Android devices are everywhere nowadays: in your home, work, school, and hospitals, the Android operating system has become a go-to for all kinds of tools designed to enhance and improve your life. Android isn’t just for mobile devices, either—you’ll find an Android OS in many of your exercise and entertainment devices, as well. With Android becoming so ubiquitous, learning to program for it is a solid career choice. People who program for Android won’t have to worry about job scarcity for the foreseeable future. But, which languages should you learn to juice your Android skills?
Fortunately, our guide is here to help you figure all of that out. In this article, we look at the most popular programming languages for Android, and we examine which languages are best suited for specific tasks. The Android languages we cover will work on other platforms, as well, so getting fluent in one or more of these languages will set you up for career success. Learning one or more programming language for Android is a great way to get started in the programming profession today!
Why not Java?
When you want to start programming for Android, you can’t go wrong learning one of the most-used and popular programming languages around. Java is a powerful language suitable for development on many platforms, including Android. While Java is older than some languages, it is flexible enough to adapt and work with supplementary languages, which makes it a significant addition to any developer’s toolkit.
Java is Android’s lingua franca, meaning Android utilizes Java as it is a common language and allows for more integration possibilities. Because of this, learning it is a significant first step toward mastering the platform. Android uses Java as its primary means of server communication in many circumstances, and the Android API calls are built specifically for Java and work best in that environment. While Java’s age makes it a bit less intuitive than some other languages, its prevalence throughout the industry make it an excellent first language for budding developers.
If Java is the nondescript station wagon of programming languages—nothing fancy or exciting, but it’ll get you where you want to go, then C# is coding’s sportscar. C# is a newer and more streamlined programming language and can perform many of Java’s functions without requiring nearly as much labor to produce the same result. It’s a slimmed down and supercharged language, and you’ll be amazed at how useful it can be in Android.
C# was developed by Microsoft and is, to some extent, their answer to Java. Because it relies on a .NET framework, you could only write in C# for Windows-based platforms until recently. In 2014, Microsoft open-sourced .NET, though, and that opened a lot of doors. Nowadays, you can use C# in all sorts of environments, including Android. Pick up this language; you won’t regret it.
Because of how popular Android devices have become, learning how to program for them will open doors and boost your career. Either Java or C# is a great first language for hopeful Android developers, and will get you off on the right foot. Soon, your Android phones, tablets, and other devices will dance to the tune you call– and your job prospects will sing!