the right app development company, consider evaluating their portfolio, development team, and their expertise, check references, talk to their previous or current clients, and last but not least, ask them about their mobile app development cost and what will be included in it such as features, testing cost, maintenance, and future support. Also, ask if there are any kind of additional charges.
- Which programming language is best for making apps and games?
To create applications and games, the best programming languages considered are C/C++ and C#. These languages are preferred by top game development companies worldwide. These will be easy to use while facilitating you with interactive and engaging game apps.