If you are seriously thinking about getting into mobile application development, you’ll inevitably face the question of choosing a programming language. Java is considered one of the best options. This article provides the reasoning.
Android or iOS?
To begin with, you should decide which platform (or platforms) you want your app to run. Currently, there are only two mainstream mobile operating systems for which it makes sense to create applications. These are Android and iOS.
The most common languages for the iOS mobile operating system are Objective-C and Swift. In fact, these languages are needed for Apple gadget software and are not used almost anywhere else. If you are an Apple adherent and dream of connecting your life with the products of this company, take a closer look at them. However, this is a rather risky choice, because if you change your mind, it will not be easy to switch to another type of development.
As for Android, developers can select from different programming languages, yet Java is in the lead by a huge margin. Using Java for mobile app development is reasonable since it’s a universal language, and you’ll be able to easily switch from mobile to other types of development if needed.
It should be noted that you can also use the Kotlin language, which is actively developing now, for writing Android mobile apps. C++ is suitable for this purpose as well (using the Java NDK). However, Java remains the main language for Android solutions.
The Java language is considered fundamental in the development of applications for Android gadgets. Since smartphones, tablets, and other devices based on Google Android are available to almost everyone, the market requires more and more mobile apps that help users automate the daily tasks. Thanks to applications, companies can now be available 24/7 and communicate with their customers directly. The number of Android users is growing, so developing programs for the most popular mobile platform is very beneficial for promoting products and services.
Let’s look into the details that make Java so popular for mobile app development.
Many popular integrated development environments (IDEs), including Eclipse, NetBeans, and JetBrains, support Java. Tools like Eclipse and NetBeans are playing a critical role in making Java one of the best programming languages for mobile development. When using a powerful IDE, it’s easy to read and search the code, as well as refactor it. A robust set of tools streamlines not only the coding process but also simplifies testing and debugging. Thus, Java development is convenient and fast.
Support for the OOP concept
The main advantage of Java is its support for the object-oriented programming (OOP) concept. This allows developers to write separate and reusable software components, building a strict hierarchy of applications.
The Java slogan says: “Write once, run anywhere.” A Java program is compiled into a binary module consisting of virtual processor instructions. Such a module contains byte code to be executed by Java interpreters that are available on all major computer platforms. If your Java application needs to run on multiple platforms, there is no need to compile its source code multiple times. You can compile and debug a Java application on the one platform that is most convenient for you. The result is a cross-platform application that can run in any environment that supports a Java processor.
By the way, you can also turn to .NET development service for cross-platform development.
Java Class Library
The Java Class Library contains a set of dynamically loaded libraries that are used by the apps instead of native libraries. This is required because Java is platform-agnostic, and applications can’t rely on their native libraries.
In addition, the language comes with an open-source library of design patterns that can be adjusted for developing server, desktop, embedded, and mobile applications.
In fact, Java is not a native language, because it runs on the Java Virtual Machine on top of the Linux kernel, and not in the smartphone’s processor itself. But it is the official Android development language and allows you to use native interface elements: navigation, menus, pop-ups, and more.
Thus, using Java and the Material Design visual language, you can create applications with a familiar interface. This approach creates a good user experience (UX): users will easily figure out how to use the application, they will enjoy the interaction, therefore, they can give good ratings in PlayMarket, leave a positive review, or sign up for a paid subscription.
Multithreading and automatic memory management
One of the essential advantages of Java-based programs is that they do not clog up the device’s memory. They automatically keep track of objects that are no longer needed and delete them, while maintaining the stability and speed of software launch and operation. In other languages, this feature must be configured manually. Multithreading allows you to allocate the load on the processor and RAM, which is just as important for maintaining performance, especially in low-resource devices.
Java is a very comfortable platform in terms of ready-to-use solutions and components available. A huge and active community makes the process of learning the language and entering the profession easier and faster. The Java community helps programmers solve all kinds of issues. For example, the StackOverFlows question forums and other user groups provide extensive support on a variety of topics.
As for the financial aspect, the demand for Java developers is growing every day. Therefore, this is a fairly stable environment where you can be confident in the future.
Java is considered the fundamental language for Android application development. It also allows developers to write code that works seamlessly across multiple mobile platforms. In practice, there are numerous Java applications in various fields such as gaming, instant messaging, music streaming, and commerce. The most vivid examples include:
- Spotify — a music and podcast streaming app available on smartphones, tablets, and desktops.
- Twitter — a mobile application of a popular social network platform with microblogging services.
- Opera Mini (web browser) — an application for mobile internet users that speeds up page loading through compression.
- Nimbuzz Messenger — one of the most famous Java instant messaging applications.
- CashApp — a mobile payment service app for secure transfers. The CashApp code for Android is mostly written in Java.
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