The Top 5 Programming Languages for Building iOS Applications

If you intend to create an application for iOS, you must identify which programming language is best suited for your project. With several options to consider, each language has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. This guide outlines the optimal programming language for iOS app development, allowing you to make an informed decision.

According to the latest projections, over 4.2 billion mobile devices will have internet access by 2023, with mobile devices contributing to over 90% of all internet traffic. Additionally, Apple has stated that its iOS operating system powers more than one billion of these devices. These statistics highlight the immense potential of an iOS application.

The Software Shop at Apple has accumulated more than $2.2 million through its applications, making it the second most sought-after app store. This reflects the level of trust developers have in Apple’s ecosystem and its potential for success.

Selections available from different app stores

Before we delve into the top five programming languages for iOS app development, it’s important to consider the key factors to keep in mind when designing an application for the iOS platform. We’ll then examine the pros and cons of each language and explore how to utilize them effectively.

What Should You Consider When Developing an iOS Application?

1. Identify Your Target Audience

Before starting the development of your iOS application, it is crucial to identify your target users. By having a grasp of the user profile and their typical usage behavior, you can tailor the app’s experience to meet their specific needs.

Undertaking market research to identify your target audience based on demographic parameters such as age, gender, and location is the initial step towards promoting your iOS application. Knowing your target audience can simplify the promotion process significantly.

2. Understand the Problem You’re Solving.

Having a thorough understanding of the problem your iOS application is intended to solve is crucial before starting its development. As the success of an app is contingent on its capacity to provide a solution to a user’s issue, this should be your first priority. It is also advantageous to evaluate whether there are any competitors offering comparable services.

3. The Reach of Your Application

Once you have a clear understanding of the purpose of your iOS application, you can begin contemplating the features it will offer. For instance, if you are developing a fitness app, it is crucial to determine which exercises to include. While you can choose to incorporate more capabilities and functionality in the future, it is vital to establish a dependable foundation initially.

4. Which Devices to Support?

When determining which iOS devices to make your application compatible with, it is crucial to consider Apple’s lineup of iPhones released since 2007. To guarantee that your app is supported, you may need to take into account which precise iOS versions are supported by the devices capable of running your software and narrow down your selection based on their features and the required database.

5. Assess Your App Development Skills.

Developing an application necessitates a team of skilled developers with diverse specialized skills. Therefore, it is imperative to evaluate whether you possess the required expertise to construct the project you have in mind before commencing coding.

The team may need individuals with skills in front-end and back-end programming, user experience design, interface design, graphic design, code testing, and project management.

As a startup, it can be advantageous to contemplate enlisting remote developers to aid in scaling your software. One developer may be capable of fulfilling multiple roles; nevertheless, at some point, additional support may be necessary.

Through our comprehensive recruitment process, our expert team can aid you in finding an iOS app developer who possesses not only the requisite qualifications but also aligns with your company’s values and work style.

Now that we’ve covered that, let’s delve into our list of the top languages for iOS app development.

Top 5 Languages for iOS Development

1. Swift

Swift, developed by Apple, is utilised to develop software applications for all of Apple’s platforms, including iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS. As per the Tiobe index, which ranks programming languages based on their popularity, Swift currently holds the 14th rank.

Swift was developed by Apple to streamline the development of applications for their iOS platform and compatible devices. Well-known frameworks such as Cocoa, Cocoa Touch, CloudKit, and AVFoundation are all compatible with Swift.

This is where the Swift programming language excels.

If you aspire to develop iOS applications with high scalability potential quickly, then Swift is the preferred language. Swift has a relatively low learning curve and is well-suited for novice programmers. Furthermore, Apple regularly updates Swift to enhance its speed, reliability, and security.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Utilising Swift


  • Easy to operate and comprehend
  • Consistently reliable
  • Frequent updates
  • Excellent scalability
  • Facilitates speedy application development
  • Technique for Keeping Memories Tracked Automatically


  • Proficiency in Swift development is limited to a very few.
  • Community support for Swift is comparatively lower than for other languages like Python, Java, and C++.

2. C#

Microsoft developed the object-oriented programming language C# in 2000, which functions across numerous platforms. Its platform-independence feature makes it appropriate for creating applications for both Android and iOS. As of March 2023, C# had reached the fifth position among popular programming languages. Developers prefer C# as it allows them to write code once and deploy it to multiple platforms.

