16 Programming Languages You Should Learn If You Want To Create An App

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Choosing a programming language for Mobile App Development is a lot like choosing from a wonderful array of candy from your local store. They are all different in their own way and everyone has their favorite. It also doesn’t matter which candy you choose, because it is going to taste good. The same applies to programming languages. 

People are spending more and more time every day utilizing mobile applications on their devices. The flow on effect from this is that mobile application programming is becoming the premier platform to engage potential customers for expanding business.

If you are looking to create your own mobile app as a developer or a business you need to create something that has both high functionality and compatibility.

And to do this you have to ask yourself a few questions. What language do you use that satisfies these needs and synchronizes best with contemporary mobile platforms? And what is the best way to get the most out of your programming language?

This article takes a deeper look at the programming languages you can use and understand their key features. We will help you differentiate your C++ from your C#, your Java from your JavaScript, and discover exciting programming languages such as Swift and Rust. It will help you decide what sort of programmer you want to choose for your business, or indeed which programming language you wish to learn if you are a budding programmer.


1. Python

Python is the most popular mobile application development language. However, its use is not limited to mobile apps. It is also extremely popular in web development.

This is one of the reasons why Python is widely taught in programming schools across the globe. It has far-reaching application as a language and contains learning skills that can be transferred easily across platforms.

Python bases its language on simplicity. The language tries not to complicate programming the phrase - KISS (Keep it simple, stupid!) It has an emphasis on austerity and unambiguity that make readability a priority.

 It is a great language for learners and is a gateway for understanding the complexities of programme development. Python does not discriminate between android and iOS software and can be readily used to make mobile applications from the ground up.

Spotify and Instagram are two great examples of behemoth apps that were created with Python.  Indicating how great Python is for both scalability and readability, running on all operating systems.


2. Corona

If you choose do deal exclusively in the creation of Android mobile apps then Corona could be a programming language alternative. Corona SDK is built on the programming language LUA. It follows an uncomplicated process and can make it very easy to create android apps.

The Corona language operates its niche as a language primarily used for games but its use is not restricted to just this.

The basic version of Corona is free to use and offers great support for learners wanting to get an advantage in Android app creation. It is definitely worth exploring as a simple programming alternative for developers specializing in creating Android apps.


3. Ruby

Ruby is possibly the fastest growing programming language, mainly due to the simple nature of the language.  It is incredibly easy for virtually any programmer to learn or adopt. It is possible to create mobile apps with speed. Ruby also has a great support network for beginners learning to create apps in Android, Windows, iOS or OS X. Importantly, creating mobile apps on Ruby requires specific framework such as Rhodes or RubyMotion.  

Because it is so easy to programme, Ruby is a must have in any beginner programmer’s arsenal.  

The best advantage of Ruby is that it uses pre-existing code as building blocks for development, meaning nothing has to be created from scratch. As soon as the principals of the language are learnt it is both quick and efficient to use.

Currently there is a huge demand for Ruby developers because of the popularity the language holds and the increasing number of programmes written in this language. Watch this space to see the sort of influence Ruby has as a programming language for mobile app development.


4. PHP

PHP or Hypertext Pre-processor was created in 1995. For over twenty years it has been developed into an open source language for websites but it has grown in its purpose for mobile app development.

PHP is used for server side-scripting, command line scripting and coding applications. The creator of the language Zend Technologies testifies that it has a dual purpose in creating vibrant websites and android and iOS apps. 

Some of the largest websites on the Internet, such as Wikipedia and Facebook are coded using PHP. It is a great language for creating e-Commerce apps and applications that are heavy in content. Furthermore, it is easy to learn, extremely compatible with smooth integration.

Importantly, if you learn PHP you will be able to develop dynamic websites and applications and transfer your skills in a language that is supported by a large majority of developers.


5. Swift

Swift is a programming language that can be placed in the category of prospective game changer in the mobile development space.

An Apple creation, Swift is a programming language principally produced for iOS and OS X. It is a great option for those looking to specialize exclusively in mobile app development. 

At the present time, Swift is the future of mobile app development. Early adopters to Swift may find themselves in a position of strength as it is the fastest growing language on the mobile application scene and Swift developers are currently in extremely high demand, forcing the salaries for these developers skyward.

Swift has the advantage of being open source and extremely easy to learn, especially for those programmers who are already familiar with Objective-C programming language. It needs less code and little maintenance, making the development of mobile apps decidedly uncomplicated.

As mobile development complexity expands the need for less complication will grow too, making Swift the frontrunner for both compatibility and development.


6. QML

QML known as Qt Meta/Modelling Language is a programming language that has cross-platform development ability. V-Play frameworks frequently use QML, together with JavaScript, making it a great language for writing gaming applications. It is a great language to have for any skilled developer. It is important to note that knowledge of JavaScript is important for programming in QML.

So why would mobile app developers choose QML?

It is great for mobile apps that require flowing animation, touch input and high involvement from users. The building blocks of QML allow the language to be combined to form complex components making it possible to deliver some really well designed sophisticated applications.


