Whether you are hiring someone within your company, outsourcing to Orlando app development companies or building an iOS app yourself, there are many important decisions to make. These decisions will impact the quality, popularity and upkeep of your app. One of these decisions that needs to be made before even starting anything, is what software programming language you use.

With so many software programming languages out there, choosing one can be difficult, especially if you do not know the intricacies, pros and cons of each one. That is why we have created a list of some of the possible software programming languages for iOS app development, so you can choose the one that’ll best fit your situation.

What Software Programming Languages Can Be Used for an IOS App?

1. Objective-C

Although Objective-C has been known as an iOS Apple programming language for ios app development since the early 1990s, Objective-C was actually created in 1984 by Tom Love and Brad Cox. This was before it was licensed by iOS Apple’s founder, Steve Jobs. Objective-C is in fact the oldest of the seven programming languages for mobile app development that can be used for an IOS app on this list. That is certainly represented in its somewhat basic programming language format.

When Steve Jobs licensed Objective-C in the late 1980s, Objective-C was originally intended for his company NeXT computers. But Objective-C became iOS Apple’s main programming language, which it remained until 2014, when Jobs rejoined the company of Objective-C.

Objective-C has remained mostly unchanged since its creation in 1984, and has inspired many more modern programming languages for mobile app development including C++ and C#, all of which are based on the Objective C programming language.

Objective-C itself is an object-oriented, generic programming language. This means that within the programming language for mobile app development, it has a form of objects from our everyday life, known as Instances, represented, ranging from people and vehicles to more minute objects such as strings or labels. To keep all of these various Instances organized, they are all ordered under properties and characteristics and arranged into classes of Objective-C.

Overall, seeing as Objective-C is a subset of the C language, they are quite similar. One who understands how to use C could quickly pick up Objective-C. One thing both languages share is that all of the blocks of coding should be contained within curly brackets and at the end of every line of code, in both the C and Objective-C language, there should be a semi colon.

However, despite their similarities, the two coding languages have many differences, especially on the level of syntax. Objective-C also offers expressive message syntax, access to iOS Apple technologies and other features unique to the older program. As time has gone on, Objective-C has been replaced by many more modern programming languages app development, knowing and understanding Objective-C is still an asset since there are many old programs that will need to be translated to newer codes.


  • Objective-C was the programming language used for many years, so understanding it will allow you to translate old codes.
  • The programming language has proven to be stable and long lasting, and even as new programming languages have been developed, it still stands up.
  • The program also includes expressive message syntax, dynamic run-time, automatic garbage collection and of course access to iOS Apple technologies.


  • The programming language is overall out of date and while many of the techniques are still used in newer programs, it would seem once most of everything has been translated to newer coding languages, Objective-C will be phased out.
  • Since it is older, the programming language is less streamlined and more complicated, making it overall more difficult for any new programmers to learn, especially those who don’t already have a grasp on the C language.
  • Through time, newer programming languages have found ways to provide strengthened security systems, which this older language cannot keep up with.

2. C# 

As mentioned above, since both C# and Objective-C are subsets of the C language, someone who understands one of the languages should easily be able to pick up the other one. C# was launched in 2000, just about 15 years after Objective-C, by Danish software engineer Anders Hejlsberg. He was also responsible for creating Turbo Pascal, Delphi and TypeScript programming languages for app development.

Although Anders Hejlsberg created the programming language while working at Microsoft, C# is also capable of programming for IOS and Android, making it one of the most versatile and widely adaptable programming languages for mobile app development in the world. Not only can C# be used to develop software for all of the major operating systems, Microsoft Windows, Apple IOS and Android Xamarin, but it can also be used to program a large variety of iOS app development, softwares and programs.

Some of these apps/softwares/programs that C# can program include consoles, both IOS and Android mobile apps, backend services, web services/apps and more.


  • Though the programming language was developed at Microsoft, C# provides quite a simple and approachable system for developing IOS apps and softwares.
  • Similar to C#’s C programming language predecessor, Objective-C, C# also has the automatic garbage collection features.
  • Where C# truly modern advancements truly shine over the older Objective-C programming language is with the C#’s superior programming support, efficient cost, effective integration and correction of the common memory leak problem.


  • Both Objective-C and C# are subsets of the same C language, they both share the C language’s strict wording which is a downfall of both in comparison to other more flexible languages.
  • Although C# works effectively for programming IOS apps, since it was created and intended for Microsoft product use, it runs iOS apps on a windows based server.
  • In comparison to other, more up to date, programming languages, C# has a poor graphical user interface (GUI,) which is quite a big con seeing as GUI refers to all of the interactive visual graphics in a software.

