Before Java became one of the most robust programming languages and a hotshot in the Android industry, it was just a language in progress that was frequently updated to achieve more stable, reliable, and versatile technology. Not that this blog is on Java but the technology needs to be mentioned because Swift technology is following in the steps of Java. Swift is gradually transforming into a powerful language with consistent improvements and constant enhancements. More and more advanced and complex applications are now built in Swift. Development companies and iOS developers prefer Swift over Objective C as it is more interactive, flexible, and fun to work with. Combining the best out of both C and Objective C, Swift does not have any limitations on C compatibility. It is considered as a safe and secure programming language. The language has a clean state that is compatible with Cocoa and Cocoa Touch, not to mention, loved equally.
The Rise of Swift Technology
Before 2014, Objective C was the ideal iOS programming language used to build iOS and OSX applications and software. With Apple announcing the launch of the new language. Swift in 2014, the game changed forever. As compared to Objective C, Swift was received as a modern and more refined language. The language allows developers to build iOS applications with high-level interactivity. In the following months of the launch of Swift, the downloads were more than 11 million, thus, becoming the most loved technology language in 2015. In 2017, it was mentioned as the most rapidly growing programming language in the TIOBE Index.
Despite this impressive growth trajectory, the language is yet to win the hearts of some startups and SMEs. Businesses that are still in a dilemma as to which language they should use to build their iOS application can use this blog as the guide wherein we explain why Swift, or to be precise, Swift 5 should be the ultimate technology that must be used for creating your iOS application.
With Swift 5, it just got bigger, better, faster!
Said to be one of the biggest milestones, Swift 5 update has contributed greatly to the language and its community. Not only it offers exceptional ABI stability, but the runtime has been added in the current and future Apple’s OS versions for varied platforms (iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS). The language came with several new competencies in its latest version that was released in March 2019. Here is a quick overview of the new features that will help you understand better but you can refer to the release notes to learn more.
Stable ABI & Binary Compatibility
Stable ABI was affirmed in case of Swift 5 iOS application development, thus resulting in integration of Swift libraries in each iOS, watchOS, macOS, and tvOS. Earlier it was a challenging issue for developers while building iOS applications. As a result, the applications built in Swift 5 would not only be easily developed but would also be relatively smaller in size.
Standard Library Updates
Standard library of Swift 5 has the following set of new features:
Reimplementation of the string using UTF-8 encoding that enables faster code.
Improved support for raw texts in string literals.
Addition of SIMD vector and Result types.
Set and Directory performance improvement.
Flexible tex construction from data and enhanced string implementation.
Compiler & Language Updates
Package Manager Updates
In Swift 5 app development version, there are several new features that come in Swift Package Manager such as target-specific build management, customized deployment targets, generation of code coverage data, and dependency mirroring. Additionally, with Swift run command, the developers will be able to import libraries in REPL.
What about Swift 5.1?
Swift 5.1 is the more evolved version of Swift 5 that offers features that expand the competence of the language. It offers module stability and standard library that includes property wrappers, opaque result types, new APIs for String, etc. Here are the main features of Swift 5.1 To learn more, you can refer to the release notes of Swift 5.1.
With Swift 5.1 you can build binary frameworks that can be shared with other developers or tech enthusiasts who want to harness the language’s capability to offer module stability. As a result, the iOS developers can develop iOS applications in a faster and simpler manner. A new text-based model interface file has been defined that outlines the binary framework API, thus allowing it to be compiled through different compiler versions using codes.
Standard Library Updates
The standard library of Swift 5.1 offers the below-mentioned features that make iOS app development easier and simpler:
More flexibility in array initialization
Addition of new APIs for working with Strings
New protocols for vectors and extending reductions
Language Server Protocol
Swift 5.1 is available for Ubuntu and macOS that consists of binaries for the SourceKit-LSP
More attention has been paid to enhancing the performance by recreating the architecture that utilizes Swift compiler’s parser. Moreover, the re-architecturing of internal data structuring has helped improve the performance of syntax tree visitation and relevant operations
Other Language & Compiler Updates
Property wrappers with consistent context for providing custom access styles for different property values such as thread-specific storage, delayed initializers, etc.
No more requirement of return keyword in case of single expression functions.
For value types and classes, self can be used.
Default values are synthesized for properties by the compiler.
Swift 5.2 is the latest Swift version
By now, you must have realized how this frequently updated technology is getting better. Swift 5.2 offers optimized coding thus, reducing the memory usage. Also, the latest version has a diagnostic architecture that allows developers to resolve errors efficiently in less time.
Why Businesses Should Adopt Swift 5?
Majority of the entrepreneurs might think that programming updates are only meant for the developers for skill improvement. In case of Swift technology, this is not completely true as a lot of its benefits can be extended into businesses.
Application Binary Interface (ABI) Stability
The Apple industry had been waiting for this feature since the launch of Swift 1.0. The term might give an impression that it is only related to developers, but it has a significant impact on businesses.
Earlier Apple was not able to incorporate Swift support in the operating systems as the application that was coded in Swift 2 could not be run with Swift 3 due to the language support binaries of Swift 3. So, the developers would include the Swift libraries in the app bundles that users download from the App store. As a result, it would increase the size of the application, thus, increasing the application storage requirements. This was one of the biggest disadvantages of the powerful language in the making.
Swift 5 resolved this concern for good by offering ABI stability, allowing developers to run the iOS application in current and upcoming Swift versions without any issues. So, if you develop your iOS application in Swift 5, it will work in Swift 6, 7, and the following operating system versions of Swift technology. Therefore, businesses of all sizes can adopt Swift technology for iOS app development without any second thoughts.
Compact Size Of iOS Application
The language has now become binary compatible with Swift 5 due to which small-sized iOS applications can be built that require less storage space in users’ phones. Developers are now able to create applications that can run on the latest versions of operating systems without including any additional libraries.
iOS applications coded in Swift 5 launch quickly. Dynamic libraries used by the application are stored in the cache memory and shared among other apps, thus allowing apps to launch quickly.
High Performing Applications
As a business, you would not want to build an iOS application that disappoints users due to performance issues. Moreover, a broken application will only increase the app uninstallation rate rather than the installation rate. Businesses must adopt Swift for app development as with Swift 5’s ABI stability, seamless customer experience can be offered to the target audience.
Are you wondering how small the application size can be with Swift 5? Here are a few instances to help you understand that:
PCalc application’s total size is 86.8 MB out of which Swift libraries are of 7.5 MB. With Swift 5, the application size will become 80 MB with a decrease of 9%.
Apollo for Reddit is 35.7 MB and with Swift 5 its size will be reduced to 30 MB.
Chirp application includes 11.6 MB of Swift libraries in its total size of 28.8 MB. This will be reduced by 30% approximately with Swift 5.
Swift language is slowly maturing into a more powerful, fun, beautiful, and stable technology!
Having said that, it will definitely be an informed decision to choose Swift for the development of your iOS application. The technology brings the most complex of ideas into a beautiful reality. It is the only technology that works perfectly for all, including the developers and the customers. Developers can get rid of the dull and monotonous programming and create iOS solutions of any complexity level. At the same time, customers will be ensured of seamless and simplified mobile solutions that do not occupy massive memory.
Businesses that aim to build new iOS applications or have an existing iOS application must shift to Swift to offer memorable user experience through their mobile solution.
As a leading iOS app development company in India, USA, and Canada, The Synergy Works can help your business make this technology shift that will add value to your business consistently. We offer detailed business consultation for all industries that are trying to get online with iOS app development. Get in touch with our experts to know how you can be the next big hit with an iOS application built in Swift.