Several app developers have lauded Apple’s Swift for one good reason that is its simplicity. It is simple in such a way that “everyone would be able to make apps”. And to make it even simpler, many excellent resources for studying the programming language are available online. Apple has itself developed an incremental lesson guide.
As of this writing, the open source development has reached to its third version. If Apple’s Craig Federighi himself has stated that it could be “the next programming language that people would be using for the coming decades,” then any budding app developer should certainly invest time in learning it.
Advantages of Swift
In order to get a good overview of just how good this programming language is, it is vital to highlight the advantages that it has over others of its kind. Here they are as follows:
- Easier to learn for beginners — If you do not have programming experience of any kind, then Swift is the best choice for you. Swift’s code is easier to read and write and appears to be more natural to learners without programming education.
- Uses less code — One of the distinct benefits of using lesser code is that it makes it easier for you to read it. While this does not necessarily reduce the difficulty in coding it, it does save you valuable time, once you have mastered it.
- Performs better and faster — In fact, many programmers liken it to C++ in terms of speed in algorithm calculation. What is good is that Apple is still employing ways to speed it up more, making it the more optimised choice.
- It is open source — This speaks volumes about the versatility of this language. The fact that it is slowly expanding to other platforms like Linux (and there are even developers who are working hard to make it support Android) is proof enough of this.
- More compatible with other platforms — This basically means that Swift is more amenable to other programming languages. It will not take long for you to learn its code if you already know other languages. It acts as that much-needed unifier, whether you are writing scripts in Ruby or Python. This is presumably the reason why Apple is shifting more of its focus to Swift in the future.
What is it like to develop apps using Swift?
A major part of the reason why many developers like Swift is that it allows ready testing of code. You can freely type a code in a file and reap ready benefits from it immediately; unlike in C-family languages where programmers are required to use functions.
This is made possible by so-called Swift Playgrounds, which streamlines app development as it allows you to gain a good overview of data. This means you can easily correct any mistakes you make along the way. A Playground is able to render your algorithm’s effects in real-time, and as you adjust the parameters, its effects can be viewed live. This is not the same case for other languages where you need to repeatedly do a number of steps just to make changes and get the result you want.
The author is a senior marketing executive at Top App Creators, a comprehensive listing service that acts as a platform for app development companies to showcase their services to prospective clients.