When to Use C# Probably the Most

C# is the way to go if you plan to build apps for both iOS and Android platforms. Furthermore, having skilled C# programmers at your disposal is a added advantage.

Benefits and Drawbacks of C#


  • C# enjoys tremendous community support due to its extensive usage and maturity.
  • Open-source
  • Exceptional efficiency
  • There is an extensive library of books on C#.
  • Platform independence
  • Relatively easy to use
  • A large number of people work with C#.
  • Scalability and Flexibility


  • There is a relatively steep learning curve for beginners.
  • Dependence on Microsoft’s.NET framework can restrict its adaptability.

3. Objectives of C-Scope

Introduced in the early 1980s, Objective C is a derivative of the C language. It is primarily used for developing iOS apps and the operating systems of iOS and OS X, along with their APIs.

According to the Tiobe index, Objective C is among the top 20 popular programming languages, with over 4.1% of developers worldwide using it. Similar to C#, it is cross-platform and can be used to develop programs for various platforms, including macOS and iOS.

Objective C is best suited for

Objective C is an outdated programming language and has not been updated since 2023. It may only be worthwhile if your app needs to support older iOS devices that cannot run Swift. However, it is not recommended for developing apps for future generations of iOS devices.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Objective C


  • It has evolved into a mature and stable language over time.
  • Encourages dynamic typing.


  • Being an outdated language, it is relatively less secure.
  • It can take considerable effort to become proficient in it.
  • There is a shortage of skilled professionals in this language.
  • The source code is not available for free.
  • Limited functionality
  • Lack of recent updates
  • Slow rate of progress

4. Java

Java is an object-oriented, class-based programming language that was released in 1995 and has a wide range of general-purpose applications. With over nine million developers worldwide, Java is one of the most renowned and widely used programming languages. As per the Tiobe Index, it currently holds the third position in terms of usage.

Being a versatile programming language, Java is capable of developing applications for both iOS and Android platforms. Its cross-platform compatibility without the need for recompilation is a significant factor in its reputation for speed and reliability.

Best Applications of Java

Java is not a widely used programming language for iOS development and is not recommended. While it may be useful for converting an Android app for iOS compatibility, Swift is the preferred language for new iOS development projects.

Pros and Cons of Java


  • Programming languages developed in this style can be used on a diverse range of devices.
  • Maximum amount of public support
  • In simple terms, it is a programming language that evolves and adapts with its users.
  • It has a vast pool of skilled individuals.
  • Open-source
  • Flexible
  • That aspect is secure.


  • Java programs tend to consume a significant amount of memory while running.
  • Challenging to master and inconvenient.
  • Failure to meet the set expectations
  • Therefore, expressing oneself in Java requires a lot of typing.

5. HTML5

HTML5, also known as Hypertext Markup Language 5, is a front-end programming language utilized for designing user interfaces for web-based applications. When combined with Cascading Style Sheets and JavaScript, HTML5 becomes a powerful tool to develop dynamic user interfaces for iOS applications.

HTML is one of the most user-friendly languages, making it an excellent option for beginners.

Illustrations of exemplary HTML5 implementation

Developing user interfaces for iOS applications that can be utilized both online and offline using HTML5 is a feasible alternative. It is vital to have a team of experts who are proficient in HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript due to their interconnectedness.

Pros and Cons of Employing HTML5


  • Skilled individuals picked from a vast talent pool
  • Support for multiple Operating Systems (OS)
  • The coding is accessible to everyone, free of charge.
  • Easy to operate and comprehend
  • Allows for the creation of software that can operate offline


  • Limitations on functionality
  • It restricts the possibility of creating iOS applications directly with native development.
  • Challenges with Adaptive Layouts

Final Thoughts

By examining the leading applications, we have prepared a summary of the top five languages employed in the creation of iOS applications. A comprehensive review of each language, including both the advantages and disadvantages, has been provided to enable you to make an informed decision.

If you aim to build advanced and efficient iOS software, it is strongly recommended to use Swift. The outdated features of Objective C make it inadequate for the most recent iOS devices.

To develop software for iOS and Android together, you might need to consider using a cross-platform language such as C# or Java.

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