Best Language For Mobile App Development—What You Need to Know - Webiotic

21 min read

Best Language For Mobile App Development—What You Need to Know

The mobile app market is constantly growing, with revenue from the industry continuing to skyrocket, year after year.

In fact, mobile apps are projected to generate over 935 billion in revenue by 2023.

In short, if you’re looking to tap into the mobile app market by building your own app, it’s always the right time to get started.

But what programming language should you use? 

 

Can you use any language for Android and iOS app development, or is there a “best” language?

In this article, we’ll review which language is best to get started in creating your own mobile app and how you can make the right choice for your project.

Table of Contents

  1. Mobile App Types
  2. Native App
  3. Hybrid App
  4. Progressive Web App (PWA)
  5. Best Programming Languages for Apps
  6. Java
  7. JavaScript
  8. Swift
  9. Kotlin
  10. How to Choose the Right Programming Language
  11. Practical, Popular, and Prosperous
  12. Ask the Right Questions

Chapter #1: Mobile App Types

Before we dive into the best programming languages to learn for mobile app development, you should first have a basic understanding of native mobile app development, hybrid mobile app development, and progressive web applications (PWA).

Photo Credit: xyroh.com

Knowing which type of mobile app you’re going to be developing is key in finding the right programming language.

1.1 Native App

When you create an app that uses a technology dedicated to one specific platform, like iOS or Android—that’s called a native app.

Each operating system has its own language used for coding a native app.

If you’re building an iOS native app, for example, you might want to use Objective C or Swift as the programming language.

For Android native app development, you would need to use Java or Kotlin.

Pros of Native App Development

  • Simpler code base and ecosystem results in faster performance
  • Functions well offline
  • Improved user experience due to platform-customized UI/UX components
  • Better security due to the various layers of protection of the operating system
  • Longer release cycles
  • Easier to prevent bugs and tech issues
  • Not dependant on third-party frameworks and libraries
  • Faster to build (since it’s for one specific platform)

Cons of Native App Development

  • Takes longer to develop for more than one operating system
  • Adding new features requires separate codebases
  • Since native programming languages are specific, you’ll need to hire a developer with that skill set

Everything has its pros and cons, and native app development is no different.

So who is this method of development best suited for?

Native app development is a good choice if you’re creating an app for one specific platform. It’s also a good choice if you want the best user experience by removing unnecessary features.

If you plan on creating a gaming app or an app that has heavy animations, native apps are the way to go since they can handle it due to faster performance.

1.2 Hybrid App 

A hybrid app is a mix of native and web apps. It lets developers code in just one language which can be run on multiple operating systems.

You can use more well-known languages and frameworks when building a hybrid application, like JavaScript, HTML, and CSS.

When building this type of app, you would create your backend codebase which would then be covered in a native shell, allowing you to offer the app for both Android and iOS.

Photo Credit: visual.ly

Pros of Hybrid App Development

  • Easier to develop, especially for multiple platforms
  • Since you’re using the same backend for all variants, there’s faster development time
  • Cheaper to develop for, since you don’t need developers specializing in specific languages
  • Easier maintenance due to hybrid apps being based on web solutions
  • Having one codebase makes it easier to add new updates and features
  • Can easily integrate with web-based services

Number of Active Developers Globally

Cons of Hybrid App Development

  • It’ll run slower if you have a complex, feature-heavy app
  • Relies on the security of your system browser
  • Having one codebase means the app runs equally on all platforms (instead of being coded to perform for a specific platform)

It’s a good idea to go with hybrid app development when you have a simple, content-based project that doesn’t involve heavy features and animations, or when you just want to get an MVP off the ground quickly.

Photo Credit: iliasshaikh.medium.com

1.3 PWA

Progressive web apps run in a web browser but still give users the look and feel of a native application.

So this means you can install the app on your mobile device—it works offline and can even —and you can still use hardware features like your GPS and camera.

Each platform is optimized and there are no limitations to what programming languages you can use.

Photo Credit: e-spincorp.com

Pros of PWA App Development

Cons of PWA App Development

  • OS and hardware limitations
  • Hardware integration issues
  • Weaker performance on iOS
  • Not much support for iOS devices
  • Not available in app stores
Photo Credit: codeburtst.io

If you want a low-cost and yet robust e-commerce app, PWA can be a good choice. Since it’s accessible on multiple devices and platforms, it’ll also result in higher traffic.

