The Best Programming Languages For Android And iOS Apps

The Best Programming Languages For Android And iOS Apps
Android iOS Programming Languages

Smartphones and mobile applications have become an indispensable segment of our lives. Recent statistics claim that an individual spends approximately 4.37 hours/day utilizing smartphone applications. In the United States, this figure is 3 hours and 54.8 minutes per day. 

This trend also enlightens the significance of using the right frameworks and programming languages for Android and iOS apps. Indeed, businesses and developers must choose the best programming technologies for building mobile apps to maximize user experience. 

Several dev tools and languages are available here, but it is essential to know which scripting technology is suitable for your project.

So, this article is going to discuss the best programming languages for Android and iOS in detail, including their pros and limitations.

Let’s start.

The Best Android And iOS Programming Languages

Programming LanguageOverviewType of Application
JavaPowerful, versatile language with extensive SDKs, ideal for Android app development.Android
KotlinGoogle-endorsed, interoperable with Java, offering concise code and robust development for Android.Android
C# (with Xamarin)Microsoft-backed, structured language for agile native app development, using Xamarin for cross-platform capabilities.Cross-platform
Python (with Kivy and BeeWare)Versatile, with extensive libraries for easy syntax, used in Android apps with specific frameworks.Android
LuaLightweight, fast, and portable scripting language, suitable for Android development.Android
SwiftAdvanced language by Apple with a focus on speed and safety, for iOS app development.iOS
Objective-CLong-established, object-oriented language with dynamic typing, for iOS app development.iOS
React NativeMeta’s cross-platform JS framework for natively rendered apps, using a single codebase.Cross-platform
Flutter (Dart)Google’s UI toolkit for customized, efficient cross-platform app development using Dart.Cross-platform
HTML5/CSS3/JavaScript StackWeb technologies used in hybrid apps, running in a native container for cross-platform deployment.Cross-platform

Java, Python, Kotlin, C#, and Lua are considered the most reliable Android app development languages. Let’s discuss them one by one:


Java is one of the most compelling Android app development languages, and it is scripted in objects and classes.

Since 2008, it’s been a powerful choice for building Android applications. Hereof, Java confers a complete suite of SDKs under its standard libraries. 

Correspondingly, this high-level scripting technology is easy to learn and use for beginners and provides excellent versatility.

However, you must have a good understanding of Android Studio IDE, testing emulators, Android Jetpack, Netbeans, and IntelliJ before commencing your dev journey with Java.

The popular Android apps that use Java are Uber, Netflix, X, Google Earth, and Spotify. 

Features That Make Java Useful for Android Development

Legacy Codebases – Developers have been using Java for different tech stacks for around 30 years. That is why most software systems are written in this language. It is seamless to use Java to upgrade an existing Android app or release an Android version of desktop software.

Cost Efficient – If you want to craft highly performing Android apps with more return on investment (ROI), Java should be your choice. This is a commonly used language. Therefore, hiring and development costs are economical. 

Built-in Memory – This scripting technology depends on JVM to automatically handle the memory execution and distribution tasks. In this way, the possibility of app crashes and memory leaks in Android becomes minimal. 

Well-Developed Ecosystem – Java is an old and tested mobile language initially released in 1995. For that reason, this open-source technology holds a vast array of SDKs, frameworks, and libraries. Also, it is outstandingly compatible with distinct Android devices. 

Multithreading – It is essential to have multithreading support to build highly responsive and performing Android apps. Java lets the developers perform simultaneous executions. 


  • Although Java is constantly amending its ecosystem and variants but, it is still considered an outdated language. Mainly if you compare Java with contemporary Android languages.
  • More memory usage, verbose syntax, and a steep learning curve are also drawbacks of using this Android development language. 


Kotlin is a high-level programming language that Google formally ratified as a top-notch technology for Android development in 2019.

Since then, Kotlin has been widely used to craft mobile applications. Around 60% of programmers utilize Kotlin for safe and highly productive Android development.

You can also employ Kotlin to modernize your current Java projects. Yes, it is very compatible with Java and smoothly functions as a Java Virtual Machine (JVM).

Integrated Development Environments that work best with Kotlin are Android Studio, Eclipse, and IntelliJ IDEA.

