Objective-C vs Swift

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Objective-C vs Swift: What are the differences?

Developers describe Objective-C as "The primary programming language you use when writing software for OS X and iOS". Objective-C is a superset of the C programming language and provides object-oriented capabilities and a dynamic runtime. Objective-C inherits the syntax, primitive types, and flow control statements of C and adds syntax for defining classes and methods. It also adds language-level support for object graph management and object literals while providing dynamic typing and binding, deferring many responsibilities until runtime. On the other hand, Swift is detailed as "An innovative new programming language for Cocoa and Cocoa Touch". Writing code is interactive and fun, the syntax is concise yet expressive, and apps run lightning-fast. Swift is ready for your next iOS and OS X project — or for addition into your current app — because Swift code works side-by-side with Objective-C.

Objective-C and Swift belong to "Languages" category of the tech stack.

"Ios", "Xcode" and "Backed by apple" are the key factors why developers consider Objective-C; whereas "Ios", "Elegant" and "Not Objective-C" are the primary reasons why Swift is favored.

Swift is an open source tool with 48.4K GitHub stars and 7.76K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Swift's open source repository on GitHub.

Uber Technologies, 9GAG, and Asana are some of the popular companies that use Swift, whereas Objective-C is used by Uber Technologies, Instagram, and Pinterest. Swift has a broader approval, being mentioned in 993 company stacks & 541 developers stacks; compared to Objective-C, which is listed in 851 company stacks and 363 developer stacks.

Advice on Objective-C and Swift
Needs advice
on
FlutterFlutterPythonPython
and
SwiftSwift

Hello, I am still a student and would like to ask a question. Currently, I am developing in mobile development with Flutter in the frontend and Python in the backend part. Right now I have to make a choice about developing a mobile app or developing a backend to progress more professionally. My questions are as follows:

1) If I prefer the mobile application area, will I only work with the Ui/Ux developer with the front-end and code the designs in Swift Kotlin languages, am I responsible for the back-end software?

2) I have a product that generates new ideas so I like to control the development and work there because the backend is the brain, but are they independent from each other in the backend mobile application? Is the mobile app developer responsible for the backend software?

3) I don't like graphic design because I don't like it if it's not perfect and I get stressed. Am I responsible for the graphic design in the mobile app?

4) Is a mobile app developer also a backend developer?

I know these are very simple questions, but they are very important to me. Thanks for your answers.

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Replies (3)
Benjamín Cáceres
Software Developer at Empirica Consultores · | 5 upvotes · 76.8K views
Recommends

Hi Hüseyin! 1-2) In my experience If you are a Mobile Applications Developer you will have the following responsabilities: - Develop (not designing) both functionality and screens of the app you are working - Consume (not develop) third party or self company owned APIs or Backend services - Distribution tasks. - Mantainance tasks. Now, there will always be companies wishing you know the whole thing (ui/ux, backend, frontend, mobile, cd/ci, data science, etc.). And of course it will be helpful for you to know a little bit of the stuff around mobile development, but it's not very common since it's not part of the responsabilities of a mobile app dev.

3) No, you are not responsable for the designs of your application, that's why companies have Product designers, ux designers, ui designers for preparing the screens, logos, color palettes, etc for products. As a developer your job is to see and examine the designs and take them from Figma, InVision, Zeplin, etc to the Code editor.

4) This is the thing, if you are working as a Mobile Developer you might know about Mobile development, not backend, not frontend, not ui ux. BUT if you know a little about backend that might be helpful although backend should not be your responsability.

I hope this makes sense to you. Cheers!

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Jake Hawken
Senior iOS Developer at Grailed · | 4 upvotes · 72.7K views
Recommends
SwiftSwiftXcodeXcode

As a mobile developer, I'm usually a member of a larger team and it's usually another person's responsibility to develop the backend/API, and another person's to do the UX/design. Very very few teams use cross-platform tools like Flutter or React Native, because tools like those tend to make mediocre apps that scale poorly and are impossible to debug, so make sure to get familiar with Swift/iOS or Kotlin/Android (or both).