PRO TIP: Before jumping on what you think is the most popular mobile app programming language, take time to first think about which of these types of apps you plan on building.

Chapter #2: Best Programming Languages for Apps

When it comes to mobile app development, there isn’t really one single “best” programming language, and as mentioned in the previous section, it really depends on what kind of app you’re making.

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular languages for app development so you can make the best choice.

2.1 Java

Java is one of the most popular programming languages in the world, and it’s no wonder why it’s a top choice when developing mobile applications.

It’s a powerful and robust server-side language and has the most completed open source projects by developers.

While it’s possible to develop iOS apps using Java, this language is most often used for Android app development since it’s a widely used and well-established language among developers.

It’s also flexible and Android already has a number of development tools for it.

2.2 JavaScript

JavaScript has been a long-time programming language favorite among developers, and many will argue that it’s the best programming language, period.

It’s become even more popular with the rise of frameworks like Vue and React.js that help build front-end UI components.

JavaScript is also a server-side language and it’s often a developer’s top choice language for a variety of reasons.

Not only is it a great programming language for developers of all skill levels, but it can be run everywhere—on every device and on both the client-side and server-side.

Not only is it a great programming language for developers of all skill levels, but it can be run everywhere—on every device and on both the client-side and server-side.

Since it’s been around for 25 years, JavaScript has a huge community behind it. You’ll find that it has a vast number of plugins and frameworks, making development much easier and streamlined.

React Native is a widely used JavaScript framework that allows for cross-platform mobile app development for iOS and Android.

PRO TIP: Just because a language has been around for a long time doesn’t necessarily mean you should use it. JavaScript is still popular and beloved after all these years, with new standards being released all the time.

Make sure the language you choose isn’t outdated and on its way to expire.

2.3 Swift

Swift by Apple is a popular programming language and has surpassed Objective C as the preferred language for iOS app development.

It’s a developer’s favorite for creating iPhone and iPad apps for a wide variety of reasons.

It’s a very readable, type-safe language that’s also not difficult to code in, unlike other languages, like Objective C.

Swift is also highly interactive, meaning it can work in an interactive environment and you can see the output while you’re coding. This also makes it easy to catch coding errors at the coding stage.

Another perk is that Swift is completely free and open source. 

2.4 Kotlin

Kotlin is a newer programming language and is a great alternative to Java. It’s also the official language for Android app development created by Google, so it’s certainly worth learning if you want to create Android apps.

It has native support and it’s supported by IDEs like Android Studio and IntelliJ IDEA.

While some will argue that Kotlin is the next Java, keep in mind that it’s a newer language that isn’t quite there yet, but it’s still worth learning since it’s being promoted heavily by Google for Android app development.

Chapter #3: How to Choose the Right Programming Language

With so many new languages and frameworks out there, it can be hard to make the right decision when it comes to developing an app.

Remember to keep the three Ps in mind before deciding.

3.1 Practical, Popular, and Prosperous

The programming language should be practical. It should give you ample control over your project without needing too many external resources.

It should be popular. Choosing a language that’s popular is important because popularity means you’ll have a large community behind it, a wealth of tools, frameworks, and resources to use.

Picking a programming language that’s popular is also a good idea because it means you’ll be able to find developers skilled in that language much more easily and for a more affordable price.

Selecting a programming language that’s more niche and not as widely used will likely result in you paying more for a developer that knows that language.

Objective C, for example is an old and outdated language for iOS. It’s also fairly hard to learn and use, and it’s only a matter of time before it goes completely extinct. 

And finally, the language you choose should be prosperous. It shouldn’t just be the language of the hour, but rather one that’s foreseen to be used many years down the road.

3.2 Ask the Right Questions

Since you’re reading up on the best languages for app development, you’re either a new developer looking to learn their first language, or you’re already a developer trying to learn something new.

No matter where you stand, here are some questions that will help you decide if you should move forward with a specific programming language for mobile app development.

  • Are you looking for a language to further your career?
  • What companies are working with this language?
  • What kind of ecosystem does this programming language have?
  • Do you enjoy working with this language?
  • Does having a large community of support behind a language matter to you?

Answering these questions will help get you on the right path in your mobile app development journey.

PRO TIP: If you’re still unsure which language to use, pick one and start using it. This will help give you a feel for the language to see if you like it and want to continue learning it.

Final Thoughts

Every programming language has its pros and cons, and not a single one is perfect.

