Objective-C has been widely preferred and used after the announcement for iOS SDK, this went on for years. Then came in Swift. Since last three years, Swift has made Objective-C take a back seat and pushed it away from the limelight. Swift has not only replaced Objective-C for developing iOS apps, but C has also been pushed aside for embedded programming for the iOS platform. Swift has helped create immersive and responsive applications in the past few years.
Once upon a time, Objective-C was definitely the rising star of the app development sphere. But if you look closely you will notice that the popularity of Objective-C was only because of the growing app ecosystem and not the other way round. A lot of iOS developers who have used C for years are glad Swift took over. This shows how Swift could be the future of iOS app development.
Let’s Get Started…
1. Safety –
In Objective-C when you call a method with an uninstalled pointer, the expression will become a no-op. This has been the reason for a lot of bugs. A no-op is not a good thing for developers who are looking for a random crash to fix. The developer needs to document how a pointer variable is reacting. While in Swift, the value exists or not is clearly defined by optional types and value types in which they either exist or is nil. The bug-fixing process in Swift becomes easier. A bug is then fixed sooner or simply avoided from the code.
2. Easy To Read –
The keywords in Objective-C were represented with an @ symbol. Swift will simply unify all the keywords because it is not based on C. All the legacy conventions expected to be carried on from Objective-C to Swift are completely dropped by Swift. The language of Swift is much cleaner with correct syntax and grammar. The language of Swift is expressive.
3. Easy To Maintain –
With Objective-C programmers would maintain two different code files. This is done to boost up the build time and efficiency of the app. But Swift doesn’t take over this from C. The header and implementation file of Objective-C are combined into a single in Swift. The benefit of using swift is that developers do less of bookkeeping and more developing. This improves the overall quality of code and comments.
4. Doesn’t Require Much Code –
The amount of code is reduced in Swift. Text strings required a lengthy procedure in Objective-C. But Swift makes use of modern programming language features. The complexity of code statements is reduced, thanks to the Swift type system. Swift again keeps bookkeeping away from you which gives you less code to translate.
5. Memory Management –
Swift blends the language in a way that Objective-C never did. With Objective-C, it would be a programmer’s responsibility to do the memory management. This often caused huge memory leaks. This can be avoided with Swift. In Swift, the memory management is completely handled by ARC. The time, brain power, and resources that were otherwise wasted in memory management can now be used to focus better on the code and development.
6. Open-source –
The thing about open-source programming languages is that they are immediately accessible and also cost-effective. Swift is already available in Linux. There are also efforts being made to bring Swift to Windows as well. This way Swift is going to grow really quickly. A few years ago, iOS apps were a monopoly of Objective-C and they owned it. But Swift has ended that, thankfully.
7. Cheaper –
Objective-C and Swift are the only two options you get when you want to hire developers to develop iOS apps. According to a survey report, Objective-C developers are paid higher than the Swift developers. This also shows that the cost of developing an app in Swift is cheaper than developing one with Objective-C.
8. Developers Enjoy It –
There is no better feedback for a programming language than when the developers say that they really love using the language. Programmers thoroughly enjoy developing apps on Swift compared to Objective-C. This says a lot about the programming language and its working.
Since its launch, Swift has created some benchmarks for developing iOS apps and has also improved the speed. Swift is an amazing option as it is well-designed, well organized, expressive, easy-to-maintain, cheaper, and offers unified memory management. This shows how much Swift is preferred by the iOS developers.
Keval Padia is the founder & CEO of Nimblechapps, a fast-growing mobile app development company. The current innovation and updates of the field lures him to express his views and thoughts on certain topics.