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Preeti Yuankrathok
Software Consultant at CODIUM · | 2 upvotes · 48.5K views
Recommends

Hi! I think most of your questions led to these answers:

  • Mobile software developers don't responsible for the back-end part, or even graphic design. Of course, the back-end part should be done by a back-end developer. The graphic design, I'd say that if you work on a start-up, you might be the one who does since there isn't much manpower there, but in the larger company, they would have a designer especially in UI/UX. You'll have a mockup for the application that you need to follow. As a developer, you're expected to code, not design.

  • I've said that the responsibility isn't yours, but of course, you'll have an advantage over others if you know UI/UX, or back-end as well. That would help you a lot to be a good mobile developer.

Good luck!

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Adit Patel
Needs advice
on
RustRust
and
SwiftSwift

Hey there, we are looking to develop our own layer 1 blockchain. We're splitting the responsibilities for origination, clearing, and settlement across three independent but cooperating node networks. We've gotten our Proof of Concept up using Ruby on Rails for the nodes, you can see it as the attached link. So far, so good. Now we are looking to convert it into a distributable and are trying to figure out which language is the best for this.

Essentially our needs from the language are: solid networking tools and speed, very fast execution of basic actions, some parallel execution, and able to compile the end product into an easy to distribute and use package for end users.

I was learning Rust, but I have a healthy amount of experience with Swift and right now, it's only me coding. I've only done iOS coding, but have built a fintech app from scratch that's now in the app store so I'm pretty familiar with the language and its benefits. Haven't experimented with Vapor or any of the application development tools, and I wanted to know if it is a crazy idea to develop a blockchain node in Swift instead.

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Replies (2)
Recommends
RustRust

Pick Rust. Rust can provide all what you need and has been a major language in blockchain/cryptocurrency industry. Swift is slower than Rust and does not have such support in the networking and domain field. Swift tooling is great only on macOS, therefore you are likely to have troubles on other platforms.

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Peter Suwara
Director at Realityworks · | 6 upvotes · 76.5K views
Recommends
C++C++GolangGolangSwiftSwift

You can use swift of course. It’s more of a question of being performant.

You really want to try some basic operations and find what’s most performant for you.

Rust is wonderful for cloud applications requiring heavy concurrency, it has compile time checking for such things.

Go and C++ could be more performant in your case. Swift is really quite an obtuse language, with a lot of features, some which may complicate your implementation.

Also, you want to consider the market of developers who could help build it. If you use Go or C++ there is a larger collection of people who know the languages than there is with swift.

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Needs advice
on
JavaScriptJavaScriptReactReact
and
SwiftSwift

Hey guys, I learned the basics (OOP, data structures & some algorithms) with Python, but now I want to learn iOS development. I am considering to learn Swift, but I am afraid how the native mobile development will die out because of the cross-platform frameworks and reviews. My idea is to learn web development first and then learn React Native, and after all of that, finally Swift. What do you think about this roadmap? Should I just learn Swift first due to the pros of the native apps?

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Replies (7)
Recommends
SwiftSwift

Native apps are not going to die. Especially not Swift because now Swift can be used to develop cross platform macOS and iOS apps due to the new macs having M1 chips.

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Recommends
SwiftSwift

I would suggest to bet more on Swift! I have developed act in React and Javascript in the past and played around with Swift a little... the performances of native code vs Javascript are way too slow compared to swift native app!

Now even more than ever M1 chip will give a boost, but if it gives a boost to JS it will give a boost also to native apps. I would seriously consider Swift more than Javascript, React or even Electron!

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The decision comes down to your goals and needs.

If you want to be able to create any kind of iOS app, simple or complex, learn Swift. It's indispensable if you're building specialised apps like video editing, augmented reality, machine learning or anything that uses iOS-specific APIs such as App Clips.

But if you just want to create apps that make HTTP requests and display static content such as text or basic video and music, React Native would do just fine, and you can publish the same code to Android. This is a no-brainer choice if you're on a low budget.

And if you know both, you can use both in the same app. You can add React Native screens or components inside a Swift app.

