You’ve got an idea for the next great iOS app. But what Apple programming language should you use to develop it? There are a few options for mobile developers out there, and it can be tough to decide which iOS programming language is right for you and your mobile app development project.
Let’s take a look at the most popular languages for iOS app development and see how they stack up against each other.
Why You Should Develop An IOS App
At this point, almost everyone knows someone who has owned an Apple iPhone or iPad, considering the two are some of the most popular mobile smartphones and tablets worldwide. Apple’s operating system, iOS, powers these devices, and the others that Apple has created. After Apple released the first iPhone in 2007, the world was introduced to its revolutionary interface. It was unlike anything that had come before it, and consumers loved it.
Over the years, Apple has continued to improve iOS with new features and updates. With each new release, more and more people flock to the iPhone and iPad, which creates a large market for app developers.
If you’re looking to develop an app for this market, then you’ll need to choose the right language. Different object oriented programming languages are better suited for different types of apps. Depending on the app you want to create, you’ll need to select an iOS app development language that can handle the task.
Let’s take a look at some of the two most popular languages for iOS app development and see which one is right for you.
Programming Languages For Apple Platforms
There are two main programming languages that are used for developing iOS apps: Objective-C and Swift. Native iOS development, which uses Objective-C or Swift, is the only way to create apps that can take full advantage of all the features of Apple’s devices and operating systems. You can use other modern languages to create cross-platform apps that will work on both iOS and Android devices, but you won’t be able to take advantage of the unique features of Apple’s platforms.
Swift or Objective-C – Which Language Should You Choose for iOS app Development?
Both have their advantages and disadvantages for the development process, but ultimately it depends on the specific needs of the project. For those just starting out in iOS app development, Swift may be a better option as it is a newer and easier language to learn.
Let’s take a look at both programming languages to develop an iOS app:
Objective-C for iOS App Development
Objective-C, a general-purpose programming language created in 1984, was once the main language for iOS development. It is based on the C programming language, which is also the root of C# and C++. It follows the same primitive types, flow control statements, and syntax of its predecessor, which means developers familiar with developing apps in other C languages would not have difficulty working with Objective-C.
It offers language-level support for object literals and object graph management, and also provides dynamic typing and syntax for defining methods and classes. It is object-oriented as well, so it can identify the relationship between objects.
This can be beneficial for developers working on large-scale projects with numerous classes and objects.
Objective-C is still a popular language for developing iOS apps, but it has been eclipsed by Swift in recent years.
Swift for iOS App Development
Launched by Apple in 2014, the Swift programming language overtook Objective-C and is now the main programming language of all iOS devices and used to develop mobile apps. The Linux operating system platform also uses Swift as it works fast, has a concise syntax, and contains safety protocols, allowing for worry-free coding.
Swift is an object-oriented programming language. In object-oriented programming (OOP), data and the functions that operate on that data are bundled together into units called objects. These objects can interact with each other, allowing for modular and reusable code. It is designed to be easy to read and use, and it is intended to be safer than other languages by eliminating certain types of errors.
Developers prefer Swift code over languages such as Objective-C due to its simplicity. It can be easily read and decoded and easily maintained. Swift can combine two files into one code file, and can act as a playing ground for new developers who want to test different algorithms. Swift also has dynamic libraries that can link old and new versions of applications.
Developers can perform all of these tasks with less code than the average programming language requires. One of the ways it does this is through string interpolation, with which programmers do not need to memorize tokens. True to its name, Swift is a favorite for its speed.
There are a number of tools in the Swift ecosystem to help developers with coding, app distribution, and other processes. A swift project can be easily managed using the Swift Package Manager, and developers can code in playgrounds to quickly see the results of their work.
- Xcode is an integrated development environment (IDE) for macOS that supports the development of iOS apps. It includes a code editor, debugger, and other necessary tools for creating Swift apps.
- Swift Playgrounds is an app for iPad that makes it fun to learn and experiment with Swift code. It offers a variety of templates for different types of coding, and developers can see their code run in real time.
- AppCode is an IDE from JetBrains that supports both Swift and Objective-C development. It contains a number of features such as on-the-fly code analysis, refactoring, and debugging tools.
Features of Swift
Swift is a safe, fast, and interactive programming language that provides seamless access to existing Cocoa frameworks.
It is also easy to use, with syntax that is similar to English and a number of features that make coding simpler and more enjoyable.
Some of the key features of Swift include:
- Type safety
- Automatic memory management
- Automatic Reference Counting
- Protocol-oriented programming
- Functional programming patterns
- Fast and concise coding
- Safer code with fewer crashes
- Interactive playgrounds that allow developers to see the results of their code as they write it.
The Future of Swift
As the main programming language of all Apple products, it is likely that Swift will continue to grow in popularity. Apple has made Swift open source, which means that it can be used on other platforms besides macOS and iOS.
Swift is constantly being updated with new features, such as ABI stability in Swift 5. This makes it an attractive option for developers who want to create apps that run on multiple devices and platforms.
Swift vs Objective-C: A Comprehensive Look
As the main programming language for all Apple products, Swift has a lot to offer developers. It is constantly being updated with new features and is easy to read and maintain. However, there are some drawbacks to using Swift, such as its lack of backward compatibility and its dependence on Xcode.
When comparing Swift and Objective-C, it is important to keep in mind that they are two different languages designed for different purposes. Objective-C is a mature language that has been around for many years, while Swift is a newer language that was designed to improve upon the shortcomings of Objective-C.
Let’s take an in-depth look at the pros and cons of Swift versus Objective C for IOS app development.
Advantages of Swift ✔️
Disadvantages of Swift
Overall, Swift is a great language for developing IOS apps. It is easy to learn and use, and it provides a number of features that make coding simpler and more enjoyable. However, there are some drawbacks to using Swift, such as its lack of backward compatibility and its dependence on Xcode. Many articles point out that Swift supports only iOS 7 and macOS 10.9 or higher but we don’t think this is a big concern as iOS came out in 2013 – that’s a lifetime ago in the coding world.
Advantages of Objective-C
Disadvantages of Objective-C
Overall, Objective-C is a good choice for developers who want to use a mature language with a wide range of features. However, its verbose syntax and slow speed can be
How To Get Started with Swift or Objective-C
If you’re new to Swift or Objective-C, the best way to get started is to download the Xcode IDE and start playing around with the language. Xcode comes with a built-in playground that allows you to experiment with Swift code and write Swift code without having to create a full app. Once you’re comfortable with the Swift code, you can start working on your own app projects.
If you’re interested in Objective-C, you can find a number of excellent tutorials online that will help you get started with the language.
There is no clear best choice when it comes to Swift or Objective-C for iOS app development. Both languages have their own advantages and disadvantages. The best way to decide which language to use is to experiment with both and see which one you prefer. For beginners, Swift is usually the best choice because it is easier to learn and use. However, Objective-C is a good choice for mobile app developers who want to use a mature language with a wide range of features.
Developing Androids app? Make sure to check our our article about Kotlin vs. Java for Android development!