The unquestionable support that iOS enjoys amidst mobile consumers is a big reason why iOS App Store dominates the app economy (expected to hit $101 billion as per Venturebeat) and why securing a berth on iOS App Store is considered as a matter of pride. Business heads or owners invest in iOS app development services to drive their business endeavors achieving higher productivity, improved sales, and customer satisfaction. Hybrid or native – out of the two possible means to build an iOS-compatible mobile app, the latter has an upper hand when it comes to performance and security. However, few know what imparts that distinct characteristics to a native iOS app.
Well, the secret lies in Swift, the latest official programming language by Apple, which was declared as an open source language on December 3, 2015. Either you are planning to champion iOS or recommending your client to do so, here is a food for thought explaining key benefits of adopting iOS Swift app development.
1. To Build Apps with Unstoppable Performance
With only next to C++, iOS Swift possess an incredibly fast algorithm to process arithmetics calculation. It gives Objective-C, which is based on C language-based API, a run for its money here. The performance factor also gets a boost by the compact coding structure or syntax used in Swift. You would be surprised to know that migration of Lyft app (a ride or taxi booking app) to Swift resulted in slashing the code lines from 75, 000 to 25, 000. Less coding means faster downloading and more processing speed. Moreover, consumers don’t need to worry much regarding the availability of memory on their iPhone or iPad as Swift apps cover little space.
Apps that fail to load faster or deliver a seamless or uninterrupted experience are most likely to be shown the exit door. You would be shocked to know that only 5% of app users continue with a particular app beyond 90 days. Around 23% of smartphone users uninstall an app within 03 days from the date of installation. Though there are much more reasons that lead to app uninstallation, performance is worth of getting the first attention of app creators.
2. To Build Apps with Improved Engagement
Do you know retailers have a high affinity for iOS? The reason lies in better in-app user-engagement, more page views and conversion and higher average worth of sales against the counterpart app run on Android as notes Root Info Solutions in one of their blog posts. Definitely, the language contributes its bit, but there is one more thing that can’t be ignored. Yes, that’s the iOS Human Interface Guidelines that the App Review team mandates for every iOS Swift developer to adhere.
The Cupertino-based company furthers the quality of user experience with the innovation in iOS 10 by allowing flexibility to developers to harness the power of legacy iOS apps including Phone, Siri, Maps and Messages into their apps. Enhancement of Apple Pay with the much-required sandboxing environment is another positive move that will push mobile commerce protecting the sensitive information of users against vulnerabilities.
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3. To Ease App Update and Upgrade Process
Being inspired by the contemporary programming languages like Ruby and Python, it bears syntax similarities with English terminologies. Also, discarding dual file systems convention (one for holding variable declaration, i.e., .h and another for class definition, namely, .m.), Swift facilitates a single file, named .Swift, to manage both. This helps developers to easily understand and spot any particular areas and make the desired changes to them. It’s no more time killer.
With the update to mobile operating system and enhancement to device capabilities becoming a norm, it’s important for your app to keep pace with. Quick response to changes helps app owners to differentiate themselves and stay relevant.
4. To Build Feature-Rich Apps That Serve Purpose
iOS Swift houses a comprehensive set of functions and APIs required to build a fully-featured app that can make optimum use of the features and capabilities of the operating system and the device without sacrificing performance and user experience. Developers can instantly cross-check the effectiveness of their integration by running the app build on an Xcode simulator. The language has received regular updates and enhancements since its inception in 2014. So while approaching any iOS app developer or company, you must record your preference for Swift 3.0, the latest version. Consider migrating your previously built app to this to deliver a better user experience.
5. To Build Apps Free from Bugs and Crashes
Swift adopts a strong position against Bugs and crashes. From the very beginning, it emphasizes on keeping code syntax error-free. Xcode identifies any textual error and asks developers to make the desired changes. It comes with potential suggestions, akin to a word processor and let them avoid problems. In this way, it not just contributes towards quality app development but also helps developers to save valuable time and complete their projects in time. Swift and Xcode mutually work in harmony to guide developers, however, a sound syntax knowledge is desirable. Hence, hiring the right app developer is critical to app success.
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6. To Benefit from an Open Source Community
Initially, Swift was released (at Apple’s 2014 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) as a proprietary programming language, but its popularity led Apple to make it available as an open source one under the Apache License 2.0 on December 3, 2015. As a result, its adoption and usage increased further. Today, the Swift community (swift.org) comprises of over 50, 000 members and it’s growing. The community portal contains:
- A bug reporting and tracking system
- Mailing lists
- A blog dedicated to the engineering of Swift
- Community guidelines
- Getting started tutorials
- Contributing instructions
- Documentation on Swift
- Developer and API design guidelines
The knowledge and experience of a growing community base are of great help in resolving issues and optimizing the user experience.
7. To Speed up Project Delivery
Switching to Swift improves collaboration among developers as it’s based on a unified script. Before Swift, iOS app developers were using multiple languages like Bash, Python or Ruby and, hence, they often found themselves disconnected, even being on the same project. GitHub integration and collaboration further boost the product delivery. However, it does one more vital task, that is, protecting the project against any accidental or human error that might cause deletion or undue modification to its code. Migration of Objective-C to Swift 3.0 is also quite simple as all previous libraries remain valid in the new environment, though migration is sequential, i.e. step-by-step, it has to pass through Swift 2.1 and Swift 2.2.
8. To Champion Non-iOS Platforms
Swift is no more restricted to iOS, OS X, watchOS, tvOS. The open source status extended the usability of Swift to Linux and it’s in news that efforts are in progress to make it compatible to Android as well. For Linux, supporting libraries and other resources are available under FoundationKit, however, the GUI component is missing from it. Apple has yet to facilitate a compiler for non-iOS app builds and it’s a matter of debate whether Apple would be interested in providing an open source compiler.
This is especially targeted at favoring the development of server and Web apps. The viability of Swift to non-iOS platforms gains traction, as Swift comes with syntax that is readable and demands less explanation. Therefore, it’s encouraging developers to transcend the barrier being more creative.
9. To Provide More Security to App Users
A series of updates provided with the subsequent releases of Swift has made its coding more immune against critical vulnerabilities including SQL Injections (SQLi), Reflected XSS, Buffer Overflows and Stored XSS. Swift incorporates several APIs in its security frameworks, thereby enabling the app to take advantage of the various security features of the Apple Platform, devices and services. The security measures provide multi-level protections as summed up:
- Unauthorized access to an iOS Swift app is strictly prohibited.
- Connections to external sources are secured
- Cryptographic solution secures in-app communication
- Secure code execution and distribution checks entry of rogue or substandard apps
10. To Include Better App-Monetization Strategy
In 2017, the worth of in-app purchases is expected to reach $37 billion. iOS developers and app owners would be the greatest beneficiaries of this app monetization culture. As an average iOS user spends nearly 250% higher than what his or her Android counterpart does. There are multiple app monetization methods including urging users to upgrade to a paid version to get more features, showing them ads, sponsoring some products or participating in affiliate sales.
If you plan to monetize your iOS app, it should be designed and built accordingly facilitating appropriate space or container for the ad content. However, the monetization should be implemented intelligently taking into consideration the type of app and the target market. Moreover, it shouldn’t play foul to the user experience.
Above all, Swift programming enables you to leverage the opportunities lying with iOS, which is next only to Android, in terms of the user’s cohort size. Interestingly, in terms of operating system market share, iOS is no match to Android (12.5% Vs 86.8%), but when it comes to ROI, it’s App Store, iOS apps there, iOS app owners who rule the scene, leaving others with little scope. So it won’t be an exaggeration in saying that being with iOS is being with success.