Top 7 Programming Languages for iPhone App Development

by Josh Biggs in Tech on 24th July 2020
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The iPhone app development process can be a little complex job although it can be performed either by outsourcing or hiring an in-house developer. The most vital thing on which you have to focus is choosing the programming language for the coding purpose of an iOS app as there are so many options available like Swift, C++, Objective-C and the list is long.

Technology is continuously introducing new things in the market with amazing features. Now, app are improving with the adoption of evolving technologies likes IoT, AR and VR. All these technologies make a great impact when get merged with the iOS application development trend in 2020. There are so many new trends that people will be facing in the current as well as the coming years. 

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  • The involvement of AR and VR technology to make the app more real
  • Machine learning will become a new norm in the development of iOS app
  • Swift 5 programming  language is making the app development easy and fast
  • Wearable and IoT will interconnect all the devices for exchanging and sharing data and information 
  • Apple Pay will provide the most secure digital payment mode
  • Cloud integration will be done in the iOS applications 
  • SIRI will assist people intelligently in the iOS apps
  • There will be enhance app security to prevent information hacking 
  • Highly scalable and secured enterprise development 
  • Involvement of big data for creating powerful and robust iOS apps 

Requisites for iOS and iPhone Application Development

Apple gadgets like iPad, iPhone, and iWatch are becoming the crown of tablets and smartphones. As per the statistics, Apple users from all over the world are 558 million and among which only 1 billion Apple products are presently in the use of all over the globe. Before you opt for choosing the language for iOS app coding, it is important to set up the correct tools. For iOS app or iPhone app development, Apple has its own software called as Xcode. With the use of this software, you can edit the code and preview the app before you launch it in the market. Also, Xcode will allow you to test the app and simulate it on diverse operating systems and adjust the devices. 

Let’s see all the details about top programming languages used for iOS app development 

  • Objective C
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Tom Love and Brad Cox developed Objective C language in 1984. Before the launch of the Swift by Apple in 2014, Objective C was considered as the main language of Apple for iOS app development. It is a general purpose and object-oriented programming language that brings together the flavour to C programming language. Passing messages among objects is the important feature of Objective C that is highly useful for iOS operating systems. 

Pros of Objective C

  • It offers a long-lasting experience 
  • Dynamic typing improves flexibility in using class
  • Provides full support for older versions
  • Mature and stable language 

Cons of Objective C

  • Limited functionality for developing iOS apps
  • It possesses several security issues
  • Decreasing number of people to use Objective C
  • The code is difficult to read and hence difficult to learn 

Use Cases of Objective C

Mostly, Objective C is utilized by Apple for the iOS and OS X operating systems and their Cocoa, APIs and Cocoa Touch. 

  • Swift
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Swift is the main programming language of the iOS operating system and was launched by Apple in 2014. Before Swift, Objective C was the primary language for development iOS apps. In 2018, Swift got huge popularity and became number 1 programming language for Apple and iOS operating systems. Swift is highly recommended for creating interactive and feature-rich tvOS, iOS and watchOS platforms. 

Pros of Swift

  • Fast development process with a simple syntax and grammar
  • Open source language 
  • Offers easy to read and write code 
  • Code maintenance is easy 
  • Can supported by multiple devices 

Cons of Swift 

  • Does not support old iOS versions
  • The language is still new for developers to trust 
  • Bad interoperability with third-party tools 
  • Less talent pool 

Use Cases of Swift 

Swift is mainly used for creating apps for Mac, iOS, Apps Watch and Apple TV.

  • Python 
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Python is considered as one of the top programming languages of current times. Guido van Possum is the one who created this language in 1991. It is a general-purpose, high-level and open-source programming language. It is a dynamic programming language that supports imperative, object-oriented, procedural and functional development paradigms. It is also very popular amongst machine learning programming. 

Pros of Python 

  • Easy to read and use language 
  • Versatile and faster development 
  • Contains all the libraries within it 
  • Good for prototypes 

Cons of Python 

  • Python consumes a lot of memory
  • It has a slow speed as compared to C and C++
  • It holds limitations to access database
  • Produces runtime errors

Use Cases of Python 

Python is majorly used for building desktop GUI applications, web applications and websites. 

