With the digital age affecting the majority of business decisions in one way or another, many businesses are turning to mobile apps to help them meet their business goals. Once you nail down your idea and design, it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty and develop your app. That means you need to go through all your target markets and optimize your plan. How you choose the programming language for your app will depend on different factors. This includes whether you want your app to be solely yours (a native app), a cross-platform app, or a hybrid of these options. Your choice can also depend on whether you want an app for iOS, Android, or Windows. Likewise, the type of functions and level of programming you need to execute will have a heavy impact on your choice.

Before you decide, here’s what you need to know about the best languages to use to develop your app:

Best Languages for App Development

C++

If you want to create apps for Windows or Android, C++ is the most fitting option. This scripting language has been around and thriving since before even smartphones, and it’s great for low-level programming uses. It’s powerful and robust, despite not being the ‘hot’ commodity that trendier programming languages seem to be.

It’s been a reliable programming language since its onset and remains one of the premier choices today. You can use C++ to create any app, for any platform, with nearly any purpose in mind, so it’s a dependable choice. If you need extra reassurance on how powerful it is, C++ was used to develop both Google Chrome and Microsoft Windows.

HTML5

HTML5 isn’t a programming language per se. It is the fifth version of the HyperText Markup Language (HTML). If you want to build a mobile app that’s paired with another programming language, like javascript, HTML5 could be suitable. It’s primarily used to present web-based content, although you can use it to create both Android and iOS apps. HTML5 is also supported by many various browsers and it’s generally not as hard to learn. However, you will need to also use a framework to fully develop your app.

C#

C#, also known as C Sharp, isn’t the programming language you’d necessarily use for every app, but if you’re developing an app for a Windows’ phone, it an ideal solution. Microsoft fans consider this to be the most desired programming language, so although it may not change your life if you’re working on an iOS app, it’s perfect for Windows applications. C# is also a great programming language if you’ll be developing gaming apps since it’s backed by Unity3D.

Swift

Swift is intended to work with Objective-C (which we’ll cover in more detail later), it’s quickly becoming the go-to language for general-purpose programming. It’s the newest addition to coding languages for Apple, so it’s gaining popularity among iOS app developers. It’s open-source, which means any prospective app developer can use it, so long as they have a Linux system to operate it on. For developing iOS and OS X apps, this is the basic language you need to fully develop an app, although it won’t work for android apps.

Objective-C

While it does work in conjunction with Swift, some Objective-C users are relying more heavily on the former. Objective-C is integrated into all of Apple’s frameworks, so it’s even easier to use. Not only that, it can be used to directly address programming items such as graphics and display on iOS systems. Even though Swift is replacing a lot of Objective-C’s functionality, it’s still one of the best programming languages to use for developing your app since it’s been used heavily in prior app development and still supports the framework of a huge portion of apps.

Java

Even if you haven’t used it, you’ve certainly heard of it. Java is a flexible, dynamic language that is easily one of the most popular choices when developing android apps. This is also one of the easiest programming languages to update the software on and to use if you want to recycle some older code. Even if you know very little, or nothing, about programming languages, you can pick up Java in a few days or less. Since it’s more object focused than many programming languages, many people find it easier to use. You can also choose to run it either in a virtual machine (no web browser required) or in a web browser, depending on your preference. Since it can handle both Android and iOS apps (although it does considerably less for iOS apps), it’s a solid choice for cross-platform app development. The other real benefit to using Java, also known as Javascript, is that you don’t have to code your app for each platform. You create the code for your app once, and that same code can be used for creating apps that work for iOS, Android, and Windows.

BuildFire.js

This programming language uses Javascript and Build Fire SDK to speed up app development behind the scenes. The advantage of this language is that you can use pre-built plugins to create most of the necessary functions for your app. That means that all you have to do is use the plugins, and do the manual programming work for the few features that aren’t already built on the platform. By creating shortcuts, Build Fire can speed up development and make app development more hassle-free. A bonus: it’s versatile enough to work with any Javascript framework you choose.

Python

Python is a great choice for more novice programmers, since it’s easier to read and learn than other languages, and it still delivers high-level programmers. It’s becoming more and more widely used in a vast array of applications from web apps, to mobile apps, to desktop apps and network servers and more. It’s also a great option if you’re getting into the API or back-end bits of your app development. Python does exist as a high-level programming language, although nearly anyone can use it. It’s best used to create desktop and mobile apps from scratch; even better, you can create any type of app with Python. You can use it to program mobile apps on nearly any operating system too; Python will run on Linux, Unix, Windows, and Mac.

Conclusion

Programming languages are an ever-evolving species, with languages being created or used in different ways all the time. There are some programming languages, like Python or C++, that can achieve almost any goal you have for your app development. That said, depending on what your goals are, you may choose to go with a more specialized programming language to create an app with very specific strengths. Any of the coding languages on our list are tried and true options that app developers have widely supported and used. What you end up choosing should be based not only on your level of programming skill but also the ultimate direction you want to drive your mobile app in. When you’re starting, it’s a good idea to explore some of these languages to make sure you get the fit that perfectly suits your vision for your app.