The 7 Best Programming Languages for App Development

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The mobile applications market is expected to be worth around USD 366.34 billion by the end of 2030, growing at over 23.80% CAGR. With the increasing demand for mobile apps, developers and entrepreneurs often discuss the best programming language for app development. 

Developers know how important it is to weigh their options when it comes to choosing the programming language. The number of options is vast, and each may have its own advantages depending on the type, size, and purpose of the project. Making the right choice for your mobile app can make a huge difference in its performance, functionality, and success.

For this reason, you should be familiar with the options available and select the suitable programming language to make your app a success. Before looking at the best programming languages for mobile app development, let’s examine why language selection matters.  

Why is Selecting a Programming Language for Mobile App Development Important? 

A well-chosen programming language significantly impacts an app’s performance, scalability, and overall user experience. Choosing a language that uses resources efficiently, provides smoother functionality, and simplifies maintenance work is important. To reach a wider audience, it is also essential to be compatible with various platforms and devices.

If you choose the wrong language, it can also slow down your performance, leave you vulnerable to security threats, and limit your ability to update. To make an informed decision, you must consider factors like project requirements, target audience, and development resources. Let’s look at the factors in detail. 

Factors to Consider When Selecting the Best Programming Language for App Development

The choice of programming language is influenced by many factors, including: 

Factors for selecting best programming language

1. Platform compatibility

This is the foundation of your app. Your language needs to work seamlessly on your target platforms, like iOS or Android. Incompatible languages will lead to major roadblocks.

2. Performance

Think about your app’s needs. Does it require lightning-fast responsiveness or deal with complex graphics? Native languages are often performance champions, while some cross-platform options are catching up.

3. Community and ecosystem

A large and active community around your chosen language is a goldmine. You’ll have access to libraries (pre-written code) and frameworks (tools that simplify development) that can save you time and effort. Plus, a vibrant community means easier troubleshooting and finding answers.
4. Scalability

Whether your app is a simple to-do list or a complex social media platform, it should grow with your project’s demands. Instead of rewriting everything later, choose a language that is scalable and can handle complexity.

5. Developer skillset

If you want your mobile app to succeed, you need the right developer skills. A team that is comfortable with a certain language will develop more quickly and smoothly. A new language, however, requires time and effort and may compromise quality.  

6. Cost and licensing

You may have to pay licensing fees or purchase certain software to use some languages, which will impact your budget. The cost of these items should be considered upfront.

7. Security

Often, mobile apps handle sensitive data. Ensure your language has robust security features integrated into it to minimize vulnerabilities and safeguard your users’ information.

8. Longevity and support

Is the language you’re considering actively maintained and supported? A language with a fading user base might leave you with limited resources in the future. Pick a language with a promising future.

Best Programming Languages for Mobile App Development you Should Consider 

  • Java 
  • Kotlin 
  • Swift
  • Dart
  • Javascript
  • Python 
  • Ruby 

Let’s examine what is the best programming language for mobile app development in more detail. 

Java 

When it comes to Android apps, Java reigns supreme as a seasoned veteran in the field of mobile app development. Due to its extensive history, it has a vast developer community and a number of libraries and frameworks to choose from. As a result of this ecosystem, developers can use pre-written code and tools, speeding up the development process. Even the most complex applications can be built with Java since it is mature, stable, and highly scalable. 

There is, however, a downside to its age. In comparison to newer languages, Java’s syntax can seem complex. If you’re targeting Android and prefer a cleaner approach, consider Kotlin, its modern counterpart.

Platform

  • Dominant language for Android app development

Strengths

  • It is a mature, well-established language with a large developer community.
  • The language has a large ecosystem of libraries and frameworks for rapid development.
  • It is scalable and capable of handling complex applications.

Weaknesses

  • The language can be complex compared to newer languages.
  • It requires separate codebases for iOS apps. (You can consider Kotlin for a more concise alternative).