Similarly, if we discuss real-world Android applications using Kotlin, then Zomato, Lyft, Pinterest, and Expedia are at the top.

Moreover, 70 of Google’s Map, Drive, Messages, and Play applications are developed utilizing Kotlin.  

Features That Make Kotlin Beneficial for Android Development

Interoperability – An existing Java code could be easily operated through Kotlin. In short, it is seamless to switch an Android app from Java to Kotlin to get more advanced features. Kotlin also lets the developers benefit from Java SDKs, dev tools, and libraries.

Concise Code – With Kotlin, developers need to script short and reusable codes to convert their ideas into reality. It also takes less time to read and write Kotin code because of simple syntax. 

Secure – This platform is considered a safer option than Java because of its pre-install security functionalities. Kotlin limits the crash chances of Android applications to up to 20%. Besides, it has the nullability to avert NullPointerExceptions.

Jetpack libraries – Jetpack Compose is one of the highly endorsed Android libraries that simplifies UI tasks. Fortunately, Kotlin uses the Jetpack Compose to develop native user interfaces. Some other pre-built tools that Kotlin confers are extensions, lambdas, and coroutines.  


  • Kotlin has a slower compilation rate than Java when it comes to crafting neat codes.
  • Although Kotlin is a growing technology with the powerful endorsement of Google, it is still hard to find well-skilled Kotlin developers and community support.

C# (with Xamarin)

C# or C Sharp is a cross-platform and structured programming language initially released in 2000.

This Microsoft-backed technology is highly valued to build agile and productive native apps for the Android platform. It also lets you conduct all the functions that Java and Objective-C have.

Mainly, when you combine C# with Xamarin and .NET, it becomes seamless for developers to design highly advanced Android applications on the fly.

Hereof, dev teams can use C# as a language with the Xamarin platform and its open-source SDKs and libraries. However, you can employ .NET to get multi-platform compatibility. 

If we talk about the use cases of C#, it is widely utilized for ML, cloud system management, gaming, and Windows applications. Olo, Alaska Airlines, Storyo, and BBC Good Food are examples of apps designed with Xamarin and C#.

Features That Make C# Beneficial for Android Development

Structured – This structured Android language is scripted logically. You can divide it into tiny sections called functions and procedures. The structured trait also authorizes the dev teams to pen, read, run, and debug the code more effectively.  

Part of the C Family – C# is a maintained and reliable language that belongs to the group of C languages. It has similarities with C languages like Java, C++, and C. So, it’s easy to include codes from these languages in your project.

Cross-Platform Development – Another advantage of using C Sharp is its cross-platform nature. You just have to pen the C# code once, and you can deploy it to multiple operating systems and devices across the globe.

Open-Source & Community Support – This is an open-source Android language that presents the majority of resources on GitHub. Similarly, as an old programming language, it holds ample community support. According to recent stats of the TIOBE Index, C# is the 5th most used scripting technology with 7.54% ratings. 


  • C Sharp heavily depends on .NET technology, which could be an inflexible choice for businesses willing to choose another platform.
  • A steep learning curve and runtime overhead are also cons of using C#.

Python (with Kivy and BeeWare)

With extensive supporting libraries and easy syntax, Python is another popular option to build Android applications on our list.

Python is an object-oriented language that is considered highly versatile and flexible in mobile app development.

Hereof, Kivy, Django, and BeeWare are the most beneficial mobile app development frameworks and tools.

First of all, Kivy is a freemium Python framework suitable for crafting multi-platform GUI applications.

Correspondingly, BeeWare is a toolset that lets you script Python and publish it on several operating systems with excellent compatibility.

Moreover, Django is conventionally utilized for web development. However, it could be a great choice for constructing mobile apps with Python using REST APIs.

Uber, Instagram, and Shopify are the dominant apps that use Python for different tech stacks. 

Features That Make Python Beneficial for Android Development

Simple Syntax – Python is a highly adopted language because of its straightforward syntax. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced developer, it is simple for you to read, write, and understand Python.

Security – The robust backing of frameworks like Django and Kivy makes Python a secure solution for mobile development. Code analyzers and scanners like Bandit, PyT, and Safety are also very beneficial.

