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Python Mobile Development: When And Why to Build Your App With Python?

Jan 3, 202310 min read

Dawid Karczewski

Senior full stack developer and CTO at Ideamotive.

python mobile development when and why to build your app with python

When you have an excellent project on your mind, the first question is what language to use to make it successful. We here want to take a look at Python mobile development.

 

You are about to develop your app. Then it's time to delve into the topic and choose what is right to make your product user-friendly. What are the peculiarities of Python mobile app development? 

 

Let's start from the beginning; Python is a scripting programming language. It's suitable for solving various tasks and working with different platforms: from iOS and Android to server operating systems.

 

It is an interpreted language, not a compiled language like C++ or Java. A Python program is a plain text file. You can write code in almost any editor or use particular IDEs.

 

You may find Python everywhere: on the web, in mobile and desktop applications, and in games. Developers create neural networks, conduct scientific research, and test programs.

 

Python_ The Definitive Business Guide

What language web developers choose in 2022

Many ratings display the TOP programming languages, frameworks, development environments, and even gadgets in the IT technology field. We advise you to examine the following platforms for Python:

 

  1. PYPL - popularity according to Google Trends. You may see that Python has saved first place since 2018.

Python Mobile Development- When And Why to Build Your App With Python? - pypl

  1. TIOBE – indexes based on Bing, Google, and Yahoo data.

Python saves the leading position during the whole 2022 year. When compiling the rating, TIOBE counts the number of mentions of each programming language on the websites and in search engine results. Platforms such as Google, Bing, Yahoo!, Wikipedia, Amazon, YouTube, and Baidu form the results on TIOBE. It compares popularity on an annual basis. In September 2022, Python was in the lead compared to September of previous years, starting from 2001.

 

 

  1. RedMonk uses GitHub and Stack Overflow data to understand trends in the IT market.

 

The infographic shows the movement of the top 20 languages over the history of the rankings. We can see that this report places Python in the second position in 2022.

Where developers use Python

The versatility, simplicity, and high speed of writing Python code allow you to use it in web development, desktop programs, system administration, Data Science, embedded systems, mobile applications, computer games, and a variety of plug-ins and scripts.

 

  • Web development. Python has many frameworks for that purpose: FastAPI, Flask, Tornado, Pyramid, TurboGears, CherryPy, and, the most popular, Django.

  • Parsers. Python helps to collect information from web pages. They do this with the help of such popular libraries:
    • Scrapy is a cross-platform, high-performance library with a large user community.
    • Beautiful Soup is a simple and powerful library for parsing HTML and XML documents. 
    • Selenium is a tool for automating and testing online applications that allows you to simulate the work of a browser.
  • Embedded systems for devices. We often see software developed in Python in Raspberry Pi minicomputers, ATMs, telecom equipment, CNC machines, and many other devices.

  • Computer games. Python is suitable for scripting computer games' scenes, events, and characters. We all know the games in Python as World of Tanks, EVE Online, Battlefield, Civilization, etc.

  • System administration. In this area, Python helps to automate the execution of various tasks, and the simplicity and consistency of its syntax allow you to find errors in the code quickly. It is also the standard programming language on all Linux servers.

  • Machine learning and artificial intelligence. ML and AI are among the most popular and promising areas of language application. For these purposes, there are special Python libraries (TensorFlow, Scikit-Learn) designed to train neural networks, control industrial systems, and perform some other tasks in the field of ML / AI.

  • Big data. To help to analyze and visualize them, as well as predict trends actively, developers use Python. A set of specialized libraries for computing and processing big data is available in this area: SciPy, Matplotlib, PANDAS.

  • Desktop Applications. Although the language does not compile, it helps to create desktop programs. For example, here is a small list of popular desktop applications that are in Python:
    1. GIMP is a visual editor for Linux;
    2. Ubuntu Software Center - an application center in Ubuntu OS (one of the Linux distributions);
    3. Blender is a program for creating 3D graphics;
    4. Ansible is a configuration management mechanism that allows you to deploy multi-node software;
  • Mobile applications. Python mobile development is less popular. For Android: JavaScript (our favorite? React Native!), C#, C++, and Kotlin are more suitable. And for iOS: Swift or Objective-C. Python is usually used to program the server side of an application. For example, the Instagram client for iOS is written in Objective-C, while the server is in Python. Python mobile development frameworks for creating cross-platform mobile GUI applications: Kivy and BeeWare.

Python mobile app Kivy

Kivy is open source, freely available, and allows you to develop cross-platform GUI applications. The appearance of such applications will be pretty natural but different from other applications. It's because all widgets in the framework are customizable, not standard. But for you, this can be a significant plus that distinguishes you from your competitors. On the other hand, the application will be somewhat different from other native ones. Even with a completely intuitive interface, Kivy may rather confuse users. It is worth weighing the pros and cons before choosing this framework.

