Do you have an iOS application to be made? Are you confused about the language to choose for iOS app development? Don’t worry, we have got you covered. Stick around through this article to explore the burning question of iOS developers - “swift vs objective c” and make a great choice for yourself. “Swift vs objective C” is the first question that every IOS Development Course taker ever asks. Swift and Objective C are the languages for iOS mobile app development. While swift was developed by Apple in 2014, objective C has been there since time immemorial and was the first choice of iOS developers for a long time. Let’s explore the two languages and know more about their pros and cons.
Difference Between Swift and Objective C: Comparison Table
|Basis Of Comparison||Swift||Objective C|
|Design||Designed by Apple to develop robust Apple operating systems||It was designed keeping C++ in mind and the objective of being Object Oriented.|
|Paradigm||It declares type-level methods to call the implemented functionalities||It uses messages to call the implemented functionalities as it was implemented based on Smalltalk messaging|
|Classes||Swift Supports only classes.||Structs and classes, both are supported in Objective C.|
|Type||It is static and strongly typing||It is dynamic typing|
|Polymorphism||Polymorphism can be implemented by typecasting, but it does not exist directly.||Parametric polymorphism in Objective C is checked at compile time|
|Boolean Operators||Swift uses true and false values||Objective C uses YES, NO values|
|Templates & Libraries||Swift has multiple library supports along with Objective C||Objective C lacks template libraries|
Swift vs Objective C: Detailed Differences
Starting with Swift, it is a programming language developed by Apple in 2014 for the development of the iOS app development. It is an open-source language and emphasizes modern programming methodology. It is a programming language that supports development in iOS, macOS, pdOS, tvOS, and watchOS environments. Being an apple supported language, swift has gained popularity quickly and comes with more native development in OS platforms. The main features of Swift programming language are:-
- Memory Efficient - Swift supports Automatic Reference Counting (ARC) which is one of the most powerful features a programming language can have. With ARC, developers don't have to sweat out the memory management as Swift handles it.
- Easier to read - Swift is beginner friendly, easy-to-read, easy-to-use language that enables developers to develop with the least coding experience. It is one of the best languages for beginners.
- Safety management - Swift throws out errors on the basic programming mistakes/bad code that is being written. Though It might mean that you are getting a lot of errors as developers, it also accounts for a short feedback loop and a better understanding of the code for developers.
These features make Swift popular among developers.
Objective C: Overview
Objective C is another popular language for the development of iOS applications. Objective C was released in the 1980s by Stepstone Company and as the name suggests, it has based on the C programming language. As it has the base of C, C concepts like pointers are applicable in objective C and it is closer to the Operating Systems than modern languages. Even now, a Computer Programming course in C or C++ does well and that mostly accounts for the popularity of C and the love of the developers for being closer to the operating systems. Objective C has a dynamic nature and also supports Object Oriented programming making it even more universal to use. Let’s have a look at the main features of Objective C:-
- Object-Oriented concepts - Objective C supports all the Object-Oriented concepts, making it even more compatible with C++. Usage of Object-Oriented concepts makes Objective C more secure and powerful as a programing language.
- Fast - Objective C is a very fast programming language due to being so core to the operating system. The fast-performing modules make objective C more popular. Though it remains slower than Swift, its core speed is faster.
Let's have a comparison between them to settle the debates like swift vs objective c performance, speed and other parameters. Here is the point-to-point comparison:-
Swift allows you to write variables without specifying the data types while you have to mention the data types in Objective C. Moreover, the ability of the Swift program to behave as per the situation makes it more robust as compared to Objective C. Objective C allows variables to hold the value of any type while Swift has some fixed data types that it supports. Moreover, as Objective C supports pointers, it also supports the referencing of variables while swift handles the variables by values.
Speed of Coding
The speed of coding is faster in Swift than in Objective C. Due to the syntactical complexities of Objective C, it is hard to write code in Objective C making it slower for a developer to write code in Objective C. Lesser imports and strict rules for writing code in Swift make it a very fast programming language to write and learn.
Speed of performance is faster in Swift than in Objective C. Swift, due to its highly efficient structures and tools are 2.6x times more rapid than Objective C. Objective C, on the other hand, is also quite fast but is slower by a margin than Swift.
