Swift or Objective C - What to Choose for iOS Development?
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By: Sagar Sharma

Swift or Objective C - What to Choose for iOS Development?

For many years, mobile app development world has given a predominant place to Objective-C. It is a compound of C language and is used extensively for developing iOS and OS mobile applications. It is enriched with object-oriented features and efficient runtime. It was a dominant language used for iOS development, until Apple launched a unique programming language in 2014 called Swift.

In comparison to Objective-C, Swift is safer, more concise, and sophisticated programming language. Additionally, it encourages interactive development system. It consists of features such as generics, short syntax, closures and type interface. These features simplify the coding and eliminate complicated patterns that was experienced in Objective-C.

While Objective-C has proven to be stable and has dominated iPhone app development for many years, Swift has emerged as the newest and unique programming language. It provides numerous benefits and a modern way of coding.
Despite the unique functionality and features of Swift, developers still feel the dilemma in selecting the right programming language for better iOS app development.

Let us understand both these programming languages in brief so that you can take the right decision for iPhone app development.

Objective C at a glance

Object-C is a compiler-based object-oriented language, and it first appeared in the 1980s. Apple had acquired this programming language, and it became the fundamental basis for iOS and OS X apps development. It adds Smalltalk-style messaging to the C programming language. NeXT selected Objective-C as the main language for its NeXTSTEP operating system, from which macOS and iOS are derived.

Swift at a glance

Swift is a general-purpose compiled programming language developed by Apple for iOS, macOS, watchOS, tvOS, Linux, and z/OS. It is primarily designed to work with Apple’s Cocoa and Cocoa Touch frameworks.

Apple built Swift with the intention of supporting many core aspects of Objective-C. Additionally, it has features that address some common programming errors like null pointer dereferencing.

Key Differences of Swift or Objective C for iOS Development

Let us now understand both these programming languages through key differences which we will discuss below.

SwiftObjective-C
Types are enforced at compile timeTypes are checked but not enforced in the compile time
Prevents out of bounds and stack overflowsOccurrence of out of bounds and stack overflows
One file contains both interface and implementationSeparate header files and implementation files
Static method of dispatch for all value typesDynamic method of sending messages
No support for Objective-C++Supports Objective-C++
Automatic memory management for CoreFoundationManual memory management for CoreFoundation

 

Objective-C

1. Long Lasting Experience

Objective-C has been in use for more than 30 years, which has contributed to its development and maturity. It is a well-tested language, and millions of code lines are written in it. Additionally, it consists of a large number of libraries, comprehensive documentation (including open source), and tutorials.

In short, Objective-C offers reliability of the code and ensures easy finding of answer to any question.

2. It is a stable language

Long and dominating existence in the world of mobile app development makes Objective-C a stable language. It is considered mature and does not need to release constant updates and versions.

Additionally, you can develop your application without the fear of spending extra money and effort when you migrate it to a new version every few months.

3. Easy use of Private APIs

In cases where a custom solution is inevitable, Objective-C is easier to connect with private APIs. For example, when you need to a specific color change or integration, this programming language comes to the rescue.

Additionally, this particular characteristic becomes helpful when it comes to unit testing. Good unit tests will help you improve your app’s stability and reliability.

4. Good Compatibility with C++

Objective-C is a superset of C, and therefore, it is easy to integrate C and C++ code into Objective-C. Moreover, you can also use Objective C++ if you are well-inclined. The compatibility feature is helpful, especially when you are dependent on third-party C and C++ libraries.

Swift

1. Faster Development

Swift helps programmers to free themselves from the redundant work. It is because they can accomplish a task with fewer lines of code, which ultimately saves time. Additionally, the conciseness of the code ensures fewer errors and eliminates the redo of the work and fix bugs. Due to this, Swift provides faster time-to-market and improved app monetization.

2. Advanced Functionality

Swift offers more functions and features when compared with Objective-C. These functions include the optimized memory management, support for dynamic libraries, and namespace differentiation. Additionally, it can completely interact with Objective-C code.

3. Safer

Today, app data security has become an inevitable aspect to make your product successful. The structure of Swift has been designed in such a way that it eliminates and avoids mistakes with the help of its features such as generics, optionals, and type interference. All these characteristics of the language help in achieving app stability. Therefore, apps developed using Swift are less prone to bugs and crashes.

4. Dynamic iOS Swift Libraries

One of the biggest changes in iOS Swift libraries is the replacement of static libraries with the dynamic ones. Dynamic libraries are pieces of code that can be connected directly to an app, while the updates of the static libraries are conducted only when some major updates are rolled out.

As a result, an application can use the most up-to-date versions of Swift. It indicates that the language is capable of developing faster than the iOS platform. The use of dynamic libraries allows to reduce the initial size of the app, as it is loaded into the memory and all external code will run only when it is needed. Therefore, the initial waiting time has reduced.

5. Better Memory Management

When it comes to supporting ARC, Swift is more unified. Its ARC is complete for code paths like procedural and object-oriented. Therefore, there are no extensive leaks of memory when you use this language for iOS development.

Thus, coders do not need to worry about the memory for each digital object when they use Swift and can focus on core app logic.

The Last Words

From the above comparison of Objective-C and Swift, you can understand that both these languages are efficient and robust in their different ways. Both of them have their unique and promising features that will help you build your dream iOS app.

Hire iOS developers from Credencys who have in-depth knowledge about both the languages. They have proven experience of developing high-performing iPhone apps that will help you take your business to new heights of success.

Stay updated with the latest tech-trends and evolving practices in software development with Insights by Credencys

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