Leading names of the Computer and mobile industry like Apple and Google work with specific programming languages for mobile development like Objective-C or Swift for and / or Java for Google Android respectively. But what about small scale independent developers who spend a large percentage of their time figuring out as to how to develop applications on the iOS and Android platform, using other parallel programming languages.
Some alternative languages that may come up as an answer to their seeking are C# (Xamarin) and Pascal (Embarcadero-Rad Studio), but there are other possible ways also like using the C++ Mobile development platform,as in DragonFire SDK for iOS and Google Android. Also, it so happened that in the previous years, for developers to be able to use C/C++ in their Java Apps, even Android Studio added support for the Native Development Kit (NDK).
Thus, let us look at the 5 primary reasons as to why the C++ route for android development purposes is the best to use.
1. Faster Efficient Coding
Prominent Software titles like Office, Skype, Facebook Moments, Dropbox, and popular games such as “Clash of Clans”, take the help of C++ for cross-platform development as it is easy to write, modify and implement. Moreover, it usually does not have a standard user Interface and so the user-interface code is written in the native languages and C++ used for the business logics.
Also, though Java with the help of Java Virtual Machines and optimized byte-code, can provide the code pretty fast, but native i.e., machine code can be faster, efficient and useful in areas such as gaming, signal processing and physics simulations, which can be conveniently incorporated using C++, thus giving C++ a slight edge over other when it comes to the term of faster execution and processing of written / developed code.
2. Visual Studio
The first, free Express version of Visual Studio was released by Microsoft in 2005, following which the Community edition was released in 2013, thus allowing plugins and management of themvia the Nuget Package Managers.
Visual Studio, since its inception, has forever supported Visual C++ along with the not-so-popularly sought C++/CLI/CX, which thence allowed C++ to be compiled to target the Android platform and produce Native-Activity Android applications, using the CLANG toolchain which Microsoft developed in-house to meet its own Android development purposes.
Moreover, a fast Android emulator along with the Android Development Kits (SDK, NDK) plus Apache Ant and Oracle Java JDK is included with the Visual Studio, which eliminates the need of switching over to another platform for the use of external tools. Ant, Gradle and Cmake are already included and in 2015 a strong element Xoreax Incredibuild was added which is helps to integrate into Visual Studio 2015 and leverage networked computers for speedier builds.
3. Source Code of Existing Games
There are several existing game codes across the various web platforms, including open-source game engines and free content which are founded on C++, thus allowing the debugger / developer to easily and conveniently modify the codes and make the games better and updated as the requirement arises.
4. C++ Vs Java
Java’s roots in the industry are so strong that it needs no separate introduction as one of the most popular and excellent programming language, especially for development purposes. However, in case of Android mobile development, C++ has few advantages over JAVA, one of which is owing to C++’sgreater proximity to the metal and no garbage collection ability, it has a smaller memory footprint.
Also, it is an accepted fact that C++ is founded on C and compiles all C programs virtually, so that one could easily reuse C software. Moreover, though it is a very common notion that Java programs, many a times, run as fast as C++, and in some cases faster than it but, one may need to tweak their Java codes first to attain that level of superior performance.
Java source code is compiled to byte code and stored in .jar files i.e., zip files, thus .requiring a warm up time for the Java Virtual Machine(JVM) to load the .jar file byte code and compile it to machine codes by a methodology often referred to as JIT: Just-In-Time Compilation. However, when compared to C++, it need no “warm up” time before full-length execution, thus making it a little snappier than Java or for that matter other programming language like C#,when run on the same hardware resources.
5. Being extensively used with the Android’s Core
Many inbuilt apps and / or development projects has bases founded on C++ coding and application. Be it the Google Android NDK using which several games etc… are launched each year or be it services by other tycoons.
Thus, having a look at the above aforesaid points, it is rest assured that C++ will be chosen over other programming languages for the purpose of Android and / or IOS development or for C++ Mobile Development purposes.