With the growing demand for mobile apps in the market, there has been exponential growth in mobile app development technologies as well. From hybrid app development to native app development and from cross-platform app development to AI and blockchain, mobile app technologies are rapidly evolving.
The mobile app development industry is evolving at breakneck speed. The industry has a CAGR of 14% and is to reach the $100 billion mark by the end of 2024, as per Market Research. Thus, it’s crucial to stay up-to-date on the latest and most remarkable development technologies to create the best mobile apps.
You’ll also need to watch how these technologies affect your business since you want your app to be as engaging and intuitive as possible. Doing so is a hard nut to crack. Thanks to mobile app development technologies that ease the work.
Also Read: Latest Web Development Technologies for 2024
Here’s a chart depicting the most used library, framework, or tools developers worldwide in 2024.
The following are some of the most important languages and frameworks that developers should consider using if they want their apps to stay relevant and top-ranked through and beyond 2024. These best technologies for mobile app development can help you achieve your app development goals while boosting your app’s functionality and efficiency at the same time.
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Table of Contents
5 Most Popular Mobile App Development Languages
Swift is Apple’s programming language for building apps for iOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS. It works with Cocoa and Cocoa Touch frameworks and lets you build both native apps and web apps.
The enormous appeal of Swift is that it requires far less code to achieve comparable results. In addition, Swift uses modern features like generics and closures to make coding more straightforward and efficient. As per a Stack Overflow survey in 2020, Swift has 65.1% popularity among developers and ranks 14th among the most preferred languages.
However, there are some limitations with Swift at present—the majority of APIs are not available in Swift yet, so you can’t use third-party libraries from Objective-C.
Pros of Using Swift:
- For those familiar with Objective-C, you’ll notice that Swift uses fewer lines of code to accomplish many of your day-to-day programming tasks.
- Not only does it make coding more straightforward, but it also makes your program more efficient.
- Swift has a plethora of built-in features.
- Simpler syntax offers great readability and easy maintenance of code.
- If you have never programmed before but want to start building apps for iPhones or iPads, it’s much easier to learn Swift over Objective-C because of its simple syntax.
Cons of Using Swift:
- It has issues regarding memory management as compared to C++ programming.
- It uses LLVM (Low-Level Virtual Machine), and there is a possibility that its performance may be affected if Apple chooses to implement optimization in LLVM that targets Objective-C.
Java is a general-purpose coding language that is concurrent, class-based, object-oriented, and specifically designed to have as few implementation dependencies as possible.
It lets app programmers write once, and run anywhere, meaning that code that runs on one platform does not need recompilation to run on another. Java applications are typically compiled to bytecode (class file) that can run on any Java virtual machine (JVM) regardless of computer architecture.
As of 2020, Java is among the most popular programming languages, with over 9 million developers. Moreover, according to Statista, Java ranks 5th with 35.35% of its popularity.
Pros of Using Java
- Java’s virtual machine converts the programs written in other languages into Java bytecode. It allows Java apps to retain their high performance even after scaling to thousands of users.
- It is compatible to run on multiple platforms, including Windows, Linux, and Mac OS.
- Developers can create a single code base across different operating systems.
- With Android app development in Java, you don’t have to learn another language to develop mobile apps since you can handle everything within a single programming language.
- Java is cheap and economical to maintain.
Cons of Using Java
- Its syntax is far more verbose.
- Java is not as efficient or easy to understand when compared to similar languages such as Swift.
- The UI builder of Java isn’t robust and cannot build more complex UIs.
- It doesn’t have a backup facility.
Python is a general-purpose programming language that can be used for web development, data analysis, and machine learning. A dynamic, easily readable language, Python offers much of the functionality of other more verbose languages without sacrificing readability or speed of development.
It makes it one of the best choices available when you’re building a mobile app. Python has been used to create apps for Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and more. Although it’s generally used to support back-end or web app development, app programmers can use Python to create functional mobile apps.
Pros of Using Python
- Python is easy to learn—once you know how to program. Many new coders don’t have experience in programming or coding languages, but they can still master Python’s syntax.
- Many people choose to use Python because it’s a relatively free language. It is an effective tool for both front-end and back-end development.
- With open-source, you can take a familiar programming language such as Python, customize it to fit your specific needs, then share your improvements with others. It makes it easy to find support if you get stuck while writing code.
- Python has a vast collection of libraries.
Cons of Using Python
- It is not native to the mobile environment.
- It has a high memory usage.
- Its compatibility with mobile computing is not so strong.
Also Read: Pros and Cons of Python Programming Language
PHP is a server-side scripting language that is used to create dynamic web pages. It’s one of the most popular languages for developing mobile apps and websites. Now it is used for a wide range of tasks, including system administration, desktop development, playing video games, and more. The acronym PHP originally meant Personal Home Page, but it now stands for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor.
Although developed in 1995, PHP has continually evolved to include new features and improve performance. With over 9 million domains worldwide running on PHP today, it’s safe to say that PHP is one of the leading choices for writing websites or applications.