 

Python mobile app BeeWare

Unlike Kivy, this framework has native tools for each platform in its set. So your user experience will be no different from applications written in Swift for iOs or Java for Android. Of course, this also implies some development features: you must prescribe and configure many elements separately for each platform. However, due to the common programming language, difficulties arise only with the interface part. You can write and reuse the rest of the functionality for both platforms. The only thing to remember, you will have to test both applications separately.

 

 

Kivy and BeeWare are Python mobile app frameworks that are pretty promising. However, if they don't suit you, there is still a vast selection of alternative Python mobile application frameworks.

 

  1. Python-for-Android. It's a tool allowing Python to work with Android. Its primary function is to create a project folder with all the tools required to launch the mobile app. This folder comprises Kivy and various libraries such as Pygame, SDL, and others. This folder includes a Java loader, an intermediate between Kivy and OS. Later you will add your scripts and compile the application using Android NDK.

  2. PyJNIus. It's a framework designed to provide interaction between Python and Android API. Using this API, you can get information from various mobile device parts, including vibration, pause, restart, and many others. The main disadvantage of this framework is that it requires strong knowledge of Android API and makes abundant code. It's to mention that PyJNIus Java's competitor looks the same.

  3. Plyer. This project aims to create a simple Python interface, including functions you will find on most modern mobile platforms. The code you will write using Plyer will be executed on all supported platforms, including Android, iOS, Linux, Windows, and OS X. As for iOS, there is another framework you can use – PyOBJus.

  4. PyOBJuS. It's a Python library for accessing Objective-C classes.

Advantages

  • The main advantage of Python is its simplicity. No need to spend months learning complicated syntax like in C++ and worry about memory leaks. The language will do everything for you.

  • It is an interpreted language. Python program is a plain text file that can run on any platform with an installed interpreter.

  • It is excellent for beginners. Python is well-designed and logical. You don't even need to know English to study it. Due to its simplicity, development is much faster because the programmer writes less code.

  • The language has a robust community. The Python user community is so large that you're likely to find a solution on the Internet quickly if you run into an obscure bug.

Disadvantages

  • Python programs are among the slowest. iOS apps run 8.7 times faster in Swift than in Python. The PyPy implementation is close to Java in speed but does not have all the original language features. Python is unsuitable for tasks requiring a large amount of memory - inserts in C or C ++ better solve them.

  • Dependence on system libraries. It makes porting applications to other systems difficult. To solve the problem, they came up with Virtualenv, but it also has drawbacks: redundancy of complete isolation methods, crutches, and duplication of system libraries.

  • Global Interpreter Lock (GIL). It doesn’t allow multiple threads to execute simultaneously in the CPython implementation. However, the GIL can be temporarily disabled, as in the NumPy package.

  • Dynamic typing. "Wow!" - you say. "Isn't dynamic typing cool?" On the one hand, yes. But because of it, you see errors at runtime, not during compile time.

Why You Should Use Python Mobile Development

When choosing a programming language for developing your software product, always pay attention to the features and benefits of each option. Just answer the question "what will it give me," and you will find the most optimal option. So, why use Python mobile development:

 

  • Easy-to-read code

If with the phrase "program code," you see a picture with many lines, different words, symbols, and most importantly - with many brackets and lengthy descriptions - this is not about Python. This programming language allows one word to describe a command, which, for example, in Java, must be written in five lines. 

 

Because Python code is easy to read, you get many advantages. It is easy and fast to learn, so there will always be developers for your project. You need less time for the development process due to the convenient construction of the language. The lighter and more readable code, the easier to find and fix errors on the project and make any changes. It takes a new employee much less time to dive into the work with the project. He quickly delves into the code and is ready to start productive work. We can go on and on about the benefits of easy-to-read code, but let's continue with Python mobile application development.

 

  • High Compatibility

We have already mentioned that it is possible to make mobile app development in Python and desktop programs and websites. If you create applications using this language, you can write native applications for Android and IOS and cross-platform ones that will work equally correctly on both platforms.

Thus, you save money on re-creating the same application for a different platform and cut the product launch time in half, which is very important in today's highly competitive application market.

 

  • Test Driven Development

Python makes it possible to conduct Test Driven Development. It's a rather interesting approach to development. It implies that before implementing any change in the program code, you write unit tests to cover this change. Only then is the code refactoring.

 

Developing applications in Python in this way allows you to achieve the most efficient product architecture. Also, it provides high coverage of automated tests, which (subject to the success of all tests) guarantees a high-quality product.

 

  • Big Data support

The use of big data has become a necessity in recent times. Companies are increasingly analyzing information to get even better results. The presence of libraries helps to make it simple and accessible. A little further, we'll look at mobile app development in Python that uses this feature.

As you can see, this language has many advantages. It's almost indispensable in many cases of mobile development. And this has been recognized by many pretty large companies and projects. Some of them may surprise you, but all of them only proves Python applications' convenience for businesses and users.

 

What resources do you need to develop a mobile app using Python?

1. Time

If you want to build an app, the primary resource you need is time. The period depends on the difficulty of the idea and the level of your programming skills. But on average, it takes from 3 months to create a mobile app in any language by professional developers. 

