Apps are the primary way most people use their smartphones. The number of apps available across Google (3.4 million) and Apple (2.2 million) demonstrates the huge demand for them, which is why developers continue to create new apps every year.
And making sure that you choose the right programming language for your app right off the bat will save you dozens, if not hundreds, of hours (and quite a few headaches) later down the road. Let’s take a look at a few different languages and what they are the best for.
What Language Should My App Use?Apps are the primary way most people use their smartphones. The number of apps available across Google (3.4 million) and Apple (2.2 million) demonstrate the huge demand for them, which is why developers continue to create new apps every year. And making sure that you choose the right programming language for your app right off the bat will save you dozens, if not hundreds, of hours (and quite a few headaches) later down the road. Let’s take a look at a few different languages and what they are the best for.
Python is a high-level, dynamically typed language for developing cross-platform apps and was in fact the language of choice for many large companies and well-known apps. While it is currently most commonly used for web development and data science, it’s an extremely versatile language that can also be used for developing mobile apps, AI programs, and video games. It’s also great for prototyping since you require less code in order to test ideas out and make sure they work – which saves you time and resources. One thing to consider is that while Python can help with cross-platform programming, it’s not native to the mobile environment, so you need a support library such as Kivy to help you.
Java has long been a popular go-to for development projects of all kinds. Accordingly, people studying computer science today often spend time learning Java so as to help meet the demand. It should come as no surprise then that this is also one of the most commonly used languages for mobile app development. Even though Java can help you create a cross-platform app, it’s important to note that it probably won’t be your first choice when focusing on an iOS app.
Swift is one of the newest open-source programming languages out there. It’s meant for developing programs for iOS, OS X, and tvOS. Coming in to fix Objective-C’s issues and bugs, Swift is easier to learn and use. While it feels rigid in its coding rules and programmers can feel frustrated at times when they keep coming across errors, these rules and immediate feedback (even when it’s negative feedback) is key: these errors force you to fix the script before you continue so you don’t have to worry about it later when you’ve already written a few hundred lines of code.
However, it’s important to note that since Swift is a relatively new language, new updates are still being rolled out. This leaves programmers with the possibility that their code written today may not be usable tomorrow with the new updates. On top of this, Swift doesn’t offer strong cross-platform support and currently works best for native iOS development.
C++ is a popular choice for mobile app development, especially for Android apps. It has a built-in pool of libraries to help you, which is especially helpful for beginner programmers. Programmers should be aware of the security vulnerabilities it has, mainly due to the availability of friend functions, command injections, and global variables. There are ways to secure your code, however, but it’s important to be aware of the possibilities.
C# is a general-purpose programming language. It is cross-platform with the help of .NET. C# was made for Microsoft and has heavy support by Unity3D, making it a good option for game applications. It also has an inbuilt garbage collector, or memory manager, which tracks and automatically frees memory. Unfortunately, it’s not the strongest programming language in terms of benchmarks when compared to languages like C++, and it’s not the easiest language for beginners. We recommend this one for Windows apps due to the native support for .NET frameworks.
Thanks for reading, and once you’ve got your language picked out, feel free to come back for our in-depth guide to mobile app development.
Piece specially contributed to the Swiftspeed Appcreator by: Jennifer JBarnard