Main programming languages for mobile application development

A programming language is a set of formal rules by which application code is written. Nowadays there are many application development languages, and the choice of a specific method depends on your goals and capabilities, operating system, type of application and requirements for it.

✅ Knowing languages for creating mobile applications is useful not only for developers, but also for customers who want to better understand the project processes and know which language to choose for their application. In this article we talk about the main programming languages for mobile development iOS and Android

Kotlin is a programming language for creating Android applications, recommended by Google. It was created in 2010 by the international company JetBrains, which was founded by St. Petersburg programmers, to overcome the shortcomings of Java and is used to write code for almost all new applications on Android.

Over the course of several years, Kotlin has gained the trust of programmers and become the industry standard in Android development. In 2019, Google announced Kotlin as the preferred language for developing applications for its mobile operating system, which means that the company provides priority support for all tools, components and APIs compared to other languages.

Kotlin has also found application in server development, where it has begun to supplant Java. In recent years, Kotlin Multiplatform Mobile (KMM) has also been developing - a cross-platform version of the Kotlin language that allows you to create common business logic for iOS and Android applications.

Allows you to use less code than Java. The less text, the fewer errors it contains.
Kotlin is interchangeable with Java, so different parts of the interface can be written in different languages and still work perfectly. This helps create more efficient and high-performance programs.
Safety. All syntax errors and bugs associated with incorrect access to objects can be found and corrected during assembly. This makes testing easier.
Kotlin programs can use frameworks and libraries written in Java.
The build speed of Kotlin applications is slightly lower than that of Java applications.
The cross-platform version of the language (KMM) has not yet become widespread and is inferior to other cross-platform solutions.


Swift is a programming language from Apple that can be used to create applications for iOS, Apple Watch and Apple TV. Swift not only adopted all the features of Objective C, but was also endowed with new features that simplify writing and implementing code:

High speed - reaches the C++ level.
Easy to read syntax and code. Logically, it resembles the English language.
Increased security compared to Objective C.
A simplified way to fix errors in code.
Stability due to libraries that are automatically linked with the updated version and attached to the application.
Provides secure memory management.

Swift is used primarily for development for Apple devices. The language has practically no other uses, with very rare exceptions. This limits its popularity.
Poor compatibility with previous versions of the language.
Development requires Apple technology.

Until 2018, it was the main language for creating applications for Android, but in 2022 developers continue to use it to support old projects. It is important to note that the language itself has not lost popularity in IT, but it is now used much more often for back-end development. New Android applications are rarely written in this language.
Natural code for Android. The OS itself is also partially written in Java, and the core consists of Linux and its own Virtual Machine.
Allows you to easily scale and update projects through object-oriented code.
A large number of ready-made tools that are compatible with Java by default, which also increases development speed.
In Java, you can develop not only mobile, but also server, desktop, system and other applications. Therefore, more programmers know the Java language.
Java programs are more error prone than Kotlin programs.
The programs are quite verbose, which makes them difficult to read.
New libraries for Android development are primarily focused on Kotlin, not Java.

Objective C
Objective C began to be used in the 80s of the 20th century. It was created based on C and Smalltalk, and in 2008 Apple released iPhone SDK 2.0, which allows you to create programs for iOS. At first it was considered an add-on to C, but when it was licensed by NextStep and Apple, Objective C became the official language of all iOS interfaces.

In 2014, a more powerful Swift was released, which took all the best from Objective-C, but was devoid of its shortcomings. Nowadays, most programmers choose Swift, but Objective C is still used to support Legacy projects.

There is a lot of documentation that makes things easier.
Compatible with Swift.
Low performance compared to Swift.
Complex syntax.

Dart is a general-purpose programming language from Google that has been in development since 2011. It was originally intended for developing web applications.

That all changed in 2017 with the release of the first version of Flutter, an open-source development kit and framework for creating mobile apps for Android and iOS, web apps, and desktop apps for Windows, macOS, and Linux. Flutter uses Dart as its programming language.

Flutter and its underlying Dart language are actively developing, adopting the best ideas from Kotlin, Swift and other programming languages. Today Flutter is one of the most popular frameworks among cross-platform application developers.

An easy-to-learn programming language that is equally convenient for programmers who have previously written native code for Android, iOS, or web applications.
High performance relative to most other cross-platform frameworks due to compilation into native code for the target platform.
The ability to write a single code for any platform.
Despite their youth, Flutter and Dart have already gained great popularity among programmers, so many libraries and tools have been adapted for this framework, and you can easily find documentation and examples.
The number of specialists who know Flutter is growing, but is still inferior to the number of native programmers.
The Dart language is still inferior in flexibility to the Kotlin language, although here the gap is closing.

JavaScript is one of the most popular programming languages in the world. It is used to create interactive web pages, mobile applications and even in server-side development.

In the context of mobile applications, JavaScript is used in React Native: it is a cross-platform open source framework for developing mobile and desktop applications. React Native supports platforms such as Android, iOS, macOS, Web, Windows, and UWP, allowing developers to leverage the power of the React library outside of the browser to create applications that have full access to the platform's system APIs.

Ease of learning React Native thanks to the JavaScript language.
High prevalence: up to half of cross-platform applications are developed in React Native.
React Native supports integration into existing applications - for example, part of the mobile application interface can be implemented in React Native, and part - using purely platform tools.
The performance of React Native applications is inferior to that of Flutter applications.
The simplicity of the development language has a negative impact on error protection compared to more strict languages.
The choice of programming language depends on the OS, the application's objectives and the development method you choose.
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