Best 8 Programming Languages for Mobile App Development
The advent of technology has made our day to day life more accessible with various new implementations in every field. However, coders are always wondering which programming language they should learn to get better learning experience at the same time; businesses still have a question in their mind, which is the best programming language for mobile app development.
Researchers state that there are over 600 programming languages, and each has its own merits and demands. There are various factors involved in making the right choice for adopting a programming language, and one of the most important is the popularity and demand of the language.
Before we cover the best programming languages for Mobile App Development, let us quickly understand app development types from a coding point of view. Mobile apps developers generally build apps in one of the three categories:
- Native Apps
- Hybrid Apps
- Progressive Web App
Native apps are developed specifically for one platform; these are coded in local language and supported natively by specific devices.
Hybrid apps are coded in one language and published on multiple platforms.
It is a URL based app that runs on mobile devices and is lightweight; though it looks like a mobile app, it does not operate right from the device.
Here we have listed out the best programming language for mobile apps in 2020.
The list includes both programming languages for Android Apps and programming languages for iOS Apps.
Java is an object-oriented programming language preferred by Android App developers. The language was developed at Sun Microsystems, and it is now owned by oracle. Java is a preferred choice for creating cross-platform apps. Java is used widely for developing Android Apps, Web Apps, big data technology, scientific apps, games, etc.
Pros of Java
- High-level mobile app programming language
- Object-oriented programming language
- Powerful open-source with rapid development tools
- Huge in-built open-source library
- Supports portability feature
- Automatic garbage collection
- Solutions created using Java are stable
- Maintenance is not so expensive
- It is robust and identifies any type of error in the code
Cons of Java
- It is slow and affects performance
- The general look & feel of the GUI is not so attractive
- No backup facility
- Requires a significant amount of memory space
C# is basically for Microsoft and is the most coveted language when it comes to developing mobile apps for windows devices. However, Windows phones could not penetrate the competitive market and create an impressive mark on the mobile app development front. C# has been one of the perfect app development languages compatible with Windows phones. C#, also known as C Sharp, is an object and component-oriented language.
Pros of C#
- Offers proper lambda and generics support
- Backed by Microsoft Corporation
- Easy extension methods
- Automatic garbage collection
Cons of C#
- It allows pointers in an unsafe block.
- X-platform GUI is very poor.
- Not so flexible, and it is dependent on the .Net framework.
- C# is an integral part of .Net, so the server for running the application must be windows based.
Kotlin is an open-source programming language that generates Java virtual machine compatible codes. Kotlin works well with Java and native. Online giants such as Uber and Pinterest had started using Kotlin even before it was famous as a programming language for Android Apps.
Pros of Kotlin
- Succinct and intuitive syntax increases team efficiency
- 100% Java-interoperable programming language
- Easy to maintain
- Bug detection during compile-time, allowing developers to fix errors before run time
- Much more reliable and consistent in comparison
Cons of Kotlin
- Unstable compilation speed
- Very less Kotlin experts available
- Limited learning resources
- Simple to learn
- One code of the app can be released on all platforms, including Android, iOS, and Windows.
- Multiple inheritances are not allowed
- It does not allow copy or equal method
Swift is a newbie in the list of programming languages that made its way into the Apple ecosystem. It is famed for being able to write codes for Cocoa and Cocoa Touch, Apple’s latest APIs. Swift was introduced for iOS, its supporting systems, and Linux. Today Swift is considered to be the primary language used in developing iOS and OS X.
Pros of Swift
- Quick development process
- Easy to scale the product and the team
- Focused on performance and speed
- Reduced memory logs
- Interoperability with Objective-C
- Auto memory management
Cons of Swift
- Limited talent pool
- Poor interoperability with third-party tools
- Lack of support for previous iOS version
It is an object-oriented, general-purpose programming language and also the derivative of programming language C. Before Swift was introduced, Apple used to use Objective-C for iOS and OS X development. Object C allows you to create all types of Apps.
Pros of Objective-C
- A reliable language as it has been used for over three decades
- Dynamic Typing
- Support for old versions available
- Stable and mature programming language
Cons of Objective-C
- Complicated Syntax
- Limited Functionality
- Few developers
- Security Issues
R is a programming language that provides a wide range of statistical (linear & nonlinear modeling, classical statistical tests, clustering, classification, etc.) and precise graphical techniques. R enables well-designed publication-quality plots which are inclusive of mathematical symbols, formulas wherever needed. R is free software and runs over the UNIX platform and similar others, such as Windows and macOS.
Pros of R
- It is an open-source programming language.
- Exemplary support for data wrangling
- Quality plotting and graphing
- Machine Learning Operations
- It is a continually evolving programming language.
Cons of R
- The origin is of R is older, i.e., programming language “S.”
- Physical memory stores the object and occupies a lot of space.
- Lacks basic security
- Language is slower than in other languages.
8. Corona SDK
Corona SDK is a free mobile app development platform offered by Corona Lab. It also has a paid version with a few upgraded features; however, both the versions allow access to the plugins. Corona SDK allows you to push an application for all major platforms without making any changes, which means a single codebase can be uploaded to all major platforms, including iOS, Android, Windows Phone and desktop, etc.
Pros of Corona SDK
- Ready to use example codes
- Easy to build cross-platform apps for iOS and Android
- The simulator makes it easy to make changes and immediately see their effects
- Using Sublime with the Corona editor is free
Cons of Corona SDK
- Facebook API is a bit tricky and slow to update based on Facebook changes
- The simulator version only supports Mac, so you will not be able to take photos or use the keyboard.
- If you are not an exclusive or a paid member, you will have to wait for the builds on the free version.
After reading the above options, if you are still wondering which is the best programming language for mobile app development? There is no perfect programming language that one should learn or invest in. The above-listed choices are good to take into consideration. Each one of them has its positives and negatives.
All you have to do is analyze and accurately identify the best programming language for your business, which can help you achieve your goals.
Before jumping into making a quick decision always ask –
- What is your precise business requirement for the application?
- What type or category of application are you planning to build?
- What is it in particular that you need or specifically require in the app?
- How do you intend to develop or build it – once or multiple times?
These questions and their solutions will help you identify whether the time, effort, as well as investment you will be putting in for your next project will be justified or not. Also remember, while choosing the ideal mobile app development programming language, make sure the application gets developed faster and hits the market soon to leverage the involved benefits comprehensively.
By Andrea Crook
I am Marketing Manager at Digitalize Trends. My role is to research & ideate on trending topics & need to write the niche content as per industry norms. To help & provide relevant information to the community on trending technologies.