 

If you are only studying, get ready to work longer. For a newcomer, it'll take time. First, it takes at least 2 months to learn (optimistic forecast); please check CareerCarma research. It’s a good platform for those who want to learn Python. You may find Python mobile development tutorials and advice on where to find python app development courses for free.

 

You must plan all the development stages if you dream of working on a project independently. 

  1. Work out a brief for the developers — 7-14 days.
  2. Find a good team — for approximately 1 month.
  3. UX/UI design — 1,5 -3 months.
  4. Development process - 3 months.
  5. Release on App store — up to 14 days.

So, it may take up to 8 months.

 

2. Money

The final cost of the project will depend on the following:

 

  • The difficulty. The simpler the task is, the fewer programmers you need to engage and the cheaper professionals you can hire.

  • The region of living. Of course, the cost of an American developer will be higher than that of a European or Indian one. You can solve this problem by hiring a remote specialist from the country with lower salaries. But then you will have to overcome the language barrier and the impossibility of meeting live in the office to discuss the details of the project.

Here are the statistics on the average Python developers' monthly rates in different countries according to SalaryExpert for you to understand what the approximate needed budget is:

 

 

We are pretty sure that the success of each project is a team. Let's compare the value of the team in the US and Poland.

 

Team member

Poland

USA

Python Developer

7600

9000

Designer

1600

4700

Product Manager

6300

7500

Average amount

USD 15500

USD 21200

The team value per month for 2022, 

according to Indeed.com

Companies that choose Python

Startups and companies that develop great platforms choose Python. We present to your attention the list of notable projects that use Python in development.

 

Google - uses the language as a component of the search engine.

Dropbox - uses Python to optimize the back-end and front-end.

Spotify - uses Python for data analytics.

Instagram, Facebook - use it on the server side.

US National Security Agency – encrypts and analyzes intelligence data.

Pixar - creates animated films in Python.

Intel, Cisco, HP, Seagate, Qualcomm, and IBM test and analyze the market with Python.

NASA, Los Alamos, and Fermilab - use the language in scientific computing.

 

In addition, Positive Technologies, Houdini, Yahoo, Red Hat, Pinterest, and Quora use Python. Isn't that inspiring?

Successful examples of Python mobile development 

Instagram

It's a worldwide social network with many users and opportunities, an intuitive interface, and an application for any platform.

 

Now Instagram has become the center of the most diverse content in its most varied forms: photos, videos, animations, stickers, masks, filters, visual effects, and so on. In addition, you can communicate with others and share what you see in the content. The social network's audience is constantly growing, which requires good scaling and load distribution abilities. And at the same time, Instagram is created entirely in Python, demonstrating the excellent scalability of applications in this language.

 

Pinterest

This app is also built entirely in Python, precisely one of its frameworks, Django. Just like Instagram, the primary purpose of the application is to share photo and video content. This social network is not about personal correspondence. It's about visual content. But at the same time, there is a great function of saving any content to your board. You may "pin" any image and upload your content, share articles, or other materials from the Internet. Pinterest has a significant focus on working with large amounts of data. Still, the number of users is vital as the application is popular worldwide. And, judging by the number of downloads, it continues to grow.

 

Spotify

We all know this application with music content. Everyone knows this application is growing and developing rapidly, taking its place at the top. So, let's shift the focus to the fact that the algorithms of this application, which allow users to select and offer music they would like, are part of big data and machine learning.

 

Quora

It's both a social network and a web service that helps conduct discussions and set up comments on many websites worldwide. Written in Python, this application has gained popularity. It has a high degree of user-friendliness, different login and authorization options, and the ability to moderate messages, guaranteeing a healthy atmosphere and trust in the application.

 

Dropbox

It's a Python application available not only on mobile devices but also on desktops. Storing and sharing files requires a specific hosting that securely hosts all the necessary documents, photos, audio recordings, videos, and other files. This feature has become popular among businesses and ordinary users. Here again, we see Python's ability to handle simply unimaginable amounts of data in the system.

 

Uber

Let's discuss working with a large amount of data and a convenient user interface. The taxi application performs the function of ordering a taxi. It also delivers food. That's the best large-scale mobile app development using Python. There are different categories of users, each of which has its functionality with its interface. Still, the application is invariably convenient and in demand among its target audience. There are countless bookings every day, and as you can see, Uber and Python are doing a great job together.

 

Reddit

We have one more viral social network where you may find people to discuss anything. Start any news discussion, rate, and comment. This application has also resonated with many users and taken its place on their home screens. Python developers implemented all the features of Reddit.

 

 

We've done this research to inspire you to take steps in the right direction. Great examples, successful, and great projects! We understand your product is unique, and you want to ensure you choose the right professional team of developers. We will help you find a talented programmer with the relevant experience and portfolio of accomplished tasks.

Dawid Karczewski

Dawid is a full stack developer experienced in creating Ruby on Rails and React Native apps from naught to implementation. Technological superhero, delivering amazing solutions for our clients and helping them grow.

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