Swift vs Objective-C: An iOS Developer’s Perspective

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8 Best Practices for Designing Conversational UI : HiTechNectar
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March 22, 2024

Swift vs Objective-C: An iOS Developer’s Perspective

Swift is only 6 years old now, and Swift 5 was released a year ago in March 2019. It shows that Swift is less stable than Objective-C, but it’s due to constant improvements and development. The last released version has been 2.0 and it’s been here since 2016. If you don’t know whether to choose Swift or Objective-C for the iOS app you are planning to develop, you will find out by the time you’ve read this article.

You and your developers are the ones working on the app, so it is your responsibility to choose the most beneficial iOS application development programming language for your project. Compared to Objective-C, Swift is simpler and easier to learn. It is a general-purpose programming language, which makes it ideal for writing codes not only for iOS application development but also for Linux, iPadOS, tvOS, and watchOS. Modern features – Being a young language, it has modern features such as optimised memory management, dynamic libraries, better app monetization, etc.

Regarding the ease of UI development, Apple has introduced SwiftUI. This UI design tool built into Xcode 11 runs with iOS 13 . It makes it super-easy to build native UI for all Apple platforms. You can assemble your UI by writing code or adjusting the preview.

Development environment

The support of inferred types allows you to avoid some minor mistakes and preserve the clarity of code. From team experience to project details, choosing either of the languages or migrating to Swift can pose a challenge for your team. For this reason, here are a few questions I asked myself when deciding to choose the programming language for my business’ iPhone app development team. Being widely used for decades has earned Obj-C a solid place among the world’s leading programming languages.

But once the code compilation is done enough times, this delay becomes noticeable and slows down your performance. You have to understand the ideal programming language at its core with the pros, cons, differences, features, and everything important crystal clear in your mind. Even though it sounds easy but in reality, developing iOS apps require much more than just command over coding or understanding of technologies, functionalities, or features. Such capabilities also help increase the development speed and improve code readability. Although Swift is a relative newcomer to the world of iOS development, it has already earned its place among developers due to the multiple distinct advantages it grants them.

  • Swift is still maturing; there’s a lot of work that needs to be done to really make it the single industry standard for iPhone app development but that’s what makes it stand-out.
  • Null pointers result in very complex problems for developers.
  • GitHub code search helps developers query complex codebases.
  • There is simply no way to make some of them work, which means outdated performance and poorer structure compared to the newest language versions.
  • Apple is always working to make Swift your go-to language.
  • When using Swift, if developers miss a pointer within the code, such as a nil value, the application will crash.

If you want to develop software that will be supported both on devices running modern iOS and macOS versions and those running older versions, there is hardly a better choice than Obj-C. Obj-C is often praised for its clear and understandable syntax, and a lot of it has to do with dynamic typing. Swift is simpler to compile and is less likely to have errors in the code.

Objective-C explained

Swift, on the contrary, is open-source, so you can see in detail how it works and understand its rudiments more thoroughly. Openness means there are more people engaged in more projects and more sources available for Swift developers. Although you could think of virtually dozens of features to compare, we decided to focus on the ten most important issues. They all influence the costs, quality, and convenience of iOS application development.

You can’t really do that with Swift because it’s been out only several years. Many iconic applications , however, were created using this very programming language. By comparison, Swift programmers praise its fast compile times, automated memory management and clean code. On top of that, Apple clearly intends to support the language as a core part of Apple OS development, as it continues to create and release increasingly robust APIs designed for Swift.

The Evolution of Swift and Objective-C

While Swift also uses ARC, it supports the use of ARC for all APIs that is streamlined in a manner that is similar to Cocoa Touch’s memory management. On the comparative, Swift requires much less code to execute the same tasks. String https://globalcloudteam.com/ handling is done quicker on Swift as it allows developers to add two strings together using the “+” operation. Any error in the structure or order of these tokens can lead to the app to not function or crash when opened by end-users.

ios swift vs objective c

Swift programming language is open source, which means it was built by both Apple developers and the open-source community. In the early years of Swift’s release, it could already support Linux in addition to all of Apple’s platforms. Swift is a newer programming language developed by Apple.

Swift vs. Objective-C

As they are both native to iOS, you can rest certain that your app will display and perform as expected. The main distinction is in UI development simplicity and iOS adaptability. The greater objective c and swift the efficiency, the more effective and appropriate the technology. The user experience is enhanced, refactoring is simplified, and maintenance is simplified more with increased performance.

ios swift vs objective c

This led to developers learning new features every time a new version was released, but it has now stabilized with current versions. Objective-C was developed by Brad Cox and Tom Love in the 1980s. This language was created by adding the features of Smalltalk to C. Now, C is a functional programming language, and Smalltalk is an object-oriented programming language. So, the object-oriented syntax comes from Smalltalk, and the other syntax comes from C. Objective-C has an inherent complex code structure since it’s built on top of the C language.

As a result of the long history of Objective-C, you will find many tools provided by Apple and some third-party companies. However, I wouldn’t count on the creation of new tools for Objective-C development. We offer a FREE consultation for all your iOS application needs. Since its constantly updated, it is protected from online threats, bugs, and crashes.

5 Speed of Coding

Thus, a significant drawback arises – the need to switch to the latest versions, which entails additional costs of money and time. Build a top-notch iOS application by partnering with a trusted development team from KeyUA. AppKit and Foundation Kit were also added to the language, and its libraries were improved. Later, this served as the basis for creating the NEXTSTEP development environment. It’s hard to find a company that wants to stay by Objective-C.

What is Swift?

This makes it faster than other app development languages out there like React Native, Flutter, Kotlin, and Java. It’s a stable language with very few changes made over time. This make it perfect, as developers don’t need to learn new features every year. Objective-C was the only language to create Apple apps until 2014, which is when Swift was released. It’s not a modern language, and the syntax was quite complicated, which is why Swift has become popular for creating Apple apps.

Being familiar with Xcode is a prerequisite to using Objective-C since it is the Integrated Development Environment you’ll be building in. Vitaliy is taking technical ownership of projects including development, giving architecture and design directions for project teams and supporting them. He always stays aware of the latest technology trends and applies them to the day to day activities of the dev team. Swift’s enhanced security stems in part from the fact that it is a memory-safe and type-safe language. Additionally, it has an easily digestible, well-documented codebase. As a result, unlike with Objective-C, developers can quickly identify and fix bugs.

Swift language performance and safety

Still, in its growth phase, Swift is faster, and as time goes by, its performance is going to be enhanced further. One studyexhibits that this difference is not black and white in nature. Being younger than Objective-C, Swift still has a long way to go. The development of Swift started back in 2010, and it was made accessible in 2014 – nearly four years after.

For developers who know other programming languages such as JavaScript or Python, learning Swift is much easier. It’s easy to read and has a simple syntax, which are hallmark features of a modern programming language. Cross-platform development allows you to create a single container, which can later be relatively easily adapted to iOS and Android features. It becomes a more popular way of creating mobile applications every year, as it is faster and less expensive than native development. Since 2016, Swift is available for developing applications running on the Google platform.

Swift is a modern language released by Apple Inc. in 2014. It’s a relatively new language, so there is less documentation in comparison to Objective-C. Also, we cannot get all queries answered through Stack overflow and Google. If you are looking to get a job as an iOS developer, Swift is the language you might want to learn.