The development of applications for Android and iOS is one of the most popular fields in programming. The app market is growing. The trend is easy to understand, because about half of the world’s population uses smartphones daily for communication, entertainment, and financial operations. The new realities also bring changes to business development. Today, many companies offer apps instead of mobile versions of websites.
Developers worldwide are trying to find the best programming language for mobile apps, however, it is still to come. What we can do is choose from the existing options and explore their functionality. The following article focuses on the programming languages to create apps that are in demand among developers.
The Reality of Smartphone Usage and Forecast
To begin with, let’s see some statistics that show how popular smartphones are. According to Statista, the number of mobile devices will have reached the point of 16.8 billion by 2023. It means that more and more people will buy smartphones and tablets.
Due to the popularity of gadgets, the demand for various applications has increased. People want to get maximum comfort in the shortest time. With mobile apps it became possible.
For example, you need to book a plane ticket. The steps are simple:
- You log into a certain application.
- You find a suitable flight.
- You pay for the ticket with a credit card.
- You receive a confirmation and the ticket to your email.
Now, you do not have to travel through the whole city, stand in a line and speak with the cashier.
Today you can do almost everything via your smartphone: from checking your emails to paying for services even without a credit card. Another statistic shows that, on average, a user has 25-30 applications installed on a smartphone.
The most popular categories are:
- online stores;
- apps for entertainment;
- taxi services;
- photo editing apps.
Why Your Startup Needs a Mobile App?
To make your business visible and competitive, it is not enough to have a user-friendly website. The majority of new-born startups and big companies have developed their app to make it easier to search for goods or services and purchase them via your smartphone.
Mobile applications can significantly improve your company’s performance, creating the foundation for future success. Companies that reject applications and mobility are more likely to lose the battle in the new digital era of business. Those who accept this trend and make it part of the marketing and development strategy will get lots of advantages and gain more profit.
Reasons to develop a mobile app for your startup
Automation is one of the main reasons companies are turning to mobile applications. It can simplify operations and reduce human intervention, saving time and cost.
Applications allow the business to experiment with the developments, to introduce up-to-date solutions, to satisfy the requests of customers and add new functions. Simply put, with the help of applications, your company will not only respond to existing technology and business challenges but develop an innovative approach in every field.
A mobile app can improve your analytics and bring it to the next level. Through an app, you can collect the company’s data and receive it in real time. It helps to assess the inner processes and provide you with practical insights for making important decisions.
Access to data
Today, companies tend to invest in cloud storage and online data management. Mobile applications for business give an opportunity to keep customers’ data in the cloud, providing access to every employee. At the same time, the IT department can manage the whole system and work with the collected data remotely.
The modern life is fast and many customers prefer to make purchases and pay for them quickly and from anywhere. With mobile payments, the seller can accept payments done via smartphone using an app.
Top 7 Programming Languages for Mobile App Development In 2019
There is no such thing as the best language for mobile development because every language is more convenient for certain coding tasks.
Java is an object-oriented programming language suitable for different development tasks. However, when we speak about mobile app development, we should consider the operating system of the device. Java is the best programming language for Android as it is quite universal and simple. Moreover, Android OS is written in Java, so if you would like to create an app for Android, it is essential to learn it.
One of the biggest advantages is that it has a standard library of frameworks which is constantly updating. A developer can find algorithms and data for different tasks. A disadvantage is that in Java, there is no alternative to the standard library. If there is a bug in the code, you will face difficulties during the development stage.
- Object-oriented language;
- Simple architecture;
- High performance;
- Frequently used;
C# is hardly the best coding language. Many programmers are skeptical about solutions developed by Microsoft. However, mobile app development in C# deserves attention. It incorporated the best features of Java and at the same time eliminated its disadvantages. For Android, there are functional and convenient programming environments like Visual and Xamarin Studio.
- Large standard library;
- Allows native and managed code blocks.