Picking the right one is all about what kind of app you’re trying to build and for what platform.

Knowing these details first will help you narrow down your list so you can make the best choice for your specific app project.

Remove any uncertainty you have and set your project up for success with our Simple Starter package—a cost-effective solution that will turn your app idea into an actionable plan

What’s your go-to programming language?

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21 min read

Best Language For Mobile App Development—What You Need to Know

The Pet Care Market is predicted to be worth $202.6 billion by 2025, according to Grand View Research.

That’s massive.

And 69% of millennials are using technology to keep track of their pets—that includes the use of mobile apps.

Advances in tech are improving the way we care for our pets, and apps today offer owners the ability to track their pets’ health habits, monitor playtime, connect with pet care services, and so much more.

Let’s take a look at what kinds of pet apps are trending and the best ones on the market today so you can make better decisions when building your own app.

Table of Contents

  1. Types of Pet Apps
  2. Pet Product Apps
  3. Pet Training Apps
  4. Pet Tracker Apps
  5. Connect with Professionals Apps
  6. Pet Apps that are Trending
  7. Creating a Pet App—Where to Start
  8. Target Audience
  9. Pick Your Features
  10. Study the Competition
  11. Build an MVP

Chapter #1: Types of Pet Apps

If you visit the app store and search for pet apps, you’ll find that there are simply tons of mobile apps available, offering a wide range of services.

Some are more tech-savvy, offering tracking and live cam capabilities, and others are simply designed to connect pet owners to pet care professionals.

Photo Credit: spots.com

Here are the main types of pet apps you’ll find so you can see where your own pet app might fit in.

1.1 Pet Product Apps

When pet owners are looking for convenience and savings when shopping for their pet, product apps designed specifically for pets, like Chewy, offer a great solution.

These types of apps offer a large variety of pet supplies, like foods, toys, medicines, and more, all in one place and at a competitive price.

Some features pet product apps offer include the ability to search by category, earn discounts on automatic monthly orders, and have items delivered right to your door.

Sure, stores like Walmart, Target, and Amazon offer a wealth of pet products, but the selection isn’t nearly as big and there isn’t much focus on online organization.

Pet product apps are optimized for user-friendliness. The goal is to make it as easy as possible for pet owners to find what they need in one place.

1.2 Pet Training Apps

Hiring someone to train a pet can be expensive, time consuming, and overall, inconvenient.

And during this COVID-19 era, people want to interact with strangers much less than before, which is what makes pet training apps incredibly convenient.

These apps come with a wide range of features. 

Some focus on providing tips and tricks, including images and instructional videos, on how to train your pet, and other apps will allow users to video chat with a live trainer, one-on-one.

Pet training apps allow you to track your progress and training lessons, some offer training equipment for purchase, like clickers, and others gamify training sessions by using digital badges and awards.

Photo Credit: ohmydogblog.com

1.3 Pet Tracking Apps

Pet tracking apps come in all shapes and sizes.

These types of apps can track your pet’s activity, similar to how fitness trackers work. 

They’ll generate detailed reports on your pet’s fitness, movement levels, pulse, and more so you can monitor your pet’s physical health and progress.

These apps can also be used for food monitoring so pet owners can make adjustments to their pet’s diet when necessary.

Other pet tracking apps focus on locating your microchipped pet using GPS technology.

For pet owners who value having all the data needed to make progress in their pets lives, pet tracking apps offer plenty of personalized information on pets so owners can make better decisions in caring for their pet.

1.4 Connect with Professionals Apps

Many pet apps come in handy when pet owners want to connect with professionals in the pet industry, like veterinarians, pet sitters, pet groomers, and so on.

These types of apps can help users find professionals in their area, and some even offer virtual services, like online consultations with a veterinarian, which can be helpful if a pet owner has questions or needs guidance on their pet’s health.

Chapter #2: Pet Apps that are Trending

If you’re interested in developing a mobile app in the pet app industry, it’s crucial to see how the competition looks.

It’s not only useful to see what other pet apps are offering users, but what their strengths and weaknesses are.

Let’s take a look at pet apps that are trending in Google Play and the App Store.

3.1 Target Audience

When considering building a pet app, the first thing you should consider is who you’re targeting.

Simply saying your target audience is a “pet owner” encompasses a huge number of people.

PRO TIP: Ask yourself what type of pet owner your app will be designed for and what specific solutions and features it’ll offer. Find your app’s niche and get specific.