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Recommends
SwiftSwift

If asking about employment opportunities, native will never die out. There will always be opportunity for work in native mobile applications. There are also many advantages of using native over cross platform such as always having access to the latest APIs and developer libraries that may not be available to cross-platform without some native development involved or can wait until someone develops a bridge for you.

If you are asking about what you should develop with first? It really depends. React-Native is great for building proto-types or basic MVP application that doesn't require any of the latest and greatest features Apple has to offer at the moment. But if you're asking what to learn? I would say native will always give you a larger advantage as it will give you a good foundation in mobile development and provide you access to the latest native libraries. It is also a useful skill that can give you an edge in cross-platform mobile like react-native because you will most definitely encounter a situation where you will have to go down to the to native side to extend functionality or utilize APIs that are not yet out of the box.

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Noel Broda
Founder, CEO, CTO at NoFilter · | 4 upvotes · 54.5K views

"Should I just learn Swift first due to the pros of the native apps?". React Native builds Native Apps. Technologies like ionic does NOT build native apps, but React Native does it.

Learning Swift seems to be a really bad idea from my point of view. Learning JavaScript is all what you need. Why? Because then Frontend, Backend, and Mobile Dev, is simple, because it's all JavaScript.

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Carlos Iglesias
Recommends

Mobile Native Development Apps will never die. Cross Plataform like React Native only exists to save time and costs for startups mainly, which is extraordinary, and indispensable often of course. But when the App get popular enough, it will probably will move to Native Development. Several improvements.

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Recommends
JavaScriptJavaScriptReactReact

Less than 20% of the market is IOS, the rest is Android. Any developer must produce for Android and maybe support IOS. If you prototype on IOS you have to restart again for Android. React and JavaScript will run on IOS.

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Decisions about Objective-C and Swift
James Bender
Lead Application Architect at TekPartners · | 5 upvotes · 32.5K views

I've yet to see a non-native application that I felt performed as well and/or provided the same user experience with Cordova/PhoneGap/Xamarin. Frankly, at best they all seemed like underpowered web applications deployed to a sandbox that ran on a phone. They didn't feel "slick" or "mobile-first" and in some cases the performance was unacceptable. At previous companies, we built a few of these apps at the client's insistence, and in every case, they re-engaged us about 18 months later to re-write the app(s) natively.

We are doing some research on React Native and Flutter, but I am not yet convinced that they can provide the same level of experience and performance as native, though I am trying to keep an open mind.

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Ismael Ghanim
Senior Mobile Engineer at Homecoming · | 5 upvotes · 62.3K views

We chose React Native over native Android and iOS development because of React Native's cross-platform capabilities. React Native has really matured over the years, developing a native feel, with simple and intuitive APIs. The community is also huge, filling in any gaps in the default APIs. These are also the reasons why we didn't choose other hybrid mobile tools. Largely, other hybrid mobile tools don't have the same mobile feel and close connection to the underlying mobile APIs.

At a larger scale, the control that native development offers beats React Native's simplicity. However, at this early stage, it's worth the trade-off. Maintaining two mobile teams and two mobile apps, as we iterate the product rapidly would not be practical. Plus, there is always the escape hatch of native modules if more control is needed.

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Gabor Galazzo

As a startup, we need the maximum flexibility and the ability to reach our customers in a more suitable way. So a hybrid application approach is the best because it allows you to develop a cross-platform application in a unique codebase. The choice behind Ionic is Angular, I think that angular is the best framework to develop a complex application that needs a lot of service interaction, its modularity forces you (the developer) to write the code in the correct way, so it can be maintainable and reusable.

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Lucas Litton
Founder & CEO at Macombey · | 7 upvotes · 129.9K views

Expo was a tool Macombey really wanted to utilize from the beginning. I have been working with React Native since 2016 and originally I had to use simulators in Xcode, install pods on top of node packages, configure certificates, and more abundant objectives that take time away from actual development. As a development studio, we have to move quick and get projects to our clients and partners in a matter of months.

