Which Is The Best Language For Mobile App Development?


By Snigdha | Last Updated on December 11th, 2017 7:49 am

App Builder Appy Pie, December 8: The smartphone penetration figures are higher than ever and the engagement quotient is getting higher too! The global smartphone market will reach the incredible figure of 1.84 billion units by the year 2020 which is a 5% surge from 2016 where 1.44 billion units were shipped out. As per recent research, an average smartphone user touches their phone 2,617 times in a single day and on an average spends a total of 145 minutes on their mobile phone. These figures are encouraging for all kinds of businesses as they have now found avenues to promote their products and services even when the consumer is on the go!

Today, the mobile phone users are one of the most active consumers for all kinds of products. It is through the channel of mobile that you can reach them and then convince them to try your product, buy your product, or even join your cause. It is for this very reason that as a developer you must keep coming up with new app ideas that can generate interest among the mobile phone users and generate new avenues for revenue.

The mobile application development industry, in the past few years has grown in leaps and bounds with some of the most ingenious solutions to everyday problems and has managed to change the way the businesses all over the world function. While big and small enterprises have been crediting mobile apps to a great extent for their productivity in the recent times, there has also been an exponential growth in innovation in the mobile devices across platforms. It is a combination of these two which gives ample opportunity to the mobile app developers of today to write multiple versions of the same application in a single language and even write a number of pieces of reusable code. This makes it an exciting time to be a mobile app developer.

As most of the enterprises today are looking towards making applications that run on all platforms including tablets, smartphones, and even smart-watches they come at the divergence from where there are two broad paths as options to pursue.

The first of the two paths is destined towards Web browser where the basic idea is that you write only once for the web browser and then you do not need to develop a separate application for each of the different platforms. The practical implications though are far from this simple theory, however this still allows the programmers to write a different version of the application for all the different platforms that use a single language.

The second path is destined towards a different dedicated app for every mobile device. This path quite naturally has a higher price tag attached to it but has a set of advantages attached to it too. An extremely crucial advantage this offers is that the performance of a dedicated app would most certainly be better than the performance of an app that would have to run through a browser every time there is any change or function initiated. Another strong advantage is that there are a set of actions that are impossible in a Web browser like working with other apps, storing files and then retrieving them from any designated location, and controlling the hardware of the device directly, while these can be accomplished on dedicated apps.

No matter which way an enterprise decides to go, both the options would need the development to be done as effectively and efficiently as possible and in doing so a lot depends on the language you choose to use. Below is a list of the best languages for mobile app development, explore and decide which one serves your purpose the best!

 

HTML5

The fifth version of HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language), HTML5 is an ideal option for you, if you are planning to build a web-fronted app for mobile devices. Strictly speaking HTML5 is not really a mobile app development language, so when you are developing an app in it, it has to be used in combination with other languages like JavaScript. One of the primal requirements here is that a powerful framework needs to be used whether you want to create an android app or an iOS app. The mobile app can be created in HTML5 (CSS & JavaScript) or it can even be used in combination with APIs, the HTML5 apps in both the scenarios are quite responsive and smoothly work on all devices across platforms. It allows you to code just once and use on a number of devices. There is a great number of web apps coded using HTML5 that are considerably popular, some of the ones that you might be using even today are Google Docs or Google Drive.

HTML5 has been quite successfully adopted by mobile and desktop browsers and offer quite robust cross-platform support. It is because of this robust cross-browser support and high responsiveness that any application that has been created in HTML5 works on all the devices quite smoothly without giving much grief. HTML5 can be used to develop games with canvas tag and supports both videos & audios. Above all, the biggest advantage of HTML5 is that it consists of easy and clean coding.

 

Objective – C

A derivative of the programming language C, Objective – C is an object oriented general purpose programming language. Objective – C is the core programming language that was used by Apple for iOS and OS X development before Swift was developed. Swift might be on its way to replace Objective – C but Objective – C has still maintained its popularity among developers. The language seems to maintain its relevance even though new languages have entered the scenario because of two major reasons. The first reason is that there has been a lot of investment in the language in terms of the apps and secondly, the frameworks of the apps still largely rely on Objective – C even today. Choosing Objective – C, hence seems to be a good idea as it allows you to create all kinds of apps.

 

Swift

Considered as the programming language of the future, Swift is the latest programming language to make their way into the Apple ecosystem and it is majorly because of its popularity in writing the code for Apple’s latest APIs, Cocoa and Cocoa Touch. The language was released for iOS, its supporting systems, and Linux. Today, Swift has emerged as the primary language to be used in the development of iOS and OS X, thus replacing Objective – C to an extent. Currently Swift is only available for iOS development, however, since it works on Linux and is open source, it can pretty much be used by anyone.

