Swift vs Python: Where Does It Lead in 2020?

As the models for iOS app development simmer, let us explore the intersection and potential deviations in Swift vs. Python 2020!

Python and Swift are two free, open-source tools for iOS app development that are in high demand as the resultant code looks elegant with minimal but comprehensive features. It seems that Swift with 48.2K GitHub stars and 7.71K forks on GitHub have more adoption than Python with 25K GitHub stars and 10.3K GitHub forks. But Python has a broader approval, being mentioned in 2789 company stacks & 3500 developers stacks; compared to Swift, which is listed in 979 company stacks and 526 developer stacks. Swift is relatively newer than Python. Subsequently, Python has a larger community and more followers.

Swift vs. Python: Is Swift similar to Python?

Feature ComparisonPythonSwift
  • Python is an object-oriented programming language, comparable to Perl, Ruby, Scheme, or Java.
  • Python is most praised for its elegant syntax and readable code and is good to learn for beginners.
Swift code is concise, expressive, fast, and can work in sync with Objective C for Ios, OS X, watchOS and tvOS app development, which builds on the best of C and Objective-C, without any compatibility constraints.



What companies use?
  • Uber Technologies
  • Google
  • Pinterest
  • Netflix
  • Instagram
  • Spotify and more.
  • Uber Technologies
  • Slack
  • Lyft
  • Robinhood
  • Delivery Hero SE
  • Ruangguru and more.
What tools integrate?
  • Django
  • PyCharm
  • Flask
  • Sentry
  • CircleCL
  • Datadog
  • Sentry
  • Sonatype Nexus
  • Airbrake
  • imgix
  • Cocoa Touch (iOS)
  • Google Code Prettify
Top AlternativesJava, JavaScript, Anaconda, PHP, R Language, Scala, Perl, RubyPython, JavaScript, C (Programming Language), C++, Ruby, C#, Go (Programming Language), Rust, Lua
Python vs. Swift Performance Speed/EfficiencyPython isn’t applicable to speed intensive applications. It is slow in terms of speed and is popular in the mainstream despite being slow. In case you require fast execution speed in applications as in gaming apps, Python isn’t the right choice. C# would be a better option.

Performance speed can be increased by getting more servers online.

Swift is faster and more efficient than Python. E.g.: Swift Playgrounds
Standard LibrariesPython has a rich set of standard libraries and frameworks for several purposes. E.g.: Django and Flask for developing web applications, TensorFlow for deep learning, and pandas for data analysis, etc.The Swift standard library encompasses several data types, protocols and functions, including fundamental data types collections along with the protocols that describe them and algorithms that operate on them, low-level primitives, characters and strings.
What makes it popular?
  • Python is very famous for its simple programming syntax, code readability and English-like commands that make coding in Python lot easier and efficient.
  • Python is highly productive as compared to C++.
  • Swift is fast, it’s safe, it’s in-demand.
  • The initial reactions to Swift were mixed owing to new and iOS experienced developers.
  • It brought delight with its code, people enjoyed working with Swift as it was simple, flexible and evolved fast with every release.
  • The documentation includes e-books, tons of community guidelines, podcasts, online and even real-life courses, third-party apps, and of course Swift Playgrounds – a gamified learning experience from Apple.

Pros and Cons: Python vs. Swift

PythonAdvantages of using Python for iOS app development:

  • Great libraries
  • Readable code
  • Rapid development
  • Large community
  • Open-source
  • Elegant
  • Object-oriented
  • Dynamic typing
  • Great standard library
  • Functional programming
  • Scientific computing
  • Great documentation
  • MATLAB alternative
  • Easy to learn/read
  • Fast and simple
  • Scripting
  • Free
  • Ease of development
  • Machine learning support
  • Clear and easy
  • It’s lean and fun to code
  • Great for tooling
  • High Documented language
  • Python has great libraries for data processing
  • Fast coding and good for competitions
  • Readability counts
  • Multiple Inheritance
  • Easy to learn and use
  • Rapid Prototyping
Disadvantages of using Python for iOS app development:

  • Still divided between python 2 and python 3
  • Performance impact
  • The poor syntax for anonymous functions
  • Package management is a mess
  • Hard to understand
  • Poor DSL capabilities
  • No anonymous functions
  • Dynamic typing
  • The explicit self parameter in methods
  • The “lisp style” whitespaces
  • Hard to obfuscate
  • Very slow
  • Indentations matter a lot
  • Threading
  • Fake object-oriented programming
  • Lack of Syntax Sugar leads to “the pyramid of doom”
  • Requires C functions for dynamic modules


SwiftAdvantages of using Swift for iOS app development:

  • Elegant
  • Not Objective-C
  • Backed by apple
  • Type inference
  • Generics
  • Playgrounds
  • Semicolon free
  • OSX
  • Tuples offer compound variables
  • Easy to learn
  • Clean Syntax
  • Functional
  • Open Source
  • Beautiful Code
  • Dynamic
  • Promotes safe, readable code
  • Protocol-oriented programming
  • Storyboard designer
  • Super addicting language, great people, open, elegant
  • Swift is faster than Objective-C
  • Protocol extensions
  • Highly Readable codes
  • Native
  • Feels like a better C++
  • Protocol oriented programming
  • Strong Type safety
  • Fail-safe
  • Can interface with C easily
  • Easy to Maintain
  • Swift is easier to understand for non-iOS developers.
Disadvantages of using Swift for iOS app development:

  • Memory leaks are not uncommon
  • Its classes compile to roughly 300 lines of assembly
  • Very irritatingly picky about things that are
  • The complicated process for exporting modules
  • Overly complex options make it easy to create bad code


Python vs. Swift: Our Take On It

Businesses decide the technology stack for their applications based on their requirements – if it will be a reinvention or a startup-process where everything will be coded from scratch? Whether you wish to wrap app development tasks within 6 months or complete the same project in 4 months – along with paying 20% more for your server? Are you going to focus on the development speed and faster innovation in case the execution speed of the project is the concern?

Python projects take less time to complete but fare low on performance and efficiency. Swift adopts safe programming patterns and adds modern features to make programming easier, more flexible, and more fun. Swift’s clean slate, backed by the mature and much-loved Cocoa and Cocoa Touch frameworks, is an opportunity to reimagine how software development works. Plus the rapid development process, the scalability, improved safety and performance, decreased memory footprint, interoperability with Objective-C, automatic memory management, full-stack potential and cross-device support, vibrant open source community and learnability.

Both Swift and Python have matured with time and each subsequent update. Business owners need to embrace the changes imposed by the changing market. Being prepared to make a switch from one language to the next with minimum effort and at a reasonable cost should be one of the key strategies for 2020 and the near future. Contact our experts here.

About Author
Neeti Kotia

Neeti Kotia

Neeti got her master's degree in software engineering in 2009 and has been working since for software companies of all sizes as a technical writer. What started as a high school passion has now been converted into a serious profession. She has a special knack of learning from all verticals and imbibing the extracts into her writing. She enjoys learning technical aspects of writing from her tasks where her experience and understanding are most impactful.



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