On average, a millennial checks his or her phone at least 86 times a day. According to the Journal of Accountancy, smartphone users check their phones a lot! Millennials being the highest number of users due to the overwhelming experience that feeds our senses daily.
Today, a smartphone is more like an extension of a limb, and apps have become a necessity. They help in providing information, creating new and reconnecting old connections. Apps are also a way to escape from a dull life and enter a virtual world that gives hope, happiness and a vision of a better life.
Engaging apps speak to their users in a way that only the one experiencing can understand. This happens with the creative execution of an advertisement of a brand. One reason why people are more glued to their phones is that there is no better space for an outlet of emotions.
When talking about speaking in a language that can only be understood by the user, the thought app programming comes to mind. Creating an app is not for everyone, but it is a fun activity. The possibility of an app bringing joy and motivation for individuals is reason enough to get creative. The first step to getting started is by choosing the right programming language.
This article discusses the types of languages there are for creating android apps and which ones are the best. So, let’s dive right in!
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Mobile apps are made to make the lives of users easy. No matter which phone a user has and no matter which platform it is, apps are everywhere. Different types of apps define how they have been constructed. This also determines which platforms they will perform well. However, there are three basic types of apps which are native, hybrid, and web apps. Let’s take a look at each one.
Native apps are apps that can only be used for a single mobile operating system. Native here means an app designed and developed for an exclusive platform. Systems like Symbian, Android, iOS, Blackberry, and Windows phone build apps that can only be used on their phones. Simply put, an Android app cannot be used on an iPhone.
Native apps provide a great user experience and the developers use native device UI. This also allows users to access all features of an app without any limitations. Users can access native apps easily from their dedicated play stores. On the business side of view, they can target customers exceptionally and reach them directly.
The only downside of native apps is that they are costly to produce. This happens because a duplicate will have to be made for other platforms that require different support and maintenance structures. The end result is a higher product price.
However, these apps take less time to develop since a single code can be used for different platforms. The cost of maintenance is low and all updates are smooth. These are the advantages that attract businesses into choosing hybrid apps. Popularly used APIs like accelerometer, gyroscope, and geolocation are available for developers.
With all good things comes the bad as well. Hybrid applications lack performance, speed, and optimization. These are faster in native apps. Furthermore, there can be design issues that can result in the app looking different on different platforms.
As a general rule of thumb, web apps do not require much memory space on a device. All personal databases are saved on the server instead of an android device. This way, users can access a web app from anywhere as long as they have an active internet connection.
This brings us to the downside of web apps, a poor internet connection means a bad user experience! Another problem for users is that they cannot access many APIs except for geolocation and a few others.
There are several programming languages for android app development but Java is the official one. However, listed below are more options for developers so they can make an informed decision about which one to use. All programming languages come with their pros and cons but all can lead to fruitful results.
Java being the official language for android app development is the most used language out there. Recently, it was replaced by Kotlin, but the developer still prefers using Java. Most apps available on the Play Store are built with Java and it is also supported by Google. There is a vast Java support community online that helps developers improve their work and troubleshoot problems quickly.
On the other hand, starting with the Java language will pose complexity as new terminologies need attention and learning. Topics like null pointer exceptions, constructors, concurrency, and checked exceptions are to name a few. The Android Software Development Kit also takes the complexities to a whole new level.
Java is a great programming language that helps in creating great apps but can get complex for beginners. Some developers may prefer using an easier language and then coming back to using Java again. Preferring Java over anything else is self-explanatory since it is acceptable by developers around the world. Just as there are many spoken languages around the world, but the English language is universal.
Although nothing beats Java as it is the official language for programmers, other languages can help developers. These programming languages are sometimes simpler but often more complex. When compared to Java, Java always comes out at the top. Other programming languages are:
In 2009, Google announced Kotlin to be the official language for Android App Development. In 2017, Kotlin was declared the secondary official Java language. It is a cross-platform programming language that can be used as an alternative. The best part about this language is that it can interoperate with Java. Additionally, it runs on the Java Virtual Machine. Other features include:
Since Java is a more complicated programming language, Kotlin is a great alternative for developers who wish to learn the art of developing android apps. Keep in mind though, this can be used as a stepping stone towards entering the world of Java.
To use C++, the developer will require the Android Native Development Kit (NDK) for app development. However, the C++ programming language does not create apps when used alone. It will require other native parts of the C++ code libraries. This is a plus as it means that there will be less monotonous work during the development process. Other problems and features of the C++ programming language include:
Using Java instead of C++ is a better option overall since the complexities can lead to even more lead time-to-market. The gain is not as much as are the efforts put in to develop an android app.
C# is quite similar to what Java offers so it is an ideal alternative for android app development. The drawback, however, was that apps developed using C# would only be used on Windows systems. This was because of the fact that it uses .NET Framework.
Recent changes introduced by Xamarin.Android, which was previously known as Mono for Android. This is a cross-platform that implements Common Language Infrastructure. Developers now have the option to write native programming languages using Xamarin.Android and the code is shareable across different platforms. Some features include:
Using C# means getting the job done faster and easier with a lower number of issues involved. Developers that understand Java programming language well, can use this language to create interesting android apps.
Android does not support Python app development but it can still be used for developing android apps. Several tools can be used to convert apps created by Python into android packages allowing them to run on android devices. On the other hand, Python does not have native support and it does not include any native benefits for Kivy. Python does come with the following features:
Python is gaining popularity and developers are studying this programming language to add to their skillset. Moreover, it has a promising future so adding this language to your skills is a definitive plus.
Using Lua, Corona is a software development kit that can produce android apps. There are two basic operational modes called Corona Native and Corona Simulator. While Corona Native is useful for the integration of Lua code with an android studio to create a project. The Corona Simulator directly builds apps. On the downside, Lua is limited to creating better features. However, some great features include:
Corona is the first choice for developers who create graphics and game applications. However, it is not limited to just that, a lot more can be done with using Corona.
A true android app developer will use the best programming language to create interesting and bug-free apps. Using something other than the Adobe PhoneGap is a good option to get started.
The easiest way is to decompile an apk and you'll see java, c++, or other languages.
However, if you are not familiar with all technologies that produce Android apps, you cannot be certain.
Export your app to the APK format and extract it with an anu Zip tool.
Then check its content.
Using this quick identification methods, you can get an idea of which programming language an app is written in.
There is no such thing as a ‘correct language’ for android app development. Getting started with a language will depend largely on what the app is going to be and the skillset of the developer.
There are so many apps users use every single day like music players, games, health trackers, chat messengers, and simpler things like a calculator. All these apps can be created using any of the above-mentioned languages.
It is important to note that an experienced app developer or mobile app development expert can be reached out for help. Since they are the market experts and require only basic explanation before the development can start. Developers make their programming language choice based on the objectives and preferences of each project.
Whatever the choice of programming language, it only adds to the skillset and leads to professional and personal growth. As someone once said: there are no failures, only lessons.
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