Swift – The Programming Language of Future

Manish Sharma, January 18, 2021

Programming languages are evolving, and iOS Application Development Company have to adjust according to it. In case you are into developing mobile apps, and you haven’t thought about Swift, then it is the right time to do so. It  is not only supplant Objective-C when we talk about developing applications for Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and much more to come, but it will also going to replace C for embedded programming in case of Apple platforms., Playgrounds and Swift together, Apple has shown its intent to make app development easier as well as approachable than any other form of development tool chain.

Rise of Swift

  • Most of the OS X operating system is based on inherited technology which has been used from the Apple’s beginning and with OS X’s newer components are based on Objective C- which includes mobile apps, the strengths of Objective-C lies in the graphical user interfaces along with feature-rich frameworks.

  • With the evolution of hardware as well as software of the iOS operating system, due to improvement in memory and processors, Apple has been able to develop a streamlined language which has been better suited for faster app development and takes care of inherent disadvantages of Objective-C. Swift is designed to make the life of iOS developers easier and more productive.

  • When we talk about frameworks, they are libraries of code modules which make development of application much faster and streamlined for developers. In case of Apple operating systems, these frameworks as Cocoa (for OS X) and Cocoa Touch (iOS).

  • Swift is compatible with Objective-C when it comes to the development of applications in Cocoa Touch, which is the mobile framework for iOS. Swift works alongside Objective-C, such that developers can now interface between the two languages and also create mixed-language apps and take full advantage of Cocoa Touch classes with programming language Swift and Swift classes along with Objective-C. This capability to use interchangeable classes and design patterns, along with APIs, makes the life of the developer easier and give them the option to pick and choose.

  • Migrating code from Swift to Objective-C is also easy too. With the advanced features of Swift, developers can replace chunks of app code which are written in Objective-C and Swift.

  • Swift is also designed to work with Cocoa Touch framework, and for that, you need to setup a Swift development environment in Xcode. After that, you have to import Cocoa frameworks along with APIs and Objective-C code modules.

Advantages of Swift and Difference with Objective C

  • 1. Speed

Swift runs faster, well in comparison with C++. The latest versions of Xcode in 2015 is even faster.

  • 2. Easier to Read and Learn

When it comes to learning and reading, Swift is way easier than Objective-C, which is over thirty years old. Objective-C has more clunky syntax while Swift streamlines code and resembles like readable English, just like JavaScript, Python etc. Developers already well versed in these languages can easily pick up Swift, quite quickly Swift also requires less code. Objective-C is verbose especially when it comes to string manipulation whereas Swift uses string interpolation without the use of placeholders or tokens.

  • 3. Unified files

In case of Objective-C, it needs two-file requirements which essentially means that programmers have to both update as ell as maintain two separate files for code, while in case of Swift, these become one. This, in turn, reduces the work of programmers and increased the speed on the front end.

  • 4. Better memory management

When it comes to object-oriented programming as well as apps, there is a chance of “memory leaks, ” and it decreases the available memory for an application to execute which can cause the application to fail. In general, Cocoa Touch APIs support ARC or Automatic Reference Counting, which is a streamlined way to handle memory management. But when considered in the context of Core Graphics API, this ARC is not available, and it is up to the developer. This is a major issue especially when an app is using, video, graphics or big data buffers. If too much memory is used during memory leak, an application can easily get shut down by the OS. In order to fix this, Swift supports ARC across all APIs. It essentially means that it brings stability meaning less time for programmers to spend on focusing on memory management. This feature is a big plus for Swift over Objective-C.

Swift- A Fully-featured language and Innovations

  • There are huge changes which have allowed it to rise above Objective-C which stems from dropping the legacy language on which Objective-C was built upon. At present, Apple isn’t going to move away from Cocoa, which is their API as well as code library for creating the great experiences which make Apple, special. Instead, Apple is providing full-featured parity along with making it easier to interact with APIs in order to support new features such as Force Touch or Taptic Feedback.

  • Many decisions were made to make compiler design easier. At present, Swift is currently focusing on making the job of application developer easier by changing and improving the inherent cost of mental strain caused by legacy coding practices. With the improvement of modern compilers, more information can be inferred with the use of less code.

  • With Swift, programmers’ work has reduced to half when it comes to code files to maintain, zero manual code synchronization and even less punctuation to mistype which has led to spending more time in writing quality code lines.

  • The code is self-documenting in Swift with the addition of optional types: a mechanism for compile-time safety to return a value or no value which is quite a common issue with asynchronous operations as well as network failures, data validation errors or invalid user point. In case of ARC, it is unified in Swift between both procedural C-style and object-oriented code by use of Apple’s Cocoa framework.

  • App developers find that they have to write less code in Swift and it supports them in keeping the code lines more readable. Swift will make the entire Apple ecosystem at the forefront of programming with its evolution and also due to dynamic library support in iOS and Swift.

  • Along with this, Playgrounds and it will enable a new way to program with visual feedback which will definitely assist in the development of algorithms with the use of inline data visualizations.

  • Ultimately, it is a better and approachable full-featured programming language which will allow the developers to both develop apps as well as target embedded systems in years.

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