What is Swift?
Swift is a framework for application development. This framework development is a general-purpose, multi-paradigm, compiled programming language developed by Apple Inc. Swift framework can be used to develop applications in iOS, OS X, watchOS, tvOS and Linux platform applications. Even though Objective-C was used to develop applications, Swift made it much more simpler and easier to develop. In 2014, Apple made Swift an alternative for Objective-C. Swift development has many advantages over Objective-C apart from being faster than Objective-C. Swift combines the performance, efficiency with the widespread development frameworks.
Interesting Fact: Swift, rightly named after the Swift bird. The swift bird is among the fastest fliers.
Pros of using Swift Development
Rapid Development Process
Due to its simplified syntax and grammar, Swift is easier to understand, which makes it easy to read and write. It uses less code to perform tasks and therefore, compared to other development frameworks, apps can be developed faster.
Unlike Objective-C, Apple made Swift much more comfortable to scale the project with new features and with new members at any time during the development phase.
Safety and Performance
According to Apple, Swift is 40% better than its predecessor, and the benchmark results have shown better performance.
Decreased Memory Footprint
Unlike other development frameworks, Swift uses dynamic libraries which can be automatically updated to the application when compiling and deploying the project.
Interoperability with Objective-C
Even though Objective-C and Swift are two different frameworks, Objective-C projects can be ported into Swift without any risk. Read more…
Automated Memory Management
Swift uses Automatic Memory Counting (ARC); this is a technology aimed to add a garbage collector function. Swift’s ARC determines which instances are no longer in use and gets rid of them on your behalf. It allows you to increase your app’s performance without lagging your memory or CPU.
Swift provides out-of-the-box support not only for iPhones and iPads, but for all Apple devices, including Apple TV, Apple Watch, and Mac. Aside from that, there is already support for Linux, and an intention to officially port it to the Windows platform.
Swift was announced open-source in 2015 by Apple. Therefore, Swift opens up the language framework to the potential to be used across a variety of platforms and for backend infrastructure. Which makes the community to help and improve the framework. With various contributions from the community Swift is successful because it’s well structured and designed.
Swift 5.1 is the latest version. Swift 5 makes it easier to maintain and deploy applications than the previous iterations. Swift runtime is now built into iOS. Therefore, it does not require to bundle the library with the OS releases. It made it smaller and faster to install.
- String reimplemented with UTF-8 encoding, which often results in faster code.
- Exclusive access to memory enforced by default on debug and release builds
- SIMD Vector and Result types in Standard Library
- Performance improvements to Dictionary and Set
Is Swift hard to learn?
Swift is made to open doors for the new developers. It is developed to make it easier to learn for any new programmer. Apple had created some free curriculum to teach Swift. App developers can access these free courses to learn and build the first app. Similar to Objective-C, you would need Xcode and can host it in Apple Stores. You can learn more about Swift education from the link below.
Further readings on Swift
- Xcode: ( https://developer.apple.com/xcode/ )
- Swift 5 Release Log: ( https://swift.org/blog/5-0-release-process/ )
- Swift: ( https://swift.org/ )
- Swift Programming Language iBook: ( https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/swift-programming-language/id881256329?mt=11 )
- Swift using Cocoa and Objective-C ( https://developer.apple.com/swift/ )
- Swift. Source: https://swift.org/
- Apple’s Swift programming language. Source: https://www.techrepublic.com/article/apples-swift-programming-language-the-smart-persons-guide/
- Swift. Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/swift-apples-language-of-choice-gets-a-major-refresh/
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