As technologies are emerging everyday, they are easing our lives to a large extent. Almost every person has started integrating them into their day-to-day life. One example of such is a mobile phone. We have become addicted to mobile. Whether it’s for meeting our daily needs, ticket booking, payment transfer, or whatever else be our requirement, we pick up our mobile phones and fulfill them with a few clicks. 

So, we can say, smartphone apps have become an essential part of our lives, and we just need to install apps in them to accomplish our objectives. 

Do you know, it’s not challenging to develop an app, and it’s just as easy to create just like we use it. You just need the proper guidance and programming language, and you are good to go. 

This post will put forward the top programming languages to choose for Android app development and make it perform as expected.

Best Programming Language For Android App Development

Kotlin is the most preferred programming language nowadays, but there are more languages that you can choose to develop an Android app. 

Let’s check out the details below that may help you with an informed decision when it comes to choosing a programming language. 

1. Java

Java

Let’s start with Java first. 

Java was an official language for Android app development (but as you read earlier, Kotlin has taken its position), and resultantly, it’s the most used language. 

On the Play Store, apps are developed with Java mainly. Moreover, Java is the most supported language by Google. Additionally, in case of any issues, this programming language is a unique online community for the best support in case of any problems. 

Well, the beginners may find Java pretty complicated to use as it includes complex topics, such as null pointer exceptions, constructors, checked exceptions, concurrency, and more. Moreover, Android Software Development Kit (SDK) also adds complexity to the next level. 

Altogether, Java is the best language for developing Android apps. Beginners may start with something easier than Java and return to it as it may sound complex. 

Java Syntax

public class Main {
  public static void main(String[] args) {
    System.out.println("Hello World");
  }
}

Advantages

  • It is easy to learn as it’s simple to use, write, debug, and compile compared to other programming languages for mobile apps
  • Java is object-oriented, permitting users to craft modular programs and reuse code. 
  • This programming language is platform-independent, and this is the most significant advantage of Java. You can move it quickly from one computer system to another. 
  • Java’s ease of use, robustness, security features, and cross-platform capabilities make it the most preferred language for offering worldwide Internet solutions. 
  • Java is a secure language, and it lowers security threats and risks by putting aside explicit pointers. 
  • It is economical to maintain. You can develop and support Java programs at affordable prices.

Disadvantages

  • Its performance is poor and slow, and it’s memory-consuming and slower than other native languages, like C and C++. Its performance is also slow because of an extra level of abstraction and complication by the JVM. 
  • Java doesn’t offers such an engaging look and feel like the GUI. However, it comes with various GUIs for crafting graphical interfaces. But, they are not suitable for framing complicated UI. 
  • Java doesn’t provide any backup facility, and it chiefly works on storage but doesn’t concentrate on data backup. 
  • It needs significant memory space as compared to other languages. During the garbage collection execution, the performance and memory efficiency of the system may adversely get affected. 
  • Java’s code includes many words and complex and long sentences that are tough to read and understand. 

2. Kotlin

kotlinlang

An official language for Android app development, Kotlin was declared in 2019 by Google. It’s a cross-platform programming language that you can use as an alternative to Java. It was introduced as a secondary ‘official’ Java language in 2017. Kotlin can interoperate with Java and runs on the Java Virtual Machine. 

The only difference between these two programming languages is the unnecessary features of Java that Kotlin removes, like null pointer exceptions. Moreover, it diminishes the necessity for ending every line using a semicolon. 

In brief, Kotlin is a more straightforward programming language for beginners to start compared to Java. You can use Kotlin as an “entry point” in Android application development. 

Kotlin Syntax

fun main() {
  println("Hello World")
}

Advantages

  • Kotlin is easy to maintain. In the market, most IDEs support Kotlin, which assists in increasing productivity as it diminishes the need for the developers to learn new IDE. 
  • It is a 100% interoperable programming language, which means switching from Java to Kotlin is easy for skilled Android app developers. 
  • Kotlin is a clean and compact programming language, and the credit goes to its intuitive syntax that increases team efficiency to an extent. 
  • It is more reliable. Considering reliability, Kotlin had gone under various Alpha and Beta tests since its emergence before JetBrains released its final public version. 

Disadvantages

  • In various cases, Kotlin is faster than Java. But, Java wins the race while considering developing a clean build for Android applications.
  • However, every day more and more developers are switching to Kotlin; still, limited resources are available to learn and master Kotlin. 
  • The popularity of Kotlin is increasing, especially after Google released it as the top Android app development programming language. Still, there are fewer Kotlin developers in the market than Java experts. 
  • Kotlin and Java are similar, but switching from Java to Kotlin is still taking time as developers need more time to get familiar with it. 

