Top 7 Programming Languages For iOS App Development

If the title of this article interested you, you are most probably about to develop an iOS app and are looking for the programming language that will best suit your needs. If this is so, this article is just right for you. We will elaborate top 7 programming languages with a focus on their strengths and weaknesses.

What do you need to remember before you start working on your iOS app?

With any programming language you work with, you need to take some initial steps. The trick is not to jump straight into coding even if it seems tempting. Instead, if you devote some time upfront to set up your project, it will save you a lot of time and effort. So, here is what you need to set up before you even start the actual coding.

You need to set up:

  • Your coding style
  • Architecture for your app
  • App folder structure
  • Proper schemes
  • Proper certificate
  • Provisioning profiles
  • Continuous integration and delivery process
  • Manage dependencies.

If you take these steps before the actual coding, your work will be less hard.

Now let’s list the programming language and see why you should use this or another one for your particular project.

Swift

Swift is a popular language for iOS development and, if you are just starting, this is a must-learn programming language for you. It is used by industry giants like Apple, Airbnb, and Lyft.

The good sides:

  • Offers extensive libraries
  • Open-source
  • Responsive.

The bad sides:

  • The interoperability with IDEs and third-party tools is poor
  • Cross-platform support is incomplete
  • Poorly support the earlier iOS versions.

Objective-C

It is an object-oriented language and hence, it would be easy for those who have some background in object-oriented programming languages, like Java, C++, C#, Python, R, PHP, Visual Basic.NET, JavaScript, and Ruby. Since this is an old programming language and still in the market, just this thing speaks well about Objective-C.

The good sides:

  • Since it’s mostly a C wrapper, it’s fast
  • Compilation appears to be faster than C++
  • Memory management is simpler than in C++
  • It’s pretty easy to communicate between threads
  • There are several run-time services like NSNotificationCenter, NSRunLoop, NSOperationQueue.

The bad sides:

  • Lacks generics/templates
  • Very few APIs appear to use exceptions
  • Simple pieces of code often look extremely long and verbose
  • Many of Apple’s runtime features are undocumented.

Flutter

Flutter is an open-source framework by Google. You can build natively compiled, beautiful applications with Flutter that work on multiple platforms. The nice thing about this programming language is that you can do it all from a single codebase.

The good sides:

  • Open-source platform
  • Superfast
  • Has lots of UI widgets
  • Fast issue-fixing and testing.

The bad sides:

  • Large file sizes
  • Not sufficient third-party libraries
  • You need to know Dart.

C#

C# is ideal for cross-platform app development. Technically, C# is similar to Objective-C. Swift, and Java. C# is a modern, general-purpose, object-oriented programming language. It is developed by Microsoft and approved by European Computer Manufacturers Association (ECMA) and International Standards Organization (ISO).

The good sides:

  • Cross-platform
  • Object-oriented
  • Can do many things with fewer keystrokes
  • Understands the intent behind the code
  • Better integrity and interoperability.

The bad sides:

  • Poor x-platform GUI
  • The server running the application must be windows based
  • Compiled code
  • Microsoft stopped supporting .NET.

HTML5

If you want to save maintenance costs, utilize advanced storage options, and stream and optimize mobile app development, then you should definitely consider HTML5. Lots of professions prefer this technology to build clean, efficient, and compact codes.

The good sides:

  • Cleaner markup/ Improved code
  • Consistent
  • Offline application cache
  • Plugins are not required to display any audio or videos
  • New tags are available
  • Responsive web design.

The bad sides:

  • Need modern browsers to access it
  • Requires media licensing
  • Multiple device responsiveness causes troubles.

Java

In the list of top 7 programming languages for iOS app development, Java probably comes the last. Technically it is possible but it requires jumping through all kinds of hoops to make it work. However, if you are pretty committed to the Java codebase, this might work as well.

The good sides:

  • Easy to learn
  • Object-oriented
  • Platform-independent.

The bad sides

  • Memory-consuming
  • Not very compatible with GUI
  • Provides no backup facility
  • Verbose and complex codes.

React Native

React Native is another great tool for iOS app development. It combines the JavaScript library React with parts of native development. The major advantage of this programming language is that it allows for building apps for many platforms. But that’s not all. Let’s look at the good sides.

The good sides:

  • Low development costs
  • Large developers community
  • Supports building applications for the web.

The bad sides:

  • Hard to debug
  • Requires Native language of the platform.
  • Slower performance when measured against native apps.

Wrapping up

In this blog post, I outlined the top 7 programming languages for iOS app development. Did I answer all the questions you had? Which is the best, after all? Well, it depends!

  • Do I need to code from scratch?
  • Do I need multiple platforms?
  • Do you need a native or hybrid application?
  • What user needs will be application meet?

Unless you answer these and similar questions, you will not have an idea which language to choose. Your choice will largely depend on the circumstances of your case. The IT outsourcing team is the best judge of these needs.

For example, If you are short of time but want to expand the application later, it’s better to use Swift. Objective-C works well with all platforms, including the older version of iOS. If your focus is on Android users, then the choice should be for C#. HTML5 is best if you want to access your application also offline. Finally, use Java only if you already have an Android mobile application developed in Java. Otherwise, it is not a good choice.

I hope I helped you in your search for the best programming language. And if you are still in doubt, here is a list to review.

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