Ever since Apple released Swift in 2014 as the new language for app development on its platform, it has unleashed a parallel debate of old, reliable vs. new, agile- Objective-C vs. Swift. It’s not that Apple has stopped supporting the older Objective-C so developers can still choose any of these languages for iOS app development. Then why this fuss? Shouldn’t everyone just pick their preference and end the debate? Yes, they can but there is just one small problem.
The thing is, iOS apps are virtually the gold mine of mobile app development. If you don’t believe, just consider this fact- iOS has just around one-fourth of the Android’s market share but when it comes to app revenues, it makes almost 75% more. Many apps that are available free on Android, are paid on the iOS. There are several reasons for this disconnect and would require its own discussion to the get the bottom of it. But the point we are trying to make here is that if iOS platform promises higher revenues, it should go without saying that they also have equally higher expectations from your product.
This is the reason why the debate between Swift and Objective-C carries so much weight. It’s not just about creating applications but to create lightest, fastest, and the most engaging applications. While we confess we can’t settle the debate here, nor is our purpose, we can still tell you what you will gain by opting for Swift:
Swift is built from the ground up to execute codes faster than Objective-C. For some specific operations, the difference can be as much as 3.5X, which of course given the complex state of modern mobile applications, is a game-changer. Other benchmarks indicate that Swift is almost on par with C++ in terms of performing many complex algorithms, where C++ is generally regarded as the golden benchmark. So, given the mobile applications these days aren’t any less than a full-scale software, employing Swift will help you make the app perform faster.
Swift comes with an advanced error-handling mechanism to give developers the peace of mind. One of the most annoying things about Objective-C development is that no matter how hard you try, there are bound to be a few bugs that will slip past the initial checking and will create unexpected behavior. This not only is frustrating for developers, but also sends the application back and forth in the development cycle, thus consuming a lot of time and resources. With Swift, all such errors are detected during compilation to be fixed immediately and the code can move forward with confidence.
As the name suggests, writing code in Swift is swift due to its cleaner syntax and highly readable code- both of which highly improves the productivity of developers. Plus, Swift offers and supports a wide range of tools and technologies out-of-the-box to make the life of the developers easier and improve the quality of application in the process. So, if the developers are more productive in Swift, it means that the cost of development is lower and the time-to-market shorter- a combination you will rarely find in any language.
Yes, one uses both Swift or Objective-C to create an application for now but that may not be the case a few years down the line. Swift is built keeping future in mind. It’s not just about iPhone app development or app development for iPad, but also other bits like Apple TV or Apple Watch, or the speakers or maybe the car in future- that makes Swift a choice for developers who like to keep themselves updated.
Applications once created, is not the end of the project, but rather the start of an endless cycle of updates, fixes, and maintenance. Since swift creates lesser and neater code than Objective-C, these tasks are seemingly much simpler as well. Further, since Swift is a rapidly expanding language and Objective-C is coming downhill, much more support and tools will be available in future for Swift than Objective-C to make the task even easier than it already is.
So, are you still conflicted between Swift and Objective-C for your next iOS app development? Apart from what we have mentioned above, there are many other factors involved in the decision like the support for legacy systems, migration, support for third-party components- all of which when analyzed, may give different outcomes. But that doesn’t really matter. If you have your ideas clearly laid out, we have expertise in both of these technologies to make it happen. Get in touch with our proposal and we can discuss which set of tools and technologies will best suit your purpose.
Mrityunjay is a content developer at Konstant Infosolutions- a leading mobile app development firm that caters to enterprises of all scales and industries with cutting-edge tech solutions. Being an engineer by education, a reader by passion, and a writer by profession, he finds no topic truly boring, yet nothing seems to content his craving as well- an essence he leaves in everything he writes.