Check your mobile. You must have installed different apps with unique features. Some apps, like WhatsApp, YouTube, Facebook, etc. take up most of your screen time. And this is happening with everyone today. 

Mobile apps have become essential for every possible human need. From scheduling and education to entertainment and socializing, you will find hundreds of apps for various purposes. According to an estimate, Google Play Store has 3.3 million apps while the App Store has 2.3 million apps.  

The demand for user-friendly mobile apps has been on a steady rise. To meet this growing demand, developers work on multiple programming languages to build engaging mobile apps for their users. Coding languages help developers define the app’s features, optimize speed and performance, and determine the estimated time and platform. 

However, which mobile app development languages will be popular in 2024? Let’s answer this question and explore the top 5 programming languages for mobile app development based on demand, capabilities, and ease of use. 

An Overview of Mobile Applications 

A mobile app is a software installed on a smartphone and tablet. It performs specific functions for which it is developed. We can download Android apps from Google Play Store while iOS apps are available on App Store. 

Every day, we spend hours scrolling and tapping different mobile apps on our devices. On average, 49% of smartphone users open a mobile app over 11 times a day. TikTok, for example, was the world’s most popular mobile app according to Kobiton. By 2023, TikTok was downloaded 3.5 billion times and had 1 billion active users. 

Similarly, millions of people use WhatsApp for live chats and audio/video calls. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter help users stay active on social media and access all features on smartphones. 

5 Most Popular App Development Languages in 2024 

Below are the most used programming languages to develop Android applications.

1. Java

Whenever there is a discussion on a suitable language for Android mobile app development, Java remains the preferred choice. Since its inception in 2007, Java has been used to build interactive Android apps. Some IT professionals even call Java the backbone of Android app development. 

So, what makes Java unique? Because Java: 

  1. Has a robust framework with valuable learning resources 
  2. Offers in-built support for multithreading 
  3. Enables code execution on any device or operating system with Java Virtual Machine (JVM) 
  4. Allows developers to build apps compatible with various devices and OS virions 
  5. Has a diverse ecosystem of frameworks, libraries, and tools 
  6. Brings a built-in memory management system to prevent crashes or memory leaks 
  7. Is ideal for building responsive Android apps for enterprises 

2. C++

C++ is the second preferred choice of mobile developers for Android Apps. This language is perfect for advanced applications powered by AI and machine learning that need rapid performance. Similarly, there can be no better option than C++ for complex visual apps with high graphics like 3D games. 

Developers like C++ because: 

  1. It is a general-purpose programming language with low-level memory manipulation features 
  2. It is best for GUI-based applications, banking apps, and apps with real-time mathematical simulations 
  3. It includes a vast pool of built-in libraries that enable developers to access various functionalities 
  4. It is simple, intuitive, and easy to understand 
  5. It gives developers complete control to run Android apps on any device or platform 
  6. Learning Jave, C, and C# becomes more convenient with knowledge of C++ 

3. Kotlin

Kotlin is an open-source programming language famous among the global Android developer community for its expressiveness. It has a clean, concise, and compact syntax. Besides, the language is fully interoperable with Java and supports both object-oriented and functional styles. Since Google decided to declare it an official Android language, Kotlin has gained rapid adoption at a massive scale.  

Key features of Kotin that make it unique are: 

  1. A straightforward programming language for Android app development with cutting-edge features 
  2. Fixes common Android pain points like casual crashes 
  3. Works seamlessly with existing and the latest versions of Java 
  4. Supports operating overloading and enables developers to write compact, simple, and cleaner code 
  5. Streamlines integration with existing projects 
  6. Offers robust safety features that enhance app performance. 

4. Swift

Swift, like Kotlin, is also an open-source programming language explicitly designed for iOS app development. Its high performance, easy-to-learn syntax, and exceptional safety features make it the preferred choice of iOS developers. Many experts have predicted that Swift will be a game-changer in the world of mobile app development soon. 

Mobile app developers prefer Swift to create iOS apps because: 

  1. It allows developers to leverage the full potential of Apple’s extensive software and hardware ecosystem 
  2. Apps developed with Swift are highly responsive and visually appealing 
  3. With a shallow learning curve, beginners and new developers can learn Swift easily 
  4. Offers modern language features that prevent bugs and errors 
  5. Providers developers with an interactive playground that makes prototyping ideas quick 
  6. Can add modern features to any app by easily adapting safe programming patterns 

5. JavaScript

Who is not familiar with JavaScript? This is more than a simple programming language; it’s an all-rounder that fits in every coding domain, including mobile app development. Be it mobile apps, web apps, or cross-platform apps, JavaScript can develop everything. You can also compile JavaScript from a wide array of programming languages to build immersive digital experiences. 

Here’s why JavaScript is still very popular for mobile app development: 

  1. It is a versatile, flexible, and lightweight prototype-based programming language  
  2. Writing and deploying code becomes a lot easier with JavaScript 
  3. Developers can use JavaScript to validate client-side calculations and user inputs 
  4. There is plenty of room for variations and experimentation 
  5. JavaScript supports object-oriented and dynamic programming 
  6. The functionality of mobile apps and websites can be enhanced without third-party tools or software 

Final Thoughts 

Mobile app development is one of the leading sectors globally. Hundreds of mobile apps are listed on the Play Store and App Store every day. The integration of AI has made mobile apps more robust and versatile. 

The choice of a suitable programming language for mobile app development depends on various factors. Some of them include the preferred platform, the app’s functionality, and users’ requirements. Each coding language brings a unique set of benefits with some limitations. 

It is, therefore, necessary for developers to carefully analyze their project details to choose a language that best suits their needs.