10 reasons to shift to Swift

Swift - Apple's new programming language to build iOS apps

Today, standing in the middle of fast and modern World, you have always searched for only that type programming language which makes developers’ lives easier, gives coders space to experiment, is cost-effective for businesses. When you see the worth of a programming language from a developer’s point of view, there can be many factors that have to be chiming in, but when you measure a programming language from the viewpoint of a business, there are variations as per many point factors. The main notable points are - the cost of development, what time takes, and the scope of further innovation or update. Selection between the two most high-end Apple Programming Languages - Swift and Objective-C getting quite difficult when it comes to settling on a programming language for developing an iOS app. Through this article, we will discuss how Swift is better to build iOS apps. Before we start that point, let's take a short view of Swift.

Swift Language

Swift is a general-purpose, multi-paradigm, compiled programming language created for iOS, OS X, watchOS, tvOS and Linux Development by Apple Inc. It was first introduced by Apple at WWDC 2014 and released on June 2nd, 2014. It's designed to work with Apple's Cocoa and Cocoa Touch frameworks and the large body of existing Objective-C code written for Apple products. Swift is intended to be more resilient from erroneous code ("safer") than Objective-C and also more concise. It is built with the LLVM compiler framework included in Xcode 6 and later and uses the Objective-C runtime, which allows C, Objective-C, C++ and Swift code to run a single program. Writing Swift code is interactive and fun, the syntax is concise yet expressive, and Swift includes modern features for developers. Swift code is safe by design, yet also produces software that runs lightning-fast.

The reasons why you should choose Swift for your iOS app development

Open source

Swift was developed in the open at Swift.org, with source code, a bug tracker, mailing lists, and regular development builds available for everyone. This broad community of developers, both inside Apple as well as hundreds of outside contributors, work together to make Swift even more amazing. Swift already supports all Apple platforms as well as Linux, with community members actively working to port to even more platforms. We’re excited to see more ways in which Swift makes software safer and faster, while also making programming more fun.

Modernised language

Swift is the result of the latest research on programming languages, combined with decades of experience building Apple platforms. Named parameters brought forward from Objective-C are expressed in a clean syntax that makes APIs in Swift even easier to read and maintain. Inferred types make code cleaner and less prone to mistakes, while modules eliminate headers and provide namespaces. Memory is managed automatically, and you don’t even need to type semicolons. These forward-thinking concepts result in a language that is easy and fun to use.

Easy to learn

As Swift is not based on C language, it can unify all the keywords and remove the numerous @ symbols in front of every Objective-C type. In Swift, you no longer need semicolons at the end of each line of code or parenthesis to surround conditional expressions inside if/else statements. The effect is a cleaner language with a simplified syntax and grammar. Swift code more closely resembles natural English. The readability makes it easier for existing freelance gigs from JavaScript, Java, Python, C#, and C++ to adopt Swift into their code.

Easy to maintain

Swift doesn’t have any the two-file requirement. The Xcode and LLVM compilers can figure out dependencies and perform incremental builds automatically. Swift combines the Objective-C header and implementation files into a single code file.

Faster

When Apple introduced Swift, one of the reasons they mentioned its speed. Apple was not moving away from Objective-C to a higher-level language as it is based on C, which is much faster, more efficient programs than something like Python or Ruby. With Swift adopting a static system, you can expect that Swift should be at least as fast as or faster than Objective-C.

Safer language

While using Swift, optional types make a nil optional value very clear, which means it can generate a compiler error as you write bad code. It creates a short feedback loop and allows programmers to code with intention. You can fix the problems while writing the code, which greatly reduces the cost of fixing bugs. This kind of feature makes this language safer and the Apps developed using it are more stable.

Less coding

Swift reduces the amount of code required for repetitive statements and managing strings. Swift has features like adding two strings together with a ‘plus’ operator. The different types of Swift reduce the difficulty of code, as the compiler can figure out types. Swift supports string interpolation, which eliminates the need to memorise tokens and allows programmers to introduce variables directly inline to a string. The string interpolation mitigates the common source of crashes.

Type inference

Swift introduces type safety to iOS development. Once a variable is declared with a particular type, its type is static and cannot be changed. The compiler is also smart enough to figure out (or infer) what type your variables should be based on the values you assign them.

Tuples

Swift supports tuples, values which store groups of other values. Unlike arrays, the values in a tuple don’t have to all be the same type.

String manipulation

Swift offers huge improvements in terms of string manipulation. For starters, you don’t have to worry about mutable vs. immutable strings anymore: just declare your string with var if you want to change it in the future, or with let if you need it to remain constant.

Memory management

Swift unifies the language in a very different way. The support for Automatic Reference Counting (ARC) is thorough across the procedural and object-oriented code paths. There is no need for a programmer to think about memory for every digital object. The ARC in Swift works across both procedural and object-oriented code. It requires no more mental switches for freelance web developers.

Support for dynamic libraries

The major change in Swift is the switch from static libraries to dynamic libraries. Dynamic libraries are executable code linked to an app. This feature allows current Swift apps to link with the latest versions of the Swift language. Not many people are talking about this change, but it is very important for the developer community. Dynamic libraries were not there for iOS until the launch of Swift and iOS 8, even though dynamic libraries are there on Mac for a very long time. Dynamic libraries are external to the app executable but are included in the app bundle downloaded from the App Store. It reduces the initial size of an app when loaded into memory since the external code is linked only when used.

Fewer name collisions with open source projects

Swift provides implicit namespaces that allow the same code file to exist across multiple projects without causing a build failure and requiring names like NSString (Next Step — Steve Jobs’ company after being fired from Apple) or CGPoint (Core Graphics). Ultimately, this feature in Swift keeps programmers more productive. You can see Swift’s influence with simple names like Array, Dictionary, and String instead of NSArray, NSDictionary, and NSString.

Swift is the future

Swift is one of the most well-organized and well-structured open source app programming languages ever introduced by Apple for iPhone App Development. When we make the comparison between Swift and Objective-C, the result is that it’s faster, calls for less memory management and is much more expressive when compared to the scope of Objective-C or Python. With this benefits, Swift becomes placed as the programming language in the list of the top programming languages in the upcoming years also.

 

 

With the boom in mobile Apps and more demand for iOS developers, those who already know Objective C well should learn Swift. They can start writing new code in Swift and as it gains more popularity and stability, can fully shift to Swift. It is difficult to ask developers to shift from an easy to difficult language, but the case is exactly reverse here and should be easy.

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