Pros of Using PHP
- It gives you a little bit more control over your application’s logic.
- You can modify bits and pieces to suit your application’s needs
- Unlike other scripting languages, PHP is very stable and can provide continuous support and assistance.
- It can be embedded into HTML or run using CGI with a suitable web server on any operating system.
- Comprehensive support for various databases, including MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, and Microsoft SQL Server.
Cons of Using PHP
- PHP can be slow compared to compiled languages such as C++ or Java
- Development tools such as debuggers aren’t as complete as what you’ll find in other environments.
- PHP can sometimes cause errors, causing incorrect data and knowledge to be displayed to users.
Introduced in 1983, C++ is a general-purpose programming language that you can use to develop software for Windows, iOS, Android, and Linux. C++ is widely used in the fields of systems/real-time programming and scientific computation. According to W3Techs, 1.7 per cent of all websites use C++.
Pros of Using C++
- It’s suitable for all kinds of mobile app development projects, including healthcare, eCommerce, real estate, games, etc.
- It allows you to express a lot of information in relatively few lines of code.
- If speed is what you’re after, there’s nothing better than C++. It is because it compiles directly to machine code.
- As C++ is closely related to C, a procedural language, it allows low-level manipulation of data. C++ is used in creating embedded systems and compilers.
- There are tons of tools available for you to build your application.
Cons of Using C++
- Either garbage collection or reference counting handles memory management. Using these features introduces overhead that can slow down your application.
- C++ does not have a garbage collector that automatically filters out unnecessary data.
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Kotlin, an open-source programming language, runs on the Java Virtual Machine and can be used to develop mobile, desktop, web, and server-side applications. It was created by JetBrains. It was developed to be an alternative to Java for developing mobile applications, but can also be used for other purposes.
Pros of Using Kotlin
- Kotlin compiles to bytecode, so it can run on any platform that supports Java.
- It is compatible with existing Java libraries.
- It supports both object-oriented and functional programming styles
- Kotlin has a faster compilation time than Java
Cons of Using Kotlin
- Compilation speed: When performing incremental builds, Kotlin can be faster than Java.
- Limited sources to learn: The number of developers who are switching to Kotlin is increasing but there are fewer resources available in general for learning this language.
- To run a Kotlin program, the Java Virtual Machine must be installed on the system. If your system doesn’t meet that requirement, then you won’t be able to compile and run any of your Kotlin programs
Top Mobile App Development Frameworks
If you’re a fan of React Native, you might be interested in Flutter. Flutter is Google’s mobile UI framework. The idea behind it is that it allows developers to create apps for both iOS and Android using a single codebase. It is a great option for those looking for an alternative to the traditional Android SDK and iOS SDK.
That means no more write once, test everywhere, but instead write once and deploy to both platforms with relative ease. Flutter is a hot new contender in cross-platform mobile development, with impressive capabilities. Flutter uses Google’s own Dart programming language, meaning it’s not only easy to learn but also highly performant. Google Says more than 5,00,000 developers use Flutter every month.
At Google I/O 2018, Google introduced two new experimental features for Flutter: Stateful Hot Reload and Permissions for iOS and Android. And Flutter is built on top of Skia, an existing rendering engine that powers several Adobe tools.
All in all, if you want your mobile app to look gorgeous and perform well—and work seamlessly across multiple platforms—Flutter app development company should be on your radar.
Pros of Using Flutter
- One of Flutter’s most significant benefits is allowing coders to reuse code between Android and iOS apps. It makes it easy for developers to hire work or take on more projects while maintaining a tight schedule.
- Developing applications using the Flutter framework is very effective and quick.
- It saves time and reduces costs when you’re already using some tools in your workflow.
- Flutter has a fantastic tooling package that allows developers to get into their work quickly. Developers can have a rapid development cycle when using Flutter due to having fast rebuilds on both Android & iOS apps.
- Its API allows developers to use native UI components within their application, so you don’t necessarily need a web view to create beautiful applications with Flutter.
Cons of Using Flutter
- The downside to developing with Flutter is that you’ll have to know at least one other language to build a fully functioning application because it relies on an existing language.
- The resulting code is not necessarily optimal. It means it might be slower or use more memory than an equivalent hand-written interpreter for a language.
- Flutter-based web apps are not currently supported in browsers. It means no web apps.
2) React Native
React Native is an open-source framework by Facebook that allows developers to use a common codebase to build their mobile applications and then deploy them natively on Android and iOS without rewriting the code.
It has been gaining a lot of traction recently because it addresses some of the shortcomings of hybrid mobile app development.
It means that they can usually hit the ground running faster when you start working on a new project with React Native than when you are writing an app from scratch or using a different tool.
Pros of Using React Native
- With prior programming knowledge in HTML5 or CSS3, learning about React Native will not be too challenging.
- It is a cross-platform framework.
