iOS app development enjoys great demand worldwide. Creating mobile apps with iOS is much wanted and hence choosing the right iOS programming language is crucial. And when we talk about programming languages for iOS, two popular names that come forward are Swift and Objective C.
There has been a constant comparison between Swift vs Objective C. Both have their own fan base enjoying their key potentials, with certain similarities and certain differences. As you attempt to choose between Swift or Objective C, you must consider the pros, cons, features, and comparison details between the two.
Before we plunge into further details of both stalwarts of the iOS application development arena, let us take a glimpse at each of them individually.
Swift is a powerful and intuitive programming language for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS. It is a general-purpose, high-level programming language that supports multiple devices and operating systems. Swift code is collaborative, and it has a brief syntax that is expressive with modernized features. The software created by Swift is fast and secure.
It was introduced by Apple in 2014 and is now considered the next-generation language for iOS app development. Swift app development is known for its modern and easy syntax. As an open-source language, it is compatible with Objective C also. Swift offers automatic memory management, and variable initialization prior to obstacles and prevents integers from overflowing their assigned memory.
Objective C is the primary programming language you use when writing software for OS X and iOS. It’s a superset of the C programming language and provides object-oriented capabilities and dynamic runtime. What is Objective C – it is an object-oriented and general-purpose language, it made its entry in 1984 and since then, it has been offering multiple features to developers.
It was acquired by Apple in 1997 and was the main language to develop iOS apps until 2014 when Swift entered. It is a procedural-oriented, functional, small-talk style messaging language and possesses maximum features of C and C++. It is a superset of the C language and dynamically loads the code. It is reflective and class-based with static and dynamic typed programming features.
Good Read: Top 20 Popular Apps Built Using Swift
|Introduction||A general-purpose, high-level programming language, developed by Chris Lattner, started in 2014||An object-oriented, general-purpose language, developed by Brad Cox and Tom Love, in 1984|
|Influenced by||Objective C, Rust, Python, Ruby||Smalltalk, C|
|Type||Static type uses value types, which helps in avoiding issues||Dynamic type, variables can hold values of any type,|
|License||Apache-licensed||General Public License|
|Designed For||Creating applications for Apple TV, iOS, Mac, and Apple Watch||Creating smalltalk messaging features|
|Classes||Supports only classes||Supports both structs and classes|
|Polymorphism||Polymorphism does not exist directly but lets you write code that can be applied||Polymorphisms exist directly in compile time and can be used to extend the functionality|
|Development Environment||Xcode, Swift Playground, Cocoa Touch, etc.||Mainly Xcode|
|Theory||Declares type-level methods for calling implemented functionalities||Makes use of messages for calling implemented functionalities|
|Boolean Operators||Uses true and false values||Uses YES, NO values|
|Templates & Libraries||Offers a diverse range of library supports||Does not have a variety of templates and libraries|
|Community Support||Growing community support from Apple and other organizations||Lesser community support from Apple and other organizations|
|Documentation||Growing and constantly updated documentation||Detailed documentation that is sufficient|
|Writing Variables||Allows users to write variables without mentioning data types, support for some fixed data types||Allows users to write variables while mentioning the data types, allows all types of variables|
|Coding Speed||Swift has a faster coding speed due to easy syntax and less strict rules||Objective C has a tougher coding standard due to difficult syntax|
|Compatibility with Platforms||Backward compatibility is not supported and hence needs updates while changing versions||Compatible with all versions of iOS and does not need change with every new version|
|Maturity Levels||Swift is young, bright, and on its way to attaining increasing maturity||Objective C is experienced and hence has completely matured|
|Code Safety||Fast bug recognition and fixing||NOP because of null pointers leading to bugs|
|File Maintenance||Single code file maintenance||Two code file maintenance|
|Syntax||English-like coding style leading to the simple development strategy||Utilization of symbols and parentheses|
|Code Length||Fewer lines of code and a brief coding pattern||Extensive and verbose coding pattern|
|Memory Management||Usage of ARC supporting all APIs||Support for ARC only with Cocoa API|
|Library Support||Integration support for dynamic libraries||Integration support for static libraries|
|Support for Operators||Arithmetic, Logical, Bitwise, Relational, Assignment, Range, Miscellaneous||Logical, Arithmetic, Bitwise, Relational, Assignment|
|Support for Components||Supports Functions, Dictionaries, Closures, Structures, Enumerations, Typecasting, Optional chaining, Generics, etc.||Supports Extensions, Dynamic Binding, Protocol, Posing, Memory Management, Auto generation of accessors, etc.|
|Method Calling||Calling a method is fixed at compile time||Calling a method is fixed at runtime with the addition of classes|
|Error Handling||Errors can be managed with the help of protocols||Errors can be handled with nil by sending messages to nil objects|
|Operator Overloading||There is support for global operator overloading with a lot of capacity and simplicity||No support but can be implemented through various methods|
|Long Term Support||Fastly progressing language||Continuous support by Apple|
The constant comparison between Swift and Objective C doesn’t seem to be wading off, in fact, it is getting interesting by the day. In the world of mobile app development, one of them is a traditional choice with years of experience and the other is a young one with modern features. Both have their pros and cons. As you compare Objective C vs Swift, you observe that both are supported by Apple and enjoy a huge fan following.
When you set out to select the apt iOS programming language for your project and evaluate Swift Versus Objective C, here are a few parameters that must be kept in mind – skills available in the team, project timelines, project size, budgeted costs, future of the project, etc. Swift is relatively new and, hence offers modern solutions. Objective-C is traditionally old and offers a lot of experienced solutions.
Based on the above evaluation and experience, here is when to select what while analyzing Objective-C vs Swift.
Choose Swift if:
Choose Objective-C if:
When we assess Swift Vs Objective-C, Swift is the language of the future but then Objective-C is old and hence gold.
To each their own!
Choose either – Objective-C vs Swift and it is a beneficial deal.
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