Applications for mobile devices, websites, and operating systems are created using programming languages – a set of stable rules by which code is written. The choice of programming language depends on the tasks and goals of developers, device capabilities, application type, operating system, and technical requirements. Let’s take a closer look at popular programming languages which customers choose when ordering an iOS or Android app development service.
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Variety of programming languages
There are many programming languages, each of which is focused on performing specific tasks for specific devices and software. The task of the development team is to choose a language that can solve all the problems of the project. Let’s look at the features of the most popular languages.
Swift is used to creating applications and systems for iOS. This language was developed by Apple. Swift is the successor to the Objective C programming language, so it has the benefits and new features that make it easier to write code and develop systems.
- Data processing speed is comparable to the C++ level.
- Clear syntax and coding logic.
- Greater security compared to Objective C.
- It is easier to fix bugs and errors in the code.
- There are code libraries, thanks to which you can communicate with new versions and update applications.
- Easier and safer to manage memory.
- The programming language is only suitable for Apple devices, application for Android or other operating systems is not possible.
- Developers can write in this language only on Apple devices.
- Swift has been in use since 2013, but the latest versions don’t mix well with the previous ones.
2. Objective C
Objective C is a programming language based on C and Smalltalk. It was used back in the 80s of the last century, and in 2008 Apple created the iPhone SDK 2.0 extension for writing applications for iOS devices. Initially, Objective C was considered an add-on to the C language, but with the growing popularity among NextStep and Apple, this language became official for developing applications and interfaces for iOS.
Objective C is used to support obsolete legacy projects that are no longer updated but are in the works as needed. This is due to the fact that the more advanced Swift language, released in 2014, does not have the disadvantages of Objective C and is used much more widely.
- There are many useful protocols and templates that are easier to work with.
- It works with Swift.
- Less performant than Swift.
- Difficult syntax
Kotlin is the main application in Android development, which is used by 5 million programmers in the world. The language runs on the basis of the JVM virtual machine, therefore it is fully compatible with Java. Kotlin is 40% more compact than Java, which is why it is increasingly used in server-side development.
To create not only Android applications but also programs for iOS, the cross-platform version of Kotlin Multiplatform Mobile (KMM), created in 2020, is used.
- Kotlin syntax is less detailed, concise, and short, which allows you to write less text and make fewer mistakes.
- Kotlin is based on the Java programming language, so it can be interchanged with it. Even if different parts of the interface are written in different languages, they can still work stably, which makes the program more productive and functional.
- Security and safety. During assembly, any errors can be detected and immediately corrected. The disadvantages associated with object mishandling are minimized, making testing easier.
- Java, which Kotlin is compatible with, has a large database of frameworks and templates that can be used when writing Kotlin.
- The speed of creating programs in Kotlin is lower when compared with Java.
- KMM (Cross-Platform Language Version) has not gained much popularity compared to other languages, so it may not be supported on some devices.
Java is the most popular language for writing Android applications until 2018. More powerful versions came out after this year, so Java is now used to support legacy projects that don’t need a major upgrade. The language is used for backend development, but new programs are being created on it less and less.
- Organic code for writing applications for Android, since the operating system itself, is written in this language. It is also based on Linux and Virtual Machine – its own virtual machine.
- The language is presented in the form of constantly interacting objects, which makes it easy to scale and update programs.
- A significant library of working tools that work with Java by default, making development faster and with fewer bugs.
- Java allows you to create applications for the development of mobile devices, cloud projects, software, and virtual and augmented reality, so many programmers know this language.
- Applications built in Java have more bugs than Kotlin applications.
- The resulting programs are difficult to read and consist of a large number of objects.
- The latest tool and framework libraries are more suited to Kotlin than Java.
Dart is a universal programming language created by Google in 2011. Dart was originally created for developing web applications, but now you can write server and mobile applications on it.
Changes have been possible since 2017, when the first version of the Flutter cross-platform technology was created. This open-source framework is used for programming on Android and iOS, desktop applications on Windows, macOS, and Linux, and the main programming language there is Dart.
Developers choose Flutter and Dart because they do not have the bugs of Kotlin, and Swift, but they adopt their advantages and best features. Flutter is one of the most popular cross-platform technologies today, just like React Native, Xamarin, and Angular.
- The language is easy to learn and understandable to programmers who have previously written native code for Android, iOS, or web applications.
- This language is more performant than other cross-platform frameworks due to the fact that the architecture of the target machine is the same as the architecture of the host.
- You can write one code for different platforms.
- Due to the great popularity of Flutter and Dart, they have a large tool base, and many libraries and there are enough examples of work, documentation, and ways to solve problems.
- There are more programmers working with React Native in the world than specialists working with Flutter.
- Dart isn’t as flexible as Kotlin, but the backlog is closing with constant updates.
To decide on the choice of a programming language for a mobile application, it is necessary to take into account the characteristics of the target audience, the goals and objectives of the project, and the operating system. A comprehensive analysis of all factors will allow you to choose the appropriate programming language and achieve success. Professionals from Perpetio will help with this task. Since 2014 Perpetio has been offering its own in-house team that covers the full cycle of product development – from UI/UX design to release and technical support, for a variety of mobile platforms.