Modular Approach – It follows a modular approach, which makes it easy for developers to fractionate complicated apps into tiny units. This feature makes the development procedure brisk and straightforward. 

Extensive Libraries – This is an old open-source technology that owns extensive toolkits, libraries, and further dev resources. Yes, you can quickly find all the resources related to GUI, graphics, machine learning, and data science projects on the internet.


  • This language is rarely used for building mobile apps. Yes, Python needs more effort from the programming team when you use it for mobile development. Mainly when you compare it with Android languages like Java.
  • Sluggish runtime performance, more memory consumption, and runtime errors are also significant drawbacks of using Python.


If you are looking for a lightweight, robust, and open-source scripting language for your Android project, don’t ignore Lua.

Founded in 1993, Lua is a fast and portable programming language. This dynamically typed language backs object-oriented, data-driven, and functional programming. 

The majority of developers like employing Lua because of its agile programming and understandable syntax. Yes, its syntax is as simple as JS and Python.

Lua has been used in the development of different gaming and digital TV applications, as well as in the design of applications. Lua’s popular apps are Angry Birds, Ginga, Adobe Lightroom, and World of Warcraft. 

Features That Make Lua Beneficial for Android Development

Fast Development – This interpreting programming language provides robust development speed without compromising performance. Thus, dev teams and businesses can leverage it to craft gaming and real-time mobile apps.

Simple Syntax – Beginners can quickly understand and learn this programming language for Android because of its syntax. It only uses 20 avid keywords to construct the syntax design.

Portable – Using a regular C compiler, it is quick to run this language on distinct operating systems, including Android, Windows, iOS, BREW, etc. Similarly, you can also operate this scripting technology on distinct embedded microprocessors.

Documentation – As an old programming language, it confers detailed libraries and documentation. Moreover, it has ample community support to get answers to your queries. 


  • Lua doesn’t have appropriate support for error handling, so the debugging process becomes arduous. 
  • Restricted pattern matching aids and glitches in variable practices are also cons of using Lua. 

Dominant Programming Languages for iOS App Development

Swift, Objective-C, Python, and C# are leading iOS app development languages. Let’s overview them in detail.


Swift is the finest iOS programming language that Apple introduced in 2014. The main agenda behind the creation of this language is to provide an advanced alternative to Objective-C.

Yes, it confers more straightforward and more concise syntax and lightning-fast experience than Objective-C.

You can use Swift to build applications for all Apple mobile and desktop platforms. With out-of-the-box compatibility with macOS, iOS, tvOS, iPadOS, Darwin, and watchOS, you can also use Swift to craft Android, Windows, and Linux applications. 

The prominent tech companies that use Swift for their iOS app versions are Lyft, Firefox, Airbnb, and Artsy. 

Features That Make Swift Beneficial for iOS Development

Robust Performance – Swift provides quick executions and better performance because of its optimization and LLVM compiler compared to C++ and Objective-C. Mainly, if you are building data-intensive apps for iOS, you should prefer Swift because of its agile performance.

Easy to Use – The novel and concise Swift syntax allows the developers to learn, script, and read the code effortlessly. Besides, it promises stable scripting because of its statically typed nature. In this way, you can also avoid errors.

Memory Management – Swift ensures improved memory management by offering ARC or Automatic Reference Counting tool. This feature deals with memory administration automatically without the manual commands of dev teams. 

Community Support – Apple officially endorses this open-source language. Thus, you can conveniently find related resources like forum discussions, blog posts, podcasts, source codes, and bug detectors to support your project. 


  • If you compare Swift with Objective-C, it is still a young iOS technology with limited community support. It is also challenging to find skilled Swift developers.
  • Insufficient multi-platform support and imperfect interoperability with integrated development environments are also drawbacks of building mobile apps with Swift.


Objective-C is a long-established scripting language for crafting iOS applications Apple introduced in 1984.

This is an object-oriented language written in C language. It was considered a regular language for Apple mobile platforms before the arrival of Swift.

Indeed, Swift is very popular as an Objective-C alternative because of its simple syntax, ARC tool, and newfangled traits. However, Objective-C is still relevant when it comes to legacy code, supporting libraries, and integration with third-party tools.

