When building new apps, the most important thing developers must decide is which language to program in. There are several languages out there, and some are preferred for certain operating systems.

The most popular programming languages in mobile app development include:

Python

Python is arguably the most popular app development language. This is a high-level programming language used in app and web development. It’s also the most taught language in schools and colleges simply because it has so many real-life applications.

There are many benefits to learning Python, including the fact that this language is easy to learn and has great readability.

Many popular apps and websites have been developed in Python, including:

  • Instagram
  • Calibre
  • Reddit
  • YouTube
  • Quora
  • Spotify
  • Ubuntu Software Center
  • OpenStack

Python can be used to create mobile app APIs, too. A versatile language, Python can be run on several major operating systems. It also allows you to write the same program with fewer lines than, say, PHP.

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Seven Messaging App by Dannniel

Objective-C

Objective-C was the very first language Apple supported for iOS app development. This is an object-oriented language that gets its language syntax from SmallTalk’s C and OO-ness.

Developers have complained that the language’s syntax is clunky and sometimes difficult to debug. Objective-C is a well-established and mature language, but Apple has recently introduced Swift. More developers are using Swift to develop iOS apps, so Objective-C's usage is on the decline.

PHP

Hypertext Reprocessor, or PHP, is an open-source, server-side scripting language designed by Zend Technologies in 1995. While originally developed for websites, PHP is now being used to develop apps and general-purpose development.

With PHP, you can develop apps for iOS, Android and Windows operating systems. Although Windows phones are virtually non-existent at this point, many developers are still using PHP to develop Android and iOS operating systems.

Swift

If your goal is to develop iOS apps, Swift may be the language you want to focus on. It’s helpful to know Objective-C, but Swift is now the preferred and most popular language for iOS app development.

Swift was introduced in 2014 and made available for mobile app development in 2015. The language had a major overhaul in 2016, and since then, it has gained in popularity.

Although Objective-C can be used in Swift, Apple has made it clear that Swift is now the default choice for iOS app development. Fortunately, Swift is an easier and simpler language compared to Objective-C.

If you’re going to use a mobile applications testing service like https://qawerk.com/services/mobile-application-testing/, it’s best to use a language that is commonly used among developers. Swift fits the bill for iOS.

If you already know Objective-C, you will have an easy time to learning Swift and developing apps in this language. It’s a much easier language to learn and implement compared to Objective-C.

Java

Like Objective-C, Java was the default language for developing Android apps since the launch of Android in 2008. Similarly, Java is an Object-Oriented programming language developed by Sun Microsystems in 1995.

Java works by compiling “bytecode” interpreted by the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) running on the operating system.

One big issue with Java, according to developers, is that Java requires so much boilerplate code just to carry out a simple task. Some concepts, like exceptions, are more difficult to understand.

Java is still one of the most widely used languages for Android, but Kotlin is now the preferred language for Android development, as per Google in 2019.

C++

C++ is a robust programming language that can be used to build mobile apps for Android and for low-level programming purposes.

Because it’s a powerful programming language, C++ can be used to develop mobile apps for virtually every purpose on every existing platform.

It may not be as flashy of a language as Kotlin or Swift, but C++ has long been dominating programming even before smartphones.

Kotlin

Google announced in 2017 that it would be supporting Kotlin as a first-class language for Android app development.

Fortunately, Kotlin is interoperable with the Java language. All Java libraries can be called from Kotlin. In general, Kotlin is a more compact and tidier form of Java.

If you already know and use Java, making the transition to Kotlin should be smooth and relatively easy.





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Alex Roman

Independent graphic artist and architect based in Bucharest. I really love what i do!

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