Python App Development: Is Python Suitable for Mobile Applications? - DistantJob - Remote Recruitment Agency
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Python App Development: Is Python Suitable for Mobile Applications?

Joana Almeida
- 3 min. to read

Python has been widely used in science and technology, numerical calculation, education, web development, etc. But, when it comes to developing mobile apps in Python, how does it fare compared to other solutions such as Swift, Kotlin, or JavaScript? Is Python suitable to build mobile applications? Python does not offer native mobile development capabilities, but there are external packages that can be used to construct mobile applications such as Kivy, PyQt, and others.

This guide will help you understand the intricacies of Python mobile app development and the features of the Kivy cross-platform Python framework.

Hire a Python developer

Quick Primer on Python

Python is a standard programming language, and currently, it is the top programming language in the world according to the TIOBE index. Consequently, python app development has emerged as the most lucrative field for developers. It is an open-source language that empowers developers to write code for a wide range of tasks.

It has a relatively easier syntax to learn and understand and developers can learn to write code very quickly. Due to this reason, it is often the most recommended programming language to learn for beginner developers. 

Moreover, it is also compatible with big data and can be integrated with other programming languages. 

Is Python Suitable for Mobile Applications?

What makes Python so great is its comfort of use and readability and less development time. This is what makes it ideal in the mobile market, where time to market is critical to gaining and maintaining a share. 

Fundamentally, iOS and Android do not support interpreter-type languages. It means you can’t run the Python app natively. This is why it was not common to create mobile apps for Python earlier.

However, things are different now with the emergence of several frameworks. There are a variety of Python GUI frameworks to bridge the gap between making the Python app work natively on mobile devices.

What Type of Apps Can You Develop in Python?

Apps you can develop in Python

1. Audio-video apps

Python’s app development helps you create music and other types of audio and video apps. You can use Python to explore audio and video content on the Internet. The Python libraries, such as OpenCV and PyDub, help you make your app development successful.

2. Game app development

Battlefield 2″ and “EVE Online” and many other games are developed using Python. Battlefield 2 uses Python for all features and add-ons. Also, “World of Tanks” uses Python for various functions.

Developers can create quick game prototypes and test them in real time using Python and Pygame. You can also use Python to develop game design tools that support the development process, such as creating level designs and dialog trees.

3. Blockchain Application

It is one of the most widely used technology trends, and genuinely dominates the market. Blockchain development is very difficult for developers, but Python makes it easy. 

Python is an easy-to-understand language and makes building blockchain applications seamless. Developers can use HTTP requests to interact with the blockchain on the Internet. 

In addition, the developer will use a Python framework such as Flask to create endpoints for various features of the blockchain. Developers can also run scripts on multiple machines and develop distributed networks with the help of Python.

4. Command-line apps

The command-line app and the console app are the same. It is a computer program used from a command line or shell and does not have a graphical user interface. 

Python is ideal for such command-line apps because it has a Real-Eval-Print-Loop (REPL) feature.  As Python is a world-renowned language, top app development brands have access to many free Python libraries to create command-line apps.

5. Machine learning apps

Another technology trend in the past decade, machine learning development, is an algorithmic technology that provides data to operating systems and enables intelligent decision-making. 

Developing a machine learning app was previously a daunting task, but it has become more accessible thanks to Python. Python provides free libraries for machine learning, such as Pandas and Scikit. It can be used under the GNU license.

6. Business apps

Python has practical agility and the ability to develop various types of apps. That’s why Python also helps with e-commerce app development solutions and ERP.

For example, written in Python, Odoo offers a wide range of business applications and makes a suite of business management apps. 

Python’s popular business app “Tryton” developed is a high-level, general-purpose application with a three-layer structure.

Python for Android App

The preferred implementation language for Android is Java. Therefore, if you want to write an Android application in Python, you will need a way to run Python code on a Java virtual machine. 

VOCs (a backronym for “Vestigial Output Compiler” or “Vexing Obtuse Compiler”) make this possible. It is part of the BeeWare suite and allows you to access Java native objects like Python, implement Java interfaces in Python classes, and subclass Java classes in Python classes. It will enable you to write Android applications directly to Android’s native API.

VOC is a transpiler that compiles Python source code into CPython bytecode and transpiles that bytecode into Java-compatible bytecode. It means compiling Python source code into CPython bytecode and converting it into Java-compatible bytecode.

There are other several other tools as well that implement Python in Java or vice versa. Some examples of such tools are Jython, JPype,  Jepp, py4j, and more. Each of these tools comes with its own advantages and drawbacks depending on the type and scope of your project.

Python for iOS Apps

The steps to build an application for iOS are a bit more complicated than Android. Developers can always use the official Kivy package documentation for the latest information on iOS development using Python. 

The process usually involves setting up a Python environment, encoding your application with Python/Kivy, and deploying it with Xcode. 

Remember that developers will still need a macOS machine to deploy apps to the Apple App Store, so even if you can build apps in Python, you still need an iMac or MacBook to deploy apps.

Mobile Applications that Use Python

1. Instagram

Instagram is the biggest example of a scalable mobile app built using Python. With 400 million active users per day, the app has changed the world of digital photography. 

2. Pinterest

Pinterest, the third-largest social network after Facebook and Twitter, allows users to bookmark images, collect them, and share them with others. One of the commonly adopted apps on the web, Pinterest uses Python and Django to process large amounts of content quickly. This app has used Python from the first day.

3. Disqus

Disqus is a simple and effective way to moderate comments efficiently, attracting audiences and promoting discussion while controlling the content they receive. With multiple sign-in options and cross-site notifications, this app caters to audiences of all sorts of tastes. In this case, Python takes full advantage of Django’s security features and regular security patches.

