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Table of contents
1.
Swift Introduction and features
2.
Introduction
3.
History Of Swift Programming
4.
Features of Swift Programming
5.
Version Compatibility Of Swift
6.
Advantages Of Swift
6.1.
Rapid development process
6.2.
Easier to scale the product and the team
6.3.
Improved performance, speed of development, and safety
6.4.
Decreased memory footprint
6.5.
Automatic memory management with ARC
7.
Disadvantages of Swift
7.1.
The language is still relatively young.
7.2.
 Poor interoperability with third-party tools and IDEs
7.3.
Incomplete cross-platform support
7.4.
Lack of support for earlier iOS versions
8.
Frequently Asked Questions
8.1.
What is Swift?
8.2.
How would you describe a swift language?
8.3.
Is Swift meant to replace Objective-C or supplement it?
9.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

Swift Introduction and features

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Swift Introduction and features

Keywords: Swift Introduction, Advantages and Disadvantages, Version and Features.

Meta Description:  In this blog, We will talk about the Swift programming language, its features, benefits, drawbacks and other features.

Click on the following link to read further: Features of C Language

Introduction

In this blog, we will learn about Swift and its features. Swift is a multi-paradigm, executable programming language for designing apps for iOS and OS X tvOS and watchOS. Apple Inc. is the company behind it. It is a powerful and intuitive language that is simple to pick up. Swift code is secure, precise, and speedy.

Swift is based on the Objective-C runtime library, which permits C, Objective-C, C++, and Swift code to run in the same application. Swift is an open-source programming language included in Xcode from version 6.

Swift is an excellent programming language for phones, PCs, servers, and anything else that executes code. It's a secure, quick, and engaging programming language that blends the best of modern language ideas with Apple's technical experience and the contributions of its open-source community. The compiler is geared for performance, while the language is optimised for development.

We'll go over the entire architecture and features of Swift in the following blog.
 

Source: Pinterest.com

 

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History Of Swift Programming

Since its debut at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in 2014, the Swift programming language has sparked heated controversy. Apple's Senior Director of Developer Tools Department, Chris Lattner, began defining the new language's basic features in 2010.

The team didn't solve a strategic concern of how the foreign language would fit into the current Objective-C ecosystem until 2013. Forcing all iOS programmers to switch to a new language may have significantly impacted the community. As a result, the business opted to keep investing in Objective-C even while committing to developing a new "safe programming language."

One year later, registered Apple developers could obtain the new language's beta version. According to Tim Cook, it was downloaded over 11 million times in the first month after its release as part of the Xcode tools.

Swift's first replies were mixed. Some developers were ecstatic about its capabilities, flexibility, and simplicity, while others were critical. Nonetheless, most of them decided that Swift was too young to be employed in production. The language was rapidly changing, with necessary modifications added with each new release.

Swift, on the other hand, became the "most liked" technology of 2015:

Source: altexsoft.com

Features of Swift Programming

 

Swift uses current programming techniques to eliminate a considerable number of common programming errors:

  • Before using a variable, it is always initialised.
  • Out-of-bounds errors are verified on array indices.
  • Overflow is checked on integers.
  • Optional values guarantee that null values are handled.
  • Memory is automatically managed.
  • Error management allows you to recover from unforeseen failures in a controlled manner.

To get the most out of current hardware, Swift code is compiled and optimised. The syntax and standard library were created with the idea that the most obvious way to write code should also be the most performant. Swift is a fantastic choice for everything from "Hello, world!" to a whole operating system because it combines safety and speed.

Swift combines sophisticated type inference and pattern matching with a modern, lightweight syntax, making it possible to express complicated ideas in a clear and concise manner. As a result, code is easier to not only develop but also read and maintain.

Swift has been in the making, and new features and capabilities are constantly being added. Swift's objectives are lofty. We're excited to see what you do with it.

Version Compatibility Of Swift

The Swift version comes included with Xcode 13. You can use Xcode 13 to create targets written in Swift 5.6, Swift 4.2, or Swift 4.

Most Swift 5.6 feature is available while building Swift 4 and Swift 4.2 code with Xcode 13. However, the following changes are only available to Swift 5.6 or later code:

Swift 5.1 is required for functions that produce an opaque type.

The try? expression adds no additional optionality to terms that have already yielded optionals.

The correct integer type is inferred from large integer literal initialisation phrases. UInt64(0xffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff) evaluates to the good value rather than overflowing.

Concurrency requires Swift 5.6 or later and a version of the Swift standard library that includes concurrency types. Set a deployment goal of at least iOS 15, macOS 12, tvOS 15, or watchOS 8.0 on Apple platforms.