This powerful programming language for general purposes was introduced by Apple in 2014. It is the best programming language for iOS, combining all the best features from C# and Objective-C. Swift uses strict object typing, which reduces the number of bugs at the stage of writing code. Its developers have also added modern features such as generics, closures, multiple return values, and many more, making the app development more flexible. The basis of the new iOS app coding language was the existing compiler, debugger, and frameworks.
Swift will seem familiar to Objective-C programmers, as it was developed on its base. It combines the readability of the mentioned features and the power of the Objective-C dynamic object model.
- Speed of development;
- Simplified navigation;
- More opportunities in comparison with Objective-C;
- Support of dynamic libraries;
- Improved safety and debugging process.
Python is not a mobile development language, it is in demand for web projects. However, as we all know, in the near future bots will replace applications, and with the help of Python, you will be able to create them. The language is widely used in other areas, for example, in machine learning. In addition, it is easy to learn for beginners, it has numerous libraries, and its syntax is easy-to-read.
There is a lot of controversy about the benefits of using Python for app development; however, everyone who interacts with it notes the good performance. Python is an Android iOS app coding language, that is why the written code works correctly in any operating system.
One of the most popular Python frameworks is Kivy. You can create a full-fledged application for the Play Market entirely in Python. One of the main features of the framework is the ability to use a graphical interface on almost all popular operating systems: MacOS, Linux, or Windows (including mobile versions). It is a free library equipped with its own tools. You can adjust the settings and create your own interface, avoiding the stereotypical outlook.
- Easy to learn for beginners;
- Cross-platform language;
- It has numerous libraries;
- Simple syntax and readable code;
- Large number of plug-in modules.
5. C / C++
Powerful universal languages C / C ++ are still the main native languages for developing many applications. For example, Google offers a special NDK environment for working with C and C++. Of course, it will be difficult to write a full-fledged application using only C / C++ languages. More often you can find special libraries and solutions that you connect to the main “body” of the program using Java.
It is better to use C / C++ for writing only those modules when it is necessary to quickly perform complex operations: processing and rendering graphics, videos and complex 3D models.
- Huge function library;
- Fast and efficient.
The Lua programming language is older than the popular Java. Many developers think that Lua is gradually becoming a thing of the past. Nevertheless, in today’s development environment for Android, it is still in demand. Among the advantages of Lua experts emphasize dynamic typing, as well as simple and clear syntax. Lua is the most suitable for gaming applications.
Lua is based on the Corona cross-platform graphics engine. It supports all native libraries, allowing you to write under a variety of platforms. To write code, you need Notepad ++, and to run it without first compiling, you need an emulator. With basic programming skills of Android development through Corona you can master app development in Lua without difficulties.
- Efficient and portable;
- Involves dynamic data types;
- Freeform syntax;
- Cross-platform support;
- Supports coercion.
If you ask “What is the best programming language for Android after Java?”, then Kotlin is the answer. The language was officially introduced in May 2017. To understand the general structure of Kotlin, previous knowledge of Java is very helpful. Many developers consider Kotlin a wrapper around Java and recommend learning it only after you feel confident in the Java language.
Kotlin is compatible with Java; it does not cause performance loss and the file size does not grow. In comparison with Java, it requires less additional so-called boilerplate-code, therefore it is easier to read. Its creators managed to avoid null point exceptions, and the compilation is no longer interrupted due to little mistakes like a forgotten “;” sign.
- Extension functions;
- First-class delegation;
- Data classes;
- Full Java interoperability;
- Defaulted parameters;
- Null Safety.
Today, having a smartphone is no longer a privilege but a necessity. People use mobile applications more often and prefer to simplify their routines. That is why mobile app development is in demand right now.
It is difficult to say which language is best for creating mobile applications. Before choosing one, explore the main features of each language and define which one is more suitable for your requirements. Remember that every top language for mobile development should be popular, object-oriented, cross-platform and functional.