9 Best Programming Languages for App Development

Coding for Beginners
Written by:
App Academy
Published on:
March 14, 2023
hand holding an iphone on the street

Explore the top programming languages ideal for app development. This article provides insights into the best languages to use for creating robust and efficient applications.

If you work in app development (or want to), you might know how important it is to weigh your options when it comes to a specific programming language to work with. There are many to choose from, and each may have certain benefits or drawbacks depending on your project.

We’ll take a look at some of the programming languages most applicable to app development and help you answer the question, “What language is best for app development?”

What is App Development?

App development is the process of creating software applications for various platforms, such as Android or iOS. The term “app” is simply short for “application.” Applications can be developed for smartphones, tablets, laptops, or other devices that support modern software applications.

App developers may create apps for different purposes, such as to:

  • Entertain, inform, or educate users
  • Give people access to information
  • Help them accomplish tasks faster
  • Make money by selling ads within the app

Learn more: Why Ethics in App Development is Important

The most important thing about app development is knowing how to use different programming languages and tools to create an app that can run on a wide variety of devices. It’s crucial to understand how each platform works and what its limitations are.

For example, if you want to develop an Android app, then you need to know how compatible programming languages work and how they can be used on this specific platform. You’ll also need to learn how Android Studio works so you can write your code using its features.

The same applies if you’re looking to develop iOS apps. You’ll need to learn an Apple-compatible language or Swift — a programming language created by Apple, specifically for iOS development purposes (more on that later!).

The Qualities of a Good Programming Language for App Development

Developers should choose the right language for the job at hand, because not every programming language works for every situation. Determining what language is the best for app development depends on the needs of your project. So how do you decide on the best language for app development? What makes one better than another?

Let’s take a closer look at some of the qualities that make up a good app development language.


A good programming language will offer top-notch performance so your application runs smoothly without any hiccups or crashes. This means fewer bugs and a better overall user experience.

Ease of Use

A great app development programming language should be easy to learn and use so that it doesn’t require long training sessions because you can start building your app. Ideally, this means that anyone who knows how to code should be able to pick up the language quickly. But figuring out which is the easiest language for app development depends on the skills you already have!

Community Support

An app programming language should have a large community of coders who can help you solve problems if or when they arise. These community members also often advocate for language changes and keep updates happening quickly to fix bugs and make using the language easier.

Open Source

Most modern programming languages are open source, meaning they’re free-to-use software developed by independent volunteers rather than large tech corporations. This enables developers to customize their apps as they see fit without having to pay licensing fees. It also means there’s no shortage of help or tutorials online if you run into trouble when building an app or integrating new features.

Good Documentation

All programmers inevitably run into problems. Sometimes, you can search a lot of forums and tutorials and still not find an answer. When you’re building an app, you want to use a language that has good documentation so you can easily figure out how to do certain things or figure out any issues you’re having.

The Best Languages for App Development

With these qualities in mind, here are some of the best languages for app development.

1. JavaScript

JavaScript is one of the most popular programming languages on a global scale. It has been used to create many applications and websites, including Facebook and Google. In fact, JavaScript is the language that powers most websites and applications on the internet today.

It’s free and powerful enough that even complex applications can be developed using this language only. Also, it’s versatile — JavaScript and JavaScript frameworks are compatible with both Android and iOS.

Learn more: What is JavaScript?

2. C++

C++ is a general-purpose programming language with a number of uses, including mobile app development. In addition to being an object-oriented programming language, it also supports low-level memory manipulation and generic data types.

In terms of execution speed and hardware utilization, it’s a great option for apps that have to be lightning fast while storing lots of data. Powerful apps like Spotify and Bloomberg run on C++. It’s versatility is an added bonus — C++ is useful for developing mobile apps that run on multiple platforms.

3. Python

Python is a popular app development language, and it’s used to develop well-known apps like Reddit and Uber. It’s also used for building cross-platform apps that can be used on multiple operating systems and devices. Python also supports multi-threading, which makes it easy to handle multiple requests at once.

Python’s syntax is clean and easy to understand, making it easier for beginners to learn the language. Plus, it has a lot of community support, so you can find answers to most questions that pop up during the app development process.

Learn more: Why Every Aspiring Software Engineer Should Learn Python

4. Swift

Swift is a programming language that was developed by Apple. It’s a general-purpose, multi-paradigm, compiled programming language. It’s easy to learn, easy to use, and known to be secure. Keep in mind that this app programming language is Apple-specific, so it only works on iOS platforms.

5. Java

Java is used for developing a wide range of apps. It’s an object-oriented programming language and has many benefits that come along with being object-oriented. It can also be used on both server-side and client-side applications, which makes it very versatile.

When it comes to mobile app development, however, iPhones don’t support a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) at this time. In order to create iPhone applications in Java, you need a compiler that can transform your code into Objective-C.

6. Ruby

Ruby is a dynamic, reflective, general-purpose, object-oriented programming language. RubyMotion allows developers to create native apps for both iOS and Android because it has its own compiler that makes the code compatible with the two different platforms. Ruby on Rails is another Ruby framework that many developers use for developing applications for both Android and iOS.

Learn more: Ruby on Rails vs. Python

7. SQL

SQL is also among the best languages for app development. To create an effective mobile app, SQL plays an important role in storing data efficiently and quickly. It’s used by all major mobile platforms including Android, Apple, Google, and Microsoft. This means that if you want to develop an app for one of these platforms, you’ll probably be using SQL queries to access the data stored in a database on that platform.

Learn more: These are the Best SQL Certifications to Level Up Your Career

8. Kotlin

Kotlin was created as an alternative to Java and is one of the most popular programming languages used for Android app development. It provides a much cleaner and simpler way to write code. The Kotlin syntax is very similar to Java, so it’s easy for Java developers to get started with Kotlin. Kotlin is now also supported by Google.

9. Dart

Dart is an open-source, scalable, and flexible programming language that can be used to develop native apps. It has been built from the ground up to be fast, secure, and easy to use. It also supports object-oriented features, making it a great option for building custom apps.

While it does need to be compiled to work with iOS devices, it’s pretty easy to do this. This makes it a great option for creating apps that can be used on multiple platforms.

How to Choose the Best Programming Language for App Development for You

The choice of programming language can have a significant impact on the success of your app. Even with a number of different languages out there, it’s still important to think about your needs as an app developer when choosing the best language for app development to learn. Here are some key considerations.

Know Your Skills and Limitations

The first step in choosing the best language for app development is knowing what you’re good at — and what you’re not so good at. If you have limited experience in coding apps, then it would be best to choose a language that uses simple syntax and is easy to learn.

This will make it easier to get started with your project without needing to spend too much time learning how to use the language itself. Considering your current skill set will help you determine which is the easiest language for app development for you to start with.

Think About the Availability of Documentation and Tutorials

If you’re new to app development or new to the programming language of your choice, you’ll likely run into a few snags along the way. By choosing a programming language that has good documentation and plenty of tutorials, you can rest assured that you’ll easily find solutions to any problems you encounter.

Consider Platforms and Devices

Make sure to keep in mind any specific devices or platforms you’d like your app to run on when choosing your programming language.

For example, if you want your app to run on all devices (iOS and Android), then Python might be an appropriate choice. On the other hand, if you only need your app to work on Android, you may consider Kotlin. If you want to build an app that’s only compatible with Apple devices, you may want to use Swift for ease of use.

This is one of the most important factors in deciding the best language for app development regarding your specific project.

Take the quiz: Which coding language is best for you?

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