As you guys know on, July 2nd 2014 marked yet another milestone for the digital giant Apple. Apple announced during the Worldwide Developer Conference its newest programming language called ‘Swift’ for both iOs and OS X.

For the company, Swift is the safer, faster and more modern than the current programming languages.
Developers present at the conference as well as around the world have mixed reactions about the announcement, figuring what Swift would mean to their current mobile app development strategies. While the reaction is mostly positive, some experts are skeptical about adding yet another tool to the already complex pool of programming languages.

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According to Vice President Craig Federighi, Swift is somewhat similar to Objective-C minus the C. Before we dig deeper into the challenges though, let’s outline the aspects that the non-skeptics are happy about.
  1. Swift makes mobile apps run more smoothly and faster.
  2. Swift creates new levels of interactivity for iOs platform-built apps.
  3. Swift supports code reuse.
  4. Swift allows real-time code sampling.
  5. Swift eliminates various common programming errors.
  6. Swift co-exists with the Objective-C codes.
  7. Swift can be easily integrated to existing apps.
  8. Swift comes with complete Xcode support.
Apple dubbed Swift as a developer-friendly language. Away from the syntax, however, one factor that skeptics find hard to believe is why roll out yet another programming language when it can easily adopt an existing language.
Also, why would Apple choose to launch a new programming language that might lead to the abandonment of Objective-C? We are not so sure whether Apple is forcing the developers to abandon other languages and continue within the Apple’s ecosystem exclusively like what it did to Objective-C, a language that is only relevant to Apple.
What we know for sure is that Apple should live by its ‘safer, faster and more modern’ claim otherwise the developers will not be encouraged to use Swift. There are three reasons to ponder on.

Learnability

Swift should be easily to learn, or no developer will risk their precious time to learn it. Apple offers two free e-books on iBooks store, but are these enough? Should developers learn then adopt or adopt then learn the language?

Efficiency

Swift should make iOs and Mac programming much easier as well as more efficient than programming using Objective-C. The type of runtime affects speed, but Swift is actually using the same runtime type that Objective-C is using, so how it can be made faster?

Performance

Swift should produce the same quality (or much better) programs and applications than what Objective-C can produce or else no developer will stick with it.
For one, the mercy of Swift is the possibility of developing an app using both Objective-C and Swift. So, if you are a developer who is familiar with Objective-C and is going to use a feature not present in Object-C, then you can easily switch with using Swift. That’s how they co-exist.
However, a developer can choose to end coding statements with a semi-colon which is a basic of Objective-C and C. This can only create confusions. This is yet another argument against Swift.

What does this mean for Objective-C loyal developers? Simple, really. Both the skeptics and non-skeptics will continue to use Objective-C. There are major mobile app development issues that only Objective-C can solve such as the manipulation of raw data (that of the binary format). Also, in the US alone, there are over 270,000 licensed iOS developers, the majority of which are familiar with Objective-C. Be reminded that Objective-C was introduced about 20 years ago.

Some seasoned developers, who know every nook and cranny of Objective-C, may try Swift, but this doesn’t mean that they will abandon Objective-C. Some may switch to Swift although most of these developers will definitely continue to use Objective-C because of knowledge and trust factors.

Nonetheless, the up-and-coming and some already-certified developers must continue to learn Objective-C in writing and coding apps. This is especially true since most APIs as well as libraries are written using the Objective-C platform.

In sum, yes, there are several challenges to switching from Objective-C to Swift. In the meantime, Swift is beta tested by Apple’s developer program members. We may only know the greater impact once developers worldwide get their hands on Swift. When that time finally comes, it would be better to give Swift a try.

Swift has many features that aren’t present on Objective-C such as default parameters, generics, templates and closures – the features that Objective-C developers have longed for for a long time now. Don’t expect too much though because programming languages like this requires real-world examples to determine whether to adopt or not.

We live in an ever-changing mobile landscape. Enter Swift. It can be the only way to keep up with the changes. So, in a time where changes swiftly come, the only way is to try to adopt and decide later to stick with it or not.


Author Bio
Jeric is a blogger and a social media enthusiast. Love to read books and watch movie. He’s currently working in Optimind Technology Solutions, a digital marketing agency that provides SEO, web design, Facebook app and mobile app development.

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As you guys know on, July 2nd 2014 marked yet another milestone for the digital giant Apple. Apple announced during the Worldwide Developer Conference its newest programming language called ‘Swift’ for both iOs and OS X. For the company, Swift is the safer, faster and more modern than the current...