Swift vs. Objective-C: What is Better?

Swift vs. Objective-C: What is Better?

Swift vs. Objective C is always a dilemma for developers when it is an important decision to choose the right programming language for any iOS app development project. Objective-C is a more established language, while Swift is newer and more streamlined. Swift is also more beginner-friendly, as it does not require as much syntax and is easier to read. Objective-C is more flexible and powerful, however, and can be used to create more complex applications.

If you are familiar with them, the widely used iOS programming languages Swift and Objective-C can assist you in making the right decision. So check out the article below and compare using factors like:

  • Syntax
  • Performance
  • Memory Management
  • Community Support

1. Syntax

Objective C, as said earlier, is an older programming language with a complex syntax. Developers find it difficult to learn and code in the language because of its verbosity, which means it is filled with square brackets and semicolons. On the other hand, Swift offers a cleaner and more concise syntax. It is easier to understand and learn as it resembles plain English.

  • It also helps the developers write the codes more efficiently and concisely, which makes the language popular among them.
  • Its simplified syntax also makes Swift better than Objective C because it speeds up the development process and reduces the chances of coding errors, resulting in more stable and secure applications.
  • Furthermore, its modern syntax introduces novel features such as type inference and optional, which aid developers in writing cleaner, safer code. 
  • It is becoming more and more popular among developers because of these features, which simplify the development process.

2. Performance

As you are aware, the characteristics of a programming language, particularly its speed, have a significant impact on whether or not it should be used for iOS development. If you are comparing both languages, there is no doubt that Swift is faster in terms of app development. It is because the language uses generics and high-order functions that the code is cleaner and reusable.

  • Also, optional and type inference features will take care of the code security. 
  • Its compiler feature reduces the risk of writing unsafe code and shields your apps from frequent runtime crashes.
  • The time required for developing the codes can also be saved as the programmers can write fewer lines of code due to the concise syntax. 

So, all together, the speed of app development increases, thereby improving performance and making it the faster and more efficient choice for app development.

3. Memory Management

The next parameter to compare is the memory management capability of the programming languages. In the case of Objective-C, it uses manual memory management, which is a challenge for programmers as it consumes a lot of time. On the other hand, Swift uses Automatic Reference Counting (ARC) for more efficient memory management. 

It means ARC handles memory management so that the developers can focus on other aspects of app development. So, it has a significant advantage over Objective-C in terms of memory management, as it not only simplifies the development process but also improves the performance and speed of the language.

4. Community Support

Now, about the community support both languages have, both are popular among the developers. It goes without saying that Objective-C is an older language with a sizable and well-established community as well as a multitude of tools and resources amassed over time. So, it is easier for the developers, both beginners and experienced, to find solutions to their problems after learning from the experiences shared in the community.

  • But developers and Apple alike are rapidly adopting and supporting Swift. 
  • It is quickly expanding as the preferred language for many new iOS app development projects, and more resources and tools are becoming available for developers to use.
  • Its increasing popularity and the support it receives from the developer community are largely due to Apple’s support. 
  • The community and resources of the language will grow as it develops and gains traction, providing developers with even more help and support.

If you were considering the factors mentioned above to decide which one was better, then you would have gotten the idea. Here, most of the factors have favoured Swift. Its code is better if you are creating an app from scratch since it has all the qualities mentioned above, and you do not need to take into account the below-mentioned limitations. Here are the two scenarios where it’s beneficial to use Objective-C:

  • It might be preferable to stick with Objective-C if you have a sizable codebase written in the language and you need to maintain it or add a few new features. 
  • Although both languages can be used together in a single project, maintaining an app like this can be challenging. 
  • For instance, in certain edge cases, you might require a developer who is fluent in both languages. 
  • Changing between two languages can also affect a developer’s productivity.
  • Objective-C is worth considering if you often work with third-party frameworks written in C or C++. Swift requires a separate wrapper to be created, which can be more problematic than going with Objective-C.

The programming language you select is important when beginning a new iOS app development project. It impacts other choices down the line, such as architecture and frameworks. Upon comparing the features, it is reasonable to conclude that Swift has more comprehensive benefits than Objective-C. Even if you are not a programmer, you can still grasp the programming language because it is more concise.

Because it removes a lot of errors that can happen in other languages, it is more dependable and crashes less frequently. Ultimately, its code is more efficient than other languages in terms of speed and memory usage, making it a superior option for creating iOS applications. Remember, however, that decisions are made within a specific context. A modern and powerful programming language like Swift isn’t the be-all and end-all.

Interesting Links:

A Look at iOS Programming Languages

Objective-C or Swift

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