Further reading: Best Android Libraries For App Development

3. C++

C++

Using the Android Native Development Kit (NDK), you can use C++ for android app development. Although you can’t create an app entirely using C++, the NDK is also used to implement the app’s parts in C++ native code. This assists in using C++ code libraries for the app as needed. 

C++ is best for android app development, and it’s challenging to set up and less flexible, resulting in more bugs because of increased complexity. So, people prefer Java before C++ as it doesn’t offer enough benefits. 

C++ Syntax

#include <iostream>
using namespace std;

int main() {
  cout << "Hello World!";
  return 0;
}

Advantages

  • C++ was the first-ever object-oriented language; it’s easier to sort data by treating it as an object. This trait also states that concepts like data abstraction, classes, and polymorphism permit code reuse, saving the programmer time and making code processing seamless.
  • C++ is a portable programming language, so you can use it to run the same program on distinct interfaces or OS regardless of what’s used to write the code. 
  • As C is a comparatively low-level programming language, you can use C++ for low-level manipulation. 
  • C++’s style is a multi-paradigm that describes how the procedure and structure of the program functions and states that you can write code in varied styles. 
  • As C++ is much versatile, it holds a considerable amount of scalability and can run on a large scale or even on a small one. 

Disadvantages

  • The usage of C++ welcomes various security issues like friend functions, pointers, and global variables. 
  • People find C++ pretty tough to access compared to other simple languages. 
  • C++ arrives with a significant disadvantage of manual memory management as it doesn’t hold any garbage collector that can automatically filter unnecessary data. 
  • In C++, pointers can be tricky to understand, and if you misuse them, it may lead to your system crash.
  • For beginners, C++ may be a bit complicated to understand as it’s an object-oriented programming language that will demand time to work seamlessly with it.

4. C#

C#

An ideal programming language similar to Java can be a perfect language preferred for developing Android apps. Java implements the garbage collection, so there are fewer chances of memory leakage. C# also holds a more straightforward and cleaner syntax than Java, and it is an object-oriented language. 

In the past days, the most significant disadvantage of C# was that it just holds the caliber to run on Windows systems as it considers the usage of the .NET framework. However, Xamarin emerged to handle this issue. You can use this programming language to develop desktop apps, web apps, games, mobile apps, etc. 

C# Syntax

#include <iostream>
using namespace std;

int main() {
  cout << "Hello World!";
  return 0;
}

Advantages

  • Since the start, C# was based on the OOP principles. OOP accumulates data into objects that ease the app breakage into smaller pieces that are faster to develop, manage, and merge. 
  • C# is considered a high-level language as its syntax looks like human language. The developers need to understand and manage the simple syntax to work with C#. 
  • C# holds a connection with the C-family of programming languages. While it’s not beneficial to learn C#, you will find it easier to learn C, C++, or Java as such languages use similar programming principles and syntax. 
  • One of the essential tasks for maintaining the app’s performance is memory allocation management. For this, C# arrives with an in-built garbage collector. A garbage collector is a memory manager that frees memory automatically and tracks unused objects. 
  • C# is type-safe, which states that a variant can’t alter its type across the code. Type safety ensures that the variable will act predictably and that any operations are possible only if they match the type. 

Disadvantages

  • As we have read, C# heavily depends on .NET resources to run on distinct operating systems or platforms. However, it’s not flexible as you expect if you do not prefer .NET as your main technology stack. 
  • C# is not the most accessible programming language, and the use of .NET adds more complexity. .NET libraries update usually. You need to learn various resources to attain your expected C# programming language outcomes. 
  • A programmer would fail to perform low-level things, such as interacting directly with the hardware through firmware and drivers. 
  • It doesn’t hold any independent compiler that can easily interpret the maximum language levels to the basic hardware architecture of a pure assembler. 

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5. Python

Python

A high-level, general-purpose language, Python is a popular programming language. It is used in web development and machine learning app development, and it’s best for beginners and experienced programmers. It is highly readable, utilizes English keywords, and holds fewer syntactical constructions. 

You can also use Python for task automation, data visualizations, and data analysis. As it’s comparatively easy to learn, it has been adopted by various non-programmers also for meeting varied routine tasks, such as finances and organizing.

Python Syntax

>>> print("Hello, World!")
Hello, World!

Advantages

  • Interpreter process Python at the runtime. You don’t need to compile your program before the execution, and it’s similar to PHP and PERL.
  • You can sit at a Python prompt to interact directly with the interpreter to write your programs. 
  • This programming language supports techniques of programming or Object-Oriented style that encapsulates code within objects. 
  • Python is a fantastic language for beginners and supports the development of various apps, from simple text processing to www browsers to games. 
  • You can easily integrate Python with C, C++, COBRA, COM, Java, and ActiveX. 