  • C#
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Anders Hejlsberg created C# language at Microsoft and launched it in 2000. It is a simple yet modern and flexible and object-oriented, safe and open source language which is used for programming. C# is considered as the most versatile programming languages all over the globe.  It allows developed to create all types of apps that includes consoles, web apps, mobile apps, Windows clients, and backend systems. The C# developers can work on building native iOS and Android mobile apps using Xamarin. 

Pros of C#

  • Easy iOS development 
  • Capable of collecting automatic garbage
  • Avoids the memory leak problem 
  • Cost-benefit and better integration 
  • Best programming support 

Cons of C#

  • It is a less flexible language 
  • It has windows based server for running application 
  • It consists of poor platform GUI

Use Cases of C#

C# is capable to develop these many types of apps that inclines Windows client apps, Windows services, Windows applications, Web services and Web API, Backend services, Azure cloud apps and services and more such. 

  • HTML 5
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HTML 5 joins with CSS and other technologies that can be utilized for building hybrid iOS apps. These applications are not native applications. Hybrid apps packs around a browser control and utilize HTML and CSS for rendering pages within the apps. 

Pros of HTML 5 

  • It offers cost-effective and multi-platform development 
  • It helps in providing good page ranking 
  • The apps developed using HTML 5 can be browsed offline 
  • It has full consistency across several browsers
  • Best mobile access for business intelligence

Cons of HTML 5

  • Diverse video support for HTML 5
  • It needs modern browsers for accessing it 
  • It has some media licensing issues that should be considered 
  • Multiple device responsiveness can cause problems

Use Cases of HTML 5

HTML 5 can be used for creating web apps that can run on any browser, any device or desktop or server. 

  • Xcode 
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Xcode was first released in 2003 and its stable release version is 11.6 which is available using the Mac App Store at free of charge. Xcode is an IDE for macOS which contains a set of software development tools developed by Apple for creating software for iOS, macOS, iPadOS, watchOS and tvOS. Xcode covers Command Line Tools that enables UNIX-style development using the Terminal app in macOS and can be downloaded and installed without the need of main IDE.

Pros of Xcode

  • It has easy to use UI creator 
  • Good code completion 
  • With Xcode, developer can easily learn profiling and heap analysis 
  • The simulator of Xcode will allow you to test the app while you are building it in such an environment that simulates your iPhone
  • It has a wide range of audience who are excited to pay for the applications 

Cons of Xcode

  • It has an outdated Objective C that makes it frustrating to use 
  • It provides no support for tabbed for environment and hence makes it difficult to work with different windows 
  • It has a complex process for exporting your app on any device 
  • It can work only with Apple OS

Use Cases of Xcode

The use of Xcode can be made for developing apps for various Apple platforms like iPhone, iPad, AppleTV, Apple Watch and Mac. 

  • Flutter 
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Created by Google, Flutter is an open-source UI software development kit. It is mainly used for creating apps for iOS, Android, Mac, Linux, Google Fuchsia, Windows and also for the web fusing a single codebase. The apps that are developed using Flutter are written in Dart language and can use of many advanced features. 

Pros of Flutter 

  • It can use same UI and business logic across all the platforms
  • It takes less code development time 
  • It has increased speed for time to market 
  • It is similar to that of native app performance 

Cons of Flutter 

  • The apps developed by Flutter are not supported by web browser
  • Fluter apps have large size 
  • The Flutter library is limited 
  • It is not much popular 

Use Cases of Flutter

Flutter is used for creating apps for Android, Linux, Windows, iOS, Google Fuchsia and more such and that too using a single codebase. 

Let’s have a look at the comparison of all programming languages in brief 

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Wrap Up

There are so many programming languages available in the market for the need of developing iOS apps. But it depends on your business and app requirement which programming you want to use for iOS product development. We had described the top 7 programming languages above that will help you to make one final choice. 

Categories: Tech