Despite all the hype around iPhones, Android is still the most popular mobile software environment in the world. The global population is addicted to smartphones — the average millennial checks their phone 86 times per day! Android powers over 72% of all mobile devices, and the demand is increasing. Each of the languages used by Android developers has peculiar strengths. Discover the top 5 most popular languages this year.
The language for an app is chosen based on its specifics and goals. Rookie developers prefer sticking to just one system, while seasoned professionals master multiple coding methodologies. Here are the best options and their key characteristics. These languages are used to create smartphone apps for any purpose — communication, shopping, research, entertainment, and more!
This cross-platform language has been the official language for Android since 2017. It was created by JetBrains in 2016 and named after Kotlin island, which is located near Saint Petersburg in Russia.
Kotlin is ideal for beginners thanks to its relative simplicity. This general-purpose language is based on JVM, and it consists of a type interface. Essentially, Kotlin allows developers to create code that runs on the Java Virtual Machine seamlessly.
Thanks to this structure, Kotlin developers need fewer lines of code, so the language is more concise. The environment has null pointer exceptions, and it includes multiple Android libraries. It is even more distinctive than Java, as it uses aggressive inference to determine the type of values and expressions if these were not defined by developers.
On the downside, the creation of clean builds is slower than with Java. The educational resources are also relatively limited, so programmers need more time to master the language.
This universal language is the leading choice for Android app development firms. Moreover, they often make it their official language. Java has been used for over two decades, and it has the highest ratings. This scripting language is extremely versatile, and its capabilities are impressive.
First, you can always reach out to a gigantic global community to get advice. Google also provides full support for Java-based applications. Many of the apps in the Play Store were built by Android app development firms that use Java.
The large API collection is another important strength. Advanced developers can integrate many exciting functions into their apps. Java will let you experience the full joys of Android development. You can access a plethora of libraries and tools, which makes work easier. Besides, there is a good base of skilled programmers who can help in creating and improving Android apps.
On the downside, this field includes quite a few sophisticated topics. You need to learn about null pointer exceptions, constructors, checked exceptions, concurrency, etc.
C++ is the pioneer language of programming, but it still provides developers with plenty of benefits. First, it is supported by Android Studio via the Native Development Kit (NDK). C++ libraries are easily integrable, which is important for a smooth development process. Secondly, this language supports Unreal Engine. It is a popular environment for gaming developers that helps them build fascinating products.
However, some experts consider C++ to be slightly limited and too rigid for the Android platform. Its relative complexity can also lead to more bugs in comparison with simpler languages. Beginners indeed find the language quite challenging, but experienced developers can still use it to create captivating apps.
C# is a cross-platform language that was launched by Microsoft in 2000. This part of the .NET framework was created by Anders Hejlsberg. C# is based on the C language and has syntax reminiscent of both Java and C++. For example, like Java, it uses garbage collection to make memory leaks less likely. It also supports Object-Oriented Programming.
Primarily, C# is used for Windows apps, but Xamarin allows developers to use it to create native Android and iOS apps. This involves compiling C# code in the native language of the respective operating system. It means that developers do not need to learn another language. The topic of Xamarin-base development has been widely covered in programming guides.
The framework binaries function in the same way as Android or iOS native apps built on Java or Swift. This explains why C# is one of the top languages in 2021. It is even supported by the Unity game engine. This is the best option for many mobile game developers.
This is a relatively advanced development language, and it is not supported by Android natively. However, Python-based apps can be converted into Android packages using different tools. For example, the open-source Kivy library supports Android and speeds up app development.
Python is object-oriented and includes highly useful features for Android apps, such as dynamic binding and dynamic typing. The syntax is relatively simple compared to other languages. Developers do not need much brainpower to code apps quickly.
As a result, Python speeds up development, and it also reduces maintenance costs. This language works for any application, from simple calculators to commercial level apps. The absence of native support is the biggest drawback.
To Sum Up
Android apps can be built on using different programming languages, but these five options are the most prominent in 2021. When choosing a language for your project, you need to consider multiple factors. In terms of learning and official support, Kotlin is way ahead of its rivals.
If you like challenging tasks, Java will give you enough thrill. If your project is a game, the best choices are C# and C++. Python is preferred by seasoned experts who understand advanced logic flows in any app.
Programmers do not have to learn all of these languages. Choose the optimal one based on the objective and preferences for your projects, and develop your expertise gradually. Every new language will expand your skillset, helping you grow as a developer. The best time to go forth and conquer Android is now!