- As long as your app is not embedded with complicated designs or making a complex game, you can create a very fast and user-friendly application.
- React Native enables developers to create new applications quicker than before, resulting in cost savings for startups.
- Data is easy to transfer between front-end and back-end components.
Cons of Using React Native
- Apps built with React Native are slower to compile than apps created with Swift or Objective-C.
- React Native does not fully support Android. It means that, for now, using it exclusively will limit your app’s reach to a fraction of your potential customers.
- You can build apps for every platform like iOS, Android, and Windows once you learn React Native.
There are plugins available for adding everything from user authentication to barcode scanning. Plenty of other frameworks cover more ground than Cordova does, but Cordova is still a great option.
Pros of Using Cordova:
- It is an open-source framework that lets you create cross-platform apps by simply using one codebase.
- It is a perfect solution for developing secure mobile apps as Cordova/PhoneGap protects against common vulnerabilities in-app security testing.
- With Cordova/PhoneGap, it is possible to utilize native device features such as GPS or contacts without any additional coding effort.
- Cordova/PhoneGap also offers comprehensive documentation on how to develop mobile apps with their framework.
Cons of Using Cordova
- Hybrid applications load slowly due to their cross-compilation functionality.
- Few platforms and devices may face compatibility issues with plugins
Ionic’s features include gesture support, animations, and various UI components. To try Ionic in action for yourself, hire dedicated Ionic developers from PixelCrayons.
Pros of Using Ionic
- Developing a native mobile app with Ionic is fast, easy, and cost-effective.
- A single developer can create a basic app in less than one week using readily available coding tools and resources.
- With Ionic, you are not into one proprietary platform—it’s an open-source library that you can use across various mobile development environments.
- Ionic apps can run across multiple platforms, including iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and more.
Cons of Using Ionic
- While Ionic’s code is open-source, its SDK (software development kit) is not.
- The main knock against using Ionic is that it can take longer to learn than a traditional mobile framework.
- It is possible for Kotlin-based applications to crash randomly without any apparent reason.
Xamarin is a cross-platform software development framework. It allows you to quickly build applications with native performance for iOS, Android, and Windows platforms from a single codebase. Xamarin allows developers to write in C#, utilize open-source libraries, and share code across various mobile devices.
Also, you can build high-quality apps that are portable across different platforms without needing a dedicated mobile development team for each operating system. Plus, it gets backed by Microsoft.
An interesting fact about Xamarin: Worldwide, 14,000+ apps were built using Xamarin and downloaded 2+ billion times.
Pros of Using Xamarin
- With Xamarin, you can develop an app once, and then run it on multiple platforms, including Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and more.
- It saves you time and resources as opposed to using a different cross-platform development framework for each platform.
- Developers who know C# have already mastered the language needed to use Microsoft’s latest .NET library with Xamarin.
- Massive open-source plugins are available that will help you extend your app functionality. Since these plugins are open source, they may not all be as polished or reliable as paid products, but they’re also free – which is always lovely.
Cons of Using Xamarin
- Xamarin is relatively new compared to other languages, meaning it might be less stable than others.
- Not all features in Xamarin are on par with what you can accomplish with native development.
- Although the Xamarin library is extensive, more complex projects may require additional native code.
It uses built-in tools to do everything from app navigation to rendering graphics on mobile devices. That means developers can create completely native cross-platform apps without needing to write any platform-specific code.
Native scripts are the most popular choice for smartphone applications, but there are many reasons why this might not be the best option for you. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of native development to help you decide which approach will work best for you.
Pros Of Using NativeScript
- Cross-Platform Support: With native scripts, you can develop an app for multiple platforms such as iOS, Android, Windows or Linux from a single codebase.
- NativeScript uses less RAM than other mobile app frameworks, which means apps will run smoother on low-end devices.
Cons Of Using NativeScript
- It’s not designed for cross-platform app development. If you want to be able to export your app to iOS and Android, this probably isn’t the best route.
- You can’t use it with other frameworks like React Native or Ionic.
- You will need an IDE like Xcode or Android Studio which could make it more complicated than other frameworks.
With JQuery, you don’t have to worry about cross-browser issues because it supports all browsers back to IE6.
Here are some pros and cons of JQuery you should keep in mind before making your final decision to use it or not.
Pros Of Using JQuery
- It’s a lightweight framework that will make your app load quickly.
- JQuery plugins are easy to find, making them easy to implement into your app.
- It’s cross-browser compatible, meaning it’ll work on any browser – which can be really useful when designing an app that many people will use.
Cons Of Using JQuery
- CSS Knowledge: Developers will be unable to use JQuery without having proper knowledge of CSS.
- Debugging Issues: The debugging process is more challenging when using jQuery. A set of libraries and plugins are required to add functionality to your project. Troubleshooting can be adversely affected by adding more libraries and plugins.
That was all about the top technologies you can choose for your project. The right choice depends largely upon the project type and the target audience.
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