As we have all started 2017, iOS has entered a new stage of development. Swift 3.1 is all set to amaze the new age developers with its interesting features. With the availability of Xcode 8, this new language is facilitating the mobile app development process.
According to the statistics – as per Apple there are currently 380,000 registered
iOS app developers and over a billion iOS devices in the user worldwide.
Although Swift is the hot topic among iOS app developers, is it better than Objective-C? Objective-C is based on the C programming language which has been around for over 40 years. Swift is the new programming language announced by Apple at the 2014 WWDC. Apple has released Xcode 8.3 with Swift 3.1, and Xcode includes everything iOS app developers would need to create great applications. Swift is the result of steady continuous evolution. Developing for iPhone – is slowly picking up speed, as the iPhone app development industry is seeing great potential for growth after the release of Swift.
What exactly is Swift?
Swift is an open source programming language that has been developed by Apple for the operating system of its devices, which include the iOS, Mac OS, and watchOS. It is also built for Linux. It was first introduced during the 2014 WWDC and hence has undergone several updates since then. Its latest release was 3.1 back in September 2016.
Swift adds more features to make programming easier, more flexible, and more fun. The Playground is Apple’s interactive development environment in Xcode. Experts believe that with Playgrounds in Swift, Apple would not just be making programming simpler but will make it more fun and accessible to the next generation of programmers. In other words, Swift’s Playground platform allows iOS app developers to experiment with Swift code and see results immediately, without the overhead of running a full app. Developing for iPhone had resulted in the growth of iPhone app development as the App Store now features thousands of mobile business apps which enterprises can use.
iOS Swift Development reaches new heights with Swift 3.1
Swift 3.1 packs minor enhancements to the core programming language. Swift is built on three pillars: being safe, powerful, and modern. Swift provides a lot of safety in term of type checking, requiring values to be initialized before use, built-in overflow handling, and automatic memory management. Swift has also taken cues from other languages such as Python, Ruby, C# and several others. Developing for iPhone using Swift 3.1 has become so popular, that hired iPhone app developers combine several elements to create effective solutions for enterprises.
Using Swift with Objective-C together
If the developer has an existing Objective-C iOS project and do not want to completely migrate to Swift, but still want to use some of the Swift’s advantages, you can mix and match. iOS App developers can have both Swift and Objective-C files coexist in the same project, no matter what was the project’s original language. iOS App developers need to do, is to create a new “.swift” file and add it to the existing Objective-C project. Swift 3.1 is a relatively new programming language but is designed to sit alongside existing Objective-C programs. This allows iOS app developers to add Swift code to existing apps without having to replace all the old Objective-C code, thus making developing for iPhone simpler.
Interesting facts about Apple’s Swift
- Swift should appeal to younger programmers: Swift is more similar to languages such as Ruby and Python as compared to Objective-C. It is not necessary to end statements with a semicolon in Swift, just like in Python. In Objective-C, on the other hand, it’s necessary to do so; forgetting a semicolon can cause errors. It is fundamental that one should hire New York-based iPhone app developers who have complete information of iPhone application development and its related technologies.
- Swift should be a safer language: Apple has made an effort to make Swift safe in a variety of subtle ways. For starters, while developing for iPhone programmers must include brace brackets to open and close “If” statements, which prevents bugs. In addition, switch statements must include a default statement. Hire iPhone app developers in New York, who are experts in their domain, as they can deliver more quality products using Swift which is much cleaner.
- Swift is less stable as it is new: Another thing to consider is stability. Since Swift is a newly created programming language, there are still many defects getting fixed by software updates. After over 30 years in the market, you will come across fewer bugs in Objective-C than in Swift. This indicates that Objective-C is a more stable language compared to Swift. When building your program from scratch while developing for iPhone, you might experience a lot of bugs when using Swift and the developer has to make constant changes to the code to match the new changes.
- Apple Swift has a clean syntax: Swift has been designed to be much easier programming language to read and code. Swift’s syntax does not require semi-colons at the end of each line and functions are easier to understand. If you see the Hello World program in both languages, you will see that Swift is simpler, and makes much more sense than Objective-C.
- Swift is faster than Objective-C: Swift is also faster than Objective-C for certain operations, according to Apple’s release of Swift at WWDC. For example, if you have to sort a large data set, according to Apple’s analytics, Swift is faster than Objective-C when it comes to complex sorting. If you are not building an application that would perform this type of operation the difference in performance speed between a Swift and Objective-C app is negligible. Swift is normally faster than languages like Python and Ruby because they are interpreted rather than compiled.
- Simpler file systems: Swift not only requires less code than Objective-C but fewer files as well. In Objective-C, each class created needs a header and implementation file. But in Swift, developers just need a “.swift” file. If you create five classes, you’re already having a minimum of 10 files. For a new programmer, this can be a tedious task, as all those files need to be maintained and updated as your code changes. While developing for iPhone – Swift having one file for each class makes it easier to organize and maintain your project.
So which language would you pick?
There isn’t a definitive answer to this question, but there are different things to consider. It’s important to think about why you are building your app (for work or for fun) and consider how important things like maintainability, ease of learning, and having fun while coding is to you. But Swift is a significant improvement over Objective-C in many respects – and hence this means that the already existing community of iOS app developers in New York are sure to embrace the new language in the months to come. Coders still need a good reason to make the switch from Objective – C to Swift. Hire iPhone app developers from leading app development companies in New York, as they have years of experience in this area. Someone rightly said – people will jump into this new language because it is so much easier to code in Swift.
As Swift evolves as a programming language, its popularity will grow too. We look forward to seeing how Swift changes in the coming years and are excited to see more of the language in our apps. Unlike Google’s Go released in 2009, Swift is a different animal. Its official release has achieved mass adoption with unprecedented speed, surpassing even the uptake of Sun Microsystems’ Java programming language and Microsoft’s C# in the late 1900s and early 2000s.
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