6 Best Programming Languages for iOS App Development in 2021

Choosing the correct programming language is a decision that must be done at the very beginning of an app development process. Just like the choice of platform availability, a programming language outlines the general look of future software and determines limitations, integrations, and overall possibilities to use particular functions.

First of all, before even coming to choose what language is going to be the main one for your project, there’s a need to analyze some technical aspects. These are:

  • The main functions of the program and technologies they depend on
  • The complexity of these functions
  • Room for future upgrades/changes
  • Third-party services and integrations
  • Compatibility with different iOS versions
  • Type of the program: native/hybrid/web

Also, it’s important to analyze your team’s abilities and expertise level. For applications that will be used commercially and involve a lot of skill-demanding processes, it’s better to get professional help. Today, there are many specialized iOS development services on the market. All of them are glad to take on any project you can present them with.

What’s most important, is that they have enough knowledge and experience to turn any idea into an application of the highest quality. They can be hired to create the whole project for you or help with just a certain part. Basically speaking, iOS application development services are the ultimate solution for any of your mobile software ideas.

So, we consulted with some of such professional developers to provide us with a list of the currently best programming languages for iOS.


Swift is the main programming language for iOS devices, as it was created by Apple itself back in 2014. Before Swift, everyone used to code in Objective-C, but we’ll get to it a little bit later. One of the first things one should know about Swift is that it’s open-source, which opens many new horizons, unlike its predecessor.

Just like all Apple products, it has an elegant code structure and is still very functional. Obviously enough, integrating other Apple services into applications written in this language is easy too. It’s also pretty easy to learn, and not that hard to master. In general, Swift presents a relatively chilled programming experience for those who focus on native iOS applications.

Here’s a list of some well-known companies that use Swift as their main programming language for their software:

  • Kickstarter
  • LinkedIn
  • Slack
  • SkyGuide
  • SoundCloud
  • And many others


Objective-C has been the main one for iOS devices for more than two decades. Today, it’s still used by some experienced iPhone application development processes, but even the most traditional of those are starting to transfer to Swift nowadays.

Objective-C was created based on the beloved C back in 1984. Some changes were made so that it could be used on Apple devices, and functionality was enhanced too. The greatest feature of it as a derivative of C is stability. Needless to say, many C and C++ libraries and tools can be used for Objective-C too.

Yet, just like most old programming languages, its learning curve is rather steep. And considering that it’s not open-source, the decrease in its popularity is only logical. Nevertheless, it’s a good and stable option for those who are willing to put in extra effort and gain a lot of additional knowledge and experience as a bonus.

Software that is based on Objective-C:

  • Instagram
  • Uber
  • Snapchat
  • Pinterest


Nowadays, Python is everywhere. More and more desktop programs are developed in it, and its popularity for mobile app development is rising with each day. And the greatest thing is that this fame is well deserved.

The first thing that attracts aspiring developers is the simplicity of its usage. That means it’s easy to learn, practice, and master. Python is insanely versatile and flexible too, presenting endless amounts of new opportunities. There are many tools that can simplify the programming process too, which is a great addition.

Some of these offer visual changes to the code, while others allow interesting integrations. In short words, Python is today’s ultimate programming language for any app development needs. And it’s worth at least checking out, even if you’re the most conservative and loyal Objective-C or Swift user.

Here are some of the programs that were created with the use of Python:

  • Facebook
  • Reddit
  • Netflix
  • Quora


Where there’s one derivative of C, there’s another. Earlier we said that Python is everywhere, and the same goes for C++. Well, it’s just that C++ has been the most popular programming language for decades, and it has been surpassed by Python only in the last 7-8 years.

Still, it offers a great stable experience for those who are ready for a mildly difficult learning process. The best part about C++ is the experience it provides you during endless practice sessions. Why? Because as we said, it has been the main language for everything for 20 years.

That means, by learning how C++ works, you’ll discover how most software works, including all the tiniest details and aspects. And of course, it’s still a viable option for iOS app development, especially counting how many useful tools and libraries there are for C++.

Apps based on C++:

  • Google Chrome
  • PayPal
  • Photoshop


HTML5 is the latest and the most modern version of the classic HTML. As you could guess, it’s mainly used for web development. That doesn’t mean it can’t be used for software creation for Apple devices, though. How so?

Well, many programs for mobile platforms are just adapted websites. For example, those are mainly forum-related software and those whose functions are based on using servers instead of downloadable software. However, that also means that such programs can’t work without internet access.

Yet, it’s a perfect option for simple web-based apps that don’t involve any complex processes. The best and the most famous instances of such software are:

  • Reddit
  • Lyft
  • Udemy


Flutter is the least known option on our list, but that doesn’t mean it’s any worse than its competitors. It was created by Google in 2015 and is basically an SDK (software development kit), based on the programming language called Dart.

Yes, it’s not just a simple language, but a whole SDK, which is both a downside and a feature. It does require certain experience and knowledge to be able to operate the right way, yet it rewards devs with great functionality and cross-platform availability. It has a lot of useful tools, and many innovative integrations can be easily implemented.

Here are some examples of programs and widgets that were created with the use of Flutter:

  • Google Ads
  • Alibaba
  • New York Times
  • Reflect
  • Tencent

Final Words

These are the best options for choosing the right programming language for mobile iOS software creation. Of course, there are many others that can be used for this matter. It’s just that they aren’t stable enough on this platform, or require too much extra work in order to be available for usage.

But as probably every specialized iOS developed center would recommend, the best option is to go with Swift. At least if you’re planning on investing most of your time into Apple devices. Why? It’s the main language created by the device manufacturer, so it’s going to work on their devices better than anything else. But nevertheless, one should make a decision themselves, considering all the requirements and circumstances, so good luck!

6 Best Programming Languages for iOS App Development in 2021 was last updated August 31st, 2022 by Sandra Collins