Skip to Content
App Development
7 minutes read

The Best Mobile App Development Languages for Your Needs

by Mario Tatis

Having a mobile app has become a standard business practice. Contrary to commonly held beliefs, building apps is not exclusive to startups or tech companies. App development has become a necessity for all industries across the globe. Some of the strongest adopters of mobile apps are found within the Retail and FinTech industries, but they are not the only ones enjoying the benefits. Technology stopped being a luxury a long time ago, and as a result, it is now a necessity to have an app in order to stay in the game. 

In this post we consider the importance of having a mobile app, but more importantly, we discuss the most significant mobile app development languages so that you can choose the one that best suits your needs. Each language has its own strengths and weaknesses, so choosing the right one can make a huge difference. 

Mobile Apps

Small and large companies alike, across all industries, are embracing the opportunities that personalized mobile apps offer. Whether they are built for internal purposes like improving processes, or to reach out to customers, mobile apps can help companies achieve their goals. 

Mobile apps are very convenient. They allow users to perform a number of tasks right from their mobile devices. This becomes an even stronger argument for mobile apps when considering the current number of smartphones and how it is expected to grow according to research firm Statista. The following graph elaborated by Statista reflects smartphones’ growth in recent years. 

Bar graph showing the increase of mobile devices.

It would be safe to say that the number of smartphones will keep increasing in the years to come. However, because most companies will take notice of this, competition is almost guaranteed. Building your app the right way will require you to consider various factors. Choosing the right platform and considering its proof of value are some of these. 

Choose the Right Platform

One of the key aspects of a mobile app is deciding on which platforms it will be available. Some companies will require something simple consisting of a few basic features, while others will need more elaborate and thought out products with complex functionalities. Based on this and other user considerations, a good number of companies can easily draw upon OS-specific apps, while others may need to develop mobile apps that work across various platforms. There is no one size fits all solution to business needs

Proof of Value

While proof of concept is necessary in order to validate an app idea, executives also want proof of value. This can only be done through a rigorous design process that considers an app’s impact on business with quantifiable numbers, even if they are projections. After all, the process of developing an app involves risks, so it must be done like any other investment decision. 

Mobile App Development Languages

Part of the process of developing an app is determining which is the right coding language to use. A coding language can have a positive or negative impact on a project depending on how it matches the product’s necessities. Choosing the right language is not an easy decision. It can be a determinant of an app’s success. 

Here’s a list of some of the most common app development languages and their most important characteristics. We’ve included the ones that, from our experience as app developers, are worth mentioning. Many other mobile app coding languages exist.

Ruby

Ruby is a popular language for building great apps. In particular, the Ruby on Rails framework makes it easy for developers to build apps using existing libraries, thus saving a lot of time in the process of configuring parameters and structuring the code. As you might have guessed, this translates into fewer billable hours on the development process. Two other great features about ruby are its active community that is constantly developing new solutions to keep up with technological advances, and its potential to scale. Apps built on Ruby have proven time and time again that they are prepared to handle massive amounts of data and scale. Due to this and many other reasons, some of the world’s best apps are built using Ruby onRails. 

Java

Java is an object-oriented coding language that has been on TIOBE’s index of the most popular coding languages for some time now, and with due reason. There are various versions of Java available in the market, and each serves different needs. At Koombea, for example, we use the enterprise edition (Java EE), because we consider it to be the most complete and powerful of all. One of the best things about Java is that, since it works using a virtual machine, it can be used across platforms. Java is the defacto standard for many Android apps. As with Ruby, many of the world’s most popular apps are built using Java. You can read more about some of its features here.

Python

Python’s easy to use language allows programmers to save a lot of coding time. It is very popular with academics and data scientists, but it doesn’t stop there. The reason for this is mainly that it is a powerful tool for manipulating and processing data, especially in what relates to analytics and visualization. Thanks to its web libraries and tools like Django, Python is a powerful language for building web apps. A downside of Python is that it can be a bit slow depending on the functionality, but this should not be a problem if you choose the right developer who knows how to use it correctly. 

React Native and JavaScript

React Native is an open-source mobile native framework maintained by Facebook. It is very useful for building beautifully designed mobile apps. React can work across various platforms, making it convenient for companies who wish to reach various devices at a reasonable price. It is based on JavaScript, making it popular within the developer community. It is relatively new, so there is a great expectation as to how it will evolve in the future. In particular, developers are expecting to see how it will compete with Google’s Dart. 

Dart

Dart was developed by Google, however, the company has not done many efforts to popularize it. Besides being new to the developer community, there doesn’t seem to be much demand for it in the market. In other words, there aren’t many developers who are familiar with it. As with React Native, there are high expectations to see how it will evolve. Dart is used together with Flutter, an SDK that is calling attention, particularly because of its Hot Reload feature that allows developers to visualize changes in real-time. 

Wrapping It Up

As I said, these are just some of the most important development languages. PHP, Kotlin, iOS’ Swift (which is replacing Objective-C), and C++ are also worth mentioning. 

Of the ones I’ve analyzed in this article, some are only starting to create expectations while others are already consolidated. No one knows what tomorrow will bring, but having a solid foundation in any of these languages will surely guarantee that your app is built to last. 

Just as important as an app’s language is the partner you choose to develop your app. Knowledge about technology and experience on mobile app development is a valued asset in a world that is moving faster than ever. At Koombea we have more than 12 years of experience building world-class apps through all sorts of industries. If you want to build something that lasts but you are unsure about which language is best for your business, contact us for a free consultation. We help bring ideas to life.