What you should know about Apple’s latest iOS language, SWIFT

Terrence Yang Mentoring Startup UCLA Acceleratee

by Terrence Yang | Founder, Precelerator, Yang Ventures | @yangterrence

Executive Summary for Consumers.

  • Swift is Apple’s new programming language for apps in the Mac, iPhone and iPad.
  • Swift will result in better apps for the Mac, iPhone and iPad user.
  • This is because Swift makes it easier than the current language to write, test and launch great Apple apps.
  • Apps will be more fun, more useful, more robust, less buggy and more complex.
  • Swift will work with and replace the 30+ year old Objective-C, Apple’s current app programming language.
  • Swift is faster to code and easier to test than Objective-C.
  • Swift code can often run faster than Objective-C and other languages, like Python.

What You Should Know About Swift (Below More for New or Future Programmers).

  • Swift is an innovative, new, proprietary programming language from Apple that can co-exist with, but is significantly better than, Objective-C
  • Swift was announced at WWDC, Apple’s developer conference
  • Objective-C is the current programming language for iOS and OS X
  • Swift code and Objective-C can live in the same app together, so developers can upgrade their code as they go, rather than replacing it in one shot
  • Swift is designed to be more resilient against erroneous code than Objective-C
  • Don’t be surprised when Swift quickly replaces Objective-C
  • Swift should result in more great iOS and OS X apps
  • Swift enables developers to write apps easier, especially more complex apps
  • Apps written in Swift should be better, faster and more stable
  • Swift should become stable in due course
  • Apple will not guarantee source compatibility until Swift is released along with iOS 8
  • iOS 8 beta was released at WWDC to Apple developers
  • Changes to Swift will require source conversions
  • It seems Apple is doing a fast release with iterations to come
  • Swift is designed to replace Objective-C for Apple apps and be a more powerful language than Python
  • Objective-C has been around for over 30 years
  • Swift is a terse language, enabling developers to write less to get the same effect
  • Swift is good for complex code – like Objective-C
  • Swift gives developers the ability to quickly and easily test an app
  • With Swift, developers can create complex apps more quickly

More Info For Apple Developers.

  • Using the high-performance LLVM compiler, Swift code is transformed into optimized native code, tuned to get the most out of modern Mac, iPhone, and iPad hardware.
  • Swift is designed to provide seamless compatibility with Cocoa and Objective-C
  • Developers can use Objective-C APIs (ranging from system frameworks to the developer’s own custom code) in Swift
  • Developers can use Swift APIs in Objective-C
  • Here are three important aspects of this compatibility:
  • Interoperability lets you interface between Swift and Objective-C code
  • Mix and match allows you to create mixed-language apps containing both Swift and Objective-C files that can communicate with each other
  • Migration from existing Objective-C code to Swift is easy with interoperability and mix and match. You can replace parts of your Objective-C apps with the latest Swift features

Sources, Additional Disclosures. Sources for above include Apple, Chris Lattner’s Homepage, CNET, Hacker News, Wikipedia, The Next Web Note: I own Apple stock. I may have limit buy or sell orders and other positions. I may change my positions without warning.

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