Kotlin

This is another of the best programming languages for mobile app development, rapidly gaining popularity as the preferred choice for Android app development. As mentioned earlier, this language solves Java’s shortcomings; Kotlin offers a cleaner and more concise syntax, making it easier to read, write, and maintain code. 

The benefits of Kotlin go beyond its aesthetics. The language offers enhanced features that streamline development and ensure code safety. The best thing about Kotlin is that it is fully interoperable with Java, so developers can gradually adopt it within existing Java projects. The Kotlin developer community is still growing, but its advantages are undeniable, making it a strong contender for Android development.

Platform

  • Primarily used for Android app development

Strengths

  • It’s an alternative to Java that addresses its shortcomings.
  • It offers cleaner syntax and more concise code compared to Java.
  • It is fully interoperable with Java, so existing projects can adopt it gradually.

Weaknesses

  • Kotlin’s community is still growing compared to Java’s.
  • This language is not ideal for iOS development.

Must read: 100+ Mobile App Ideas That Could Change The World in 2024-25

Swift 

This cutting-edge language has become the go-to choice for iOS development. Swift has a clean, readable syntax that prioritizes developer experience. This programming language’s focus on safety helps prevent errors and crashes, making it the best programming language for app development.

Not only this, Swift delivers exceptional performance, granting developers fine-grained access to the latest iPhone and iPad features. The advantage of using this language for your iOS app development project is that its apps are incredibly responsive and take full advantage of Apple’s devices. If we talk about the downside, Swift is exclusive to Apple’s ecosystem, so it won’t work for Android development.

Platform

  • It is primarily used for iOS app development (Apple devices).

Strengths

  • You get modern, clean syntax that focuses on readability and safety.
  • The language provides excellent performance and access to native device features.
  • It has a large and active developer community with plenty of resources.

Weaknesses

  • It is limited to iOS development and not suitable for cross-platform apps.
  • This may require some familiarity with Apple’s Xcode development environment.
  • There may be difficulties integrating the applications with other IDEs and third-party tools. 

Using Swift, we created a successful app: Mitange Inc. – An NFT social media platform 

Dart (With Flutter) 

Used for developing Flutter apps, Dart is gaining popularity for cross-platform development because of its fast performance and rich widgets. The Dart framework offers developers a visual native interface that closely resembles native iOS and Android apps. It delivers smooth animations and rich widgets.

Another benefit that makes it the best programming language for app development is that Flutter uses a single codebase for both platforms, further streamlining development.  

As Dart is a relatively new language when considering mobile app development services, it has a smaller community than Java or Javascript. In many cases, resource availability may be limited compared to more established options.

Platform

Cross-platform development for iOS, Android, and other platforms

Strengths

  • It is developed by Google and offers fast performance and smooth animations.
  • It has a rich set of widgets for creating native-looking user interfaces.
  • It provides a single codebase for all platforms to help you streamline the development process.

Weaknesses

  • It has a smaller community of developers than JavaScript or Java.
  • This is a relatively new language compared to some established options.
Contact us for mobile app development guidance

Javascript (With React Native) 

The dominance of JavaScript in web development spills over to mobile app development via frameworks such as React Native. The cross-platform approach allows developers to write code once and deploy it on iOS and Android simultaneously, saving significant time and resources. There is also an abundant JavaScript developer community that offers resources and support. 

However, there are disadvantages as well. Even though React Native has matured considerably, some complex apps may experience performance limitations when compared to native development. Additionally, the user interface might not perfectly mimic the native look and feel of each platform.

Platform

  • The language is suitable for cross-platform development for iOS, Android, and other platforms.

Strengths 

  • JavaScript runs exclusively on the client side, so there is no need to connect to the server. 
  • With its outstanding speed, development becomes much more productive and efficient. 
  • JavaScript offers simple functions and syntaxes compared to other client-side languages. 
  • For UI functionality and design, JS codes can be linked with HTML and CSS
  • It has extensive features that make it suitable for both front-end and back-end development.
  • Large developer community due to JavaScript’s popularity in web development.

