Over a million developers have joined DZone.

Top 6 Programming Languages for Mobile App Development

When you start building a mobile app, what languages should be on your radar?

· Mobile Zone

Visually compose APIs with easy-to-use tooling. Learn how IBM API Connect provides near-universal access to data and services both on-premises and in the cloud, brought to you in partnership with IBM.

Mobile application development industry in the last five years have multiplied in leaps and bounds, changing the way businesses function worldwide. With enterprises aligning mobile apps to their productivity in the recent times, and with the rapid innovation in mobile devices across platforms; it calls for mobile app developers to write several versions of an application for many different platforms using a single language and many pieces of reusable code. Are you game for that?

Once you intend to realize your mobile app idea, it's time to validate it, understand the target market, and narrow down on the platform you ideally would like to build your mobile application on. As soon as that is decided, it’s time to select a programming language, keeping in mind your business strategy to make either native, hybrid, or cross-platform apps.

Choose the Right Programming Language


Java programming language is one of the most preferred language when it comes to Android app development. An object-oriented programming language developed at Sun Microsystems (now owned by Oracle), can be run in 2 different ways either in a browser window or in a virtual machine that can do without a browser.

And this flexibility tends to mean a lot when it comes to re-using code and updating software Although Java does not have much to do if you are considering iOS development, it certainly can be on your chosen list when it comes to mobile application across platforms i.e. cross platform apps.


HTML5 is the ideal programming language if you are looking to build a Web-fronted app for mobile devices. Although it makes various data types simple to insert, account for different screen sizes, rationalize input parameters and even level the browser playing field; the problem with HTML5 is that it is still a proposed standard. Currently supported in a lot of different ways by a lot of different browsers, HTML5 from the cost-efficiency point of view has the advantage of building on the current version of HTML — making the learning curve a much shallower than that for a completely new language.


The primary programming language for iOS apps, Objective-C was chosen by Apple to build apps that are robust and scalable. Being a C-language superset, it does have a number of functions that precisely deal with graphics, I/O, and display functions. Moreover, as part of the Apple development framework, Objective-C is fully integrated into all iOS and MacOS frameworks. However, it’s now slowing being replaced in the Apple ecosystem by a more powerful language called Swift.


Swift is the latest programming language to foray into the Apple ecosystem, mainly considering its prevalence in writing code for Apple’s latest APIs, Cocoa and Cocoa Touch. Even though it is a language written to work along with Objective-C, the Cupertino company is making it but obvious for iOS developers to turn to Swift for complete programming. Designed to eliminate the likelihood for many of the security vulnerabilities possible with Objective-C, it’s time for mobile app developers to Swift, as many business are looking to hire Swift developerwith expertise in developing cutting-edge mobile apps using the same.


This is the most appropriate and robust programming language when it comes to building mobile apps for Android and Windows - and mainly for low-level programming it's still the go-to language on platforms for mobile app developers. As a powerful programming language, C++ allows mobile apps to be developed for practically every purpose on every platform that exists. It might not be super chic or trendy, but it has dominated the programming world even before the smartphone revolution.


The most coveted programming language for Windows Phone app development, C# does the trick for Microsoft that Objective-C does for Apple. Although, Windows Phone platform couldn’t emerge as the game changer in the mobile application development industry, for loyal Microsoft users, C# makes the perfect programming language to build the robust Windows Phone apps.

Which programming language works best for your mobile application development requirement?

The Mobile Zone is brought to you in partnership with Strongloop and IBM.  Visually compose APIs with easy-to-use tooling. Learn how IBM API Connect provides near-universal access to data and services both on-premises and in the cloud.

mobile,mobile app,mobile app development,programming languages,java,html5,objective-c,swift

The best of DZone straight to your inbox.

Please provide a valid email address.

Thanks for subscribing!

Awesome! Check your inbox to verify your email so you can start receiving the latest in tech news and resources.

{{ parent.title || parent.header.title}}

{{ parent.tldr }}

{{ parent.urlSource.name }}