Top 7 Mobile App Development Languages

Mobile app development can be envisioned in a million ways. The tricky part is to choose one right way from countless number of ways. From the inception of mobile app till the very end, umpteen decisions have to be made very carefully — for example, choosing the right language to bring your app to life.

The aim is to come up with the most-suited technology stack for the mobile app. This can happen when features of the mobile app align with the efficacy of the programming language to be used. It is fairly common to see that one programming language may be very nifty in a particular use case and impractical in another. Ultimately, the language chosen for mobile app development has the potential to make it a great success or never-ending frustration.

Here, we will take a look at the pros and cons of top 7 mobile app development languages which will help you make the best decision for your app.

HTML 5

HTML 5 is not a programming language, but it can be used to create a fully responsive web application.

Pros:
+ Learning curve is not at all steep.
+ It has powerful capabilities like quick and easy implementation of Design change requests.
+ It is quickest way to create an MVP. 
+ Web development cost is lower than mobile development.
+ It is a very quick way to make content available on mobile devices.
+ There is no need to build multiple versions for different devices.
+ Best results can be seen when coupled with a good CSS framework like Twitter Bootstrap, Materialize, Semantic UI.

Cons:
- Web application created using HTML 5 does not feel the same as native application. 
- It can be slower than native mobile app.
- Web development requires backend or full stack engineer.

Java

Java has been included in the top programming languages since a very long time now. It is widely accepted for a lot of use cases, be it software development or app development. Even though Kotlin is very popular now, Java is still considered de facto language for Android apps.

Pros:
+ It has open source programming language realisation.
+ It is a simple language to learn.
+ It is a pure object-oriented language.
+ It can be used across multiple platforms.
+ It supports multithreading.
+ It is considered to be a very safe and secure programming language.
+ It offers reusability of code.
+ It is stable and has a great community

Cons:
- Web application created using HTML 5 does not feel the same as native application. 
- It can be slower than native mobile app.
- Web development requires back-end or full stack engineer.

Swift

Swift is an open source programming language developed by Apple Inc. It is primarily used to develop iOS applications.

Pros:
+ Performance delivered by Swift is stellar.
+ As stated on apple.com, Swift is 2.6x faster than Objective-C and 8.4x faster than Python 2.7.
+ It supports Rapid Application Development (RAD).
+ It is easy to scale the application.
+ Security is improved.
+ It does not hog on memory.
+ It is interoperable with C.

Cons:
- It does not support previous iOS versions.
- Language is still very new so community is not as big as other established languages.
- Poor interoperability with third-party tools and IDEs.
- It requires MacOS

C#

C# is a programming language for Windows platform. In other words, C# is to Microsoft, what Objective-C is to Apple.

Pros:
+ C# is popular for its robustness.
+ Learning curve is easy.
+ Readability of code is better than most other programming languages.
+ More rapid and potentially less error-prone development than other languages.
+ Supports multithreading.

Cons:
- Uses more memory as compared to C++.
- Community not as vast as that of Java.

JavaScript

JavaScript (JS) has been one of the most popular and desirable languages in 2018.

Pros:
+ Client-side as well as server-side JS is very fast.
+ Learning curve is very simple.
+ It is very popular with a large community support.
+ It is highly interoperable unlike PHP.
+ It has capability to give the app a very rich interface.
+ It has multiple great frameworks like ReactNative, NativeScript.

Cons:
- JS is fast but suffers from “performance bottleneck” between client code and native code.
- Some frameworks like Ionic do not provide a native app effect.
- It’s hard to optimise JS mobile app.
- It has less features compared to other native languages like Swift, Java, Obeject-C.

Python

Python is a fairly new language which gained acceptance within the community very rapidly. It is ideal for machine learning, big data use-cases however, its capabilities extend to several other spheres like mobile app development as well.

Pros:
+ Learning curve is very simple. Even a novice developer can get a grip on this language in no time.
+ It can work across platforms.
+ It supports object oriented paradigm.
+ With controllers like Raspberry Pi and Arduino, developers can bring to life out-of-the-box ideas.
+ It has a lot of good frameworks like Django, Flask.
+ It is a scalable language.

Cons:
- It is slow.
- It is not a good choice for memory intensive tasks.
- It is not good with detailed graphics.
- It is not good with databases. 
- It is not good for multi-processor or multi-core programming.
- It gets compiled to native code without optimisation.

Kotlin

On May 17, 2017, Google declared that Kotlin is the official programming language for Android platform. Essentially, Kotlin is fully compatible with Java.

Pros:
+ It is not complex and it is easy to understand.
+ It has high level of security.
+ Code written in Kotlin is very compact and concise.
+ Code is easy to maintain.

Cons:
- It is slower than Java.
- Community of Kotlin is certainly smaller than Java.

With this, we wind up our list. The right choice of programming language will guarantee you a headstart towards success of the project. We hope that our article will help you to answer one of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to mobile app development.