The demand for mobile applications has increased, especially after COVID. Consequently, the demand for mobile app developers also increased. So, you want to hop on the train but don’t know what app development language or platform to choose?
Choosing from a plethora of programming languages for mobile app development can be a little intimidating for aspiring developers.
5 Best Mobile App Development Languages
Let us dive deep to know more about the best mobile app development languages available for you.
Are you an Apple or iOS fan? Is your goal to become an Apple ecosystem developer? If the answer to these questions is yes, then you should go for Swift.
Swift is the official programming language for iOS app development. It is also easier to learn than Objective-C, another native iOS app development language. Swift streamlines code, which is easy to read. Is this enough motivation for you?
Some more benefits of Swift, the programming language:
- Xcode, the IDE for Swift, is excellent and makes it super easy to work with any libraries.
- Swift is easier to read and understand, just like Python.
- Swift is a type-safe language. Means it throws an error if the programmer assigns the wrong type to a variable. This prevents accidental errors from happening.
- It also catches beginner errors at compile time.
Some cons of using Swift
- Swift is a relatively young language. So, finding support and answers is sometimes hard compared to Objective-C.
- Having a limited talent pool, you would not be able to find experienced developers easily.
- Using Swift with third-party tools and IDEs is a big No-No.
- Lack of support for earlier iOS versions.
- With Objective-C, you can also use C and C# libraries easily, while with Swift, you have to use only Swift libraries.
Swift jobs pay well, but depending on where you live, finding a job as a beginner iOS developer is hard sometimes. If you want to learn Swift, check the link because what could be a better place than the official Apple website?
According to StackOverflow survey results, Swift is more loved and used compared to Objective-C. Source: 2022 StackOverflow Developer Survey.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Java is the top choice for Android mobile application development, with 33.4% popularity. Java is a powerful language that can be used for server-side and mobile application development. So, you can become a full-stack developer or a mobile app developer with Java.
Here are some pros of learning Java:
- Java was designed to be easy to: learn, write, debug, and compile.
- Creating reusable and modular code is easy because Java is an object-oriented language.
- Java is platform-independent, meaning you can use your choice’s platform and IDE to write Java programs.
If you want to learn Java and need a resource, then The Complete Java MasterClass is an excellent place to start; it is both a comprehensive and up-to-date resource to learn Java in depth.
If you want to develop native Android applications, but Java is not your prime choice, then Kotlin is the correct programming language to learn in 2022.
Kotlin has native support, which is topped with IDEs like Android Studio for rapid Android development.
Here are some pros of learning Kotlin:
- Kotlin is the official Android app development language.
- Kotlin is a clear and concise language with modern features.
- Functional programming with lambdas is easier.
- It is a Typesafe programming language.
- Exceptions are checked and caught at compilation.
- It has good community support and plenty of tools available.
Here are some downsides of Kotlin:
- Kotlin compilation speed is 2x – 3x slower than Java
- Incremental compilation is not available for Gradle yet.
- Learning opportunities for Kotlin are minimal.
- Less Kotlin developers are available worldwide.
If you want to become a web developer, then avoiding JS would go all in vain. So, it is just better to learn it sooner than later.
React Native is a popular JS framework for cross-platform mobile application development. Cross-platform applications run smoothly on both Android and iOS platforms. With some code changes, you can develop an application that can run on Android and iOS.
Here are some pros of learning React Native:
- Ready-made solutions and a vibrant library.
- Stable mobile app growth.
- Pre-developed components and high code reusability.
- Big developer community and support.
- Cheaper than developing apps separately for Android and iOS
Here are some downsides of React Native:
- Tougher to build a cross-platform team.
- No type of security.
- Using third-party integrations and tools is a mess.
- Hard to determine the user interface
- Difficult to debug
MDN doc is a great free resource, you can check JS’s official website, or search for other resources. Plenty of free courses and YouTube tutorials, and paid courses are available, just do a Google search.
Flutter and Dart
Flutter, developed by Google, is an Open-Source UI SDK which uses Dart programming language. Dart is Open-Source, its syntax is similar to C, and it can be used for native as well as cross-platform mobile application development.
Flutter is what makes developing cross-platform applications in Dart easier. If you want to become a cross-platform application developer and do not want to get into React Native complexity, then learning Flutter with Dart is the best route.
Here are some pros of learning Dart:
- Easy to learn
- Code can be shared across web and mobile apps
- It can be used to develop native and cross-platform apps
- Super friendly and helpful community
- Backed by Google, so it is not going anywhere anytime soon
- Generic domain packages might need to be written to support the core domain.
- Apps are heavy.
- Browser support for apps is in the Beta version right now.
- Fewer resources and support compared to React Native.
- Backend (API/Server) focus is currently low (hopefully will improve soon).
|Related: Rise of Flutter for mobile app development.|
You would not want to miss this one!
If you want to develop native iOS applications, then Swift is a good choice as it is the official iOS app development language. Swift is loved more than objective-C. Objective-C has more extensive community support, it can be the used with IDE and of your choice, and you can use C and C# libraries as well.
For native android development, Java is preferred by developers universally. Java is more loved than Kotlin. Kotlin is the official Android app development language, It is type-safe, while Java is just object-oriented. Learning both languages is easy with plenty of resources available. However, Kotlin has a slower compilation speed.
If you want to learn cross-platform development and want it to be easy, then start learning Flutter—Dart.
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