Swift vs Objective C: Which one is better? in 2023

The biggest difference is in iOS compatibility and the ease of UI development. Xcode provides you with Software Development Kits that give virtually everything you will need for iOS app development. Moreover, there are customizable pre-built elements you can use in your application. Although you could think of virtually dozens of features to compare, we decided to focus on the ten most important issues. They all influence the costs, quality, and convenience of iOS application development.

Advantages of Objective-C

However, there are other useful tools for different purposes that can enrich the standard Swift capabilities. For example, Alamofire is a powerful HTTP networking library for iOS and macOS that helps simplify a lot of networking tasks. Besides, there is a Swift Core Libraries project that provides a higher level of functionality and contains a robust suite of APIs that are consistent across different platforms. That means the code will be portable to all platforms that Swift supports.

Five Reasons for Using Swift

On top of that, Apple clearly intends to support the language as a core part of Apple OS development, as it continues to create and release increasingly robust APIs designed for Swift. Objective-C was introduced in the 1980s, and introduced tools that eventually became the Cocoa platform for iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS development. It’s based on an object-oriented programming approach, which revolves around dividing code into classes and methods. As the natural language of the iOS framework, Objective-C is a superset of C, but adds additional features like a bracket-style messaging syntax. Swift is a programming language that was released by Apple in 2014.

Switching to Objective-C, Cocoa and Mac OS X i found I became much more productive. Hard to say exactly how much more productive, but 50% to 100% feels right. Connect and share knowledge within a single location that is structured and easy to search. Other well-known apps like Yahoo Weather, Clear, Hipmunk, WordPress and Firefox iOS apps are also using Swift.

Let’s take a look at some of the advantages of this Programming Language. Objective-C is built on top of C, therefore namespacing is required. All classes in an Objective-C program should be distinct worldwide. As a result, developers employ the practice of prefixing class names with ‘NS’ to avoid conflict.

Accordingly, it usually takes less time to build iOS apps with Swift. It introduced a stable version of the application binary interface across Apple’s platforms. That was a giant step toward helping developers use Swift on dedicated OSs like iOS, macOS, tvOS, watchOS and upcoming iPadOS. Needless to say, Apple is building a solid ecosystem, as now standard Swift libraries are included in OS releases. If your application was initially written in Objective-C and has more than 100,000 lines of code, there is no point in porting it to Swift. It is best to update and maintain your product using the C constructions.

Finding Objective-C and Swift Development Services

Memory-safe means that it avoids vulnerabilities linked to uninitialized pointers, which could lead to a program crashing. With a shorter feedback loop , developers can see any code errors, reducing the time spent on debugging and removing the risk of low quality code. The official Apple website claims that Swift is 2.6 times faster than Objective-C, helping with cost-saving measures. As noted above with the Lyft example, businesses can develop an iOS app using Swift quickly as it requires much less code than other languages.

Besides, Swift is among the top 5 most starred languages on GitHub, coming after Go, TypeScript, and Rust. Over the years, multiple benchmarks and tests conducted by individual developers have proved that. Moreover, there are many ways to optimize Swift code for even better performance. With a focus on performance and speed, the language was initially designed to outperform its predecessor.

It isn’t the only difference regarding the development environment though. You can use it to learn to code in Swift, but also as an environment for testing small parts of code without compiling all the code and creating a complete application. Simply, when you have an idea for a solution, you write the code in Playgrounds and instantly check how it works.

Objective-C programming extends the C programming language to include messaging capabilities. Initially created for Apple platforms it is slowly expanding to build on Linux. There are already solutions, that allow writing backends on Swift. Swift code will be more portable to other platforms than Objective-C could ever be. Sometimes, it can be very difficult to write, but brings more benefits, being highly reusable. Both Swift and Objective-C can be used to develop applications for macOS, iOS, tvOS, watch OS, and CarPlay.

This led to other parties developing such runtime libraries under open source license. Later, Steve Naroff was also principal contributor to work at Apple to build the Objective-C frontend to Clang. Love and Cox eventually formed PPI to commercialize their product, which coupled an Objective-C compiler with class libraries. In 1986, Cox published the main description of Objective-C in its original form in the book Object-Oriented Programming, An Evolutionary Approach. Swift language and Objective-C works perfectly with each other. Comparing Swift and Objective-C has a whole lot of advantages.

Automatic memory management with ARC

Swift code almost mirrors natural English, in addition to other contemporary programming languages. Swift was announced open-source in 2015, which opens up the language to the potential to be used across a variety of platforms and for backend infrastructure. Not only has Swift taken off successfully because it’s well structured and designed, but also because many developers have supported it. Dynamic libraries in Swift are directly uploaded to the memory, cutting down on the initial size of the app and ultimately increasing app performance.

