Swift programming

iOS Development with Swift programming

Swift is a compiled programming language for iOS, macOS, watchOS, tvOS, and Linux applications. Here’s what you need to know about Swift.

Swift ios, Created by Apple in 2014, Backed up by one of the most influential tech companies in the world, Swift is set to become the dominant language for iOS development and beyond.

What is Swift Used For?

Swift is a programming language used to develop applications for Apple devices like the iPhone and Apple Watch. It is a modern replacement for C-based languages which were previously used for Apple development.

Many of the applications you see on the Apple App Store today were written in Swift. In fact, most applications for Apple devices are written in Swift today, other than legacy ones. This is because Swift is the recommended language to use for Apple development.

Why should we use Swift?

Open source

Swift creators acknowledged the fact that in order to build a defining programming language, the technology needs to be open for all. So, within its three years of existence, Swift programming acquired a large supportive community and an abundance of third-party tools.

Safe

Its syntax encourages you to write clean and consistent code which may even feel strict at times. Swift ios provide safeguards to prevent errors and improve readability.

Fast

Swift programming was built with performance in mind. Not only does its simple syntax and hand-holding help you develop faster, but it also lives up to its name: as stated on apple.com, Swift is 2.6x faster than Objective-C and 8.4x faster than Python.

In demand

Remaining supreme to Objective C, Swift programming is ranked 14th among the most popular programming languages of 2018. According to Apple, the company has created 2,000,000 jobs across all 50 states in the United States. 1,530,000 of those are estimated to be attributable to the App Store ecosystem. This means that the jobs have been created as a result of companies hiring developers to build apps for Apple devices. In terms of the labor market for Swift developers, the prospects are promising. According to Glassdoor, there are over 3,400 open jobs available in iOS development across the U.S. Those jobs comprise only a portion of the jobs in mobile application development. This demonstrates that Swift is, in fact, an in-demand skill, and one for which there are many employers are actively looking for.

Can Grow Easily

Swift projects are generally easier to scale. Also important for the long term is the fact that Apple is more likely to support Swift than Objective-C. Jordan Morgan, iOS developer at Buffer, stated, “[…] Swift is the new toy and marked as the future. Objective-C is showing its age and will, eventually, be much less prevalent.” 

Moreover, Swift makes it easy to add more developers to the team if necessary. Swift makes it easy to add new developers to the team based on the simplicity of the codebase. This can be critical for companies as training is often a huge time sink.

Improved Speed and Performance

Swift is fast. With its short feedback loop, bugs and errors are easily identified and resolved. More importantly, its robust coding and typing system helps prevent code crashes. Another factor to consider is that this speed benefit will only improve over time as Swift becomes more robust.

Since Swift is designed to replace C-based languages (C, C++, and Objective-C)-it is comparable to these languages in performance for most tasks. There are many languages with new features—speed is rare. Moreover, the performance of this language is also predictable and stable, not just fast in short bursts that require subsequent cleanup. 

Reduced Memory Size

Swift offers dynamic libraries which is a big benefit. Dynamic libraries are better than static ones for several different reasons. Static libraries are locked into the code when the program is compiled. This adds to the size of the program and increases its load time. Another negative to static libraries is that they do not automatically update, but are stuck in the version they were compiled.

By contrast, dynamic libraries that exist outside of the code are only uploaded when required. As standard Swift libraries are included in every macOS, iOS, tvOS, and watchOS this helps reduce the overall size of the application. 

Swift works with Objective-C

There are many reasons to use more than one programming language in a project. Sometimes a lot of effort has gone into creating a framework—even years. Rewriting the entire framework to have a codebase in one programming language may not be the best use of resources.

While Swift and Objective-C are different and either can be used independently, it is also possible to use them together. If this is of interest, there are two ways that this can occur in the same project.

  1. You can either add new features in Swift to an existing Objective-C project, or
  2. You can use Objective-C elements in your Swift project.

The two are completely compatible and can be used interchangeably in the same project.

Swift programming

How to Learn Swift Programming

But how do you actually learn to code in Swift? To answer this question, we’re going to discuss the two things you need to know. We’ll talk about the basic skills that Swift developers need and how you can acquire those skills.

Pros of Using Swift for iOS Native Development

Often referred to as “Objective-C, without the C,” Swift language is in many aspects superior to its predecessor. To get an in-depth comparison of Swift programming and Objective C, check our separate article. According to the official press release, “Swift combines the performance and efficiency of compiled languages with the simplicity and interactivity of popular scripting languages.” Leaving technology details and marketing aside, let’s see what it really means from a business perspective.

Rapid development process

A clean and expressive language with a simplified syntax and grammar, Swift is easier to read and write. It is very concise, which means less code is required to perform the same task, as compared to Objective-C. Automatic Reference Counting (ARC) does all the work tracking and managing the app’s memory usage, so developers don’t need to spend time and effort doing that manually. Accordingly, it usually takes less time to build iOS apps with Swift.

A shining example of this advantage is the new Lyft app: The company completely rewrote its iOS app using Swift. While the old codebase consisted of about 75,000 lines of code, the Swift version recreated the same functionality with less than a third of that. Moreover, the app now featured a new onboarding process: While the old one took more than a month and multiple engineers to implement, the new onboarding with Swift was completed within a week with only one engineer.

Easier to scale the product and the team

In addition to faster development time, you get a product that is future-proof and can be extended with new features as needed. Thus, Swift programming projects are typically easier to scale. The fact that Apple is more likely to support Swift than Objective-C should also get serious consideration for long-term investment.

Moreover, Swift ios allows you to add more developers to your team if needed: The onboarding is relatively fast due to the simplicity and conciseness of the codebase. The syntax of Swift is considered near to natural English, thus it offers easy readability for new team members.

Swift programming

Swift 2021 Major Updates

  • Swift 5.4 new features and updates—The list of improvements included: compiler improvements, result builders entry, better code completion in expressions, and huge improvements for incremental compilation. Here was also introduced the ability to name a variable the same as a function, and property wrappers are now supported for local variables.
  • Swift 5.5 at WWDC 2021—It was a beta form with Xcode 13 and its main improvements are related to concurrency: an async/await mechanism for tasks that have to do the work and wait for completion before continuing.
  • IPadOS 15 and Swift Playground 4 at WWDC 2021— A major update to Swift Playgrounds for developers is coming. Apple added the ability to create iOS apps within the Swift Playgrounds application on iPadOS 15.

    New session videos at WWDC 2021 that explains all of the new SwiftUI features: Add graphics to your SwiftUI app, Craft search experience in SwiftUI.

Conclusion

Many companies around the world have taken advantage of Swift app development, and the list tends to be immeasurable. The language is already in a leading position, and there is a promising future ahead as Apple continues to develop the language endlessly to unlock its full potential.

If you want to keep up, and maybe even work with Apple, you need Swift programming language in your next development. We have the right experts and you can be sure we will find exactly the right talent for your industry and company culture.


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