The Pros and Cons of Swift Programming Language

Swift goes through many updates to come with the wonderful latest versions. But, Apple always tries its best hard to make it more perfect in the next releases. In order to achieve this goal, Apple is building its own ecosystem with a stable ABI over its platforms and many other things.

  • Although it has the potential to be one of the best and most used programming languages, Swift has fewer users than Objective-C and is way less popular than Taylor Swift.
  • It’s created to be a type-safe and memory-safe programming language.
  • By the end, you’ll have the foundational knowledge you need to begin diving deeper into Apple-based app development.
  • Swift Package Manager is the tool that allows you to easily manage your dependencies, import third-party, open source libraries, and share your packages across your projects.
  • Objective-C is a much older language, dating back to the 1980s, that is based on C and adds object-oriented features.
  • It looks like the Swift programming language will have a number of success stories to tell, but it is going to take time.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of using Swift programming language. While Swift has been designed to make maintaining and writing app code easier for the developer, there are a few disadvantages to consider as well. Swift uses a solution called Automatic Reference Counting that builds upon its ObjectiveC predecessor. The ARC determines which class instances are not being used and gets rid of them for developers.

Vibrant open source community and learnability

In fact, by using it at the backend and frontend, apps can be created faster. This is primarily due to the reuse of code, but it is also a factor in developer time and overall resource availability. Despite quite a young age, Swift has already climbed its way up from the ‘Apple’s experiment’ status to the 11’s place in TIOBE’s listing of the world’s most popular programming languages. Ranking 7 positions higher than its predecessor Objective-C, Swift proves to have completed its initial mission.

As it is stated on Apple’s website, Swift ensures great app performance and enables developers to create amazing user experiences. In addition, Swift has been praised for its readability and type inference which allow developers to write clean, reliable, and consistent code without unnecessary clutter. For business owners, it is crucial to be ready for any changes the market might impose. So, preparing to switch to the new language with minimum effort and at a reasonable cost should be one of the key strategies for the near future. For such a young language, Swift sure has an abundance of resources to help developers accelerate adoption.

Pros and Cons of Swift Programming Language

Furthermore, there are a variety of methods to improve the performance of Swift code. While there are not many Swift developers out there, even fewer of them have decent hands-on experience with the language. There is probably only one person who has such experience with Swift, but Tesla already snagged that player for their roster. According to the latest StackOverflow Developer Survey, only 6.5 percent of the 64,000 respondents use Swift. At the same time,, a global freelance marketplace, finds that the demand for Swift programmers is growing, which might result in a talent gap.

Developers can see errors in the code easily and they can fix them on the fly, reducing the efforts and time needed for bug fixing. Simpler syntax is what makes code written in Swift programming language easy to read and understand. When you compare it to Objective-C, it takes fewer lines of code to write a functional app, which makes the coding process less tense.

Continue your journey into Swift for free.

It wasn’t until 2015, though, that Apple decided to open source the code to boost greater adoption. Now, the Apple App Store has 1.96 million apps available to download, which are partially written in Swift. These include Airbnb, Facebook, LinkedIn, Lyft, Slack, and Uber. Apple, Uber, Slack, Accenture, Linkedin, Whatsapp, Facebook, Firefox, and Microsoft are just a few examples of companies using Swift for their development.

Pros and Cons of Swift Programming Language

This is another minor disadvantage, but it needs bringing up regardless. While Swift’s community is growing fast, it is still relatively small compared to other programming languages. A 2019 developer survey from StackOverflow found that only 6.6% of over 87,000 respondents use Swift. Even though ABI Stability is an advantage of Swift 5.1, code compiled with different versions of Swift can come into problems. When developers were primarily using Objective-C, code could have been compiled into a static library and introduced into a project as a dependency. Before the introduction of Swift’s ABI, it was not possible to create static libraries in Swift.

What is Swift Programming Language?

Swift is a compiled programming language for iOS, macOS, watchOS, tvOS, and Linux applications. When we compare the ranking positions, it is 7 positions higher than its older brother or predecessor Objective-C, Swift proves to have completed its initial mission. To get started learning these concepts and more, check out Educative’s course Swift Programming for Mobile App Development. In this hands-on course, you’ll cover topics ranging from arrays, dictionaries, integers, object-oriented programming, error handling, and more.

Pros and Cons of Swift Programming Language

Automatic Reference Counting does all the work tracking and managing the app’s memory usage, so developers don’t need to spend time and effort doing that manually. Accordingly, it usually takes less time to build iOS apps with Swift. Another important factor to consider when choosing a language for app maintenance and updates is how it affects the app’s compatibility. Compatibility can be measured in terms of how well the code works with different devices, systems, platforms, and languages. In general, Objective-C tends to be more compatible than Swift, because it has a longer history and a wider reach in the iOS and macOS ecosystem. Objective-C also has better support for legacy code, third-party libraries, and cross-platform development than Swift.

Java vs Swift Quiz

They might eventually get used to it, but they won’t be happy about it. However, remember that readability can be subjective and depends on your familiarity with the language. It’s like being the new kid at school – it takes time to make friends and build relationships. It’s like a cheetah, sleek and fast, running circles around some of its slower counterparts . Java can also be slower than some languages, like the tortoise to the hare.

Pros and Cons of Swift Programming Language

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Being a superset of C, Objective-C allows you to comfortably and smoothly use C and C++ libraries. While the need to exclusively import C++ files is a rare case, you should be aware that Swift doesn’t have that supported. To use the C++ code, an Objective-C or C wrapper must be created between Swift and C++. Largely due to frequent updates, as mentioned above, it is often hard to find the right tools to help with certain tasks.

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