Top Mobile App Development Technologies for 2021

Mobile App Development Technologies

The popularity of mobile apps has revolutionized the way people interact with one another and the world around them. Mobile apps have improved how we do business, communicate with each other, and even travel from place to place. It’s no surprise that more companies than ever are looking to develop an app for their own needs. 

Undoubtedly, the mobile app development industry is evolving at breakneck speed. The industry has a CAGR of 14% and is to reach $100 billion by the following year, 2022, 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 app development technologies that ease the work.

Here’s an infographic depicting the most used library, framework, or tools developers worldwide in 2021.

mobile app development frameworks

Source: Statista

Let’s explore the top development languages & frameworks used in mobile app development projects.

Please Note: This list represents our editors’ picks and is not comprehensive.

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5 Most Popular Mobile App Development Languages


1) Swift


Swift is a relatively newly introduced programming language that Apple developed in 2014. Since then, it has garnered tremendous popularity for developing apps on Apple platforms like iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS. 

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 more 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.
  • Many large companies are currently using Swift, including Airbnb, IBM, Uber, and Lyft.
  • 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), there is a possibility that its performance may be affected if Apple chooses to implement optimization in LLVM that targets Objective-C. 



2) Java


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, run anywhere, meaning that code that runs on one platform does not need recompilation to run on another. Java applications get 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, which converts your app into instructions that a mobile device can understand, is considered one of its greatest assets. 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.
  • It is an open-source language that automatically trims the development cost of the project.


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.



3) Python


Python gets counted among the most popular languages in the software development world, and it’s not hard to see why. 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 thought of as a language that supports 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. As in: It doesn’t cost anything.
  • 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.


Cons of Using Python

  • It is not native to the mobile environment.
  • It has a high memory usage.



4) PHP


PHP is a general-purpose scripting language designed for web development. 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
  •  It’s free (sort of). Free is good!
  •  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.



5) C++


Introduced in 1983, C++ is a general-purpose programming language that you can use to develop software for Windows, iOS, Android, and Linux. An update to C adds features that support object-oriented programming and provides better support for parallel computing. According to W3Techs, 1.7 percent 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.
  • C# is easy to learn for anyone with experience in any Microsoft technology, like Visual Basic.
  • 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.
  • Sometimes it takes longer to write code in C++ than in an interpreted language like Python or JavaScript.

Mobile Application Development

Top Mobile App Development Frameworks


1) Flutter


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. 

That means no more write once, test everywhere, but instead write once and deploy to both platforms with relative ease. It runs on top of Dart, which may sound familiar because Google created it to replace JavaScript, but it’s not yet widely used by other companies.

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 for Flutter, though, means learning one language: Dart. 
  • 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.



2) React Native

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.

Building mobile apps with React Native is ideal for developers who quickly build robust native apps without sacrificing their JavaScript skills. The learning curve for such tools is much lower than many other development tools, which can help you get your application in front of users faster.

For example, developers interested in building iOS apps have to learn Swift or Objective-C, while Android requires Java or Kotlin knowledge. The use of JavaScript helps eliminate these barriers because web developers are already familiar with it.

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.
  • React Native enables developers to create new applications quicker than before, resulting in cost savings for startups. 
  • Data is easy to transfer between frontend 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.



3) Cordova


This framework is among the oldest out there, dating back to 2010. Originally intended as a tool for developing hybrid mobile apps with HTML5/CSS/JavaScript, it’s evolved into its platform for building applications that run on multiple mobile platforms without needing code rewrites (such as iOS and Android).  

According to Statista, Cordova has a market share of 16% in 2021 among the most used cross-platform frameworks. Cordova lets you use JavaScript, CSS, and HTML just like usual—but also has access to native APIs on any device your App runs on. 

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. 
  • You can use all available JavaScript plugins and libraries or even write your own. 
  • 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.


4) Ionic


Ionic uses HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, a combination that’s already familiar to mobile app developers.  It also allows developers to reuse code they’ve built for traditional websites and apps so that they can be productive much faster. With Ionic, it takes roughly 24 hours to create a functional prototype that already looks like a native app, according to TechBeacon. 

Like most development tools on our list of top technologies for mobile app development, Ionic is open source and completely free for developers. 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, it’s 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.


5) Xamarin


Xamarin 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. 

It allows you to quickly 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 downloaded 2+ billion times. 


Pros of Using Xamarin

  • With Xamarin, you can develop an app once, 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 a 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.

Wrapping Up

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. 

Connect with a leading mobile app development company in India: Get free help on which one is most suitable for your enterprise or idea.

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