Swift is a powerful and intuitive programming language for macOS, iOS, watchOS, tvOS. It is based on the open-source LLVM (Low-Level Virtual Machine) compiler framework and is included in Xcode. It uses the Objective-C runtime library on Apple platforms, making it possible for C, Objective-C, C++, and Swift code to run within one program.
A bit of Swift history
In 2014, Apple introduced a new programming language – Swift. It has become the fastest-growing programming language in history. The creator of the Swift language is Chris Lattner, who joined Apple in 2005. There he worked on LLVM development, which is the basis of Xcode today. Today, Apple is positioning Swift as one of the fastest and efficient ways to create programs for the iPhone, iPad, and Mac. An essential and significant step in language development was the opening of its source code to the developers.
What’s unique about Swift?
Swift is not just a language. It is a language that is closely related to everything a developer needs to work. It includes the IDE and many other tools (such as the debugger) that every Apple developer uses every day. Swift is a fast, modern, secure, and user-friendly programming language. It makes creating programs very flexible and productive, as Swift has incorporated the best of languages such as C, Objective-C, and Java.
The most famous solutions developed with Swift
Apple invented Swift, and it is used primarily to create applications for iOS, software for macOS, watchOS, and even tvOS. HubSpot app, Lyft, Pandora, OpenTable, Airbnb, LinkedIn, Yahoo Weather, WhatsApp, and Khan Academy are a small list of apps written in Swift.
- WhatsApp is a simple, secure, and reliable app for messaging. They use Swift as one of the prime languages that makes this free messaging app so popular and allows to send/receive messages, photos, audio, videos fast and safe.
- Instagram is among the best apps when it comes to photo and album sharing. It uses Swift for all its primary functions.
- Medium is a perfect portal for sharing smart stories and ideas and uses Swift as its foundation. It is used to publish articles, share ideas, interviews, photos, and features with great insight into the world.
- Pandora, famous music streaming app, uses Swift to offer the best radio, podcasts, and music streaming experience. It has been developed using the Swift language allowing users to create the stations from their liked songs, artists, genre, etc.
Swift pros and cons
Advantages of Swift:
- It’s modern. Swift is the result of combining the latest coding research and experience gained while building products in the Apple ecosystem.
- Swift is an object-oriented programming language that adheres to the “everything is an object” paradigm.
- It has a simple and straightforward syntax that allows developers to reduce the multi-line code to one-line (and, in some cases, single-character) expressions.
- Swift has excellent typization: you know exactly what type of object you are working with at any given time. Moreover, when creating applications, you practically don’t need to think about the consumed RAM because Swift can do everything automatically.
- Thanks to its integration with the Objective-C Runtime Library, you can simultaneously write programs in Swift, C, Objective-C, and C ++.
- Swift’s Playgrounds mode allows you to test your code in real-time without compiling large pieces or the entire application.
Disadvantages of Swift:
- Swift is a young language, so there are not so many talented developers yet.
- There are still quite a few built-in functions in Swift, and sometimes not all of them work equally well.
- Sometimes developers are complaining about Swift’s instability in the latest version. It means that if a developer wants to switch to a new version of the language, he may need to rewrite the code.
Why UppLabs chose Swift?
There are numerous reasons why we choose Swift for our projects. The main reasons are:
- Swift performance is high;
- It’s stable and allows developers to avoid unwanted mistakes;
- It’s open-source and cross-platformed.
- It’s modern and is easy for understanding;
- It can be used for all iOS programming purposes;
- It can be easily integrated with tools like Sentry, Sonatype Nexus, Airbrake, imgix, and Cocoa Touch (iOS), and more.