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One was the primary programming language for macOS and iOS and their APIs Cocoa and Cocoa Touch that is Objective-C. Another is Swift, which is so powerful that it surpassed the primary language and claimed to be 2.6 times faster than Objective-C. This can be such a pitiful dilemma for any iOS App Development Company or iOS developer, to choose between Objective-C and Swift, which to use for developing a dream product for macOS or iOS.
Being a successful iOS Development company, we understand the pain-point, and our developers were inquired the same many times for iOS programming language comparison. Many inquiries stimulate us to address this issue for every developer once and for all. Our team has gone through plenty of analysis, research, and interrogations with experts and came up with this conclusion. So, grab a chair and sit back comfortably, we’re going to simplify the difference between Swift and Objective-C.
|Origin||Founded in the early 1980s and acquired by NeXT (Apple Computer) in 1996||Launched by Apple in 2014|
|Security||Uses pointers that expose values that can give access to data and create obstacles in bug-fixing||Removes the pointers concept and improve and help to locate and fix the errors on the spot|
|Syntax||Complicated||Simpler resembles to English|
|Complexity||Hard to learn and necessary to understand C and Smalltalk||Intuitive and easy to learn for any programmer|
|Compatible with C++||Belong to C family easily compatible with C or C++ Code||Incompatible with C++ language|
|Simplicity||Need to write a verbose code to perform a particular task||Less code required to perform a particular task|
|Community Support||Has good resources and community||Rapidly growing community|
|Dynamic Library Support||Uses Static libraries||Uses Dynamic libraries|
|Compilation||Easily Compilable- transformed source code into machine code||Slower compilation speed|
|Performance||It uses runtime code compilation that affects the performance||High-performing Good choice for performance-sensitive code|
|Maintenance||Need to maintain two separate files (.h) header files & (.m) implementation files||Combine two files [(.h) & (.m)] Into a single file (.swift)|
We hope the above descriptive snippet for Objective-C vs. Swift comparison was useful to you. We have more for you in this comparison battle, so keep going, you’re a bit away from the decision.
The general-purpose and object-oriented programming language of Apple Objective-C is launched prior to Apple.Inc in the early 1980s by the company Stepstone and founder Brad Cox and Tom Love. So, this over thirty-five years old language acquired by NeXT (Apple Computer) to use for its operating system NeXTSTEP that has driven macOS and iOS. It was the primary language to write for macOS and iOS and supported by their respective APIs Cocoa and Cocoa Touch until another powerful language Swift wasn’t came.
The most powerful programming language developed and launched by Apple.Inc in 2014, exceeds the mature and the primary language Objective-C ever since it appeared in the iOS development world. The modern language is much easier to learn and use that stimulates the developers to choose the same over the complicated programming language Objective-C. As Swift is holding the future of iOS app development, developers can’t afford to miss to learn it.
Code Simplicity & Complexity
Although Objective-C is a reliable, tested, and more stable programming language, it’s a bit hard to learn for programmers. Undoubtedly it has a large community to learn from, such as the StackOverflow community, to take help to debug and deal with errors. But the syntax of the language is not so developer-friendly and requires to write a verbose code to run the particular task.
Developers are saying, the readability of Swift code is as simple as the natural English language. That thing makes the Swift programming language easier to learn for existing and new programmers. Furthermore, it requires less code compared to Objective-C to perform a task and work faster than the mature Objective-C that gets a plus point to the language.
Apple’s developers have crafted the language powerful and intuitive that let programmers write the code for macOS, iOS, watchOS, TVOS and beyond easily with fun and interactive code. Also, Swift uses string interpolation that helps to avoid common causes of crashes that happen in Objective-C.
Security & Safety
One of the notable cons of Objective-C is that it uses pointers like other C languages. And if you are a developer, you must know that it can cause vulnerabilities in the security & safety of the application. The null pointers method exposes the value that provides easy access to the data to developers that create high-risk and chances of hacking plus can be an extended source of bugs too.
Swift uses an optional process that is similar to message nill in Objective-C, but it is more effective. It works for any type and check the same for success or failure. It also enables developers to drill down into sub-properties within complex models to be sure is there any possibility to access properties, methods, and subscripts on those sub-properties.
As a result of the Security & Safety concern, Swift is safer than Objective-C in iOS programming language comparison.
Performance & Speed
The mature iOS language Objective-C is slower than the young programming language Swift as it contains C API legacy. Objective-C is a superset of C and provides a dynamic runtime. Objective-C is a dynamic language, and dispatcher passes a message without knowing about the recipient at runtime and perform an indirect call or access. This dynamic dispatch is undesirable at the time of writing performance-sensitive code as it slows the performance.
Both the iOS programming languages are typed statically and use the same iOS SDK and efficient LLVM-Low Level Virtual Machine compiler. Nevertheless, Swift is on the upper hand in Objective-C Vs. Swift performance combat. The Apple official site claims Swift to be faster than Objective-C.
In Swift, after looking up a function from a method table, dynamic dispatch calls are implemented, and then the indirect call. Furthermore, there are techniques to control the dynamic behavior when you need to improve performance.
Dynamic Library Support
Objective-C uses the static library, and that is another pitiful disadvantage. These libraries linked at the final step of the compilation process after the program is placed into memory. Because of the Static libraries, if any changes applied to external files, it needs to recompile the executable file.
As the external programs built in the executable files, static libraries are commonly longer. Besides, Static libraries keep updating, along with the other updates such as a new OS version
As Swift supports the Dynamic Libraries, it gets another plus point in the Swift vs. Objective-C Comparison. The significant difference between both Static & Dynamic libraries is that Dynamic libraries can be linked to any program during the runtime, and helps to execute codes that can be linked to an app smoothly.
It also helps to optimize the app performance because the dynamic libraries are loaded directly into an app’s memory, these are already included in the AppStore’s download package, and that enables them to be updated independently from the OS. Moreover, Swift Package Manager tool that manages Swift code, and provides a convention-based system to build libraries and executables, including sharing code across different packages.
While working with Objective-C, developers need to maintain two separate files, and they believe this is a frustrating process of Objective-C. The reason behind the tiresome maintenance process of Objective-C is that its code divides into two code blocks: header (interface) files (.h) & implementation files (.m). When it comes to changes and improvements, or to improve the efficiency and development time of an app, it requires to manage both files.
Unlike Objective-C, Swift removes the maintenance of two separate files rather than it uses the LLVM compiler. That figure out the requirement and automatically complete the incremental builds and combined the files in a single (.swift) program code file.
Apple’s Swift has been a turning point in iOS development, the programming language which being loved and praised by the developers. In the Comparison for Swift vs. Objective-C, Swift is proven faster, modern, easy to learn, secure, interactive, and intuitive programming language than Objective-C. It doesn’t mean Objective-C will no longer be available to use. However, developers are admiring and adopting Swift at a rapid pace.
Swift cuts off the efforts and hassle of the developers and gives more freedom to them. This innovation is becoming the reason of many fabulous discoveries for developers that is helping them distinguish themselves as a leader.
We’re thankful that you read comparison Swift vs. Objective-C for iOS Development this far. We have an experienced team of iOS developers, and as per the requirements, you can hire iOS Developers at Kody Technolab.