It was introduced in the Swift 5.1 release and is available starting with Xcode 11 beta. SwiftUI replaces the old View and ViewController classes and provides a modern API for creating user interfaces. SwiftUI is component-based, making it easy to create complex user interfaces by compositing simple components. objective c vs swift Components can be nested to create complex hierarchies, and they can be reused across multiple apps and screens. Each element has a well-defined set of properties that you can use to configure its appearance and behavior. In addition to its powerful declarative syntax, SwiftUI also offers efficient animation.

Advantages of Objective-C

That was a real challenge for many of them to develop apps on Objective-C because they had had no experience with it before. Due to several key features, Swift has the potential to become the only preferred programming language for creating engaging, flexible, consumer-friendly applications. It creates compiler error every time developers use the null-pointer variables in source code and even generates feedback loop, warning developers to shun null-pointer variable. Mobile App Development Industry has seen the rise and fall of a number of app programming languages, ever since its inception. While there are some that took their last breath and left the industry, we saw new entrants like Kotlin in recent times. Swift Playgrounds has introduced new opportunities to developers.

Swift vs. Objective-C Programming Languages: Differences

Over 60,000 people took a clone of the Swift project in the first week after the announcement. At the same time, the language was listed among the top 10 “most wanted” technologies. It is designed so that a newbie in programming can easily get started. It has a very steep learning curve, and not everyone can master this language. With it, even ordinary users have learned how to take professional photos. This social network has millions of users around the world who upload personalized content for everyone to see.

  • In contrast, Swift is not limited to Apple OS. In 2015 it became an open source and cross-platform programming language.
  • Playgrounds is a feature that enables programmers to test out a new algorithm without having to create an entire app.
  • As Swift is a more complex language and more feature-rich, it is harder to ensure that everything is exact.
  • As a result, programmers can write fewer lines of code than in Objective-C to achieve the same quality and functionality.
  • Swift has almost all the advantages of Objective-C plus a lot more room for development.

Unlike Objective-C, Swift was built for the average developer. It is easy to learn and has a syntax that allows programmers to self-learn. Another key attribute is that Objective-C applications can inspect all defined classes at runtime while allowing for custom classes and new methods. Certain Apple classes and scripting languages capitalize on this to offer helpful capabilities.

Recommended Read: Pros and Cons of Swift for iOS Development

You will also have cleaner code and you will spend less time looking for bugs down the road, as time passes by. Objective-C is over 30 years old now and that means that it has a more clunky syntax. Swift is able to streamline code and more closely resembles readable English, similar to C#, C++, JavaScript, Java, and Python. Developers experienced in these languages can easily pick up swift pretty quickly. Compared to Objective-C which is verbose when it comes to string manipulation, Swift employs string interpolation without the use of tokens or placeholders.

Why Use Swift?

The last but not least important stop on your trip might be Swift documentation, which has a structured view of libraries, data models, and language interoperability. Intro to App Development with Swift will teach you how to actually create an application with Swift as a practical course. App Development with Swift is a book explaining the basics and advances of the language, and serves as a required theoretical base if you want to become a Swift developer. Its strong typing system and error handling prevents code crashes and errors in production. Since Apple decided to make Swift an open sourced language in 2015, its growth has been tremendous.

Swift, if compared to Objective-C, is more unified so that it’s ARC is complete for such code paths as procedural and object-oriented. That is why the extensive leaks of memory when iOS development by means of this language are impossible. Moreover, automatic Swift memory management obviates the need to use semicolons.

We can take our recently developed Swift framework for interacting with RESTful web services, “TRON,” as an example. Thus, let’s discover the pros and cons of each, starting with Objective-C. Check out the detailed Swift vs Objective-C comparison and analysis prepared by our software outsourcing company to make the best choice. With our specialists.We have been creating successful projects for many years and love sharing our knowledge and experience. Apple is fully focused on Swift development so, it has a bright future.

For beginners, the OOP principles and the verbose syntax are usually a hard nut to crack. Nevertheless, Objective-C shouldn’t be difficult to learn for those who are familiar with C-based programming languages, e.g. A sufficient amount of documentation and tutorials are available to master Objective-C as well. ARC , the memory management functionality inside the Clang compiler, manages the memory of digital objects. Let’s now check out the advantages of Swift over the Objective-C programming language. Both Swift and Objective-C are among the top 20 most widely used programming languages worldwide.

Let’s look at this Swift vs Objective-C battle from the outside of it and try to define the advantages of the first one. The developer Romain Goyet worked with Swift on Android – and has gained some success. Although it was long before Swift moved to the open-source, it proves that such work can be done. He used the Android NDK, which allows implementing other languages on this platform. Swift adds language features that make developers’ code safer, faster, more reliable, and more predictable compared to Objective-C.

Swift is easier to read

It is basically a training program that will teach you interactively how to code stuff with Swift. Largely due to frequent updates, as mentioned above, it is often hard to find the right tools to help with certain tasks. Moreover, the official Apple IDE, XCode, lags in terms of tooling and support for Swift. Developers often report issues with syntax highlighting, autocomplete, refactoring tools, and compilers. Backed up by one of the most influential tech companies in the world, Swift is set to become the dominant language for iOS development and beyond.


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