Swift, released in the year 2014 by Apple, is the most common programming language used for iOS, macOS, iPadOS, watchOS, Linux, tvOS, and z/OS. This powerful and intuitive programming language is built with the open-source LLVM compiler framework. It uses the runtime library of Objective-C, which allows C, Objective-C, C++, and Swift code to run within one program smoothly.
For quite a long time, Objective-C was the main language used for OSX and iOS app development. Objective-C is a superset of C with added object-oriented features and a dynamic runtime, but Swift is now slowly taking over a huge chunk of iOS app development market share.
Writing code on Swift is fun and interactive as the syntax is brief yet powerful. Swift has some modern features that developers really love to work upon. The code which is written is quite safe and helps develop the software that runs swiftly with lightning-fast speed. Swift uses a combination of both C and Objective-C, without having direct built-in C compatibility and leaving the limitations that come along with it. With the help of Cocoa and Cocoa Touch, this language simply redefines our understanding of app development on all iOS platforms.
So, why is Swift still preferred for iOS app development?
Many developers believe Swift to be better than its competitors, and we too, have no doubts about it. Swift brings along many benefits, which makes it popular among every mobile application development company to create apps for all Apple products.
Here are a few benefits of using Swift for iOS app development:
- Easy to read and write
- Easy to maintain
- Safety and stability
- Requires less coding
- High speed
- Supports dynamic libraries
- Open source
- Interactive coding
Let’s begin on how these points would benefit in developing an iOS app.
1. Easy to read and write
There is no doubt that as Swift has a very clear syntax, it is mostly easier to read and write than most languages. The code which is written in it is usually concise as compared to code written for Objective-C, which makes software developed using Swift, run smoothly and quickly. This is because Swift skips on using semicolons to end lines and brackets that enclose conditional expressions inside if/else statements. Also, the method and function call in Swift uses a comma-separated list of parameters within the brackets, which clearly makes coding in Swift a lot simpler and cleaner.
If we talk in general terms, codes that are written in Swift look more like plain English texts, which enables the developers to save time as they do not have to spend a lot of time understanding and looking for the faulty code.
2. Easy to Maintain
This is one of the main reasons why most developers prefer iOS app development using Swift. Objective-C is very much dependent on C, but Swift does not have any such dependencies, which makes it relatively easy to maintain, and developers love this.hire ios developer
C, as well as Objective-C, needs developers to have two code files in order to increase the build time and code efficiency. Swift does not follow the same pattern. It combines these two files into a single code file known as .swift, which makes Swift easy to handle and manage. This gives time to iOS developers working with Swift to spend more time in planning the app logic and enhancing the quality of their code to make an app run effortlessly.
3. Safety and stability
Every entrepreneur wants their app to be safe and secure. Developing an app with Swift is a great option for any mobile app development company, looking forward to creating a safe and stable mobile app for its clients. As Swift uses clear and easy to understand syntax, it excludes the chances of mistakes that are usually be overlooked in Objective-C.
Swift has comparatively fewer crashes and cases of problematic behavior, which is why it is considered as a more stable language for mobile app development. It reduces the chances of developers making mistakes in writing the code, thereby adding another layer of quality check for your app. All these reasons make Swift a safe, secure, and stable language to work upon.
4. Requires less coding
We have already discussed this point earlier that due to Swift’s clear syntax, and as it skips the usage of legacy conventions like semicolon and brackets, it requires less coding. Also, because of its inline support for manipulating text strings and data, this language is less prone to errors.
In Swift, developers need not divide the classes into two parts, the interface and the implementation, which eventually reduces the number of files in half, and developers find this much easier to handle. While working with Objective-C, developers are required to combine two strings which make the code lengthy, however, in Swift, you can easily combine two strings using the “+” sign, which reduces the code, and of course, the effort of the developers.
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5. High Speed
This is one of the topmost reasons why Swift is so popular amongst iOS developers. It has various speed advantages, be it during the development phase or the testing phase, thereby reducing the cost of app development. If we talk in terms of numbers, the app developed on Swift will be about 3.9x faster than an implementation of the same algorithm in Python. Also, Swift is faster than Objective-C, as the latter uses two code files as compared to Swift which uses a single code file, making it faster.
Many developers consider Swift’s performance equivalent to C++, which is considered one of the fastest development languages. When introducing Swift in the market, Apple has clearly stated that its main focus was, to improve the speed, to run the app logic much faster.
6. Supports Dynamic Libraries
Swift supports dynamic libraries which makes it easy to work with. Dynamic libraries are an archive of object files that can be linked to an app during either the runtime or the load-time. This feature of Swift allows apps currently built on a specific version, to be updated easily to the future releases of Swift. As these libraries are directly uploaded to the memory, it cuts down on the initial app size and eventually increasing the performance of an application.
7. Open Source
In the year 2015, Apple announced Swift to be an open-source language, which made it even more popular among the developers. Being an open-source language makes Swift free for use as you do not have to pay anything. This acts as an added advantage for both small scale and large scale businesses as it saves the iOS app development cost.
Open-source languages can be easily customized, so developers using Swift have an option to customize the code as per their requirements. As an entrepreneur, you can get highly customized apps, developed per your business requirements.
8. Interactive Coding
Swift Playground enables developers to test out a new algorithm in real-time. This type of platform is commonly known as Read–Eval–Print–Loop (REPL) and is very much useful in learning, experimenting, and fast prototyping. Apple has added this to improve the speed at which code can be written, with the help of data visualizations, which eventually helps in making app development more accessible and obtainable.
Swift 5.1.4 – The latest update of Swift
Apple constantly tries to improve Swift and other iOS development languages for that matter, to make them more efficient and useful. Swift 5.1.4 is the update of Swift, launched by Apple on January 31, 2020, after the success of Swift 5.1, which was launched on September 10, 2019. This latest version of Swift brings in module stability and improves Swift with more prominent features.
Swift 5.1.4 is both source compatible as well as binary compatible along with Swift 5 and other Swift versions due to its ABI stability. Swift 5.1.4 is much more stable in terms of modules when compared to its previous version. While ABI compatibility is responsible for taking care of the compatibility of an app during the runtime, module stability enables compatibility with dynamic libraries during the time of compilation. In simpler terms, Swift 5.1 allows you to use a third-party framework with any compiler version rather than only being compatible with the Swift version it was built on.
One can also witness a lot more changes in this language version, like opaque result types, function builders, property wrappers and many more. With this, Swift 5.1.4 comes with the major improvement in memberwise initializers for structs, one of the most regularly used features of Swift. In this version, ‘Self’ can be applied to classes and value types. Apple has also worked on improvements to SIMD and String types.
All in all, this latest version, Swift 5.1.4 is an improved form of its predecessor. Apple has solved all those issues that developers were facing in the earlier versions, to make Swift more efficient and powerful. So, if you are looking to get an app developed using Swift, you should hire iOS developer, having a wide knowledge of Swift 5.1.4, and has expertise in working with this latest version.
Most entrepreneurs, who are planning to get an iOS app developed for their businesses, often get confused and indecisive about whether they should go for Swift or Objective-C for their app development. Choosing the right language majorly depends on the type of app they want. Although Swift takes its major components from Objective-C, it also brings a whole new host of features, allowing developers to write a safer, and a more reliable code.
Swift has much more clear syntax, which makes it easy to understand, and also makes it less prone to errors. The latest updates in the language definitely bring in a lot of improvements, along with new opportunities for the developers to explore. It helps them to create more accessible, engaging, and user-friendly apps, for the successful growth of your business.