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Swift – an innovative programming language for iOS

April 22nd, 2015

What comes to your mind when you hear the word iPhone? The great Apple Smartphone and its easy and fun looking interface. Not only the interface but also the innovative apps that we use every day. And also, have you ever wondered what helps these apps look more creative and user friendly? I guess many would have not. The programming languages and the developers are the backbone of such apps. In 2014 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple launched an innovative programming language called Swift. This language became many programmers choice in a short span of time and also led way to develop many creative applications.

The Definition:

html5 styled round badge shows swallowBefore stating the key definition, the history of Swift language started with Chris Lattner, Director of the Developer Tools department in Apple Inc., in 2010. He started developing Swift programming language along with many programmers and he gathered ideas from Rust, Ruby, Objective-C, Haskell, Python, C#, CLU and many other languages.

As a new programming language, Swift was designed and developed to work with Apple’s Cocoa and Cocoa Touch frameworks. It is a language for developing iOS and OS X apps. Rather than Objective C, Swift is flexible to erroneous code just to be on the safer side. To be more precise, swift is a Objective-C programming language without the C. Swift 1.2 along with Xcode was releases on April 8th, 2015.

The Swift’s Achievement:

Tim Cook, Apple’s Chief Executive said, “Inventing a new programming language is something very few companies can do and we believe it will have a profound effect on our ecosystem.” And additionally he stated, “A recent report from RedMonk showed that Swift has had unprecedented growth and is quickly climbing the list of the most popular programming languages”.

Swift - iOS App Development

RedMonk also said that the Swift’s growth has been essentially unprecedented and it has entered in to the top 25 programming language list just in 5 month for the same which Go programming language from Google took 5 years.

Swift has grown to a new level in a matter of few months. Many international universities and technical schools like Aberystwyth University, Germany’s Technical University of Munich, Ingésup in France, Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico and Plymouth University in Great Britain and RMIT University in Australia have incorporated Swift iOS Programming Language in their courses.

The Features:

Swift reached to new levels because of the following highlighted features

  • Improved variables, types and optional
  • Advanced libraries, runtime and development
  • Effective memory management
  • Quality debugging and other elements

The Companies Interests:

As stated already, swift has a enormous growth and because this and its advanced, user-friendly features many top enterprises started incorporating Swift language while developing their iOS or OS X apps. Here are few top spotted apps that were developed using the new ios programming language.

  1. SlideShare by LinkedIn:
    It was a mere coincidence! The same said Francisco Meza, SlideShare’s Engineering Manager, “timing worked perfectly for us to develop a brand new application completely in Swift (except for the little pieces of Objective-C required for interoperability), as we were just finishing the first early prototype of what would become the SlideShare iOS app”. He also added, “I must say that I am very satisfied by runtime performance of Swift based on the comparison of performance tracking metrics for similar pages of both SlideShare’s app (Swift) and LinkedIn’s flagship app (Objective-C)”. As a result, Swift got a name that it is more expressive code that is easy to the core.
  2. We learnt a new language said Duolingo:
    Duolingo developed an app called ‘Test Center’ which is a companion app of the company’s foreign language learning app. Test center was developed to certify a user’s language stability with the help of a time-limited exam. Duolingo said, “This newly minted language lacks some of the expressiveness found in other languages with modern type systems” and also added that Swift programming language can be used to write robust and high-volume production apps.
  3. Stream by Getty Images:
    “We developed a new app for iOS and OS X called Stream which allows users to search, browse and share photography works from the professional Getty Images portfolio.”, said the manager of application development at Getty Images, Raphael Miller.He also said it would be really easier for the junior developers to get started with Apple’s platform with the help of the Swift programming language as it would be easier for them to focus on the core stuffs from OS X’s Cocoa and iOS’s Cocoa Touch frameworks.
  4. Swift’s help is Apple Watch and IBM iPad Apps:
    Swift’s interoperability with Objective-C enables the developers from the Apple’s community to adapt to this new language. Apple’s is also trying to use Swift for its upcoming Apple Watch. Tim Cook stated, “we’ve forged a relationship with IBM to deliver a new class of mobile business solutions to enterprise customers around the world. We’re working together to provide companies access to the power of big data analytics right on every employee’s iPhone or iPad”.

The Final Verdict:

Swift has taken, will take the Apple apps development to higher standards without any fails. With over I million download, It is sure to become the most acceptable language of iOS and OS X apps development. “Using Swift, we will collaborate to bring over 100 MobileFirst apps to enterprise clients, each addressing a specific industry need or opportunity. This is a radical step for enterprise. It opens a large market opportunity for Apple”, said Tim Cook.

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