3.2 Pick Your Features

The biggest mistake you can make when developing a pet app is loading it up with features.

Example of Features for a Pet App

Photo Credit: matellio.com

Don’t encumber your app with every feature that’s out there. Start with just a few features that are meant to set your app apart from everything else.

When people download pet apps, they’re looking for a specific solution.

They might not care about fancy video cams or activity monitoring. Maybe they just want an app that will help them learn how to train their pet.

Think carefully about which features you’ll offer and how it’ll help solve real problems.

3.3 Study the Competition

The apps listed in the previous chapter are just a small sample of what’s on the market.

While you don’t need to go through every single app that’s out there, you should pay close attention to pet apps that are trending.

Photo Credit: booking-wp-plugin.com

It’ll give you a good idea of what people want from a pet app.

Reviewing user feedback from these apps can also offer valuable insight as to the strengths and weaknesses of popular apps.

Maybe one of the top pet training apps has a great solution but has a lot of negative feedback about the UI.

Your app can focus on improving that, or you can offer something completely new and different.

3.4 Build an MVP 

A minimum viable product, or MVP, is a basic version of what you want your app to be that only includes core features.

The idea behind building an MVP as opposed to a full-fledged app is to create immediate value fast while keeping development costs down.

This is a great way to test the viability of your app idea and get investors onboard.

Here are some additional benefits to building an MVP for your pet app:

Test Concepts

Being able to test ideas and business concepts is one of the biggest benefits to creating an MVP.

This gives you an opportunity to verify if your ideas are resonating with your audience and allows you to more easily change direction if needed.

Test UX/UI and App Usability

Having an MVP allows you to gather insights and data about how users are interacting with your app.

Photo Credit: 3genii.com

Sure, you can always give testers a prototype or mockup, but feedback on a real MVP can bring even more valuable information that will help you fine tune your app and identify pain points or opportunities for creating a better user experience.

Verify Market Demand

An MVP is all about test driving your app and seeing what the hits and misses are.

It involves constant testing to understand the market demand before spending a ton of time and money on building your app.

Develop a Monetization Strategy

Having an MVP will give you data and feedback that can help you define an appropriate monetization strategy.

After all, your app needs to be profitable.

An MVP lets you test different strategies to find the one that works best for your app.

Cost-Efficient 

A mature, full-fledged mobile app can take a considerable amount of time and money to build.

A minimum approach lets you start smaller, gather the information you need, and slowly invest more into your project as you make adjustments along the way.

Final Thoughts

The bottom line is, people care about their pets a whole lot.

Our pets are pretty much family members, and people are willing to shell out money on high-quality apps that can help them care for and keep track of their furry friends.

If you’re not sure where to start and what approach is best for your pet app, check out our Simple Starter Package which can help turn your app idea into a concrete plan.

What’s your favorite pet app and how do you think it can be improved?

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PRO TIP: Remember, not every new app that hits app stores offers something completely new and innovative. Sometimes simple improvements on what already exists is enough to be successful.

2.1 PetDesk

PetDesk is a mobile app that understands that pets are essentially family members who deserve our care and attention.

The app connects with your veterinarian, boarder, or groomer so you can more easily manage your pet’s information and schedule.

The app lets you book appointments, has medication and appointment reminders or notifications, and keeps track of your pet’s history records.

It also has calendar integration to make pet scheduling easier and offers the ability to add notes.

PetDesk is all about keeping everything related to your pet in one place, which can be especially handy if you have multiple pets.

2.2 Puppr

Puppr is a popular dog-training app with lessons taught by Sarah Carson, one of the top dog trick instructors in the world and top-5 finalist on America’s Got Talent with her dog Hero.

The app has easy-to-follow lessons and instructions with pictures and over 50 tricks your pup can learn, from basic obedience to advanced tricks.

There’s also a handy built-in clicker, which is used for positive reinforcement when training your dog.

Users can even get help on demand with their live chat feature, which can be useful if you need additional assistance or have questions.

2.3 Chewy

Chewy is an online pet retailer but they also have a mobile app which makes pet shopping much more convenient.

This company is incredibly popular due to their wide variety of pet products and top pet brands for all kinds of pets, including dogs, cats, fish, birds, reptiles, farm animals, and horses.

The app lets users shop daily deals, manage autoship, schedule orders, keep track of recent purchases and favorites, and offers access to their team of pet experts via phone call or email.

