Apple Swift – Programming Language Review

| April 20, 2015

Programming languages have come a long way since some of the days of basic coding. The most popular languages today are PHP and javascript, but one newcomer is gaining popularity and that is Apple’s Swift. Its a development language geared towards Apple’s IOS. It integrates with the low level virtual machine (LLVM) compiler, and is geared towards the acceleration of code writing , as well as introducing modern programming concepts, and has tries to prevent some of the more common errors taken place that can lead to app crashes.

apple swift

Apple Swift

Lifecycle

Creating a new programming language is a big undertaking for any company, but Apple is ambitious enough to face up to the challenge. One of the key benefits to Swift is its ability to work alongside existing development projects that use existing Objective-C code. This will dramatically reduce the lifecycle development time of applications that are already in progress. Swift has become popular among developers very quickly due to its ease of of adoption with regards to productivity. It borrows parts from other languages, including Ruby, Python, and C#.

Early Adopters

The adoption of Swift has been helped by the learning resources that have been released for it. Apple released their free iBook on swift, and called it the first industrial quality programming language. Saying that it was impressive, and also enjoyable as a scripting language. When Swift became available as part of the Xcode toolset, they were downloaded more than 11 million times Tim Cook from Apple has reported. Stanford University released their new course for developing IOS 8 Apps With Swift. It was posted to the iTunes University, and has become one of the most downloaded resources online.

Homegrown Adoption

Along with Stanford University adopting Swift, there are a series of American campuses adopting the teaching of it in their curriculum. There is the Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, California Polytechnic Institute, Drexel University in Philadelphia, University of California at Santa Cruz, Full Sail University near Orlando, Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Northwest Kansas Technical College and the University of Missouri. All of them have been applauded by Apple as pioneering.

Worldwide Popularity

There has been a global adoption with Swift development also. There has been a variety of international universities and technical colleges that have started to adopt Swift programming into their courses. There has been early adoption from Germany’s Technical University of Munich. Also in Mexico the Tecnológico de Monterrey has started to promote it. While in the UK Aberystwyth University and Plymouth University have included it in their courses, and also the Ingésup in France. Even the RMIT University in Australia have added it to their course lineup.

Business Adoption

There has been a positive response to Swift from the business community too. Getty Images new app for iOS and OS X is called stream, and it allows users to search, browse and share their professional photography stock from the Getty images portfolio. Raphael Miller is the Manager of Application Development at Getty Images, and he told AppleInsider that he first got introduced to Swift at the Worldwide Developers Conference during a 2 day hackathon. Miller stated that developers who were fluent in Objective C and Java, would easily make the shift over to Swift with a minimum fuss.

Getty aren’t the only company already making use of Swift in their business. American Airlines has also used swift to help combine its multiple version for different form factors into one codebase. The release of iOS 8 brought adaptive user interfaces, to help bridge the gap between the different resolutions of devices such as the iphone, and ipad. By utilizing their existing Objective-C library and app, American Airlines were able to integrate their new changes and adjustments to their flight details app more easily.

Swift Future

Swift is fast becoming one of the programming languages of choice, due to the obvious popularity of Apple’s product offering and especially with the new devices that are hitting the shelves in the form of the Apple Smart Watch. The popularity of Swift has been recognized as one of the fastest growing program languages of all time, and should continue to grow with its developer focused approach. Adapting to what the community require to make it another notch in the toolbelt of programmers.

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