7. Java

Java, aptly named after the amount of Javanese coffee the inventor drank, is on par with Python as the most popular mobile app programming language.

Android operating software is coded using Java. This means developers that learn this language they will hold a competitive advantage over others in the creation of Android mobile apps. If the Android market share for app creation grows, knowledge of Java may become a decisive compatibility point for both businesses seeking developers.

The easy to use Android operating software is a flow on effect from Java’s open source platform.

The Java language has become synonymous with Android gaming apps and it is more than likely that development on this front will continue to evolve.


8. JavaScript

JavaScript is an exceptionally popular language amongst developers because of its speed and efficiency. Unfortunately, this popularity has not yet extended to mobile apps. It is conceivable to create mobile apps with JavaScript but it is limited in its capacity.

The main advantage of using a JavaScript framework for apps is that it can be released simultaneously across different operating platforms. It is probably the best language for beginners and can be learnt very quickly.


9. C++

C Plus Plus is a programming language with its origins from C. C++ naturally is advancement on the C language with great capacity for creating mobile apps across iOS, Windows and Android.

One of the biggest advantages of the C++ language is its impressive setting pared with its debugging capacity across various platforms. This makes it a commanding language to create a wide variety of apps with depth, flexibility and efficiency.


10. C#

First of all, it should be made clear that this language is known as “C Sharp”. It is not to be confused with the hash tag trend that has engulfed the globe. C# language is created in such a way that virtually anything can be created with speed and efficiency. Scalable websites, traditional apps and sophisticated gaming apps are all possible with C#.  

This makes the language incredibly diversified.

From a mobile app perspective, C# has created its niche as a programming language in the gaming apps realm. It gives the language huge potential for development in this space.

Notably the platform Xamarin, could become the catalyst for popularity in this space as it holds the potential to simplify the way that C# can create mobile apps in both Android and iOS.


11. Objective-C 

Another C programming language derivative, Apple utilized Objective-C for OS X and iOS software development, before the introduction of Swift. Since the introduction of Swift, Objective C has lost a little bit of its impetus as an app programming language.

However, Swift could take years to take over as primary language for mobile app development and the timeframe for this to occur is impossible to know. This means that Objective C will continue to have relevance for some years to come.

Being a derivative of Objective C, learning this programming language will also be a benefit for learning C# and C++ as well as having good synchronisation with Apple software.

If you are just starting out as a programmer Objective C is probably a language you can afford to put at the back of the pack for now.


12. BuildFire.js

BuildFire.js is probably one of the lesser-known programming languages. It does hold the ability to create mobile apps with efficient speed because the language utilizes the BuildFire backend as a base. From this base it can create tailor-made and bespoke applications for businesses with swift functionality. Importantly, the use of backend building blocks saves developers time and their client’s money.

The BuildFire language is another that is relatively easy to learn. It is extremely useful for businesses and developers alike as the language can also cope well with scalability.


13. SQL

SQL, known as Structured Query Language, is not a traditional language for building mobile apps. Instead it has its worth as more of a background data language that has merit in the upkeep of mobile applications. For this reason, knowledge of the SQL language is vitally important where applications draw data from the server.

SQL is easy to learn mainly because has no coding element to it. It is a very fluid programming language that makes its application wide-ranging. It is must learn language for mobile app developers needing to draw and access data in the background for their apps.


14. HTML5

HTML5 is the fifth edition of the HTML language, synonymous for the creation of web pages. Similar to SQL, it is not an out and out mobile app development language. Instead it works as a complementary language in the creation of mobile apps, particularly in unison with JavaScript.

HTML5 has great use across devices because of its smooth synchronization. Because of this it still holds relevance as a programming language. It is easy to learn and provides great provision for mobile applications.

It will be interesting to see how HTML5 continues to evolve in the mobile application space but for now it is fair to say this programming language is more of a bench player.


15. Perl

Perl is a hybrid programming language that uses a fusion of Perl 5 and Perl 6 to create a top class, energetic programming language for sophisticated applications.

Because of this sophistication, those who know the language are likely to be in high demand and stand out from the competition. Perl is best suited to create Android apps however there are also frameworks available for the creation of iOS applications now available.

The Perl language is incredibly quick, efficient and a good challenge for programmers wishing to separate themselves from the rest of the field.


16. Rust

Rust is a relatively new programming language on the scene that takes its roots, like many programming languages, from C. Because of its novelty, very few at this stage are using Rust to create mobile apps, however, it is becoming more and more common.

It will be interesting to see which direction the language takes in the mobile app development space over the next few years given its propensity for speed and handling of complexity.

Like Swift, it has the ability to be a game changer so must come under serious consideration for learning now if you are already an established programmer.


Which programming language do you use for mobile app development? And what languages do you think are likely to dominate over the next few years? Join the discussion and let us know what direction you think the mobile app space is heading. Also let us know what language you would recommend to prospective developers and businesses looking to build their own apps?

Oprettet 11 juni, 2017


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