3. Python

In 2001, only one year after the creation of C# by Anders Hejlsberg at Microsoft, Guido van Possum created Python. He based it off the ABC programming language for mobile app development which was newly developed at the time.

Although the programming language is 31 years old, it is not only capable of still standing up next to the new, more-modern languages, but Python is actually still one of the most widely used programs today. While it is interesting that this three decade old program is still considered one of the best programming languages, what is even more interesting is that this widely renown programming language was actually developed independently by Guido van Possum as a side project, when he had time off from work during a December break.

Python itself is a general-purpose programming language for ios, and while it shares similarities with the C language’s object-oriented system, Python offers more flexible open-sourcing. It’s high level design allows for not only object-orientation, but also functional and procedural developmental paradigms, with a unique code and whitespace readability. Seeing as Python has such a flexible coding system, it has a wide range of applications but is most often used for building online web apps, websites, machine learning programming, desktop GUI apps and prototypes.


  • One of the pros of Python is its flexible, versatile system, which allows programmers to use the C language’s object-oriented system as well as procedural and functional app development paradigms.
  • Python allows for much faster mobile app development in comparison to similar older languages.
  • Despite all of the possibilities within the programming language for ios, Python is overall quite easy to learn, simple to read, and once you have a general understanding, quite straightforward to use.
  • Unlike other programming languages, Pythons already has all of the libraries contained within the program, which prevents delays when starting on any new program.


  • Though Python allows for faster app development in comparison to similar older languages, since it consumes a lot of your device’s energy, it has a slower processing speed than the C programming language for ios.
  • Python is so flexible by offering a wide range of options, libraries and systems, but using the programming language will take up a lot more memory than other earlier ones.
  • Python also produces occasional runtime errors and has some limitations to your access database.

4. Xcode

Unlike Objective-C, C# and Python, which were all created by other developers and then later licensed by Apple, Xcode was actually created by Apple Inc.. The first version was released by Apple iOS in 2003 and since then it has received more than 10 updates. Now, at the beginning of 2021, we are at version 12 with likely more updates to come in future years.

Although there is a fee for those who wish to upload their finished apps created within the Xcode programming system into the app store, Xcode itself is completely free to download. This means software developers at any level can begin tinkering with programming, no matter their budget.

Within Xcode, you can use C programming language for ios and have access to scripts, libraries and other command line tools. This will allow you to use the Xcode app without an integrated app development environment.

Unlike other programming language for ios that were created by other software companies, for example C# created by a software developer at Microsoft, Xcode which was created by Apple iOS and can only be used to create Apple iOS softwares. This means that its only function is for creating apps for Apple IOS-compatible products including Mac computers, iPhones, Apple iOS Watches, iPads and AppleTVs, which can be quite limiting for those who may want to create apps for a wide range of softwares, not just IOS.


  • Although you are limited to creating applications for Apple IOS-compatible products, the applications you create will still have a large audience.
  • Apple iOS products are known for their streamlined user interfaces (UI) with simple interacting visual elements, so it is no surprise that Xcode is designed with an extremely easy to use UI creator, which will make creating clean UIs easier than ever.
  • Since all of the applications created in Xcode will be created for Apple iOS products, you have the ability to test your apps on a simulated Apple iPhone. This allows you to confirm what will work, not just in practice, but when the iOS app is really in use.
  • With all of the updates, Xcode has excellent code completion, which will help programmers avoid errors and coding faster.
  • Using Xcode is completely free for any Apple iOS user, until the exporting process.


  • As mentioned above, one of the greatest cons of Xcode is that it can only be used to program Apple IOS applications, which can make its uses limited and also limit programmers who learn to code on the interface.
  • Despite the fact that it is designed to help you create clean UIs, Xcode’s own user interface is somewhat difficult to navigate, especially since there is no tab function to navigate between windows.
  • Although the program has had many updates, you are still limited to variations of C programming languages. These are overall outdated, especially in comparison to other more modern programming languages.
  • Although Xcode is free, you have to pay a fee once you finish your iOS app and wish to upload it
  • The exporting process required to upload your iOS app is extremely complicated, especially for first time users.

5. HTML 5

HTML 5 is a newer software programming language that was developed by World Wide Web Consortium in 2014. As the name suggests, HTML 5 is an HTML programming system which uses the HTML markup language, rather than say characterized Instances (objects) as they are known in object-oriented programming languages.

What this means is that the system utilizes and recognizes tags, which are made up of standard words instead of programming syntax. This makes HTML 5, a completely readable programming language, even for those who are not programmers, which makes it objectively easier to pick up for beginners.

Overall, HTML 5 is a quite versatile software programming language/system since it can be used to build app for any laptop, desktop, tablet, mobile phone, or other device, no matter the make. On top of that, HTML 5 can not only be used to create an app for any device, but it can also be used on any device, making it far more approachable and versatile than the Mac-only Xcode.

