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App Development Languages

5 Popular App Development Languages

App development languages enable developers to write instructions for applications. They are the building blocks of apps, and there’s no shortage of them. There are over 700 mobile app languages.

While each programing language has its pros and cons, some are more popular than others. They are the ones we are focusing on in this post.

So, what are the popular app development languages this year and why?

1. Dart (Flutter)

app-development-languages-dartDeveloped by Google and released in 2011, Dart is easy to learn for most programmers. It provides very good performance, has plenty of documentation, and supports both Ahead of Time (AOT) and Just in Time (JIT) compiling.

Dart owes a lot of its popularity to Flutter, a Google-backed open-source platform that enables developers to build multi-platform native apps from a single codebase. It has become one of the most popular app development languages.

Benefits of Dart

  • Easy to learn and work with compared to other software development languages
  • Mobile apps built with Dart often run faster than those built with JavaScript
  • Used in Flutter, it can speed up development time compared to native application development
  • Hot reload feature shows code changes quickly

Dart Use Examples

Dart is the programming language used in the Flutter app development framework. Flutter helps power many apps around the world, including Google Ads, Hamilton, Reflectly, Xianyu by Alibaba, and Groupon.

2. JavaScript (React Native)

JavaScript is a core web technology, and it’s at the heart of many front-end development frameworks including React Native. React Native is a JavaScript library developed by Facebook that many developers use for building apps that can run across different mobile platforms.

Benefits of JavaScript

  • Accessible and easy to use
  • Excellent for incorporating interactive elements into apps
  • When used in a framework like React Native, it can speed up cross-platform development while also reducing development costs compared to native application development
  • Plenty of resources and documentation for learners
  • Large community of developers
  • Learning JavaScript can be a first step to learning other programming languages, such as Dart

JavaScript Use Examples

JavaScript is present in one form or other in many well-known apps through React Native or another JavaScript library, including Facebook, Netflix, Uber, and Duolingo.

3. Swift

app-development-languages-swiftApple released Swift in 2014 as an open-source programming language specifically developed for building apps for iOS and other Apple operating systems. It’s the go-to choice for developers who want to build native mobile apps for iOS.

Benefits of Swift

  • Swift is flexible and scalable, allowing developers to build apps of any size
  • Easy to learn and enjoyable to work with
  • Has fewer bugs and issues compared to other programming languages
  • Enables fast development

Swift Use Examples

Swift powers most modern iOS apps including top apps like LinkedIn, Khan Academy, Slack, Lyft, and WhatsApp.

4. Kotlin

Kotlin can act both as a Java substitute or Java complement. It’s a natural choice for app developers building apps specifically for the Android platform. Designed for the Java Virtual Machine and Android, it’s known for its interoperability, tooling support, and safety. Kotlin is officially supported by Google.

Benefits of Kotlin

  • Clear syntax makes it easy to work with while avoiding redundant code
  • Known for its cleaner and more compact code compared to Java
  • Makes testing and maintenance easy
  • Backed by a strong community
  • Works for cross-platform app development too
  • Prevents common mistakes while coding compared to Java

Kotlin Use Examples

Some of the most popular Android apps use Kotlin, including Pinterest, Evernote, Coursera, and Trello.

5. Java

Although Java was released all the way back in 1995, it’s still going strong today. Java is a powerful language for back-end app development. Many app developers started with Java before learning other platforms.

Java Benefits

  • Easy to use for both new developers and those transitioning to it
  • Robust programming language with strong support features
  • Has strong cross-platform capabilities
  • Plenty of open-source libraries to choose from, which can speed up development
  • Strong community support
  • Platform-independent

Java Use Examples

Many great apps have been written in Java including Spotify, Twitter, and Cash App.
And with that, our list comes to an end. Ultimately, the best programming language for app development depends on the target platform, developers’ experience, app budget, and other factors. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution.

App Development Languages – Resources

Here are some additional resources on app development languages:

  1. Dart – Dart is a client-optimized language for fast apps on any platform
  2. JavaScript – Dedicated to JavaScript and its awesome community since 2015.
  3. Swift – Swift is a powerful and intuitive programming language for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS.
  4. Kotlin – A modern programming language that makes developers happier
  5. Java – The official website of Java/Oracle
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