Mobile apps are the major trend in computer programming, whether you’re trying to promote your organization or develop applications for a living. The programming language you use can make the difference between rapid success and a frustrating waste of time and money.
Some developers code for browsers and some for specific platforms. Which path you take depends on your goals and personal style, but here are five computer languages you should consider first.
Java has been used by developers since 1985, and now has over 9 million faithful programmers for good reason. Java’s development tools, libraries, and source code are almost completely free. It’s easy to learn and has a wide support community online.
Java runs on nearly all platforms. For instance, it’s the basis of Google’s Android OS for mobile devices. While there are subtle differences, programming in Android Java means instant compatibility with millions of existing mobile devices.
This is a solid and versatile coding platform for building both Android and Windows apps. It’s one of the pioneers in object-oriented programming, which means you can write entire modular libraries of your own code for reuse. It’s also fast and flexible, allowing you to create apps for almost any use and at any scale you can imagine.
Resources for learning and applying C++ in your development are easy to find online. It dates back to 1979, so it’s not exactly cutting-edge or trendy, but it’s been popular for many years because it’s powerful, portable, and reliable.
For years C++ was the go-to standard for professional developers, but early on Apple began turning its focus more to Objective-C (Obj-C). This is not so much an improvement on C++ as a super-set of elements from past C programming languages dating back to the 1980s. While it has similar functionality to other, earlier versions, it also includes many specific functions regarding messaging, displays, graphics, disk IO, and more.
Obj-C also includes a pre-processor that makes it faster to compile code on a number of platforms. This makes it quicker and easier to develop with. It became the core of Apple’s iOS development and is still a productive language for any iOS or MacOS applications.
Apple’s iOS mobile apps were mainly written in Objective-C, but more recently Swift was introduced to provide a more flexible, stream-lined approach to essentially all iOS and OS X programming, including Apple watches and smart TVs apps.
Swift was designed as a user-friendly upgrade to simplify learning and manage developer workflows more efficiently. Simpler code makes it easier to read and helps reduce errors through automatic debugging. Swift appeared in 2014, and is expected to become the standard for development of Apple’s mobile apps.
Together with HTML5, they make it possible to develop a range of browser-based website and mobile apps from scratch. They can also work in tandem smoothly with most cloud platforms like Microsoft Azure.
This development approach provides operability on nearly all devices and allows bundling components for reuse. You can also leverage performance benefits like off-line caching. Where browser deployment is part of the architecture, it’s a cost-effective and rapid solution.
The market for mobile apps is still almost limitless. If you’re able to narrow down your requirements and are willing to learn, one of these five languages will serve you well.