Another area where HTML 5 specifically shines, is the fact that you are not limited to creating native app. In other words you can build hybrid app which can be used not only on IOS devices but on Microsoft and Android devices as well with little to no adjustments.


  • You can use HTML 5 to build hybrid iOS app development which will allow you to have consistency in your software and applications throughout different operating systems, no matter if your iOS app is being used on a Microsoft, Android, iOS or other device.
  • No matter what browser you use HTML 5 in, you will have consistency, which will make transferring information between different people/devices simpler.
  • HTML will help you develop web sites and applications with high page ranking and increased opportunity for search engine optimization.
  • HTML 5 is an affordable programming option, and the iOS app development created can be utilized both on and offline.


  • Though HTML 5 offers consistency amongst various browsers, its creations are really only accessible with modern browsers, which may limit your audience.
  • Similarly to the first con, through HTML 5 makes sharing program app development amongst separate devices and people simple, there can be some responsiveness issues when multiple people are attempting to work.
  • HTML 5 tends to have some more complications with video support and media licensing than other programming systems.

6. Swift 

As mentioned above, Objective-C was Apple’s primary programming language iOs app development until 2014 before Apple iOS app development introduced Swift. Although the Swift program has been around for 7 years now, programmers and software developers didn’t really transfer to Swift until 2018. Since 2018, Swift has been the most popular choice for iOS app builders. This Swift transition was no surprise since Objective-C was already considered somewhat out of date even back in 2014 without the Swift. Objective-C was thought to not be able to keep up with the other modern, flexible programming languages being used by other companies aside from Apple iOS app development by Swift.

Swift replaced their complex C language with a new, flexible Swift system that uses concise and dynamic Swift programming syntax to make programming faster, safer and less buggy than ever. One of the reasons so many people have chosen to switch over to Swift is because of how much more streamlined and readable your Swift code can be with Swift. Rather than the clunky C language coding which required the @ symbol to split up keywords and brackets parameters, Swift uses respectively no symbol between keywords and commas to split up method and function calls for Swift. To make the coding process even more streamlined in Swift, your finished Swift code will save as one .swift file, which will be a relief to coders who are used to the two files required for every 1 C language project.

Overall, Swift is faster than its predecessors. Swift manages its swift memory faster and without any leaks, swift runs faster, seeing as you need fewer codes to create a program you can develop faster for iOs app development with Swift, and the iOS app created will update faster with the dynamic library which constantly updates old iOS app as Swift’s language changes and this makes Swift great.


  • With the updates made to make Swift’s syntax simpler than previous programming languages’ syntaxes, you can not only code faster but you can also create less clunky and more readable codes with Swift.
  • The language is open-sourced and far more flexible than C programming language subsets.
  • It is designed to be shared amongst multiple people for company and business uses, so building applications can be supported across multiple people’s devices.
  • With the dynamic library, your older iOS apps will automatically update as Swift’s language updates, meaning maintaining applications is simple and great iOs app development.


  • Despite how versatile Swift is for creating new iOS apps in the future, Swift language is not supported by older iOS versions, meaning your audience will be limited for iOS version.
  • Since Swift is still pretty new the language which means swift is harder to find developers who can work in Swift and less developers trust code written in Swift.
  • You are limited to tools within Swift, since swift does not work well with tools from third-party sources.

7. Flutter 

Created in 2017 by Google, Flutter is the most recently-created programming app development system on this list (although technically, some of the other languages have received updates making them more modern.) Though it is created by Google, Flutter is meant to be a versatile software app development system, which can be used for iOS app development across a variety of devices including iOS/Apple products, Windows, Google products and Android. This new iOS app building software uses open-sourced Dart language which shares similarities with C programming languages.


  • Flutter is a program designed to allow its users to work faster with simplified coding and therefore faster market time.
  • Although Flutter can be used across so many platforms and devices, you are not limited when you transfer from one platform to another since the same business logic and UI is used no matter what platform you use.


  • The app created by Flutter will be quite large in size and cannot be uploaded to a web browser.
  • Seeing as Flutter is incredibly new, it is not really popular yet, meaning it is hard to find other programmers who could work on projects with you.
  • Again, since Flutter is still quite new compared to competing programming languages/systems, its library is quite small and limited, which can slow you down while programming.


When designing an iOS app, there are many things that will need to be taken into account – one of which being which software programming language will be used to build the iOS app development. Your software programming language choice will not only decide who is capable of creating the iOS app development, but also what updates/adjustments are needed in the future and how long the iOS app will take to build. One software programming language is not necessarily better than another, each one has its own strengths and weaknesses and it is up to you and the software developing team to decide on which one will be best for you.