As a developer, you are constantly faced with challenges when deciding which technology to use for your applications. In the mobile development space, the first challenge is determining whether to create a Web, Hybrid or Native application. If you have chosen the path of developing a Native iOS app, you have yet another decision to make: Should you program in Objective C or Swift? Apple’s announcement of the new Swift Programming Language in June 2014 has inspired many developers to learn the language. According to Programmable Web, Swift “is already nearing the top twenty programming languages” while Objective C is rated #10 on the list. There are incentives for programming in Swift and submitting your Swift app to the Apple store, which includes increased chances of getting your app featured in the App store. Developing in this language is certainly much faster than developing in Objective C. However, is Swift a reliable solution when building out your app? If you have an app, should you change the language to Swift? I took the time to learn Swift in order to understand the limitations and features of this new language. Learning Swift was as simple as learning Ruby. For new native iOS developers, Swift will certainly be a quicker way to master Native iOS development. Some high level features include an interactive environment as well as the simple style of coding compared to Objective C. Key features include:
- The Playground, an interactive environment providing immediate results of Swift without compiling.
- Simplified language, similar to scripting languages such as Ruby or Python. No semicolons required.
- No need to worry about memory management, although it still utilizes some of the ARC features (Automatic Reference Counting) currently existing in Objective C.