The best programming languages for app development in 2022

The best programming languages for app development in 2022

Which language is best for app development 2022?

Software developers today have myriad choices when it comes to programming languages. They can code their applications in native platforms. They can choose to focus on languages used for hybrid or cross-platform development. Developers who want to code for iOS choose Swift. Developers who want to code for Android use Kotlin. And those aiming to create cross-platform applications may use Java or React, among many other options.

Software developers usually have three main ways to create an app. They can choose to code a native app, a hybrid app or a progressive web app. Developers create native apps to function on one specific platform, usually either iOS or Android. They create these apps using Swift or Objective C for iOS. For Android they use C++, Kotlin or several other languages. Developers create hybrid apps by using languages like JavaScript and HTML. Hybrid development starts with creating a common backend and then skinning the app for iOS and Android. 

What is the best programming language for app development?

Let’s take a look at the best programming languages for app development.

1. JavaScript

According to Statista, JavaScript hold the #1 spot for app developers. 59% of developers report using JavaScript in the last twelve months. Many developers choose JavaScript because of its strength in cross-platform development. JavaScript comes in many flavors. It underlies many frameworks and libraries. Developers use JavaScript for many purposes. They often use JavaScript to create Progressive Web Apps (PWAs).

JavaScript Pros

  • Fast 
  • Versatile and flexible
  • Easy to use

JavaScript Cons

  • Browser support varies
  • Vulnerable to malicious use
  • Scripting unpredictable at times

2. Python

Software developers use Python to create web and desktop applications. They also use Python for several other purposes, including network server administration. Python has many fans because of Python’s library support, easy integration and interactive controls. Many start-ups choose Python. Python works best for creating Hybrid and cross-platform applications.

Python Pros

  • Fast, easy to learn
  • Supports many operating systems 
  • Many frameworks available 

Python Cons

  • Not great with tasks that require a lot of memory
  • Slow to execute
  • Data access issues

You might be also interested in: Web development vs app development: What to choose for your business

3. Swift

Software developers use Swift to create apps for iOS. Swift is open-source. Developers love Swift because of Swift’s flexibility and scalability.  Apple released Swift in 2014 as a language and made it available for mobile application development a year later. Going forward, Apple has signalled that Swift is the preferred language for coding apps for iOS.

Swift Pros

  • Works on Cocoa and Cocoa Touch platforms
  • Easy scalability
  • Concise syntax
  • Fast
  • Less buggy than Objective C

Swift Cons

  • Fairly new and untested compared to Objective C
  • Requires frequent updates

4. Java

Software developers use Java as a server-side language and for creating Android apps. Java is an object-oriented language. Java has many open-source libraries. Many developers also use Java to create cross-platform and PWAs. Many developers consider Java the go-to language for Android development. Sun Microsystems initially developed Java in 1995, Oracle currently owns Java. Java uses bytecode that Java Virtual Machine interprets at runtime.

Java Pros

  • Code is reusable and portable
  • Works on the widest variety of devices
  • Flexible and versatile 

Java Cons

  • Java Virtual Machine has some bugs
  • Class syntax and libraries have writing issues
  • Complex to implement

5. Kotlin

Google announced in 2017 that they would support Kotlin for Android application development. Kotlin is open-source and uses Java bytecode, libraries and Virtual Machine. You can think of Kotlin as a refined version of Java. Kotlin works a bit more slowly than Java, but Kotlin does have native support. Many Android IDEs work with Kotlin as well.

Kotlin Pros

  • Clear and concise language
  • Allows for functional programming 
  • Large community of users, good support

Kotlin Cons

  • Relatively new
  • Slower than Java
  • Limited learning resources

6. Dart

Google created Dart in 2011 as an  open-source and object-oriented programming language. Software developers use Dart for both client-side and server-side programming. Dart uses a C-style syntax. Developers use Dart  to create both Native and cross-platform applications. 

Dart Pros

  • Easy to learn
  • Code works for both web and mobile applications
  • Large community of users, good support

Dart Cons

  • Requires writing sub and generic domain packages 
  • Not strong on backend/server side

7. HTML 5

HTML 5 is a markup language commonly used for front-end web coding. HTML uses tags to structure websites. Ideally, HTML gets its look and style for CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). HTML 5 works across all platforms and browsers. HTML 5 supports rich media and many image types. HTML 5 works to create Hybrid, PWA, and cross-platform applications. 

HTML 5 Pros

  • Works with all modern browsers
  • Supports rich media, including video and audio
  • Fast loading times because of cache 
  • Support animation and transition effects

HTML 5 Cons

  • Not always backward-compatible
  • Long development time
  • Special coding needed for each browser and platform to address quirks of each

Read also: App development cost breakdown in 2022

8. SQL

Software developers use SQL (Structured Query Language)  to manage relational databases. SQL became the go-to programming language for relational databases as early as the 1970s. SQL manages and performs many operations on relational databases. SQL meets both ANSI and ISO standards. Many enterprise users choose SQL for this reason. SQL works to create all kinds of apps, from native to PWAs.

SQL Pros

  • Powerful and popular
  • Handles large number of transactions in a single query\
  • Fast at data retrieval 
  • Data highly available and consistent

SQL Cons

  • Complex and difficult to add code 
  • Inflexible
  • Only scales vertically
  • Difficult to convert data from objects into tables

9. Ruby on Rails 

Ruby works in the back end as an object-oriented scripting language. Developers use Ruby to create web applications, administrate servers and create standard libraries. Ruby has evolved to serve many purposes over the years. Ruby directly executes instructions instead of compiling into machine language. Developers use Ruby to create all kinds of apps, especially cross-platform applications.

Ruby Pros

  • Supports dynamic input 
  • Easy to maintain
  • Intuitive syntax
  • Easy to learn

Ruby Cons

  • Slower than other popular languages
  • Not flexible
  • Updates and bug fixes slow to release

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