mobile app development

15 Best Languages for Mobile App Development in 2021

Checkout these 15 app development languages trending in the industry!

Best Mobile App Development languages

It is estimated that by 2021, the number of smartphone users will reach up to 3.8 billion. Now, when smartphones are increasing, mobile apps are growing as well. Apart from increasing numbers of mobile applications, technology, features, security, and capabilities; all these things have enhanced as well. 

All of it became possible because of programming languages. Currently, more than 700 programming languages are existing globally. Developers are using these languages and experimenting their ways towards growth.

Best Programming Language For App Development

Now when you are intrigued to find that one language that can unlock the world of possibilities for your mobile application, you should keep reading then. Programming languages which you will find further are being used by top app development companies for some time. Each language has its advantages and disadvantages. However, their advantages have the heavier side.

1. JavaScript 

Since its introduction in 1995, this best language for app development has taken over the app development industry. The programming language has remained popular amongst developers for many years and it’s not going to change soon in the future as well.

JavaScript, with the help of Node.js, can be used on different applications built on different frameworks. Moreover, developers use this programming language with HTML, CSS, and AJAX to develop high-quality applications.

Javascript- programming language

Advantages and Disadvantages of this best language for developing mobile apps

Advantages of JavaScript:

  • JavaScript is easy to learn due to its simplicity;
  • Currently, JavaScript is almost being used everywhere on the internet;
  • Can be used with other programming languages in parallel to improve the app quality;
  • Enables more functionality in User Interfaces;
  • Reduces server load due to being client-side
  • JavaScript is speedy as it can directly run on client-side browsers.

Disadvantages of JavaScript:

  • Sometimes, JavaScript executes different results on different browsers;
  • It can not be used for a copy or equal method of scripting;
  • Debugging is not as good as other languages like C/C++. Moreover, detecting errors is also tough as browsers do not notify of them;
  • Limited to Single inheritance;
  • Even a single error can freeze the entire JavaScript as if it doesn’t exist.

2. C++

C++ is being used for multiple types of tasks in the present. Developers are using this outstanding programming language for mobile app development, game development, real-time mathematical simulations, GUI-based applications, banking applications, etc. 

Initially, the C language was developed in 1972 by Dennis Ritchie. The language is being used to combine features of low-level and high-level languages. Moreover, C++ is the first language that introduced Class and Objects in a programming language.

Android programming languages,

Advantages and Disadvantages of this best language for developing mobile apps

Advantages of C++:

  • C++ offers platform independence. In short, you can use the same program on different operating systems or interfaces;
  • C++ can be used to develop logic, structure, and procedures;
  • You can use this language to manipulate data on a specific level;
  • It Provides total memory management control;
  • C++ provides the flexibility of using small scale and large scale data;
  • There are a lot of guides and tutorials available to learn this language.

Disadvantages of C++:

  • There are functions like friend functions, global variables, and pointers that make this language vulnerable to security issues;
  • It lacks the feature of a background garbage collector;
  • It’s tough for new developers due to its complex syntax.

3. Objective-C

This primary programming language is used to develop software for OS X and iOs. The program provides object-oriented programming features and a dynamic runtime to the C language. 

Instead of writing an entirely new class, this language lets you add custom behaviors to similar existing classes. By using already existing source codes, you can add new properties in a class extension.

Advantages and Disadvantages of this best language for developing mobile apps

Advantages of Objective-C:

  • Apps written in Objective-C are more stable;
  • It comes with dynamic features like method swizzling;
  • Binary frameworks have better support in Objective-C;
  • C++ & Objective C++ can be used as the source of data.

Disadvantages of Objective-C:

  • Namespacing is missing in this programming language;
  • The lack of strict typing causes untraceable bugs;
  • The language is comparatively complex as it's old;
  • Hence, it is an old programming language, so security is an issue.

4. Swift

Swift is a powerful language used to develop software for macOS, iOs, watchOS, and tvOS. The language is known for its expressive yet concise syntax. Moreover, developers love it as it supports modern features. Features and independence in which developers get make Swift the best programming language for app development.

Advantages and Disadvantages of this best language for developing mobile apps

Advantages of Swift:

  • Swift programming language offers easy to ready source codes;
  • Adding new features is easy in Swift;
  • Swift is faster compared to languages like Objective-C;
  • Apps built on Swift result in fewer bugs and crashes;
  • Swift requires fewer codes but it doesn’t sacrifice the performance or features;
  • Using playgrounds make the development process more interactive

Disadvantages of Swift:

  • Compiling of code takes time;
  • Regular updates make it an unstable language to work on;
  • Swift users are still less compared to other languages.

