Programming languages you should learn to become an Android developer

It is clear that mobile platforms play an essential role in many parts of our lives. Whether for fun or for profit, developing Android apps can be rewarding, both personally and financially. Assuming you have a certain level of technical knowledge then it is possible to develop Android apps yourself, but what programming languages do you need to learn?

Language to learn to become an Android developer

The official language for Android development is Java. Large parts of Android are written in Java and its APIs are designed to be called primarily from Java. But, it also possible to develop C and C++ apps using the Android Native Development Kit (NDK), however it isn't something that Google promotes.

Learn Java

Java is a programming language that found on many different types of devices from smartphones, to mainframe computers. It can be use on desktop PC and even on the Raspberry Pi. Java doesn't compile to native processor code but rather it relies on a "virtual machine" which understands an intermediate format called Java bytecode. That means, you can develop Android apps on Windows, Linux or OS X and the Java compiler converts the source code into bytecode. This in turn is executed on the VM built-in to Android.

Learn Corona

If you don't want to learn Java or how to design user interfaces in XML, then there are alternatives. One is to use the Corona SDK. Corona is a high level SDK built on the LUA programming language. LUA is much simpler to learn than Java and the SDK takes away a lot of the pain in developing Android app. Corona includes a sophisticated emulator which allows you to run your program instantly without needing to compile your code. When you want to create an Android .apk file you start a build via Corona's online compilers and the app is saved to your PC. Corona is designed mainly for games and as such includes libraries for sprites, audio, game networking and a 2D physics engine. Almost everything in Corona is displayed via OpenGL. This means you get GPU accelerated graphics, plus the default app is a blank canvas, all you need to do is start painting.

Learn Phonegap

If you already know HTML, CSS, and most importantly Javascript, then rather than learn Java or LUA, you can build Android apps using the skills you already have. Phonegap is based on Apache's Cordova project. Basically it creates a webview which you can then populate and manipulate using Javascript. The web app can interact with the various device features, just like a native app, by referencing the cordova.js file to get the API bindings. Native functions which PhoneGap support include the accelerometer, the camera, the current location, the local storage and so on.

Learn Kotlin

Kotlin is a general-purpose programming language with static typing and type inference. It's designed to interoperate with Java, and its standard library depends on the Java Class Library, but type inference allows its syntax to be more concise. It mainly targets the JVM but also compiles to JavaScript or native code (via LLVM). Kotlin is sponsored by JetBrains, a software development company based in Prague. It's officially supported by Google for mobile development on Android. Since the release of Android Studio 3.0 in October 2017, Kotlin is included as an alternative to the standard Java compiler. The Android Kotlin compiler lets the user choose between targeting Java 6 or Java 8 compatible bytecode.

Learn Python

Python is what top app development companies use in developing android and desktop apps. It is the easiest language to learn and master. It has an interactive language. It runs on different operating systems like Windows, Linux, Unix, and Mac. Python supports GUI apps. It has an object-oriented language. The interpreter processes its runtime. Many apps have been created using Python such as Dropbox, Spotify, Instagram, BitTorrent Ubuntu Software Center, YouTube, OpenStack, Calibre, World of Tanks, Reddit, Quora etc.

Learn C++

C++ is a programming language that is object-oriented. It has syntax from C and is an extension of C. The benefit of this is that if you understand how to use the C language, it won’t be difficult using the C++. The C++ has been used by top app development companies to develop applications for iOS, Windows, and Android. Aside from mobile app, It has also been used by top app development companies to create tools like Amazon, Google Chrome, Paypal, Photoshop, World of Warcraft etc.

Learn BASIC

BASIC (Beginners All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) is incredibly pleasant to use and an absolutely ideal jumping point for learning to code. Unfortunately, it isn't officially supported by Android Studio and you can't use it in Unity or Xamarin. The good news is that there is a lesser-known option for developing Android apps in BASIC called B4A from Anywhere Software. This is an acronym for "BASIC 4 Android," and as you might expect, it lets you code Android apps with BASIC. It’s certainly not the first choice for most programmers who want to develop Android apps, but it's always nice to have more options.

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