Swift Vs. Objective-C: Comparison between both iOS Programming Language
As the consumer market for mobile phones grows, brands are turning to iOS App Development and Android app development to market their campaigns or launch apps that relate to their brands.
Apps are now an integral element of marketing strategy and Mobile App Development Company are now going all out to develop applications that profit both businesses and consumers.
Putting aside android app development, an iOS App Development Company wants to create an app that is pleasant and valuable for customers. They understand that apps have to be responsive and quick since studies have shown that customers are more likely to delete an app from their device if they think they are getting nothing out of it.
Therefore, companies need to guarantee that their app loads fast and execute even faster. With the spotlight shining bright on iOS App Development, the languages used in application development like Swift and Objective-C come into focus as well.
What is Swift?
Swift is another OS X and iOS app programming language. It was introduced for the first time in 2014. Swift is open source and it was developed by both developers in Apple and external contributors.
It improves upon the best of Objective-C and C attributes without the restrictions of compatibility issues that come with C.
Swift contains examples of safe programming and adds current highlights to lessen demands on programming, to make it more adaptable and fun.
Swift has a spotless slate that is backed by the advances and much beloved Cocoa Touch and Cocoa frameworks.
Advantages of Swift
- The reason for Swift’s popularity is many. Firstly, Apple has provided many excellent development tools along with Swift to use the language effectively. For instance, there is a Playground, launched in 2016 that is compatible with Swift. There are more speed bumps in mobile development than web development. To test an insignificant prototype, you will require a simulator, an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) and you need an entire project. In the case of Apple, you also require a developer account. The best thing with Playground is that you manage to bypass all of this. You still need the Playground of Xcode app. And after that, you can begin coding and compiling right away.
- We can’t forget the utility available only to Swift—the Swift Package Manager, which is a dependency manager. It is integrated with the build system of Swift. It is not a unique add-on, however, as Carthage and CocoPods work as dependency managers, the Swift Package Manager remains an alternative.
- Apple is now focused a lot more on Swift. They are doing many things to make Swift more attractive as the first choice of programming language for iOS developers. They are developing nice auxiliaries and utilities to appeal to people and get them to start using Swift. Thus, Apple is going full force on pushing Swift.
Disadvantages of Swift
- As a young language, Swift comes with shifting. The transferring between versions are honestly a pain. At smaller enterprises, Apple can provide a migration tool that is helpful and will deal with most problems. However, it loses its benefits when you have a high volume of data to migrate. It gets worse when your codebase has both Swift and Objective-C code that interoperate.
- A cause for painful migrations is the factor that Swift is not ABI This means current Swift versions cannot work with the previous versions. This also implies that the language is unpackageable with the OS. This is a huge deal for enterprises with bigger apps that proactively deal with app size because Swift is bundled with the app and expanding its size.
- Swift and Xcode are not the best of friends. Xcode feels disruptive when it is used with Swift and autocomplete fails at times. This is a peculiar fact considering how Apple is pushing hard for Swift.
- String handling is a thing that Swift has a problem with. It makes string handling clunky and it isn’t a bother during daily tasks but if you are sitting for an interview as a developer, you are in trouble since Mobile Development Company love asking candidates about string manipulation. This is boosted by the fact that string handling changes between Swift versions.
What is Objective-C?
The primary programming language for Apple iOS and OS X is called Objective-C, and it was introduced for the first time in 1984. This language, according to Apple, provides capabilities oriented around objects and also offers a powerful runtime.
Objective-C relies on the programming language C. When you use Objective-C, you get support at the language level for your object graph measurements and literals.
Objects are an important element in creating OS X and iOS applications.
Advantages of Objective-C
- Objective-C is immensely dynamic and it is dynamic to a level that developers can switch out method commands at runtime using techniques like Swizzling. It’s able to do all these types of things because of its structure of message sending. This lets object transmit messages to other objects at runtime to identify the command of the method being invoked.
- The other advantage is Objective-C’s runtime adaptability. This implies imitating objects at runtime or accessing APIs that are private. This can be specifically important when you try unit testing. OCMock, a kind of library, makes this simpler and lets you set up extremely elaborate tests. When you conduct proficient unit tests, you will make your application more reliable and stable.
- In regards to stability, Objective-C has been around since the mid-80s and this makes it an extremely stable language. Issues like bugs are common with Swift and that disrupts the stability of your app.
