The significant release does not imply the death of Objective-C, while it will become the de facto language for the development of iOS applications for iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and more devices.
The language that Apple illustrated as Objective-C without C, is secure, modern, faster, compiler optimized, and packed with a high level of interactivity, enabling responsive and consumer-oriented application development in a way very simple.
However, the release introduced the dilemma of making a choice between the two object-oriented programming languages: Swift and Objective-C. It brought a lot of confusion to the development workshops and created a space for discussions.
As a final note, Swift was declared a winner in the next few years and when harnessed for iOS app development, it will bring a lot of benefits to the top of the table.
Take a quick look at how the Swift can get you ahead of the game:
1) Requires less coding
In Objective-C, string manipulation, string concatenation, or class division requires more coding and involves writing repetitive statements. In Swift, the length of the encoding is cut in half with the addition of new operators.
Also, the need to memorize the token is alleviated with string interpolation, where variables can be inserted directly online into the string. The probability of the application crashing due to an order error is reduced with the type inference system.
2) Dynamic library support
Dynamic library support for Swift started after the release of iOS 8. Before this, only static libraries existed, although the Mac has been enjoying dynamic library support for a long time.
Dynamic libraries are the executable code that allows the latest Swift applications to link the changes or updates that new versions of the Swift language bring over time in an automated way. Dynamic libraries are included within the application package during download, but are external to the application executable, mitigating the size of the application because the external code is linked only when the language evolves.
3) Easy to read
With clean syntax, Swift has become easier to read and write code and looks a lot like plain English. The removal of all the inherited conventions, such as parentheses for conditional statements, @ symbol, semicolons in trailing lines, nesting of method calls between braces, and much more, has made the language expressive and the code cleaner.
In Swift, the comma-separated list of parameters within the parathesis is used for function and method calls to simplify syntax, so Java, C #, C ++, or Python programmers can easily read and adopt Swift.
For creating executable applications, it is mandatory to keep two code files in Objective-C to improve compile time and efficiency. However, Swift removed the legacy of the requirement for two code files with the X-code compiler and LLVM.
The two achievers discover dependencies, perform incremental builds, and combine the implementation files (.m) and the Objective-C header (.h) into a code file (.Swift) automatically. In this way, Swift minimizes repetitive tasks, accounting, and workload, giving programmers more time to focus on creating logic and improving code quality.
5) Faster and safer
In Objective-C, null pointers reduce the likelihood of an application crashing, but introduce many errors that take a fair amount of time for programmers to find and correct.
On the other hand, in the Swift language, the optional value is very clear as a compiler error is generated for bad code, allowing the programmer to correct the code quickly, saving time and money. Also, during runtime hang, Swift fires by stopping at the line of code where no optional variables are used so that the error can be corrected immediately.
6) Unified with memory management
In Objective-C, automatic reference counting is supported by object-oriented code and Cocoa APIs, but is not available for core graphics and procedural code, which in turn makes programmers responsible for memory management.
Instead, in Swift, all memory management at compile time is handled by the ARC, as it works in both object-oriented code and procedural code, and does not require programmers to perform context switches. Also, you don’t need to run the garbage collector to clean up unused memory.
7) No more name collisions
The unavailability of namespace support leads to code file name collisions, which is a linker error and will not allow the application to run. In Swift, the implicit namespaces are given based on the destination where the code file resides, so the same code file can exist for multiple projects without letting compilation fail.
With namespace identifiers, classes or values can be easily differentiated and open source libraries, frameworks, or projects can be deployed on the fly, relieving the stress of filename collision from the same code during integration open source projects.
Under the hood, changes are constantly being made to Swift to improve the speed at which application logic runs. The improved performance of the GEMM algorithm by a factor of 1.4 and the FFT algorithm by a factor of 8.5 are great examples of this. Accelerating development helps save a lot of money.
With the play area feature, programmers gain space for experiments by writing code or creating an algorithm and see their results by hand without having to wait until the project is fully built or the emulator to test it.
It is more like an editor window where the code is compiled and executed as soon as it is written, which helps in data visualization. All changes made during processing, from simple images to graphs and finite control elements, can be viewed in real time.
10) open source
A year after launch, the modern programming language Swift was declared open source. The announcement made the language more popular and more widely used on various platforms or as a back-end infrastructure.
Additionally, community feedback and developer support have made an invaluable contribution to improvements in the language.
In 2015, in the nomination for “Most Loved Programming Language”, the Swift language tops the list due to the myriad of benefits it offers over Objective-C. The language was released by Apple keeping in mind the future development of the iOS application. The sheer number of features has made iOS app developers implement Swift code during app development.
What are your thoughts? Do you also find the language equally significant for iOS development? If so, don’t wait any longer and launch the next project by taking advantage of Swift.