Community and Support
Objective C seems to be a better programming language than Swift and Objective C. With a legacy of over 30 years, Objective C has grown a community of many developers and experts. Almost all the answers of Objective C have been answered to date and it gives a huge amount of support and free resources for the new and upcoming developers. Swift, being a new language seems to lack on this front.
Objective C is much more stable in its usage across platforms. It is compatible with all versions of iOS and doesn't require constant changes with every new version. Swift on the other hand is not stable as it jumps from one version to other as it doesn’t support backward compatibility.
Objective C is more mature than Swift due to the amount of time it has been in the industry. Swift is growing fast to achieve that maturity but a lot of use cases are still to be seen for Swift.
Salary / Pay
There is almost equal pay for the Swift developers and Objective C developers as of now. But, as the market of Swift is growing, the demand skill disparity is going to increase the salary of a Swit developer more than an Objective C developer.
Pros and Cons of Swift
Pros of Swift
You can always take a Swift Programming Training to know more about the pros and cons of the language, some of it is given below:
- Swift is faster than most programming languages. It is almost 2.6x faster than objective C and 8.4x faster than Python which gives a seamless experience to the developers.
- The open source nature of swift means that it has a large community surrounding its use that opens to collaboration and newer ideas. It also makes it even more customizable as per the needs.
- Swift is safer and less prone to errors due to its nature to eliminate unsafe codes. Safety has always been a specialty of Apple products and it's not a surprise that swift is designed in a way to be much safer than its counterparts.
Cons of Swift
- Swift is very new to programming languages. Despite beings of its multiple features, it is around 30 years later in the market than Objective C. It means that most of the industry code is in Objective C and it will take time for the industry to resolve legacy issues and move to a brand new code base of Swift. It also means that the issues will be reported for a long time as the use cases arise.
- No backward compatibility of Swift is a major issue and a hindrance in Swift’s growth as a programming language. Swift is not compatible with the previous version’s code bases and doesn’t support it. It means that with every new version of swift, related changes must be incorporated.
- Due to the lack of backward compatibility, swift is restricted to be compatible with third-party tools and integrations as the integrations will falter as soon as the version changes.
Now, let’s have a look at the pros and cons of Objective C.
Pros and Cons of Objective C
Pros of Objective C
- Objective C has many libraries and built-in tools that make the development faster in objective C. With the use of multiple third-party libraries, you can always get your work done with the least hassle and don't have to think about the logic of every code.
- Objective C is compatible with any available version of iOS. This robust nature of objective C makes it more sustainable over some time as developers don't have to worry about constant version changes of iOS.
- Objective C functions can be extended from their original form and can be customized as per the convenience by addition of some functions. This ability to customize programs makes it even more powerful.
Cons of Objective C
- Though Objective C is fast, it takes a lot of time to code in Objective C. Due to its complex structure, it is tedious to write the program in Objective C.
- The syntax of Objective C is very complex and difficult to understand. The complex structure makes it difficult for first-language to learn and even experienced developers face some difficulties in shifting to Objective C.
- With the emergence and popularity of Swift, most people have started moving towards it and hence lesser number of people are there in the Objective C community. Although due to an alder language, many problems are already solved, the ability to adapt and evolve objective C gets reduced due to the lack of youth coming into the space.
Keeping all the factors in mind, I think it would be fair to say that Swift is the language to go. It is backed by apple, it is easier to learn, and is now adapted by companies globally. Objective C is more reliable but there is a strong case of Swift supporting backward compatibility with its growth making it even more acceptable to the industry. Though Objective C is still here to stay due to legacy issues and its backward compatibility, it is going to be a diminishing market.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Do I need to know Objective C to learn Swift?
No, you need not learn Objective C to learn Swift as it is a completely different programming language.
2. Is Swift or Objective-C faster?
Swift is faster than Objective C by a considerable margin due to its great build in tools.
3. What are the disadvantages of Swift?
Swift doesn't support backward compatibility making it difficult to manage across versions.
4. Why Swift is strongly typed?
Swift is strongly type because it supports limited data types and must check if a datatype is lying within its scope.