For quite some time, there has been a debate on which programming language is most effective for mobile app development projects. Although there are plenty of options available depending on your project, the Swift programming language created by Apple in 2014 has quickly become a major contender. In fact, with the various benefits that Swift provides, it can not only help accomplish your goals, but elevate the entire development.

With this article, we want to show you exactly how the Swift programming language can help you to create the best app possible. By focusing on the building blocks early on, your app will have everything it needs to serve your end-users and offer a wonderful user experience. Before we get into the pros and cons of Swift, let’s first review the brief history of this programming language and what sets it apart from the rest.

What is Swift?

Originally created as a side-project by an Apple developer, Swift was officially released to the public in 2014. Although it was created by Apple, the Swift programming language was made open source in 2015 and has been used across many different platforms like iOS, macOS, watchOS, tvOS, and Linux applications. Since then, it has grown into a powerful and popular choice for app development, for both Android and iOS.

Today, Swift programmers are in high-demand due to relative newness of the language. With Apple at its back and a general acceptance from the developer community, Swift is likely to only continue evolving and growing, meaning that now is the opportune time to get started integrating the Swift programming language into your own development. Next, let’s take a look at why Swift is worth the investment.

Why Swift is worth the investment

Now, it is easy to talk about how the Swift programming language is taking app development to new levels, but without good evidence as to how that works it can be meaningless. This is why we have put together a list of pros for using Swift that reinforce our case for why it is worth the investment. With this said, let’s take a look at the pros of Swift as well as the cons so that you can make the best decision for your own project.

Rapid development

The first reason for using the Swift programming language is actually found within the name, as Swift offers clean, expressive, and rapid app development. While other programming languages can wander, Swift is concise and easy to both read and write. Not only does this lead to less code for the system to process, but less time from initial development to product release.

A great example of how the Swift programming language can elevate development can be found with Lyft and their recent effort to rewrite their app with Swift. While their old codebase was close to 75,000 lines of code, upon rewriting the code in Swift the amount of code was reduced to a third of what it originally was with the same functionality. This is just one of many examples of Swift making the entire development process much cleaner and simpler.

Easy to scale

Along with a faster development cycle, Swift is easier to scale that other programming languages like Objective-C due to how fast new developers can learn the code. Additionally, for companies pursuing iOS app development, Apple is far more likely to support future features and integrations with the Swift programming language than others, meaning that developers can feel confident in the future of their product.

Improved safety

As we look at the various strengths of the Swift programming language, it is clear that Apple’s focus on improved performance was well worth the investment. When it comes to the safety and security of the app, the same can be found. Swift’s strong typing and error handling system allow for codes to be found and fixed faster than before. This short feedback loop not only helps to eliminate bugs before they become a problem, but better engineer the UX of the app.

Memory management

Another major development issue that the Swift programming language seeks to solve is that of memory management. The first way that Swift does this is through using dynamic data libraries instead of static ones. This means that data can be accessed as it is needed, whereas a static library makes a copy of the entire library that needs be housed within the code. Not only does this take up more memory, but it can be less efficient as well.

On top of that, Swift uses Automatic Memory Counting to act as a sort of garbage collector for unnecessary code. Although this takes up more computing power, it reduces the amount of excess code within the system. Both of these memory management techniques only continue to improve the efficient nature of Swift and help create a better user experience.

Open source

The final advantage to working with Swift is that it is open source, meaning that there is an active and vibrant community constantly trying to improve the functionality and usefulness of the programming language. This also means that new developers won’t have to search far in order to find tips and tricks for their own development projects.

For a long time, Android apps benefitted from the open source coding environments of Linux and others. Now, Apple has responded with the Swift programming language and it appears that it is quickly becoming the preferred code for many developers. Additionally, as more developers join the bandwagon, the language will only get better and better.

Downsides to Swift

Now, at this point you may be excited to jump right into your Swift development project. However, there are a few downsides of the Swift programming language that you need to understand in order to avoid common pitfalls and get the most out of your development. These downsides include:

Still very young: Relative to other languages, Swift is still very new, meaning that there is still much to be desired in regards to native tools and resources.

Limited backward compatibility: Since each update comes with major changes to the language, developers often complain about a lack of backwards compatibility. If many of your users are on older devices and operating systems, this can be a big problem.

Hard to find talent: Again, due to the newness of the language, there is a limited talent pool available for those looking to develop in Swift. Although you can find the people you need, you may have to pay extra until the language is more widely used.

Despite these downsides, Swift has plenty of success stories and the backing of one of the largest tech companies in the world, so we remain optimistic about using Swift moving forward. In fact, as we stated earlier, now is the best time to get started, as we believe that Swift will only get better.

Final thoughts

As you can see, like any programming language, Swift has its pros and cons. However, we believe that the upsides of working with Swift far outweigh the downsides of the language. We hope that as your approach your next development project, you will consider working with Swift, as the future looks bright for this language.

Even if you don’t, we hope that this article gave you a better understanding of app development and what to look forward to in the near future. Now get out there and start working on your next development project!