Thursday, March 12, 2015

What Swift Means For Apple and the Industry?

There’s been a new excitement in the air in iOS developer circles. It is the arrival of Swift that is driving new developers to joy. The onset of Swift has meant that it is finally curtains down for the parent, Objective C. In this article, we look at the motives behind the switch to a new programming language and how it will affect the IT industry as a whole.

For those of you who didn’t know, Objective-C is ridiculously difficult to use. Most beginners who attempted to learn it and even developers familiar with its complexities breathed a huge sigh of relief at the announcement. It is clear that Apple wanted to make iOS accessible to a wider range of developers and it understood that sticking to Objective-C wouldn't work. However, it isn't exactly unfamiliar to existing developers because it uses the same LLVM compiler and runtime which means the code can live side-by-side in the same application. According to Apple, this will "unify the procedural and object-oriented portions of the language."

Apple's free e-book, The Swift Programming Language, offers a guide that goes deeper into the language and acts as a formal reference for any interested developer. Owing to its accessibility and its promise of adopting safe programming patterns and adding modern features to make programming easier, more flexible and fun, businesses looking to develop apps on iOS will soon have a wider pool of iOS and Mac OS X developers to choose from. This will help alleviate the stress of hiring qualified developers in a gradually shrinking talent pool. This increase in talent may also make developers' salaries accelerate at a slower rate.

Additionally, Swift utilizes several time saving features such as displaying outputs in real time and delivering instant feedback on errors. Developers are thus saved from having to create colossal amounts of code before seeing the results. Apple developers can also bid adieu to sifting through code line-by-line to find tiny errors whenever an issue arises. These benefits will result in huge cost reductions for corporations and may sway more of the IT industry's top innovators to developing for Apple.

Although it is too premature to say the effect of these will be seen immediately, the IT industry is certainly abuzz about Swift. It not only begins a new chapter in iOS development, but also makes iOS and Mac OS X development a more viable option in the years to come and its accessibility will most certainly work to Apple's advantage.

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