5. HTML5

HTML5 is the latest upgrade given to the traditional HTML language. The goal was to make it compatible with modern development practices in the programming world. Moreover, HTML5 has resulted in a much better Web browser experience for both users and developers.

programming languages for app development

Advantages and Disadvantages of this best language for developing mobile apps

Advantages of HTML5:

  • HTML5 supports Scalable Vector Graphics (SVGs);
  • JavaScript can function within the browser;
  • Temporarily data is being stored on Web SQL databases;
  • HTML5 has new features like summary, audio, data, data list, command, etc;
  • Improvised parsing algorithms save programs against incorrect HTML code;
  • Currently, JavaScript-based or Flash workaround is not required for web applications.

Disadvantages of HTML5:

  • The language is still improving;
  • Media licensing is an issue to embed them;
  • Possible lags might appear on different devices;
  • To access a website designed on HTML5, modern browsers are a must;
  • Lacks many features for a good gaming experience.

6. Java

Java is considered one of the best languages for mobile app development. New and experienced developers use Java to create platform-independent source codes. The language is easy to learn and offers great career opportunities.

app development frameworks

Advantages and Disadvantages of this best language for developing mobile apps

Advantages of Java:

  • Java is an object-oriented programming language;
  • It is platform-independent;
  • Source codes can be reused to create different programs;
  • Easy to learn, compile, read, and debug;
  • Offers better security features than most programming languages out there;
  • Java supports multi-thread programming.

Disadvantages of Java:

  • Java lacks speed and performance;
  • UI will not look good if created on Java due to its limitations;
  • There’s no backup facility available for this programming language;
  • Takes a good amount of memory space;

7. Python

Python is a well-reputed programming language to build mobile and web apps. this easy to learn language is getting more popular with time. Writing programs in Python is easier compared to C or C++. Moreover, Python codes are more sustainable.

most favored programming language

Advantages and Disadvantages of this best language for developing mobile apps

Advantages of Python:

  • Python is easy to read and write;
  • It allows multithreading and multiprocessing;
  • It supports multi-platforms and systems;
  • The language offers expensive support to libraries;
  • Sustainable development reduces the maintenance cost of the program;
  • Most preferred language for prototyping and experiments.

Disadvantages of Python:

  • Python is slow to execute compared to C & C++;
  • The language is less suitable for gaming and mobile development;
  • A runtime error is also an issue with the language;
  • Design limitations waste more test timing;
  • Python consumes high memory space.

8. Ruby Programming Language

Ruby was developed by Yukihiro Matsumoto in the mid-1990s in Japan. This object-oriented programming language was developed as a buffer between developers and computing machinery. 

Ruby programming language enables developers in executing instructions without any boundaries of compiling the program in machine learning language.

Advantages and Disadvantages of this best language for developing mobile apps

Advantages of Ruby Programming language:

  • Ruby allows fast creation of web applications;
  • It helps in developing small but powerful codes;
  • It is a dynamic programming language. You can manipulate it however you want;
  • Ruby is open-source and frees to copy language;

Disadvantages of Ruby Programming language:

  • Due to having unique codes, the language is difficult to learn;
  • Codes written on Ruby are harder to debug;
  • It is slower compared to other languages.

9. Rust

Rust is designed to make the development process safer. It enables developers to write faster and more efficient codes. This language is being used for game engines, operating systems, browser components, and simulations, etc.

Advantages and Disadvantages of this best language for developing mobile apps

Advantages of Rust:

  • Rust is useful for time-constrained programming requirements;
  • Rust can be used to build many tools to combine them with web assembly and run in a browser;
  • Strong support of generics;
  • Its syntax supports easy integration with C and many other languages.

Disadvantages of Rust:

  • Rust is slow to develop as it has complex codes;
  • Learning Rust is difficult and requires C++ knowledge;
  • Rust doesn’t have a garbage collector feature;
  • The compiler of Rust is slow as well compared to other languages.

10. PHP

PHP is used to develop static & dynamic websites along with web applications. The language was created in 1994 by Rasmus Lerdorf. This server-side scripting language is also known as “PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor”.

PHP can manage data, extract data from files, save data, etc. Moreover, it is used to access cookies as well.

popular scripting language

Advantages and Disadvantages of this best language for developing mobile apps

Advantages of PHP:

  • PHP is an open-source and free to copy programming language;
  • The language is platform-independent;
  • Faster loading rate helps in reducing app loading time;
  • More stable compared to its alternatives;
  • Provides easy to manage code syntax.