The famous tech giants that designed their iOS apps with Objective-C are LinkedIn, Evernote, Dropbox, and Facebook.  

Features That Make Objective-C Beneficial for iOS Development

Dynamic Typing – Objective-C permits the developers to decide on object type at runtime. Therefore, coders can seamlessly operate with generic objects. Similarly, this language has the ability to grasp the values of any kind of variable, but Swift only keeps the particular values. 

Community Support – Objective-C has facilitated the programming community for more than 30 years. That is why it has massive community support and function-rich libraries. 

Highly Extensible – It is easy and quick to add new functionalities to your existing Objective-C project. Yes, it has been a very scalable programming language since the beginning. 

Secure – It is considered a highly secure iOS development language because of encapsulation and hidden data features. This language authorizes developers to protect data from undesirable access. Moreover, encapsulation lets the dev teams confine the direct approach to object variables. 


  • Objective-C can slow down the development process because it consumes more time in programming than Swift.
  • Complicated syntax, defined pointers, and lack of modern features are also limitations of Objective-C.

C# (with Xamarin)

If you want to craft applications for Apple devices using Microsoft-backed technologies, you shouldn’t ignore C#.

Although it is a daunting task to find supporting frameworks, IDEs, and tools for an iOS language but, if you choose C#. The answer is simple.

Yes, you have to employ frameworks like Xamarin and .NET, and you must have the latest version of Visual Studio, iOS SDKs, and Xcode.

The cross-platform trait of this versatile language permits you to pen the code once and deploy it on any operating system, including Android, Windows, and the web.

The popular iOS apps designed with C Sharp are FOX Sports, Taxfyle, The World Bank, and Pinterest.

Features That Make C# Beneficial for iOS Development

Easy to Use – C# is an easy-to-use and learn programming language. If you choose C Sharp to build iOS applications, you don’t have to learn other Apple languages like Objective-C and Swift. It enables you to develop apps utilizing Visual Studio without employing any Apple IDE.

Multiple Support – Similarly, if you are creating an app for different operating systems, including Apple, C# could be a fine choice. It permits you to pen the script once and use it on several platforms. 

Suitable for Beginners – C# is a better option for novice developers rather than Swift and Objective-C. You will surely find this language easier than other iOS languages because of its natural syntax.

Productivity – This language develops highly productive applications by reducing bugging problems. C Sharp benefits from IntelliSense by robustly compiling the code and inspecting technical glitches. 


  • C# is a suitable iOS scripting technology for building simple apps. However, it offers comparatively mediocre performance for data-intensive and complicated apps. 
  • Its reliance on the .NET platform also makes it a poor selection for mobile apps.    

Python (with Kivy and BeeWare)

Conventionally, Python is not a popular language for building Apple applications. But because of its support for data-intensive, video streaming, command-line, blockchain, and ML apps, it is still a viable option.

So, if you are picking Python for iOS development, it is crucial to have a macOS device to run and deploy the code. You can probably select a MacBook for this venture. The prerequisites are Xcode, BeeWare, and Kivy. 

Features That Make Python Beneficial for iOS Development

Cost-Efficient – Python is an economical programming language that allows you to utilize the same capabilities and resources to craft web, iOS, and Android applications. 

Big Data Support – This scripting language is highly endorsed for the development of data-intensive applications. You can get excellent support for big data and machine learning apps with Python.

Third-Party Support – Unlike other languages, Python has great compatibility with third-party tools and plugins. Especially when it comes to creating mobile applications.  

Secure – If you are going to build a sensitive data app for the iOS platform, Python won’t disappoint you. It has incredible built-in features to protect user-created data. 


  • Python works best for web and server-side programming, but there are better approaches to building iOS mobile applications. It has more complexities for mobile development.
  • More memory consumption, slow runtime, and less compatibility with other languages are further disadvantages of this scripting technology.

Cross-Platform Development and Emerging Trends

Here are commonly used cross-platform frameworks and mobile app development stacks:

React Native

React Native is a highly valuable cross-platform JS framework introduced by Meta in 2015. This is one of the finest UI libraries to craft natively rendered Android and iOS applications.

With this library, you have to script the app code once, and then you can use it to create multi-platform apps.

The famous mobile applications that are built with RN are Meta, Pinterest, Instagram, and Uber Eats.

