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June 20, 2014

How the Swift Language Will Impact Mobile Apps Development

Apple introduced a new programming language called Swift at their recent developer conference. This fall when iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite are released, you can submit apps that use Swift to the App Store and Mac App Store. You may be wondering what impact this will have on your mobile apps development. Do you need to redevelop your apps now?

In the past new versions of iOS have required apps to be rewritten. Apple says, “Swift provides seamless access to existing Cocoa frameworks and mix-and-match interoperability with Objective-C code.” Although Swift is compatible with Objective-C, you can imagine a day when all mobile apps development will be done in Swift. Eventually you will need to switch to Swift to take advantages of its new APIs and features.

Although outsourcing can reduce the time and cost of mobile apps development, you will have to consider if the benefits of Swift outweigh the costs of redeveloping your mobile apps soon.

Apple says programmers will write faster code with Swift - twice as fast as Objective-C in complex sorting algorithms and when encrypting information. However some say that Swift is not as fast as what Apple claims.

But Swift will speed up the iOS app development process by moving away from hard-to-learn Objective-C, the idea is developers will create high-performing and functional apps that delight users faster and easier.Apple’s claims for increased productivity of programmers will cut the costs of mobile apps development. This is especially true when you outsource. Swift has a modern syntax that enhances code legibility, and discourages bad programming habits. Although Swift has a simpler syntax although some mobile app developers say they prefer Objective-C.

For example, Swift is similar to languages like Python and Node.js where it is not necessary to end statements with a semicolon. This may be a difficult change to get used to for some Objective-C programmers! But at least simply forgetting to insert the semicolon at the end of a statement will not cause an error at compile-time and will make programmers more productive.

According to The Swift Programming Language on the Apple Developer website, “Swift is friendly to new programmers. It is the first industrial-quality systems programming language that is as expressive and enjoyable as a scripting language.”

Swift has automatic memory management and also supports “playgrounds” for easy debugging and Apple says playgrounds are “an innovative feature that allows programmers to experiment with Swift code and see the results immediately, without the overhead of building and running an app.”

The result is your outsourced mobile app development team will spend less time debugging and be more productive. They will be able to focus on creating better apps and doing cool stuff like adding new features and improving applications for your end users. Perhaps you will use Swift to create a flood of inexpensively developed apps that will be beneficial to your customers by using an expert outsourcing team.

To get started with Swift programming you can download Xcode 6 beta and follow the tutorials included in the documentation. Or just contact Accelerance for a free referral to one of our expert mobile apps development partners around the world.


Andy Hilliard

As CEO, Andy leads and advocates for the globalization and collaboration of great software teams with companies in search of talent, innovation and a globally-distributed extension of their engineering function and culture. Andy founded the ground-breaking nearshore software development services company, Isthmus Costa...

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