Pros and Cons of Swift Programming Language

Smaller structures, like a 2D point, can be defined as structs, which will be pass-by-value and allow direct access to their internal data with no dereference. Using value types can result in significant performance improvements in user applications as well. Swift 4.0, released in 2017, introduced several changes to some built-in classes and structures.

Is Swift a programming language or framework

You can see from our review that Swift has numerous advantages that outweigh its minor issues, so it remains one of the most promising languages and keeps gaining admirers. That greatly improved the performance of our app and helped avoid tons of bugs. Swift Package Manager is the tool that allows you to easily manage your dependencies, import third-party, open source libraries, and share your packages across your projects. You can also distribute your source code to the Swift community. In short, SwiftUI is a full-fledged framework for building user interfaces, mostly on Apple platforms.

Continue learning about app development

However, if you also need to use HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, Xcode will turn into a simple text editor lacking instruments available with Objective-C and Swift. Most links to useful resources are gathered on the Hacking with Swift page on how to learn Swift for free. There you will find manuals, videos, podcasts, web courses, and their own resources on the topic. The creator of Hacking with Swift is Paul Hudson, who posts news and guides on Swift on his YouTube channel, so it might come in handy as well. If you have to maintain a functioning application that is written in Objective-C and has a substantial code base, it just doesn’t make sense to rewrite it in Swift. You can only use Swift in the apps that target iOS7 and later.

Is Swift a programming language or framework

Swift has a mirroring functionality to make up for this downfall, but many programmers argue that it’s not the same. To control the flow of how a program runs, Swift uses control flow statements. There are a few different types of control flow statements which include control transfer statements, loop statements, and branch statements. In its short time as a programming language, Swift has climbed to the 20th most commonly used programming language worldwide and the 14th most popular language with programmers . Swift has been around for decades, and has succeeded Objective-C as Apple’s go-to programming language of choice.

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On the other end, frameworks in Swift are a platform for building software applications that prevent the stress of starting from scratch when developing. You can create an entirely new application with Swift today, or begin using Swift code to implement new features and functionality in your app. Swift code coexists along side your existing Objective-C and C++ files in the same project, with access to your Objective-C and C++ APIs, making it easy to adopt.

Moreover, the official Apple IDE, XCode, lags in terms of tooling and support for Swift. Developers often report issues with syntax highlighting, autocomplete, refactoring tools, and compilers. Swift was introduced to the world in 2014, which seems to be long ago, but the language itself is really only 7 years old, compared to Objective C live since the 1980s. The recent update brought ABI stability across Apple’s platforms, backward compatibility of Swift versions, and renewed documentation.


This table provides the current breakdown of what tools are available on what platforms. Generics help find errors in code by enabling types to be used as parameters. Generics in Swift allows users to write functions and types that are reusable and can work with any type in relation to the requirements you define. It can be done in one line, and you don’t need to import any libraries or additional functionalities. Swift also doesn’t require semicolons at the end of statements. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of the Swift programming language.

  • It is the latest programming language for iPhone app development.
  • Create an entirely new application with Swift, or begin using Swift code to implement new features and functionality in your app.
  • By 2014, other programming languages had added more features that made development easier and programs run quicker.
  • The REPL is further enhanced with playgrounds, interactive views running within the Xcode environment that respond to code or debugger changes on-the-fly.
  • Developers often report issues with syntax highlighting, autocomplete, refactoring tools, and compilers.
  • Being a superset of C, Objective-C allows you to comfortably and smoothly use C and C++ libraries.

Backed up by one of the most influential tech companies in the world, Swift is set to become the dominant language for iOS development and beyond. “New Swift project head Ted Kremenek said to be running the show behind the scenes for some time”. The pre- and post- increment and decrement operators (i++, –i …) are unsupported , more so since C-style for statements are also unsupported from Swift 3 onward.

Deployment and Development

One year later, the registered Apple developers were able to lay their hands on the beta version of the new language. In the first month post its release as a part of Xcode tools, it was downloaded over 11 million times, according to Tim Cook. This function defines a method that works on any instance conforming to Equatable, providing a not equals function.

Is Swift a programming language or framework

To help reach this goal, the company offers a variety of learning tools. You can learn to program in Swift with the help of a number of free and easy-to-use tools in just a few short months. The Swift Mentorship Program and the Swift Playground app are two examples of these kinds of tools. This language is also an open-source language, which is helpful for people who are just starting out with it.

Lack of support for earlier iOS versions

Class methods are inherited, like instance methods; self in class methods is the class the method was called on. A closure within a class can also create a strong reference cycle by capturing self references. Self references to be treated as weak or unowned can be indicated using a capture list. Calls to a function with trailing closures must be parenthesized if used in a guard statement. If all the arguments given to a function are trailing closures, the parentheses after the function’s name can be omitted. During the WWDC 2016, Apple announced an iPad exclusive app, named Swift Playgrounds, intended to teach people how to code in Swift.

In Objective-C, you had to declare the types of all variables before you used them, and in Swift, you didn’t because types are inferred in the language. Download The Swift Programming Language from the Apple Books Store free. Learn how Swift makes programming easier, more flexible, and more fun. In addition, this framework depends on iOS 9+, Xcode 11+, and Swift 5.1+.

Easy Server-Side Scripting

It shines if you combine plain iOS development with other platforms and languages. This IDE for iOS and macOS developers was designed by JetBrains. The product is aimed at improving development performance by providing some refactoring tools similar to those available in Android Studio. And this perhaps is one of the main reasons why you might consider AppCode over Xcode. Unfortunately, AppCode still has limited functionality with Swift compared to Xcode, lacking storyboards, app validation, and submission.

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