Programming Languages for iOS and Android Platforms

Building apps? You'll need to pick programming languages suited for your target mobile platforms, and iOS and Android are the big ones.
IT Blog and Development
3 minute(s) read
Published on: Feb 03, 2024
Updated on: Feb 03, 2024

As your neighborhood development nerd, let me shed some light on killer coding options for both Apple and Android ecosystems!

Programming Languages for iOS

First up is the Apple sphere and iOS, the coveted door into iPhones and iPads used by millions of folks. I should warn you that Apple prefers you use their designated programming language for these devices.

And that privileged language is Swift. First launched in 2014 as Apple's successor to Objective-C (which still works but is way old school!), Swift aims to combine simplicity with power.

Swift Rules the iOS Kingdom

Regarding iPhones and iPads, Apple wants you to develop iOS apps using Swift - their modern language tuned specifically for Apple devices.

Launched in 2014 as the successor to Objective-C, Swift aims for Python-like readability while unlocking the full potential of Apple's robust Cocoa Touch frameworks for powers like cloud connectivity, Core ML intelligence, and fast interface building.

The syntax reads much closer to regular English, so it's not overly intimidating to newcomers. Apple actively maintains and expands Swift to keep it on the cutting edge.

Leveraging Xcode and Cocoa Touch Frameworks

Xcode provides a fully integrated editor for crafting Swift-powered iOS apps on Macs and iPads. Apple's Cocoa Touch framework paves the way by handling much of the groundwork around touch gestures, cloud connectivity and basic interface elements. Building on Cocoa Touch with custom Swift code, you'd be amazed at what modern native iOS apps can do!

Objective-C Still Has a Place

While Apple pushes Swift as virtually the only practical iOS language nowadays, for organizations with legacy codebases, Objective-C might still get sprinkled where needed.

Programming for Android

Programming Languages for Android

Java - The Old Faithful

Unlike Apple's walled garden with Swift holding the keys, Google lets Android developers choose from a diverse toolkit. Here are the languages I recommend considering for advanced Android app wizardry:

Java remains a tried and true programming staple very much at home on Android. Using Java and the flexible Android Studio toolkit, you can build high-functioning Android apps with extensive libraries to handle much of the heavy lifting. If coming from a background in server-side web programming , for instance, Java skills transfer nicely to crafting expansive mobile experiences.

Kotlin - Java Evolved

Of course, Google also endorses Kotlin - a more concise language tailored for Android with full interoperability with Java. This gives you an alternate modern syntax while leveraging any legacy Java code as needed.

C++ for Maximum Control

Then, we have C++ for developers who desire lower-level control, like games using complex physics simulations running at blazing speeds.

Python for Data Science Wizardry

Moving up the stack, data scientists with Python under their belts can apply those talents towards some extremely sophisticated Android apps centered on machine learning or numeric processing, thanks to Python frameworks like Kivy.

JavaScript for Web Developer Appeal

JavaScript web developers can feel right at home building for Android using their React Native skills or tools like Cordova for a responsive HTML approach.

C# and .NET for Cross-Platform Reuse

Even the C# crowd or Unity game developers can target Android these days through solutions like Xamarin or .NET 6. This can allow you to potentially reuse code across Android, iOS and desktop platforms for impressive productivity.

Dart and Flutter to Rule Them All

Of course, I'd be remiss not to mention Google's Swift counterpart, Dart, which integrates tightly with Flutter. That white-hot framework lets developers use Dart to build sleek iOS and Android apps from a single Dart/Flutter codebase. As you can see, there is no shortage of solid picks here!

Python frameworks


So, while Apple keeps things focused on iOS, Android does open up a programming language, smorgasbord. Hopefully, this gives you a helpful head start evaluating options tailored to the app ecosystems you aim to support! Let me know if you have any other questions!

Share with your friends

More from IT Blog and Development