2.4 Tractive

Tractive is the top GPS tracking app for cats and dogs. The app can help you find their exact location in real-time, worldwide.

With their LIVE Tracking mode, you can get location updates every 2-3 seconds. 

The app also lets you mark safe zones with their Virtual Fence feature and can send notifications if a pet leaves the area.

You can get started by purchasing their tracking device for your pet, which in addition to GPS, also lets users view their pet’s fitness and activity levels, and then choose a subscription plan.

2.5 Petcube

Petcube is a live video streaming app for pets.

The app requires you to purchase Petcube Cam, which is an affordable smart HD pet camera with a built-in vet chat.

This camera has two-way audio and clear night-vision, letting pet owners stay connected with their pets wherever they are and at any time. 

The Petcube Cam 2 is a step up from their basic pet cam and comes with a laser toy, 160 degree view, and voice control.

The Petcube Cam 3 takes it farther with a built-in treat dispenser which can be activated from anywhere.

Petcube is a great way to see, talk, and keep track of your pets remotely.

Chapter #3: Creating a Pet App—Where to Start

As you can tell, there are tons of pet apps out there, each offering a variety of pet solutions.

From medical documentation and pet history to GPS tracking and real-time live streaming—there’s a pet app for every type of pet owner.

3.1 Target Audience

When considering building a pet app, the first thing you should consider is who you’re targeting.

Simply saying your target audience is a “pet owner” encompasses a huge number of people.

PRO TIP: Ask yourself what type of pet owner your app will be designed for and what specific solutions and features it’ll offer. Find your app’s niche and get specific.

3.2 Pick Your Features

The biggest mistake you can make when developing a pet app is loading it up with features.

Example of Features for a Pet App

Photo Credit: matellio.com

Don’t encumber your app with every feature that’s out there. Start with just a few features that are meant to set your app apart from everything else.

When people download pet apps, they’re looking for a specific solution.

They might not care about fancy video cams or activity monitoring. Maybe they just want an app that will help them learn how to train their pet.

Think carefully about which features you’ll offer and how it’ll help solve real problems.

3.3 Study the Competition

The apps listed in the previous chapter are just a small sample of what’s on the market.

While you don’t need to go through every single app that’s out there, you should pay close attention to pet apps that are trending.

Photo Credit: booking-wp-plugin.com

It’ll give you a good idea of what people want from a pet app.

Reviewing user feedback from these apps can also offer valuable insight as to the strengths and weaknesses of popular apps.

Maybe one of the top pet training apps has a great solution but has a lot of negative feedback about the UI.

Your app can focus on improving that, or you can offer something completely new and different.

3.4 Build an MVP 

A minimum viable product, or MVP, is a basic version of what you want your app to be that only includes core features.

The idea behind building an MVP as opposed to a full-fledged app is to create immediate value fast while keeping development costs down.

This is a great way to test the viability of your app idea and get investors onboard.

Here are some additional benefits to building an MVP for your pet app:

Test Concepts

Being able to test ideas and business concepts is one of the biggest benefits to creating an MVP.

This gives you an opportunity to verify if your ideas are resonating with your audience and allows you to more easily change direction if needed.

Test UX/UI and App Usability

Having an MVP allows you to gather insights and data about how users are interacting with your app.

Photo Credit: 3genii.com

Sure, you can always give testers a prototype or mockup, but feedback on a real MVP can bring even more valuable information that will help you fine tune your app and identify pain points or opportunities for creating a better user experience.

Verify Market Demand

An MVP is all about test driving your app and seeing what the hits and misses are.

It involves constant testing to understand the market demand before spending a ton of time and money on building your app.

Develop a Monetization Strategy

Having an MVP will give you data and feedback that can help you define an appropriate monetization strategy.

After all, your app needs to be profitable.

An MVP lets you test different strategies to find the one that works best for your app.

Cost-Efficient 

A mature, full-fledged mobile app can take a considerable amount of time and money to build.

A minimum approach lets you start smaller, gather the information you need, and slowly invest more into your project as you make adjustments along the way.

Final Thoughts

The bottom line is, people care about their pets a whole lot.

Our pets are pretty much family members, and people are willing to shell out money on high-quality apps that can help them care for and keep track of their furry friends.

If you’re not sure where to start and what approach is best for your pet app, check out our Simple Starter Package which can help turn your app idea into a concrete plan.

What’s your favorite pet app and how do you think it can be improved?

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