Weaknesses

  • It can be a hassle for developers to work with highly case-sensitive syntaxes.
  • As the functionality of JS scripts is viewable by all, additional security measures need to be implemented. 
  • Performance might not match native apps in some cases.
  • The user interface might not perfectly mimic the native look and feel.

Using React Native, we created a popular app: MyEventAdvisor – an event booking and live-streaming app

Python 

Python might not be the first language that comes to mind for mobile app development, but its popularity for other purposes makes it an intriguing option. With its clear and concise syntax, Python allows developers to write code that reads almost like natural language. Its ease of use makes it the best programming language for mobile app development for beginners or projects requiring rapid prototyping. It enables them to focus on core functionalities without being bogged down in complex code structures.

With a large and active developer community, Python offers a wealth of resources, libraries, and frameworks, such as Kivy.nMobile app development with Python can be simplified using these tools, as they bridge the gap between Python’s core strengths and mobile app development’s specific demands.

Platform

  • Cross-platform development (with frameworks like Kivy)

Strengths

  • It eliminates the complexity of dealing with multiple codes running simultaneously by allowing developers to run each code separately. 
  • The learning curve for Python and its syntax is not too steep. 
  • For further app development, you can use the language’s built-in libraries for regular mobile and gaming apps. 
  • Over time, the codes built are easy to understand and debug. 
  • Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and IoT solutions can be implemented using it.

Weaknesses

  • Due to its interpretive nature, it compiles and executes codes at a much slower rate. 
  • Python programming language requires a lot of RAM to run effectively.

Ruby 

The general-purpose Ruby programming language is suitable for a wide range of use cases, including PWAs. The simplicity of Ruby makes it the best programming language for app development.

Ruby has become quite popular in recent years. Its feature richness enables developers to build innovative and next-gen applications. This platform offers several amazing features, including dedicated keywords and exception handling. A garbage collection feature ensures that the memory used will be dynamically removed.

Platform 

  • Suitable for cross-platform with frameworks like RubyMotion.

Strength 

  • Ruby allows you to use the codes efficiently without any delays. 
  • Ruby offers an abundance of built-in libraries and tools. 
  • Its open-source community is full of talented people who can help you learn more about it. 
  • Because of its easy learning curve, this language is perfect for beginners who would like to learn more about app development. 
  • Implementing any feature won’t require too many codes.

Weaknesses

  • Unlike other programming languages, it does not allow you to design any type of application. 
  • Ruby’s slow performance time is one of the reasons why the platform’s productivity isn’t high. 

Find the Right App Development Partner, Not Just the Best Language

Despite the information provided in this blog, you may still need guidance when choosing the right programming language for your app. An experienced app development company will be able to provide you with the assistance you need. To turn your concept into a successful mobile application, you need a partner with technical expertise, experience, and dedication.

They will guide you in choosing the right programming language for your mobile app project and ensure that your vision is translated into reality.

Look for a company with:

  • Proven experience in your app’s domain
  • Skilled developers in relevant languages
  • Open communication and transparent processes
  • Competitive rates that deliver value

OpenXcell can be a great choice for your mobile app development project. With over 1500 successful projects completed, our team of experts combines technical expertise with creative vision. We prioritize client collaboration, quality, and scalable solutions. Contact us today for a free consultation, and let’s build your dream app together.

Conclusion 

Choosing the best programming language for app development is critical for success in the mobile market. Whether it’s the versatility of Kotlin or the robustness of Swift, each language offers unique advantages tailored to specific needs.

You can pick from a number of programming languages to make a well-structured, highly functional mobile app. Choose the appropriate coding language for your app based on factors such as your mobile app type, project requirements, and other factors mentioned in this blog. 

Likewise, you must also consider the peculiarities of each language, framework, and tool that is available. You should take your time when deciding how to proceed with your app project. It can be overwhelming to navigate through all of these options, so let the right development partner guide you.

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author
Niha Parmanandani
AUTHOR

A dynamic content writer with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism, she specializes in writing for web and social media.  It is her passion to play with words and keep up with technology trends. Her passion for reading drives her to create engaging, educational, and inspiring content.

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