Different Ways to Develop Android Apps – C#, Visual Basic, Pascal and C++
There’re so many programmers are out there with the ability to create Android apps. And as such, there’re so many other programmers out there with the same question; “How do I make Android apps when I don’t know Java”?
The downside is that for the most part, you are better off knowing a programming language or six. The learning time is still involved anyway. The upside is; it doesn’t have to be Java. Not that we have anything against Java mind you!! You could get an IDE that allows you to develop for Android and is a match to a programming language you might already know. Again, the learning time is still there for the IDE itself. So don’t start thinking that you have escaped that part just yet!!
The truth is, there’re various programming languages, IDEs, plug-ins, add-ons, and other things that allows a programmer to develop Android apps no differently compared to Java programmers. These other tools also include the use of Java but Java is not the primary and/or only language involved in the other tools. Said languages include:
- C++, C#, and Objective C.
- Turbo Pascal and Object Pascal.
This is just the short list, but by now, you get the idea!! So no, you didn’t have to go looking for converters or a conversion service to switch your current programming language to the Android platform. As it turns out, you can also use some of the tools listed below to create apps for multiple platforms with little to no difficulty.
This is a list of IDEs (Integrated Development Environments) that can be used to develop Android apps without the need to know Java. These are listed in no particular order.
#1. Xamarin Studio
Xamarin Studio uses C# as the main developing language. So any C# you know is a big help you to. However, there’s a tutorial available on the Xamarin Studio website in their FAQs section to help you transition from Objective C to C#. This IDE has a long list of features and a built in method to publish your app(s) directly to the App Store and Google Play.
- Can develop for Android and iOS.
- Very large list of features.
- Can also be used to develop for smartwatches.
- Not free.
- You still have the learning time. The learning time would be shorter if you already know Objective C and/or C#.
- So many features might be deemed as overwhelming.
Basic4Android is something nice for all you Basic programmers out there. It has a wide range of features for making games, utilities, and just about any type of app you can make with other IDEs. There’s a very active community and a constantly growing library for B4A to help you in just about every app creating situation you can find yourself in. Anyone with a background in Visual Basic already has a huge start with Basic4Android. The nice part is that you didn’t need to know Basic and/or Visual Basic to get started with this IDE.
- Very easy to use.
- Many features to make developing all kinds of easy.
- Large and very active community and growing library to add more features.
- You can still use Java libraries if you wanted/needed to.
- Not free.
- Still have several other things to download to get it started.
- Overwhelming library. It’s very helpful, but also very big.
- Still have the IDE learning time.
- The emulator(s) can be slow loading.
Lazarus is something for you Pascal fans out there. Among other languages, Lazarus uses Turbo Pascal/Object Pascal. This is another IDE in the cross platform developing category which also includes Android development. Basically, anyone with a Delphi background already has a big start using Lazarus. And if you don’t, that’s still OK because there’s also a very large community of others that can and most likely will help you. The full range of features is included and this one is free!!
- Free. Now there’s something you don’t see in many IDEs!!
- This one should be very familiar for Delphi programmers.
- Large community to help you.
- Lots of example apps for developing on multiple platforms.
- You can still make commercial apps.
- Might not be so easy to setup for everyone.
- Still have the learning time. That detail seems to pop up a lot!!
- Still needs some extra setting up for Android development.
AppMethod is becoming one of the more popular choices for Android and cross platform development. The idea is to have one single codebase that can be compiled to Android and other platforms. Not just Windows, Mac, and Linux, but to the whole range of devices and OS’es including wearables. C++ and Pascal fans have something to cheer about with this IDE since those are the main languages used by AppMethod. You get all the tools and features in the IDE to develop just about anything that pops into mind and then compile it to wherever you want it to run, just like that.
- Easy to use especially for those with Pascal and/or C++ experience.
- Free trial to give you a pretty good idea as to what it’s capable of doing/creating.
- Lots of resources and tutorials available.
- Very little to no problems when compiling to other OS’es.
- Not free. Yeah, no one seems to like that idea!!
- You guessed it; the learning time is still there!!
- You still need to install other tools/packages to get it working.
- Needs Windows 7 or higher. Win XP users are out of luck on that one.
#5. Corona SDK
The Corona SDK has been out for quite some time now and uses Lua as its programming language. So all you Lua programmers out there have something to work with!! The Corona SDK allows you to create apps and games for Android and other mobile platforms. One of the nicer parts to this IDE is that you don’t need the Android SDK installed to develop for Android devices. This would save you some download and configuration time to get the IDE working. The other nice feature is that you have much of the same features and capabilities as other IDEs and this one has a free version!!
- Has a free version. Not the 100% absolute greatest thing out there but still pretty nice.
- It’s a good replacement IDE for Lua programmers.
- Wide range of features and capabilities even in the free version.
- Lots of resources and tutorials to help you out.
- Still have the “not so free” versions for more features.
- Still need to download other tools/packages to get it working.
- You didn’t start thinking you escaped the learning time, did you?!!
All in all, you still have various other choices out there for an IDE to use if you either can’t or don’t want to use Java. Again, nothing against Java, we’re just pointing out the other choices. But even at that, this is just the small list. Which IDE you use really depends first on which programming language you prefer to use and then which IDE has the features you’d like to work with and/or need.
Next: Interested in developing android apps by using java?
If you have any questions, comments, and/or suggestions, please feel free to post about it in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!!