6 Popular Programming Languages for Android App Development

14 Nov 2020

There are currently 3.5 billion smartphone users worldwide and the number are growing exponentially. Most of the major smartphone companies use Android as their operating system.

And with the number of Android users still on rise there is still so much room available for new android applications, you just have to come up with innovative and problem-solving ideas that you can bring to life with android development.

According to Statista, android games alone generated $41 billion revenue in 2017.

android programming language stat
Source: Statista

The android users are still on rise and the market hasn’t yet touched its limits. There is still so much room available for new android applications, you just have to come up with innovative and problem-solving ideas that you can bring to life with android development.

But before you decide upon your android development programming language, it’s important to learn the difference between Native & Hybrid applications.

Native Applications Hybrid Applications
Native apps are coded in a particular language for a specific operating system. These apps run on their respective platforms for which they are coded, For Example, some applications are only coded for Android and they can’t be used on other smartphone operating systems like iOS and vice versa. The Cross-platform Development concept is used in Hybrid applications. These applications are coded in a single language but they can run on multiple platforms, For Example, many applications like Uber, Twitter and Instagram etc. are made to run on multiple platforms.

Top Android Programming Languages

Some languages are more developer-friendly than the others because they have built-in libraries to support app development and unfortunately many of them do not provide you with such options.

Here are our 6 best languages for Android pick that you can choose from to start your android development career:

  • Java
  • Kotlin
  • C#
  • C++
  • Python
  • LUA (Corona)

1. Java

Java is one of the most popular Android development languages as a large number of Android apps that we see on the Playstore are written in Java as well as being widely used in many fields such as backend systems and desktop applications. We can conclude then that Java is an all-rounder but it’s also a little difficult to learn.

The language touches on complex concepts like:

  • constructors
  • concurrency
  • checked exceptions
  • null pointer exceptions

They are all pretty difficult for a beginner to pick up and get to grips with. On the top of that, the Android SDK (Software Development Kit) further increases the level of complexity level of Java.

If you want to make a fresh start then check out some of the best Java courses that will take you from the basic to advanced level.

Overall though, if you stick at it and become a proficient Java programmer, it is considered the best cross-platform development language although it is recommended that you start from the basics, such as C++ before you move on to the concepts in Java.

2. Kotlin

If Java seems too complex then you can opt for Kotlin because both of these cross-platform programming languages can interoperate with each other. Kotlin is also officially called the second version of the Java.

The main difference between both of these languages is that Kotlin removes some of the complexities of Java, making it much cleaner and easier to learn. If you are hearing about Kotlin for the first time then you need to know what Kotlin is used for.

Being the second official Java language, Kotlin also operates using a Java virtual machine. Furthermore, Kotlin also eliminates the need of putting semicolons at the end of every line which is a bonus for anyone who has ever spent an age looking for a coding error in Java!

In short, Kotlin is way easier than Java and can be used as an entry point into the Android development world. Grab any of the best Kotlin courses to start your Android journey.

3. C#

C# is another popular programming language used to develop android apps. The language is not as flexible and functional as Java but it has an easier syntax that is encouraging for new programmers, and also implements garbage collection to prevent memory leaks. You can learn about the applications of C# before opting it.

Intially, C# was limited to developing applications for Windows System with .NET framework with no relation to Android development prior to the release of Xamarin.Android. Xamarin is a cross-platform implementation of language infrastructure that enables you to code applications for multiple platforms.

You can start your journey by choosing one of the best C# courses that will take you from beginners to as far as you want to go.

4. C++

C++ is probably not the best Android apps development language but still it works pretty well with the Android Native Development Kit (NDK).

The language itself isn’t used to develop full Android applications but it is used with the NDK to develop different parts of an app. A range of C++ libraries can be used throughout the development process.

The language is widely used when writing apps for multiple platforms and backend coding. You should learn more about C++ usage. However, it’s way less flexible in the case of Android Development as it will lead to more bugs and errors that are difficult to fix, therefore it is highly recommended to learn Java or Kotlin instead of C++.

Still, if you are willing to learn it for desktop applications then explore the best C++ courses to advance your programming skills.

5. Python

Python is well-known for its simple syntax and simple learning curve. Android doesn’t support native python development yet but you can use different Python libraries to develop Android apps.

They will convert apps written in Python to Android packages that will easily run on Android platforms. If you are just a beginner then you must learn where Python is being used to get an idea of its popularity.

An open-source Python library called Kivy is available to convert your code into Android packages. Still cross-platform development is not possible with this library and you can’t create native apps like you can in Java or Kotlin.

Still, it’s extremely easy for beginners to take their first step in app programming, so choose from our best Python courses.

6. Lua (Corona)

Lua is another language that can open the door into Android development for you but it needs the support of Corona development kit to do so. There are two operational sides of Corona, one is called Corona Simulator while the other is Corona Native.

The syntax is fairly straightforward compared to Java and it supports native features once you integrate your Lua code with Android Studio. There are a number of good Lua courses based on the Corona development kit that will take you from newbie to expert.


Java language is a straight winner if we specifically talk about flexibility in Android Development, nothing can beat it, while if you are a beginner who is leaning more towards ease of learning then you can choose from Kotlin or C#.

Both of these languages are relatively easy to learn. Lua (Corona) is another reliable option with a development kit that provides you with a ton of features. By the way, you can have a look at some valuable courses for Android regardless a particular programming language.

Leave a comment if you have something to share with us

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *