Best Programming Language to Learn for Android Apps

Best Programming Language to Learn for Android Apps

11 mins read1.4K Views Comment
Jaya Sharma
Senior Executive Content
Updated on Sep 9, 2022 09:07 IST

This article lists the best programming language to learn for Android apps. You will learn about languages for both native and hybrid apps.


Table of Contents

  1. Programming languages for Native Android apps
  2. Languages for Hybrid Android apps
  3. Less suitable languages for Android Apps

Android is a mobile operating system based on Linux Kernel, GUI, web browser and end-user applications. It is based on an open-source software where everyone has the option to contribute. Anyone who wants to create an application for the Google Play Store will have to create android applications. We can use this operating system to create applications through various programming languages. In this article, we will learn about the best programming language to learn for android apps.

Programming languages for Native Android apps

Native apps solely work for a specific operating system. For native android app development, Java and Kotlin are used. Let us know more about them in detail.

1. Java

Most Android apps on Google Play Store are built on Java.  It offers the best documentation and community support. It is an object-oriented programming language that minimizes implementation dependencies.

Why learn Java for Android apps?

Java is considered to be the best programming language to learn for android apps. From the beginning, developers have been using Java Platform Micro Edition (Java ME). Following are the reasons for using Java:

  • Java ME is supported by smartphones and tablets. 
  • It provides a secure environment to build and execute mobile applications. 
  • Such applications are secure, and portable and leverage the native capabilities of a device. It addresses constraints that are involved in building mobile applications. 
  • Java ME overcomes the challenges in execution on devices with low memory and low power. 
  • It has an extensive set of libraries that give a boost to android applications.

Resources To Learn Java

Let us discuss useful resources to learn Java language for Android apps:

1. Books

The following books are helpful to learn the Java:

Java Programming for Android Developers for Dummies

It is a book that explains the concepts and expects readers to practically apply them. The book talks about how you can run apps on the android emulator. It discusses both Java and Android side by side.

Android App Development in Android Studio: Java + Android Edition for Beginners 

This book covers the fundamentals of Android apps in the android studio using Java. This book is for absolute beginners in app development. It begins with the installation of the development environment and emulator setup. Different concepts of Java are explained with examples. It also provides step by step instructions to develop android apps.  The book includes more than 100 code snippets to explain app development in detail. 

Learn Java for Android Development: Migrating Java SE Programming Skills to Mobile Development

Through this book, you will become skilled at using the Android SDK platform for building Java-based Android apps. The book contains the latest Java SE releases that are supported by Andriod.  It also includes information on JSON  documents, lambdas and functional programming. 

You will learn to parse, create and transform JSON and XML documents. Through the exercise section, you will be able to reinforce the lessons of each chapter. There are more than 500 exercises in the appendix.

2. Online Courses

One of the best ways to learn this language is through online Java courses. These courses are created by industry experts and are based on the new innovations in the language. You can choose a course according to your existing knowledge and skillsets. During this course, your learning curve will take a new high.

2. Kotlin

Kotlin is a statically typed, cross-platform and general-purpose programming language with the type interference. It was initially designed for JVM and Android that focuses on interoperability, clarity, safety and tooling support. The aim of the language was to reduce the efforts in coding. 

It is more concise and has better error handling than Java. Kotlin has all features of a functional language. It supports anonymous functions, inline functions, tail recursion, high order functions and generics. It eliminates the risk of null pointer references and streamlines handling of null value. One can simply handle null pointer exception by putting the exclamation (‘!’) mark.

Why learn Kotlin for Android apps?

As per Google’s official announcement, Kotlin is the supported android programming language. It is an open-source language that allows for writing concise code with better security. Kotlin is fully supported by Google on the Android operating system. 

Companies like Zomato use Kotlin for their application. Kotlin can also run on the Java Virtual Machine and may be used as a substitute for Java in android development. Following are the reasons why Kotlin is the best programming language to learn for android apps:

  • Easier syntax and reduced code length
  • Easily learnt and implemented
  • Compatible with the Java ecosystem
  • Cross-platform layer for native apps
  • Wide range of community libraries and extensive resources
  • Direct support from the Kotlin team

Learn why you should choose Kotlin over Java?

Resources to Learn Kotlin

1. Books

Kotlin Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (Big Nerd Ranch Guides)

This book is a guide to effectively work with Kotlin through hands-on explanations. There is a clear explanation of the basic concepts of the programming language. This book is great for experienced Android developers who want to learn about modern features beyond Java.

Kotlin for Android Developers: Learn Kotlin the easy way while developing an Android App

This book is a guide to learn new features that were missing in Java. Through detailed lessons, you will be able to build an android app from scratch using Kotlin as the main language. You learn through examples instead of following a typical structure. 

Android Programming with Kotlin for Beginners

The book teaches the fundamentals of Android app development and Kotlin concepts by building real-world apps. This book explains how android and kotlin work together. It then progresses to Android APIs to build applications. Concepts such as functions, data structure, object-oriented code and variables are explained in the book. It also explains the process of connecting Kotlin code to the UI.

2. Online Courses

You can enrol in Kotlin certifications to learn this programming language. These are guidelines based courses that upgrade your knowledge. You can complete them at your own pace while learning the latest concepts. 

Languages to Build Hybrid Android Apps

These applications are for multiple platforms. In simple words, such apps can be used on both android and iOS. Let us learn about the programming languages that are used for building these apps:

1. Dart

Dart is a programming language for client development for mobile apps and web apps. It is an object-oriented and garbage-collected language with a C-style syntax. Dart can compile to either JavaScript or native code. Dart 2.6 introduced an extension that is integrated with the Flutter toolkit that allows the use of a compiler on small services. Its stable version was released in 2021.

Why learn Dart for Android apps?

Developers who write Flutter apps for iOS, Android and other targets use Dart. The Dart VM offers instant hot reload developer cycle. Its ahead-of-time compiler for native code and Dart-to-JavaScript compiler for the web code, create fast production code for every platform. Following are the reasons behind using Dart:

  • Used for developing beautiful UI components
  • Easy compared to other languages
  • Flutter is powered by the Dart platform
  • Useful for developing multi-platform applications

Resources To Learn Dart For Android Apps

1. Videos

Flutter App Development Course | Flutter & Dart | Build Flutter iOS and Android Apps

This is a beginner course on Flutter by ‘ProgrammingKnowledge’. The course is for more than 6 hours in which you can learn how to build an app from scratch with flutter. It will cover topics such as the basics of Dart programming language, types and casting in Dart, collections in Dart and Dart set.

Flutter Tutorial for Beginners – Build iOS and Android Apps with Google’s Flutter & Dart

This tutorial by Academind helps you in learning Dart so that you can perform beautiful native development. It covers theory and creates practical understanding through various programmes. 

Dart Programming Tutorial – Full Course 

This is a Dart tutorial by for those who already have some level of understanding. The course will take through setup, fundamentals, functions, class, operators, exceptional handling, etc.

Start learning flutter

2. JavaScript

JavaScript is more commonly used for web development along with HTML and CSS. It is a high-level, just-in-time compiled language that conforms to ECMAScript standard. It has APIs to work with dates, text, regular expressions and Document Object Model. Current JavaScript ecosystem has multiple frameworks and libraries. 

Check out JavaScript courses

Why learn JavaScript for Android apps?

This language can be used for developing android and iOS apps. Its framework React Native is used in the development of apps on multiple platforms by using native platform capabilities. React Native does not use CSS and HTML. Messages from the JavaScript thread are used for manipulating native views. 

Learn what is react?

Resources to Learn JavaScript

1. Books

Learn HTML5 and JavaScript for Android

This book teaches the skills related to JavaScript and HTML5. Through this book you will be able to build mobile web app. Thi allows readers to build Android apps for smartphones and tablets. You will be able to build applications that can run on mobile and Android platforms.

React Native in Action

After reading this book, you will be able to build cross-platform mobile and web applications using the React Native framework. The book offers step-by-step instructions to help readers in building complete applications. It also covers advanced topics like APIs, animations, data architecture and styling.

Building Android Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript

This book is a guide to using open source web standards to build apps that can be adapted by any Android device. You will be able to use Adobe’s free PhoneGap framework to convert a web app into a native app for Android. The book helps in converting the website into a web application.

2. Online Courses

JavaScript online courses are really helpful in learning the programming language. Through these courses, you will be able to learn the skill at your own pace. After the completion of these courses, you will earn a certification that will be an add-on to your resume.

Less Suitable Programming Languages For Android Apps

The following languages either lack functionalities to develop Android apps or have become outdated.

1. Lua

Lua is a lightweight scripting language that helps in creating and manipulating Java objects and interacting with Android APIs. It is mainly used for the development of Android games however Android does not support it by default for game development. 

To gain the support, it has to take the assistance of Android SDK that comes with the cross-platform corona game engine features. This programming language is used for building simple apps. It has limited scope in comparison with Java.

3. C#

C# is a programming language that runs on .NET framework. It is an object-oriented and type-safe programming language used for developing desktop apps, web apps, mobile apps, etc. However, C# lacks platform support due to which it is not popularly used in android development. It is better used in the unity engine platform than for mobile applications.

Check out C# certifications

3. Python

There are no widely adopted UI libraries for Python that might be used for developing mobile apps. Another limitation is the inability to keep the mapping as to what class or function was expecting and what type of values it gets.

Check out online Python courses

4. C++

You can build apps in C++ using Android NDK, but you will be unable to exploit vast android libraries that are to be used through JAVA. The development in NDK is very time consuming. You will have to first build .SO files and then use NDK to use these .SO files. Debugging is also difficult. It is not flexible enough to build an entire app and may end up building a bug-filled app.

Check out the top 10 programming languages to learn


These are the list of best programming language to learn for android apps. Some of them are used since the beginning while some are the result of experience and evolution in a language. Do remember that each language has its advantages and disadvantages. Your choice of language also depends on whether you are building a native or hybrid application.

Check out other programming languages courses.

Recently completed any professional course/certification from the market? Tell us what liked or disliked in the course for more curated content.

Click here to submit its review with Shiksha Online


Apart from programming languages, what other skills you must have?

As a developer, you are expected to have the skills related to Android SDK, APIs, Android Studio, Databases and material designs.

Is Kotlin better than Java?

In cases where scaling is required, Kotlin performs better than Java. It has a more efficient design in comparison with Java.

Should I learn Java language before Android?

Yes, having the knowledge of Java before Android will be extremely useful in learning Android. You should atleast have the knowledge of core Java.

About the Author
Jaya Sharma
Senior Executive Content

Jaya is a writer with an experience of over 5 years in content creation and marketing. Her writing style is versatile since she likes to write as per the requirement of the domain. She has worked on Technology, Fina... Read Full Bio