4. Spotify

Spotify is the world’s largest streaming service with annual revenue of more than €4 billion. It means that the company is both a leading market player and one of the top Python applications. They chose to develop with Python because of Python’s speed and advanced data analysis. It allows Spotify to manage features such as Radio and Discover based on the user’s personal music preferences.

GUI Frameworks – Resources for Building Mobile Apps with Python

If you want to make a mobile app with Python, you require a GUI initial. There are two most common frameworks, Kivy and BeeWare.  However, they are not the only ones used in the development process.

1. Kivy

Kivy employs an innovative UI like a multi-touch app as an open-source Python library for fast app development. GPU acceleration, cross-platform, and business. The framework relies on various Python libraries, including PIL, GStreamer, and Cairo.

2. BeeWare

BeeWare is used to develop and deploy native applications in Python. It also comes with Toga, an OS native, Python native, and cross-platform GUI toolkit. 

In addition, the BeeWare toolkit contains Rubicon Java which is a library for working with Java libraries using Python code. The Briefcase is another tool for packaging and shipping Python projects to end-users as deliverables. 

And the pre-compiled build of Python is used on platforms where the official Python installer is not available. Rubicon ObjC is a library tool for working with Objective C libraries on macOS and iOS using Python code.

3. Python-for-Android

It is a tool for making Python work with Android. Its primary function is to create a project folder that contains all the tools needed to launch the mobile app. 

This folder consists of various libraries such as Kivy, Pygame, and SDL. This folder also includes the Java loader, an intermediary between Kivy and OS. You can then add your scripts or use Android NDK to compile your application.

4. PyJNIus

PyJNIus is a framework designed to provide the interaction between Python and Android API. Practicing this API, developers can obtain information from various parts of your mobile device, such as vibration, pause, and restart.

5. PyQt5

The PyQt5 set is organized around the Qt framework, a cross-platform framework for creating many applications for a variety of platforms. 

The PyQt5 package comprises a complete set of Python wrappers based on v5, the latest version of the Qt application framework.

Similar to the Qt5 framework, PyQt5 is fully cross-platform. By holding control of PyQt5, developers can build applications for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and other platforms.

6. Tkinter

Tkinter is often referred to as the preferred GUI toolkit by most Python developers. It was created to provide modern developers with a standard Tk GUI toolkit bound to the Python interface. 

In the world of Tkinter, most of the visual elements we know are called widgets, and each widget provides varying degrees of customization. 

Tkinter is embedded in the Python installer for all major current operating systems and provides several common elements that we believe you are familiar with.

7. Falcon

Falcon, a high-performance and secure Python network framework, produces wide application backends and microservices. The Falcon application runs on any ASGI or WSGI server and runs on yPy version 3.5+ and CPython version 3.5+. 

Additionally, Falcon has an extensible codebase and is highly optimized. Falcon provides intuitive routing, including REST-inspired resource classes and URI templates. It also offers easy access to headers and bodies through request and response classes. 

Falcon enables rapid unit testing via the WSGI helper. It also handles DRYrequest processing via middleware components and hooks.

8. CherryPy

The object-oriented web framework created in Python is CherryPy. You can create a web app in the same way you make other object-oriented Python programs. This tool can also run various HTTP servers at once. 

CherryPy is also known for its flexible plug-in system. In addition, tools such as encoding, caching, authentication, static content, and sessions are built-in. 

CherryPy has built-in support for coverage, profiling, and testing. It works with Python 2.7+, 3.5+, Android, PyPy, and Jython.

What is Kivy and How to Practice it for Python Mobile App Development?

This cross-platform Python framework can be expanded on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Raspberry Pi. Kivy upholds multi-touch functions in extension to regular keyboard and mouse data. 

Kivy uses OpenGL ES2, which supports GPU acceleration of graphics. This project uses the MIT license to use this library for free or commercial software. Kivy has its custom UI toolkit, which looks and behaves the same between Android, iOS, Linux, and Raspberry Pi, but does not use native features of any platform.

Creating an application with Kivy means creating a Natural User Interface (NUI). The natural user interface allows you to quickly learn how to use the software without teaching almost anything.

Kivy does not strive to use native controls or widgets. All widgets are custom drawn. It means that the Kivy application looks the same on all platforms. 

However, it also means that the look and feel of your application are different from the user’s native application. It is both an interest and a problem for some users.

The Most Crucial Features of Kivy

  • One-code for all platforms
  • Robust graphics engine built on OpenGL ES 2
  • It is issued below the MIT license and is free for business use.
  • Custom UI Toolkit
  • The single code base for all platforms
  • BSD license released for business use
  • Native look and feel applications
  • A vast community of invested developers
  • A collection of multiple projects, not a single tool
  • Fast, easy, accurate

Things to Remember for Python App Development

While Python is quite versatile, there are a few things developers must keep in mind while using it for mobile app development.

  • It has a dynamic coop to evaluate the expression. That means the interpreter searches for variables in the current block and all functions. The problem is that each word must be validated in all possible contexts.
  • Lambda functions are limited in Python. They can only contain one statement at a time and need to be written on a single line. That means, unlike regular functions, they cannot use explicit return statements. 
  • Python practices an editor rather than a compiler. If the app has an error, it will only be revealed during execution. Therefore, the speed decreases and various tests must be created.

Summing it Up

Python has emerged as the most versatile programming language in the world. Now, with resources and tools available for Python app development, your project can also leverage its ease, diversity, and flexibility for the mobile app development process. It is fast and might save you not only time but also money. 

If you’re looking for superstar Python Developers, our recruitment team can help you out. Just drop a message to us with your detailed requirements and we will get back to you. We can help you hire a talented remote Python developer in less than two weeks!

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