What language are Android apps written in?

Written by sue smith Google
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What language are Android apps written in?
Android apps often involve a range of languages working in conjunction with one another. (Ablestock.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Developers use a variety of languages to create Android apps, including programming, markup and data manipulation languages. Android developers carry out the main processing for the logic of their applications using the Java programming language. The developer of an app might additionally use the XML markup language for styling and data storage. Databases associated with an Android app might also require the developer to use the SQL language. If an app involves Web functionality, the developer may also use languages such as HTML and JavaScript.


Android developers write the functional logic of apps in Java. With Java, the developer can define the processing of the application, including responding to user interaction with elements of the app interface such as buttons. The Java language resources for the Android platform include various predefined components that developers can make use of, including those for common app features such as user interface elements and data manipulation. This means developers do not have to implement every aspect of their applications manually. The Java language provides Android developers with advanced application development models such as Object Oriented development, in which the parts of an app are modelled as conceptual objects with well-defined characteristics and behaviours.


When developing an Android app, it is necessary to define the visual interface presented to users when they launch the app. Android developers implement these user interfaces using the XML markup language, often together with digital images created in graphic design programs. The XML files in an Android app can define the layouts, images, themes and colours displayed to the user. Although Android user interfaces are primarily defined in XML, developers can also implement and alter the visual elements of an app from the Java code. Developers also use XML to define the basic properties of an app in its Manifest file.


Many Android apps use data stored within files or in databases. An app can fetch data from a local database stored on the user device or from a location on the Internet. Creating, manipulating and querying a data source is therefore a common task within Android apps. Developers typically use the SQLite variant of the SQL language to manage data for Android apps. The developer of an app can include this SQLite code within the Java class files for the app, so that it executes whenever the app runs. SQLite databases store data values using the relational database model.


An Android app can function as a Web application, with data and services deployed on Web servers and presented within the app interface. This often involves the Android WebView class. Within this class, developers can include the kind of processing normally found on websites. The developer of such an app can therefore use Web languages such as HTML and JavaScript within their Android coding. The Android WebView presents app users with Web pages inside the app itself, rather than within the device Web browser.

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