The 10 Best Programming Languages to Learn for Android App Development

This article reviews the top programming language to learn Android app development. As you might have known already, smartphones play a crucial part in our daily lives.

Some research data shows that the average individual peeps at the smartphone 86 times daily. How many times do you check your smartphone for emails, WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram updates? Several times daily, I believe. 

The many apps on smartphones are essential for work, education, information, and fun activities. App developers use several technologies to make the useful smartphone apps you use every day.  

If you are looking forward to becoming an Android developer, one of the essential things you must do is to choose the best programming language to learn for Android apps development.  

The Top 10 Programming Languages to Learn for Android App Development

There are several programming languages you can learn for Android development, but we have streamlined the best 10 options in this article. Some of these technologies are for native Android development, while others are useful for making cross-platform apps. 

The native development languages in this list include Java, Kotlin, Basic, Lua, C#, and C++. While React Native, Ionic, Flutter, and Xamarin are recommended for cross-platform development. 

Below is a quick overview of the programming languages for Android development. 


At the time of writing, Java is the dominant programming language for Android development. While Dalvik Virtual Machine is used for compiling the code, it runs on Android’s embedded Java Virtual Machine. 

Android Studio uses Java as one of the language options for app development. The maturity and reliability of Java make it a preferred programming language for app development. 

Java was developed by Sun Microsystems in 1995, the company was later acquired by Oracle who is the present owner of the programming language. Java is useful for creating all kinds of applications, including mobile apps.  A simple search online will present you with several resources for learning Java.  It is a beginner-friendly programming language. 


Kotlin has acquired a considerable market share in Android development. While this language is relatively new in the Android development scene, its simplicity, efficiency, and cross-compatibility with Java make it attractive for developers. At the time of writing, Kotlin is the second programming language option for Android Studio. 

By design, Kotlin is a Java alternative with modern features, an attractive layout, and a more readable code. On the contrary, Java is faster more mature, secure, and writes shorter codes. 


Although C++ is not the friendliest language for new developers, it remains an excellent option for building advanced Android apps.  C++ is one of the most popular development languages globally. It is widely used for creating operating systems, video gaming platforms, and 3D films. 

Android development with C++ offers excellent performance because the code runs natively on the smartphone. However, this feature also makes development tasks challenging. Although C++ has massive features and remains one of the best tools for designing Android games, the learning curve is steep.


C# is a modern programming language that combines the excellent features of Java and C++.  This synergy makes it suitable for various development tasks, ranging from games to advanced Windows-based programs, and recently, Android Apps.  

Developed in the year 2,000, this Microsoft-owned technology is relatively new in the programming scene but has garnered a large developer community. C# features several advancements on the previous flavor of the C language, such as object-oriented programming. 

Learning C# is less complicated, compared to other programming languages and quite versatile. It is an excellent programming language for building Android apps. 


Lua is an open-source and straightforward high-level programming language, It is widely used for building games such as Angry Birds and Warcraft.  Thanks to it’s the useful game engine that empowers developers to build simple and advanced games for multiple platforms.

Lua programming language can also be used for building gaming apps for Android too. However, you may have to opt for C++ or C# to build advanced games. 


The BASIC programming language is an acronym that stands for “Beginners All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code.” It is a simplistic programming language, making it an excellent option for new Android developers.

Although using BASIC for Android development supports limited features, this does not stop you from building useful Android apps with BASIC. However, you may need a more viable programming language for advanced app development projects.  Still, you can leverage the low-code Back4app backend to create fantastic apps with minimal coding. 

React Native 

Facebook evolved from an internal hackathon project to become the leading open-source programming language for building native Android apps.  

React Native is one of the best programming languages to learn for Android development because of its cross-platform development features. In essence, you can deploy a single code to build an Android and iOS app.

React Native has been used to build highly successful apps such as Uber and Airbnb, helping developers save costs while accessing native features of the mobile platform. 

With React Native, developers can access a massive open-source library consisting of several ready-made components, allowing them to develop apps faster than before.  React Native apps have native UX,  responsive and reliable.


Flutter has a reputation as a fast and developer-friendly way of building apps for multiple platforms, including Android and iOS. Flutter was built by Google to use the Dart Programming language.  The platform offers an SDK and a full-fledged library containing tools for building highly engaging modern apps. 

Code usability is one of the outstanding features of Flutter, this feature makes app development assignments more manageable.  Other features include premade and customizable widgets for creating app widgets. Flutter is an excellent choice for building native-like apps on Android. 


Xamarin was developed in 2011 but later acquired mu Microsoft and integrated into the popular Visual Studio IDE.  It is an excellent programming language for building cross-platform apps that work on iOS and Android. 

To build an Android app with Xamarin, you need to know C# and the dot net framework; these are the two technologies Xamarin uses for building mobile apps. Since it uses a single tech stack to create shearable code, development with Xamarin is faster. You can deploy the same code to a different platform after a few minor modifications.  

Xamarin developers can access robust native APIs for the creation of apps with native functions, look and feel. While Xamarin is not the best option for creating rich graphics apps like games, it is excellent for building other mobile app projects. 


Ionic is an open-source platform for building apps for Android and iOS. It is a User-Interface toolkit that depends on JavaScript codes like Angular, React, or Vue for building Webviews. 

Ionic offers a wide array of premade native components, allowing the developer to add native functions to apps. Developers can achieve decent performance on Ionic apps after making a few DOM changes here and there.

With Ionic, developers can create cross-platform apps faster and with fewer hassles. However, this technology is not suitable for building apps with advanced features because it depends on WebView.

A Final Note

In this article, we have reviewed ten of the best programming language for Android app development.

While some languages like Java and Kotlin can build native apps, others like Flutter and React Native are for cross-platform development.  

Hopefully, this article can help you select a preferred programming language for Android development. 


What programming language can you learn for Android app development?

1. Java – Native
2. Kotlin – Native
3. C# – Native
4. C++ – Native
5. Basic – Native
6. Lua – Native
7. React Native – Cross Platform
8. Flutter – Cross Platform
9. Xamarin – Cross Platform
10. Ionic – Cross Platform

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