Expo made this easy for us. We now have a mobile app for clients to download and test their project on, there is no need to install pods or configure Xcode, and development is super fast and reliable now.

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Noel Broda
Founder, CEO, CTO at NoFilter · | 5 upvotes · 187.1K views

1 code deploys for both: Android and iOS. There is a huge community behind React Native. And one of the best things is Expo. Expo uses React Native to make everything even more and more simple. Awesome technologies. Some other important thing is that while using React Native, you are reusing all JavaScript knowledge you have in your team. You can move easily a frontend dev to develop mobile applications.

A huge PRO of Expo, is that it includes a full building process. You run 1 line in the terminal, and 10 minutes after you have 2 builds done. Double check EAS Expo.

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Pros of Objective-C
Pros of Swift
  • 212
    Ios
  • 115
    Xcode
  • 62
    Backed by apple
  • 47
    Osx
  • 40
    Interface builder
  • 10
    Good old fashioned ooe with a modern twist
  • 2
    Goober, please
  • 1
    Object-oriented
  • 1
    Handles well null values (no NullPointerExceptions)
  • 257
    Ios
  • 179
    Elegant
  • 125
    Not Objective-C
  • 107
    Backed by apple
  • 92
    Type inference
  • 60
    Generics
  • 54
    Playgrounds
  • 49
    Semicolon free
  • 38
    OSX
  • 35
    Tuples offer compound variables
  • 24
    Easy to learn
  • 23
    Clean Syntax
  • 22
    Open Source
  • 20
    Beautiful Code
  • 20
    Functional
  • 11
    Linux
  • 11
    Dynamic
  • 10
    Promotes safe, readable code
  • 10
    Protocol-oriented programming
  • 8
    No S-l-o-w JVM
  • 8
    Explicit optionals
  • 7
    Storyboard designer
  • 5
    Best UI concept
  • 5
    Super addicting language, great people, open, elegant
  • 5
    Type safety
  • 5
    Optionals
  • 4
    Feels like a better C++
  • 4
    Swift is faster than Objective-C
  • 4
    Its friendly
  • 4
    Faster and looks better
  • 4
    Powerful
  • 4
    Fail-safe
  • 4
    Highly Readable codes
  • 3
    Easy to Maintain
  • 3
    Easy to learn and work
  • 3
    Much more fun
  • 3
    Protocol extensions
  • 3
    Native
  • 3
    Its fun and damn fast
  • 3
    Strong Type safety
  • 2
    Protocol oriented programming
  • 2
    Esay
  • 2
    MacOS
  • 2
    Type Safe
  • 2
    All Cons C# and Java Swift Already has
  • 2
    Protocol as type
  • 1
    Objec
  • 1
    Can interface with C easily
  • 1
    Numbers with underbar
  • 1
    Optional chain
  • 1
    Runs Python 8 times faster
  • 1
    Actually don't have to own a mac
  • 1
    Free from Memory Leak
  • 1
    Swift is easier to understand for non-iOS developers.
  • 1
    Great for Multi-Threaded Programming

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Cons of Objective-C
Cons of Swift
  • 1
    UNREADABLE
  • 5
    Must own a mac
  • 2
    Memory leaks are not uncommon
  • 1
    Very irritatingly picky about things that’s
  • 1
    Complicated process for exporting modules
  • 1
    Its classes compile to roughly 300 lines of assembly
  • 1
    Is a lot more effort than lua to make simple functions
  • 0
    Overly complex options makes it easy to create bad code

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- No public GitHub repository available -

What is Objective-C?

Objective-C is a superset of the C programming language and provides object-oriented capabilities and a dynamic runtime. Objective-C inherits the syntax, primitive types, and flow control statements of C and adds syntax for defining classes and methods. It also adds language-level support for object graph management and object literals while providing dynamic typing and binding, deferring many responsibilities until runtime.

What is Swift?

Writing code is interactive and fun, the syntax is concise yet expressive, and apps run lightning-fast. Swift is ready for your next iOS and OS X project — or for addition into your current app — because Swift code works side-by-side with Objective-C.

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