Apple created swift primarily as an iOS programming language. Developers who know swift coding can create apps for iOS and Mac OSes. Swift provides developers great freedom and is intuitive and robust. Swift is open-source and easy to learn and use. Avenues for creating Apple Watch, Apple TV apps also opens with proper knowledge of swift coding.
What is Swift?
As we mentioned Swift is an iOS development language. However, developers acquainted with it can create apps which run a wide variety of Apple devices and the OS that powers them like macOS, iPadOS, watchOS and tvOS besides iOS. The language is multi-paradigm and is known for its power and meant for typical use. Apple created the language in 2014 and from the start the language it had three objectives- to be fast, clean, and expressive.
The intention behind the creation of Swift was a to create a substitute for the C school of programming languages.
The community around Swift is considerable and it continues to grow in popularity. This source code for this evolving language is freely available on GitHub making it easily accessible.
Key Features of Swift
- Native error handling
- Powerful generics
- Structs and classes
- Protocol extensions
- Memory management
- Memory safety
- Package manager
- Flexible enumerations
- Source and binary compatibility
- Closure syntax
When Should Developers Use Swift?
When Should Developers Use Swift?
Swift as an iOS programming language is well-known for its easy readability and the ease with which you can code due to the simple syntax and grammar- it is expressive and clean. Further, Swift is very concise, and you can perform even complex tasks with a minimal amount of code. These features become even more pronounced if you compare it with Objective-C. Developers can track all their work and efforts and memory management of the app becomes simple and automatic with Swift’s ARC (Automatic Reference Counting). It translates to a minimal app development time.
You can scale both your app product and your team with greater ease
When you use Swift, you take a great stride forward in making your app future-proof. Additionally, with swift coding you can upgrade your app and add features with great ease. This makes product scalability simple and easy. Not only your product, but Swift also lets you scale your development team with similar ease. Swift code is simple and concise making onboarding of new team members easy. Swift’s syntax is as natural as the English language itself, all of which lets new developers read the code without much effort.
Get greater performance and security
Swift as the name would suggest is meant to be fast. And that is a real-world fact. Developers can get a whopping 40% greater performance than its Objective-C counterpart. Another remarkable thing about the iOS programming language is its safety. Thanks to the great error handling framework of the language and a robust typing system, crashes and production errors are a bare minimum. Also, you can identify and fix errors on the fly with Swift.
Minimal memory footprint
App codes contain a lot of third-party static and dynamic code in the form of software frameworks and libraries. Static library copies need to be there in the executable file of the app and results in making the file size and loading times of the file to swell up significantly. It was Swift that first introduced dynamic libraries to the iOS platform. Developers need to upload dynamic libraries only when it is necessary and can exist independently of the code. The best thing is that when using a dynamic library, you only need one copy of the code. It makes apps smaller, and it requires a minimal memory footprint.
It works along with Objective-C
Objective-C is slowly aging and with time its popularity and possibility as an iOS development language will only decrease. But that is in a future point of time. Swift works at tandem with Objective-C and developers can add Swift features to Objective-C code or use Objective-C components over a Swift codebase.
Additionally, with Swift:
- You can manage memory automatically thanks to ARC
- You can potentially use Swift for a full-stack solution
- You get cross-device support
- A thriving open-source community exists and makes it easy to learn the language