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Swift and Objective-C: An Overview (2023)

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Swift and Objective-C: An Overview (2023)

iOS development has come a long way over the past decade and we have seen the market take over others and lead the charts. Apple is known for the consistency it delivers and the focus it depicts on user experience and the overall design of its apps and actual products.


When we look at why developers are leaning towards iOS development more so every day and it is the go-to choice for upcoming coding enthusiasts, it is important to see what kind of initiatives Apple took and how it helped them in the long run.


iOS thrives on the concept of solving complex problems through simplicity. Back in the day, during the late 1980s and early 90s, when Apple was just starting off and gaining traction in the world of technology, Objective-C deserves credit for upholding the entire structures of Mac OS X and early-stage Macintosh products.


However, over time, Apple improvised and launched its own exclusive programming language called Swift. The development ecosystem had evolved and Objective-C had to take a step back. To this day though, both languages compete with each other and define the Apple development environment.


In this short article, we will take a look at both languages and see what makes each special and what you should choose.


When you set out to look for a mobile app development company in Chicago, most would provide a structured overview and will let you know what the roadmap will look like. Now, with Objective-C, there is more room for change and improvisations as the language has been around for a long time now.


Objective-C has a community of developers who actively contribute to different forums and share their insights. To see different libraries and take inspiration, there is Apple archive and community forums. And it is a stable language that has been around for more than 30 years. You can count on Objective-C to stay afloat and running.


Plus, Objective-C has reached its final stage and there are no more experiments going on. The last update was a few years and it is still running fine. Here are a few highlighted advantages:


  • Approved and well-documented over the years
  • Private APIs are around and easy to access
  • Stable and filled with accessible libraries
  • Compatible with both C++ and C#


Now, Swift was launched as a brainchild by Apple back in 2014 and is now the standard high-level programming language as recommended by Apple for iOS projects. The concept of Swift picked up in 2010 and with four years of development and with routinely updates, here we are. Swift is designed to be easy to understand, have an interactive IDE, and be incredibly supportive to developers.


In terms of features and the overall look, Swift outnumbers Objective-C by a huge mile as the language was specifically designed to be better than Objective-C in most areas. However, Swift still has a long way to go and is relatively new.


The main highlight of Swift is how it is supported and powered by Apple. In case of any mishap or communication gap, Apple support is always there on the sideline. With better collaboration, you can rely on Swift for app development. Going for an iOS app development service in Miami is worth the effort. We will mention a few noteworthy advantages:


  • It is faster and up to date. Over 2.6x times faster than Objective-c
  • The syntax is easy and readable
  • The code is easy to compile and takes less space
  • An open-source language where the contribution from experts is emphasized


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1.   Is there any difference between Swift and Objective-C?

Yes. Swift is a general-purpose language and is specifically designed as an open-source high-level tool that focuses on delivering complex projects, while not compromising on safety and performance.


Objective-C is rather a sub-set of the C language and is recognized for its object-oriented structure and has a dynamic type outlook. While Swift was created by Apple, Objective-C had more of a rough upbringing with Brad Cox and Tom Love taking the credit at their company, Stepstone.


2.   Why is Swift faster than Objective-C?

Apple does claim that Swift is designed to be better than Objective-C in terms of performance and processing speeds and quoted an exact figure of over 2.6x times better. And when we look at Swift to verify this claim, it seems so very likely.


The syntax with Swift is clean and easy to understand. During the compilation stage, it barely took any time for the IDE to pass the code and provide constructive feedback. The compatibility with other tools makes Swift stand out and be better. As an emerging language, it is faster than its counterparts.


3.   Do I need to know Objective-C before Swift?

No. This is a common misconception that Swift is a successor to Objective-C and includes the same fundamental logic and you need to understand one to learn another. The good news is that Swift is completely different than Objective-C in terms of functionality and the way developers are equipped to interact on the IDE.


There is a reason why most iOS developers go straight to Swift and not any other source. Accessible and inclusive for even those who have no prior coding experience, Swift stands out.



Final Thoughts

Let us elaborate on the open-source part of Swift. Now, this is where both languages work together seamlessly. Swift is an open-source platform where developers can take a glimpse at any other programming language and take inspiration from it. Whether it is C++ or Objective-C itself.


We suggest you proceed with Swift but keep Objective-C on the side as well. Take full advantage of the extensive libraries around Objective-C and merge them with Swift. In the near future, we predict that the App Store will cover more than 5 million apps ranging from all sorts of categories. A massive growth from the 1.92 million apps right now.


With the help of both Swift and Objective-C, users can look over gaming apps, educational apps, entertainment apps, lifestyle apps, productivity apps, healthcare apps, and much more. It is an endless list with a broad range of categories.

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