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5 Programming Languages Every Android Developer Should Know

Shalom Solomon

Every or almost every smartphone that matters these days comes with an Android Operating System. Except of course iPhones and other Apple products. In the previous post which is basically an Intro into Android as an operating system, we discussed some of the reasons why Android became popular. Given the fact that it is not the first or the only operating system for mobile phones.

Part of the highlighted reasons is the fact that Android is an open source operating  system. 
Owing to this, programmers have access to the source code and even clone it to develop other system software applications. Though with the growing value of Android, Google has locked away some of the updated features of the Operating System.

Another feature that has made Android so popular is it's large collection of apps. This feature has given Android an unbeatable edge over every other mobile operating system. It holds over 80% of the smart phone market currently.
Android software development has created lots of opportunities for programmers. With the vast, easily accessible resources and tools on the internet that support the learning and building of Android applications.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

What is Android Software Development?

Android software development is the creation and development of software applications that can run on the Android Operating System.
Developers use programming languages like Java and Kotlin to create the numerous Android apps you see such as: TikTok, SnapChat, Xender, MX player, VLC player, and so many others.
If we are to make a list of all the existing Android apps, this would be a very long blog post (lol).

Google Play Store has an impressive collection of Android apps reaching around 2.56 million. As they say these days, there is an app for every thing. We use apps for daily activities such as:
The calculator for arithmetic operations
Music and Video players
Photo editing applications
Social media apps like Facebook
Apps for communication like Zoom and WhatsApp. Etc
All these apps are built and designed by programmers using various programming languages.

Programming Languages for Android Application Development

Smart phones and other portable digital devices are the future of the digital era. This is evidenced by the fact that most activities that were strictly for complex or larger computers are compressed and simplified forobile phones through mobile apps. In the past, a scanner is required to scan documents for input, now there are mobile apps like CamScanner that serve the same purpose.
We would look at some of the languages developers use to create mobile applications.

1. Java

Java was basically the official language for developing Android application as Android itself was written in Java. Although it has been replaced (in a way) by Kotlin, it is definitely still the most popular programming language for building Android apps.
Java is a bit complex and might be a bit difficult for beginners to learn and use.

2. Kotlin

In 2019, Google announced Kotlin as the new official programming language, displacing Java. Kotlin shares basically the same features with Java and is interoperable with Java. It can be used as an alternative to Java in building Android apps.
Kotlin is very easy for beginners to learn and use as it removed all the features that make Java difficult to use.

3. C#

C# pronounced C-sharp is a programming language that is more ways than one similar to Java. As such, it is ideal for the development of Android applications. 
Not only that, C-sharp is a lot easier to use than Java because it uses simpler syntax that the programmer would be able to understand.

4. C++

Unlike the three above, C++ cannot be used alone to write codes or develop Android applications. The programmer has to use the Android Native Development Kit (NDK) together with C++ to build apps. This is because C++ is not capable of totally building of Android applications. So, the NDK is used on the parts that cannot be created using C++.
So, creating Android apps with C++ is very possible but requires a lot of effort.

5. Python

Python just like C++ cannot be used directly to create Android apps. Although for Python, the reason is because Android does not support Python development. But, there are tools and resources on the internet that enable programmers covert python apps to Android apps. 

Conclusion

So, for those that are interested in Android software development, you will need mastery of at least  one of these languages. 
Basically, start with Kotlin, then Java, C# and Python can come later.
Thanks for reading :)

Comments

Jhon Doe

- 20 October, 2018

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Jhon Doe

- 20 October, 2018

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