Key Features

Quick Refresh – Unlike other native technologies, RN saves the app modifications on the fly. You don’t have to wait for the end of native development.

Community Support – This is a tested mobile app development tool that has ample community support. Yes, Meta has utilized it for various tech stacks, so you can quickly discover supportive resources and material.

Efficient – Its cross-platform nature makes it an efficient solution. It takes less time to code and deploy different mobile operating systems. 


  • Third-party integrations and framework configurations could be troublesome when you use RN.

Flutter (Dart)

Flutter is a game changer when it comes to building highly customized cross-platform mobile applications.

This is basically a UI SDK that Google made public in 2017. In this regard, Flutter leverages different programming languages like C and C++, but Dart is the best fit.

The preeminent iOS and Android applications that successfully use Flutter are eBay Motors, Xianyu, Google Ads, and Groupon.

Key Features

Hot Reloads – This feature authorizes you to implement the modifications quickly. Also, you don’t have to restart the whole program to see the altered results. 

Single Codebase – You can lower the development cost, time, and effort for resource allocation through this property. Moreover, single codebases could be swiftly deployed on multiple platforms.

Easy Customization – For businesses that want to go with convoluted and highly tailored user interfaces, Flutter should be their choice. 


  • As a relatively novel programming tool, it is challenging to find strong community support and documentation for Flutter. 

HTML5/CSS3/JavaScript Stack

The use of web technologies and native solutions is also common in building cross-platform mobile applications.

These are usually scripted in CSS3, HTML5, and JavaScript and known as hybrid apps. These applications are driven in a native container and benefit from the browser engine of desktop or mobile devices.

It is a wise decision to use app development frameworks like Apache Cordova, WidgetPad, and RhoMobile Suite to build such applications. 

Key Features

Cost-Efficient – It is inexpensive to build hybrid mobile apps compared to native applications. Single code can be set up on both mobile and web platforms.

Seamless Maintenance – It is complicated to maintain native apps. Fortunately, you don’t need particular expertise to maintain applications crafted with web technologies.

Cloud Support – It is easy to sync your hybrid apps with different cloud solutions, mainly when you use frameworks like Apache Cordova or Ionic.


  • The unavailability of native experience and degraded performance are significant cons of using web technologies for mobile app development.

Choosing the Right Language for Your Project

All cross-platform and native mobile app-building languages have their own pros and cons. However, it is crucial to consider distinct factors to select a scripting language.

Factors to Consider When Selecting a Programming Language

Targeted Platform

First of all, you should determine the target platform of your mobile application.

Likewise, if you are building an app for only the iOS platform, you can employ Swift or Objective-C. Withal, if you are developing an app for the Android platform, your choice will be Java, Kotlin, or Python. 

Contrarily, if you need to craft an app for both Apple and Android devices, you should adopt a language that has multi-platform capabilities. 

Compatibility with Business Goal & App Purpose

Your selected programming language should also match all the requirements of your app and business. It depends on which type of mobile application you are creating and how much memory, data, networking, and server resources it will use. 

Availability of Supportive Resources & Tools

Another factor is the availability of different types of resources. Therefore, the majority of businesses need to pay more attention to the significance of human resources.

Yes, I am referring to skilled coders. You need to ensure that you have a large enough pool of talented programmers for your selected language.

Correspondingly, community support, SDKs, libraries, and documentation resources are crucial. 

Dev Team’s Preference 

The selection of a mobile app programming language shouldn’t be a random decision of the administration team or business executives. You should also take the opinion of your dev team. 

Besides, don’t forget it should be a collective decision of the entire dev team instead of a leading developer. Ultimately, the dev team should enjoy programming with their chosen language. 


In short, the selection of the correct programming language for Android and iOS mobile apps is a challenging job.

This guide concludes that Java is the broadly utilized programming language for Android development. Nevertheless, you can employ Kotlin for a contemporary experience.

Conversely, you can adopt Swift for advanced mobile app development experience for the iOS platform.

The use of Xamarin with C# is also applicable if you don’t want to use Apple’s IDEs. Also, if we cover cross-platform mobile app coding, the use of web technologies, such as Flutter and React Native, could be beneficial options. 

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