Swift: a programming language for iOS and Apple macOS

by Kelvin
Swift: a programming language for iOS and Apple macOS

Swift is programming language created by Applewhich was presented at WWDC 2014. This programming language was born as a much simpler, more intuitive and powerful alternative to Objetive-C. This language is characterized by clarity and conciseness, which reduces the number of errors in programs and helps to have more accurate syntax.

Swift: a programming language for iOS and Apple macOS

Objective-C or Swift? Advantages and disadvantages

Objetive-C is a very old programming language, and although it is one of the most powerful and versatile, it is very difficult to learn. If we don’t have any programming experience, this programming language may seem mysterious to us, a language in which it is very easy to make mistakes and break all the code.

Β Β 

As programming is becoming more and more interesting for all types of users, Apple wanted to make it easier to create programs in its own ecosystem, thus creating Swift. This programming language is somewhat more limited than Objective-C, but it has a much simpler and more direct syntax.

Both Swift and Objetive-C want to interact with Apple API : Cocoa and Cocoa Touch both macOS and iOS API. In a more or less complex sense, what is required with both programming languages ​​is to take advantage of this API so that the necessary interfaces or interactions can be created for it to work properly.

Swift has a number of advantages over its competitor, such as:

  • A much more modern language with a great future.
  • Clearer, more concise, cleaner and simpler code.
  • More powerful data types.
  • Automatic memory management.
  • Best performance on iOS and macOS.
  • Much more complete, simpler and more intuitive debugging.
  • 2.6x faster than Objective-C and 8.4x faster than Python.

On the other hand, Objetive-C also has a number of advantages that we must consider:

  • Support for protocols.
  • More selectors and categories.
  • Advanced blocks.
  • First responders.

What’s better?

So which one should I use? Do I need to switch from one to the other? If we are good programmers and want to keep up to date, or we want to start from scratch, it is best to do it directly with Swift. This programming language has several advantages that make it a worthy one without a doubt. However, this is not required. If we are experienced users of Objetive-C, we should be able to continue using this language without issue.

Now, if we have already worked with Objetive-C and want to switch to Swift, we will have no problem. Although they are different languages, they have a lot in common to quickly learn how to defend yourself with a new one.

Learn to program

If we are thinking of learning to program in Swift, there are some completely free resources we can turn to. For instance, Apple gives us a book called “Fast Programming Language”, which allows us to take the first steps in this programming language. Apple also invites us to access their developer portal from where we can access a large number of resources such as tutorials, videos and code samples to stay up-to-date.

Also, in order to program in this language, we have to use the IDE Xcode, programming environment and compiler exclusive to macOS. If we’ve programmed Objective-C before, we’ll be familiar with it.

Finally, have Apple there is a very interesting project to help users learn how to program in this programming language: Fast playgrounds … This app is a mixture of IDE programming and iPad game that teaches Swift programming in a simple and fun way. It is ideal for students who want to start learning the language as it starts with concepts, and even for children as it allows them to get to know programming for the first time in a fun way.

This application teaches us all the basics of this programming language such as:

  • Commands
  • Peculiarities
  • Hinges
  • parameters
  • Conditions
  • Variables
  • Operators
  • Please select
  • Initialization
  • Error correction

And it also offers us a number of challenges that we can complete in order to complete our knowledge and move on.

Swift is, since version 2.2, open source programming language licensed under Apache 2.0.