- Lastly, most IOS APP Development Services like Objective-C due to its compatibility with the libraries of C++ and C. Objective-C is the set that includes other sets of C, thus, that makes it easy to use C++ and C code with Objective-C.
Disadvantages of Objective-C
- The major complaint that you will hear about Objective-C is its syntax. It is slightly unconventional and verbose and uses square brackets. This kind of makes new developers do not want to work with Objective-C even though older developers are fine with it.
- The primary problem with Objective-C right now is that Apple might stop the support for it with Cocoa and other libraries used to develop iOS apps. Since iOS apps are primarily developed by using Objective-C, this could be the very end of the language itself. This also makes newcomers not want to learn Objective-C as it may not be relevant in the coming years.
- If we look at the language again, you will find that it is vulnerable to unsolvable bug issues due to the powerful anatomy of the language. For example, the capability to transmit messages to null and breakdown along with no strict typing make debugging difficult.
Swift VS Objective-C
Experts in the domain of iOS App Development have expressed clearly that the very important introduction of Swift does not signal the end of Objective-C entirely, however, when Apple shuts down support, Swift may become the accepted language for app development for Apple watch Mac, iPad, iPhone, etc.
The launch has introduced a decision-making conundrum between the two languages. It conveys a massive amount of confusion for app developers and creates a space for discussing, with reference, whether it is better to learn Swift or Objective-C for iOS development.
Let’s take a closer look at the argument of Swift VS Objective-C:
- In Objective-C, more coding is required when it comes to string concatenation, class division, and string control. It also involves writing uninteresting proclamations. On the other end, Swift requires a drastically reduced coding length due to adding more operators. Moreover, the need to recall the token is diminished with string interpolation where features can be inserted directly into the string. The possibility of crashing an app due to botched up requests is reduced with a framework of type inferencing.
- Swift is becoming less demanding to compose and use. The code looks like simple English with a clean syntax. The deletion of all legacy traditions like square brackets has made the language more expressive and the code easy to explain. In Swift, the parameter rundown isolated by commas within the enclosure is maximized for function.
- When you create an app with Objective-C, you need to maintain two records of code to boost the construct efficiency and time. This recordkeeping was entirely dropped by Swift with LLVM and Xcode compilers. These compilers will find the dependencies, do incremental forms and integrate the Objective-C header and records in Swift code that records automatically. Swift actually reduces the monotonous operation, bookkeeping, and workload. Thus, developers get more opportunities to concentrate on changing the quality code and logic creation. Within a year of its launch, Swift was announced as open source which made it more prominent and becomes more utilized through various stages of development.
Which Language Should You Learn?
Swift is becoming the primary choice for iOS app development in the community. Swift will only gain more and more prominence once it gains ABI stability and it becomes packed with the OS.
If you are looking for a job in any iOS App Development Company, Swift will be the language you will need to learn. Many startups and medium enterprises will have their iOS applications written entirely in Swift.
This implies you will be able to apply and get more interviews for jobs when you learn Swift.
Even with bigger enterprises that uses Objective-C, interviews can still be conducted in Swift. You can still pick up Objective-C when you join the enterprise and not burden yourself to learn more things before interviews.
Learning Objective-C can be helpful when you are already working at a medium enterprise or a startup and want to try for a bigger company. Objective-C skills give you specialized knowledge and put you above in the competition.
Therefore, in a way, both languages have a lot to offer in terms of app development. If you have a background in Objective-C, Swift becomes an add-on skill that will only profit you when it comes to your skillset and job opportunities.
However, in the recent industry talk of Apple pulling their support for Objective-C, learning Swift is bound to gain more importance in the future.
Swift VS Objective-C? Which one to choose? To be honest, the case rests on you. One is older, more popular, even though it’s a bit difficult to learn with more developers out there who do know how to use it.
The other is new but progressing at a quick pace. It’s thought as the safer choice when compared to Objective-C and much easier to learn. Yet, Swift is still not the best option for big projects.
However, the circumstance is what calls for the decision between Objective-C and Swift. You may lean towards one over the another based on the timeline and size of your project, and how comfortable you and your team are with either.
Always consider the pros and cons of your tools, their stability, APIs and runtime.
Regardless of what you choose, Swift is going to be the future programming language, so even if you haven’t dipped your toes into it yet, you still have time to figure it out.