 

C++

Pronounced as C Plus Plus, it is a general purpose object oriented programming language with low level memory manipulation feature. Inheriting its syntax from C, C++ is an extension of the language. If you have worked with C, C++ is not going to be a big problem, as both the languages share almost all the features except that C++ is more comprehensive. C++ is a powerful resource, and has found extensive application and use in various sectors ranging from the financial sector, to the business of manufacturing, to the banking sector, and many such more. It is for this reason that C++ has been in existence for a long time and has found its use even in mobile app development. C++ has been doing quite well in the mobile app development arena as it is does wonders in helping develop cross-platform mobile apps easily with its unified debugging experience and a powerful environment. The language is good for developing apps for Android, Windows, and iOS. C++ has potential well beyond mobile apps and can be used to create some of the most strong tools like Photoshop, Google Chrome. PayPal, Amazon and more.

C++ can be used to develop operating systems, new programming language, graphics & designs, game development, app development, web browsers, development of compilers of programming languages, medical, mathematical & engineering applications, enterprise tools, and computation platforms.

 

C#

C# is for Microsoft, what Objective – C has been for Apple making it the most coveted language when it comes to developing mobile apps for Windows phones. Even though the Windows Phone platform could not make a lasting or impressive mark on the mobile app development panorama, the loyal Microsoft users, C# has proved to be the perfect language to help them create some of the strongest Windows Phone apps. Also known as C Sharp, the language is essentially a multi-paradigm programming language that is object and component oriented. The language has the potential to be applied in creation of server applications, web services, to games to mobile apps to name a few. C# is supported by Unity3D which makes it one of the best languages when it comes to a game app. C# is versatile in the uses it has found for itself in industries other than mobile app development including business and productivity tools, enterprise, utilities, education & reference, games etc. C# has found its applications in developing software including AutoCAD, Office 365, Visual Studio, and Share Point.

 

Java

One of the most popular and preferred languages among android app developers, Java is the most searched language on the search engines all over the world for the current year. This object oriented programming language which was developed at Sun Microsystems is now owned by Oracle and can be run in two different ways – in a browser window or in a virtual machine without a browser. It is this flexibility that is of great use while re-using the code or while updating the software. Java might not be of much use when you are developing iOS development, but is of special value and convenience while developing cross-platform apps. Java may be used quite smoothly to develop android apps, server apps, web apps, embedded space, big data technology, scientific apps, websites, and Games. Some of the most popular applications of Java include ThinkFree cloud office, NASA world wind, Blu-Ray Disc Association, and Ultra Mixer, but Android Operating System is probably the most important application.

 

JavaScript

A high level interpreted programming language, JavaScript is a multi-paradigm language that supports object-oriented and functional programming. It is not exactly a language that is primarily used for app development, but a language that is run by browsers and used to develop and control web pages. To use JavaScript for developing a mobile app only when it is used with CSS, HTML, and AJAX. The one key factor that makes developing apps on JavaScript convenient is that you only have to code the app once and it can be released on all the platforms including Android, iOS, and Windows.

 

Python

A high-level programming language, Python has found its use in web development, app development, creating desktop GUIs, analyzing and computing scientific and numeric data, and for software development. As the language has numerous applications in real life, Python is currently the most taught language at school, and even college level. Python as a language is beautiful, explicit, simple, sometimes complex but definitely not complicated, and thoroughly readable. As it is an easy to read and easy to learn language, Python should be on your must-learn list. The language has the potential to be used in developing android and desktop apps from scratch. Applications like Dropbox, Calibre, YouTube, Instagram, Reddit, BitTorrent, OpenStack, Quora, Spotify, and so many more have been created in Python. If this doesn’t make you sit up and take notice, we don’t know what will. To make matters even more convenient, the language is one of the easiest languages and learning it is not really that big of a hassle.

 

PHP

Hypertext Preprocessor or PHP is a server-side scripting open source language that was developed in the year 1995 for websites. Today, however, the language has found its use more in general purpose development today. PHP is used for server side scripting, command line scripting, and for coding applications. Primarily a coding language, PHP is used to create dynamic websites, however it can also be used to develop android and iOS apps. PHP as a language can help you create dynamic websites, web applications, and all types of mobile apps as well. PHP is the most used programming language and is supported and used by around 80% of the developers. Some of the biggest websites like Facebook, Wikipedia, Yahoo, Tumblr, Flickr, and many more. Apart from apps, PHP can be used to develop e-commerce websites, create GUI, content management systems, create PDFs, code project management tools, create Facebook apps, develop dynamic websites, and more.

 

Bottom-line

Today most consumers conduct their search and most of their online activity on their mobile devices instead of computers, which is why there is a big market for mobile apps to meet their demands. If you are building your own app, choose wisely, according to your requirements before you begin. However, if you are hiring someone to build your app for you, it is wise to put your requirements down in a clear, crisp manner so that they are aligned with your goals and missions that you intend to achieve with your app.

About The Author
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The Content Manager at Appy Pie, Snigdha has had a passion for writing since she can remember and feels lucky for making it her career. With a total experience of 11 years, she has dedicated the last 6 years to hard-core content writing and management. She actively writes about all things related to Social Media & more. In her spare time, she would either love to read curled up on the couch or take a bag of necessities (including a good book) and drive off into the sunset.

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