A target developed in Swift 5.6 can rely on one written in Swift 4.2 or Swift 4, and vice versa. If you have a large project divided into numerous frameworks, you can convert your code from Swift 4 to Swift 5.6 framework by the framework.

Advantages Of Swift

Rapid development process

Swift is an easier to read and write language with a clean and expressive syntax and grammar. Compared to Objective-C, it is highly brief, which means less code is needed to accomplish the same goal. Automatic Reference Counting (ARC) automates the process of tracking and regulating the memory utilisation of an app, saving developers time and effort. As a result, Swift usually takes less time to develop iOS apps.

Easier to scale the product and the team

You receive a prospective product that can be enhanced with additional features as needed, as well as a shorter development time As a result, Swift apps are frequently easier to scale. Swift is more likely to be supported by Apple than Objective-C should be taken into account when making long-term investments.

Improved performance, speed of development, and safety

Swift is designed to be quick as its name suggests. The language was created to outperform its predecessor in terms of performance and speed. In particular, the initial release promised a 40% boost in performance over Objective-C.

Swift was also created with the LLVM compiler framework, which converts assembly language to machine code and optimises it, making development faster.

Decreased memory footprint

You employ a lot of third-party code when creating an app — reusable and typically open-source frameworks or libraries compiled into the code of your app Both static and dynamic libraries are available (or shared). As you might expect, Static libraries are locked into legend at the moment of compilation and become part of your executable file, increasing its size and loading time. They can't be  automatically updated since they're stuck at the version you compiled at. On the other hand, dynamic libraries exist independently of your code and are only loaded when required. Static libraries need copies in all of your program's files, but dynamic libraries only need one. When iOS first came out, Swift was the first to introduce dynamic libraries.

Automatic memory management with ARC

Swift takes advantage of Automatic Reference Counting (ARC), a technology that adds a garbage collector to iOS for the first time. Garbage collectors are used in languages like Java, C#, and Go to destroy class instances no longer in use. They are helpful for reducing memory footprint, but they can increase CPU usage by up to 20%. Before ARC, iOS developers had to manage memory and maintain counts for each class manually. Swift's ARC detects which instances are no longer in use and deletes them for you. It allows you to boost the performance of your programme without causing memory or CPU issues.

Disadvantages of Swift

The language is still relatively young.

Swift was released in 2014, which may seem like a long time ago, but the language is only seven years old, whereas Objective C has been around since the 1980s. The most recent release included ABI stability across Apple's platforms, Swift version backward compatibility, and updated documentation. Those are significant steps toward Swift becoming a more mature language.

 Poor interoperability with third-party tools and IDEs

Because of the constant modifications, it can be challenging to discover the correct tools to assist with specific activities. Furthermore, the official Apple IDE, XCode, lacks Swift tooling and support. Syntax highlighting, autocomplete, refactoring tools, and compilers are common complaints among developers.

Incomplete cross-platform support

Swift, as previously said, works on all Apple systems as well as Linux and Windows. However, it was designed for native iOS development and continues to do so, leaving the cross-platform market to React Native, Xamarin, and Flutter.

Lack of support for earlier iOS versions

Swift can only be used in apps that target iOS7 or later. However, legacy programmes running on previous versions of the operating system cannot use Swift. It's not a big deal because only a tiny percentage of Apple devices are still running iOS6 or previous versions, but it's something to keep in mind just in case.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Swift?

Swift is a multi-paradigm, executable programming language for creating iOS, OS X tvOS, and watchOS programmes. Apple Inc. is the business responsible for it. It's a powerful and intuitive language that's easy to learn. Swift code is safe, precise, and fast.

 

How would you describe a swift language?

Swift combines sophisticated type inference and pattern matching with a modern, lightweight syntax, making it possible to express complicated ideas clearly and succinctly. As a result, code is not only easier to write but also read and maintain.

 

Is Swift meant to replace Objective-C or supplement it?

"Objective-C is not going away," Apple says, "both Swift and Objective-C are first-class citizens for doing Cocoa and Cocoa Touch work."

As a result, you can continue to use Objective-C. On the other hand, Apple appears to be pushing you to adopt Swift for new work while not asking you to rewrite all of your Objective-C code.

Conclusion

     In this blog, we have extensively discussed the Swift Introduction and features. We hope that this article has provided you with additional information about the Swift language. And to learn in-depth about Swift functions, check out the course on our Swift on the Coding Ninjas website. And also, check out the awesome content on the Coding Ninjas Website, Android DevelopmentCoding Ninjas Studio ProblemsCoding Ninjas Studio Interview BundleCoding Ninjas Studio Interview Experiences, and Coding Ninjas CoursesCoding Ninjas Studio Contests, and Coding Ninjas Studio Test Series. Do upvote our blog in helping other ninjas grow.

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