When it comes to creating an app compatible with the vast array of Apple platforms, Swift has made a name for itself. We explore some of the reasons Swift might be the correct language to program your next iOS app.
What is Swift?
Apple Inc. developed Swift, presenting it in 2014. Since its introduction, Swift has proven its usefulness in building native apps on the Apple and Linux operating systems. It’s quickly been adopted as an alternative to Objective-C. Objective-C was once the primary language used for developing Apple operating systems for mobile phones, tablets, and computers. Swift’s compatibility with these operating systems opens a whole world for it to effect.
Pros of Swift
Anyone who wants to use Swift to create an iOS app may use Swift. Developers using Swift can contribute to language development, sharing bug fixes, code, and language improvement ideas. The community behind Swift is expansive and supportive, adding an extra layer of benefits to the language.
Apple is deeply invested in Swift development, showing this through regular updates and a solid ecosystem. All the Swift libraries are included in OS releases. This makes building apps for Apple products much more manageable. Swift 5.0 and later have a stable application binary interface (ABI) that provides firm support for Swift across the Apple platforms.
Swift has a cleaner, safe code that lets developers quickly define and eradicate bugs before code compilation. By initializing variables before their use, checking arrays and integers for overflow, and managing memory with ARC automatically, the code is protected from crashing. Objects are also prevented from being nil by default through improvements to its nil pointer.
Swift boasts a lightning-fast speed: up to 2.6 times faster than Objective-C and up to 8.4 times faster than Python.
This is thanks in part to LLVM tools that make the assembly code compile to the machine code. These modular and reusable compiler and toolchain technologies allow for faster code processing.
Enhanced Team Scalability
Swift offers brevity, readability, and simplicity. It has simple syntax and grammar that makes it easy to read and requires less code to create tasks. This allows specialists in Java, Python, C++, and C# to adapt quickly. Swift has a shallow learning curve that lets developers pick it up very quickly.
Swift can be seamlessly integrated with the Objective-C and Cocoa frameworks. This interoperability is fantastic for large or long-lasting projects where these two languages can best be leveraged for their features.
Cons of Swift
Lack of C++ Support
Before choosing Swift, make sure your application development project doesn’t require a language compatible with C++. Swift and C++ are not interoperable.
Because Swift is so new, it is still growing and changing. Apple regularly updates it, which is a good thing when it works. But we all know updates bring with them bugs and experiments. Swift also has few native libraries and some development frameworks. Programming solutions may be challenging to find in comparison with other programming languages.
Old OS Version Compatibility Issues
Swift starts with iOS 7 and macOS 10.9 and supports later versions. Anything before these is not compatible with Swift, and developers will need to use Objective-C.
Swift Version Compatibility Issues
Because of its continuous updates, Swift developers have more opportunities to make language changes in the newer versions. This means developers using Swift might have to adjust to these changes if switching between versions of Swift. However, Swift developers have created a Swift Migration Tool for XCode to solve this issue by making migration much more straightforward.
Is Swift Worth the Hype?
Swift is an excellent language for the native development of iOS systems. While it does have notable cons regarding compatibility and its youth, the flexibility, and safety it offers make up for those. Consider Swift for creating your iOS app in 2022.