Disadvantages

  • Python code is executed sequentially, line by line, leading to slow execution. 
  • Python serves as the best server-side language that you rarely see on the client-side. Apart from that, you can rarely use it to implement smartphone-based apps. So, despite the existence of Brython, it’s not popular because it’s not secure. 
  • Python’s database access layers need to be fully developed compared to more popular technologies, like ODBC (Open DataBase Connectivity) and JDBC (Java DataBase Connectivity). That’s why it’s usually less applied in big enterprises.

6. HTML, CSS, JavaScript

JavaScriptCSS logo

You can create Android apps using HTML, CSS, JavaSCript, and the Adobe PhoneGap framework powered by Apache Cordova. This framework allows web development skills to build hybrid apps that you can access on the web but are stacked like an app.

While the Adobe PhoneGap framework is sufficient for the basic jobs in the Android app development world, it hardly needs programming except for JavaScript. Also, as it demands a lot of work to craft a fantastic app, it’s better to consider the other languages. But, if you are comfortable using JavaScript, you can learn React Native, an open-source framework that is much in demand. You can craft robust and engaging Hybrid apps with React Native, which means your app can run successfully on Android and iOS. Hybrid app development is becoming so popular that learning react-native can assist you in making a career in software development

Advantages

  • JavaScript is comparatively simple to learn and implement. You can use it everywhere on the web.
  • Client-side JavaScript is faster and can run immediately within the client-side browser. 
  • HTML is easy to write, code, and learn for beginners.
  • Also, HTML is increasingly used for data storage.
  • CSS is also simple to understand and is applied constantly across different sites. 
  • Cascading Style Sheet is less complex, which leads to less effort to learn and understand. 

Disadvantages

  • With JavaScript, as the code executes on the user’s computer, in some cases, it can be used for malicious purposes also. 
  • Sometimes, JavaScript is interpreted differently, making it challenging to write cross-browser code.
  • As HTML is a static language, you can’t produce dynamic results.
  • HTML errors can be costly.
  • HTML offers limited security. 
  • Using CSS may lead to cross-browser issues. 
  • With CSS, beginners and non-developers may witness confusion because of multiple issues. 

7. Dart

dart

An open-source programming language, Dart powers the Flutter framework that’s adopted these days because of its caliber to deliver engaging and best-performing apps for desktop, web, and mobile faster. 

The best part of Dart is that Google has designed it as a client-optimized language for swift-performing apps. Dart targets easing UI development for the developers holding the features, like hot-reload that permits developers to witness changes rapidly while working on the app. Also known as a fast-performing app, Dart compiles to x64 and ARM machine code for desktop, mobile, and backend. 

Dart Syntax

void main() {

// Displaying the output
print('Hello, Emizen');

/* print('Dart is a programming language');
print('Dart is a programming language'); */
print('Hello, Emizen');
}

Advantages

  • It is easy to learn a programming language, and Dart demands just the basic knowledge of programming language to understand it perfectly.
  • As Google is designing the interpreter for Dart, all its features are described profoundly. It permits you to swiftly respond to almost all the queries during the training process or while writing code. 
  • Dart is vert stable and used to develop production-quality real-time apps. 
  • Programs written in this programming language tend to run more rapidly than programs crafted in JS.
  • Dart holds the caliber to handle Just in time and Ahead of time compiling. In AOT, you can convert Dart code to native machine code. While in JIT mode, you can compile it for game-changing workflow and fast development cycles. 

Disadvantages

  • Dart is rarely used in the market and is comparatively challenging to understand for programmers. That’s why one looking for a job in Dart would find it tough to get a vacancy in the same stream. 
  • This programming language holds limited resources online; that’s why it’s pretty hard to find the solutions to issues. 
  • As native support is absent in Dart, developers need to bring dart to users’ browsers; it catches up with engaging demos of dart’s caliber. 

Also read: Flutter vs. React Native What To Choose For App Development?

Popular Android app Frameworks & Libraries

Popular Android app frameworks & Libraries
Source: AppBrain

Conclusion

After going through the list of top programming languages in the market, you can move ahead with your plan and best choice for Android app development. 

Various apps are developed using the programming languages on the Play Store. You can’t call any language the “correct language” to create Android apps, and you need to consider your project’s basic preferences and objectives. 

Above all, while choosing a programming language, be sure that whatever you pick will expand your proficiency and skill set, leading you to grow as an Android developer

Author

I am an eCommerce consultant, a member of the Forbes technology council with a decade of experience in the ecommerce development segment. My expertise can make your business overcome any obstacles while you are dealing with the Magento ecommerce platform!