Disadvantages of PHP

  • Due to being open-source, it is not very secure;
  • Weak type causes incorrect data and knowledge;
  • Many features make the performance slower;
  • The core behavior of mobile apps can not be modified.

11. SQL

Structured Query Language (SQL) is known as a language used to manage data kept in Relational Database Management System (RDBMS). SQL was developed by Donald D. Chamberlin and Raymond F. Boyce for IBM. The initial model was based on the relational model by Edgar F. Codd from the early 1970s. 
Structured Query Language

Advantages and Disadvantages of this best language for developing mobile apps

Advantages of SQL:

  • SQL offers faster data retrieval with efficiency;
  • SQL enables data retrieval with basic commands without having to code;
  • The language can be used on PCs, server, laptops without any limitations of OSs, etc;
  • SQL is an easy to learn programming language;
  • Perfect for tables with large numbers of rows;
  • Perfect data consistency.

Disadvantages of SQL:

  • Difficult interface makes it hard for users to interact with the database;
  • Hidden business rules make users have limited controls over the database;
  • Some versions of SQL are costly in comparison to other alternatives.

12. Kotlin

Kotlin is an open-source programming language. This statically typed language is used for Android, JavaScript, and Native. Kotlin has an entirely free source code to use. Its 100% compatibility with Java programming languages makes it perfect for developers to use.

Big names like Uber, Evernote, and Pinterest have used Kotlin to add more advanced and interactive features to their smartphone applications. Kotlin can be used for android application development, server-side application development, client-side application development, etc.

Kotlin as an Android app coding language

Advantages and Disadvantages of this best language for developing mobile apps

Advantages of Kotlin:

  • Kotlin can be compatible with existing Java code, which saves time;
  • Kotlin can be easily maintained by SDK tools and IDEs;
  • It has clearer and fewer buggy codes;
  • Intuitive and concise syntax helps in increasing productivity;

Disadvantages of Kotlin:

  • Kotlin has a slower compilation speed compared to Java;
  • It still doesn’t have many developers for you to hire;
  • Learning resources are limited for Kotlin;

13.  ActionScript

ActionScript is used to manage and control website animations. The language was initially released with Macromedia Flash 4. Later, for Macromedia Flash 5, it was improvised. The language is used by developers to build UI environments. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of this best language for developing mobile apps

Advantages of ActionScript:

  • ActionScript lets you make the website visually stunning and more informative;
  • It lets you create loops of any animations with simple codes;
  • ActionScript lets you build random animated characters and integrate them with games;
  • It is easier to re-code in case of upgrades or modifications.

Disadvantages of ActionScript:

  • Non-reusable codes;
  • Unstable language due to many updates and versions.

14.  Lua

Lua is a powerful scripting language used in industrial applications like Adobe Lightroom, Ginga middleware, World of Warcraft, Angry Bird, etc. This powerful and efficient language is being used in the gaming industry. Apart from that, it covers various other markets like large server systems and small mobile applications.

Advantages and Disadvantages of this best language for developing mobile apps

Advantages of Lua:

  • Lua is easy to combine with applications built on C/C++;
  • It is known for its performance which is just like C;
  • Response time is fast;
  • It is a lightweight programming language;
  • Lua is an open-source and free to use coding language.

Disadvantages of Lua:

  • Lack of available codes. So, you might need to use some manual codes;
  • Users are very less in number;
  • Not much of the learning material is available.

15. C#

It’s an object-oriented and simple programming language. Programmers having experience in C, C++, and Java will find it familiar. The language was created by Anders Heljsber under the .NET initiative.

Advantages and Disadvantages of this best language for developing mobile apps

Advantages of C#:

  • Learning C# will help you in understanding C and C++ in less time;
  • Easy integration with Windows operating systems;
  • Integrated with .NET library;
  • Pointer types are now allowed.

Disadvantages of C#:

  • Allows pointers in ‘unsafe’ blocks.

These programming languages which we have mentioned are trending in the mobile app development industry. You can learn and use multiple languages to have a better career opportunity in the industry.

Aparna <span>Growth Strategist</span>
Written By
Aparna Growth Strategist

Aparna is a growth specialist with handsful knowledge in business development. She values marketing as key a driver for sales, keeping up with the latest in the Mobile App industry. Her getting things done attitude makes her a magnet for the trickiest of tasks. In free times, which are few and far between, you can catch up with her at a game of Fussball.

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