Swift is a programming language for iOS, macOS, iPadOS, watchOS, tvOS, and Linux applications. Apple introduced it in 2014, and since the release, it gradually becomes the most popular technology for iOS mobile apps. Swift became an open-source programming language at the end of 2015. Right now, we have almost 800 contributors that are actively improving the language. The latest version of Swift brings a wide number of changes and new features for iOS app developers. In the 1st quarter of 2020, users were able to choose between almost 1.85 million available apps for iOS.
Why is it worth to code a mobile app in Swift programming language?
If you are thinking about developing an iOS application, you need to know that Apple is selective and restrictive when it comes to publishing mobile apps on the App Store. That means you have to choose the technology that is widely supported by this influential company. There are 2 most important technologies for iOS development: Swift and Objective-C. The core of Swift is similar to Objective-C, but it provides many essential features that we won't find in Objective-C. Since the day of release, Swift grew really fast and became one of the most popular programming languages in history. Right now, Swift positions on the second place on a list of programming languages that are actively developed on GitHub.
Last week Apple introduced the newest version of Swift 5.3. Over the last year, many improvements had been made in Swift. Comparing to the Objective-C, Swift 5.3 requires one and a half times less code size. According to StackOverflow surveys (from 3 last years), Swift consistently appears on a list of the most loved programming languages by developers. In fact, this programming language has many advantages (a list of benefits is at the end of the article). The latest WWDC does not include the topics about Objective-C. We can observe that Apple is paying tremendous attention to Swift.
13 popular iOS applications written in Swift
Mobile applications should respond to target group needs, have a strong product core with a user-friendly interface, and provide bug-free experience for app users. Down below, you can see the list of some great iOS apps written in Swift.
LinkedIn is a social network application dedicated to job seekers, professionals, and businesses. Currently, the LinkedIn iOS application has a 4.4 rating and takes 5th place in a business app category.
SlideShare is a part of LinkedIn Corporation. The application allows exploring over 15 million presentations, videos, and infographics. The rating also oscillates around 4.4.
Shawarmer is powered by Railwaymen. This mobile app was created for the GCC region. The purpose is to find exclusive offers, check the nearest branch to pick up your food, and easily order shawarma.
Firefox is one of the most popular web browsers in the World. Mozilla Corporation is strongly focused on safety and keeping privacy. The rating in the App Store is 4.1.
WordPress for iOS is an open-source project. With this app, users can manage WP blogs or websites right from a mobile device. The application includes extensive functionalities like creating and editing posts and pages, viewing stats, or responding to comments.
The purpose of the mobile application Asana is to organize tasks & work. Asana allows us to capture tasks, to-dos, reminders, and ideas. The rating in the App Store is 4.7.
Thanks to the Wikipedia iOS application, the biggest online encyclopedia in the World, is at our fingertips. Wikipedia ensures more than 40 million articles across nearly 300 languages. The rating: 4.5.
Lyft is a popular carpool application for iOS. Right now, it gathers a high grade of 4.9 and takes 3rd place in the Travel category on the App Store.
My Sober Roommate is the app that lets to search, match, and message with sober roommates. The purpose is to promote a clean lifestyle and help find a proper roommate.
Clear Todos is a productivity application that organizes tasks in a simple way. It's recognized as a quick, easy, intuitive, and perfect for busy people. Users give it a 4.5 rating score.
With Eventbrite, we can discover popular local events, get recommendations, and see which events arouse the interest of friends.
Sky Guide makes stargazing and finding stars simple. The application automatically finds stars, constellations, planets, satellites, and more. Users give it a high 4.9 rating score.
Kickstarter allows exploring creative projects in art, design, film, games, music, and more. This application is dedicated to independent creators and passionate backers willing to bring new ideas to life.
What are the business benefits of Swift?
From the business point of view, clients usually consider a few factors while choosing the best technology for the project: the cost of software development, the speed of implementation, and the possibility of further innovation. Let's take a look at how Swift matches those criteria.
#1 Speedy App Development
Apple rightly positions Swift as a speedy and lightweight language. Our Developers confirm this assumption. Faster development saves money and allows creating a product that can be quickly updated, modified, or extended. It means that your Swift app will promptly respond to changing market environments, and it can have a significant impact on application success. Apps written in Swift are also easy to scale. That's why so many startups choose Swift 5 as the chief technology.
#2 Lower Cost of Maintenance
Swift is a compact programming language that requires less code than other mobile technologies. iOS developers can implement features and reduce the number of code lines. Less code means lower cost of the app maintenance. Lyft is a great example of an app that reduced the code and kept the same functionality. Through over the years, at the climactic moment, Lyft inflated to 75,000 lines of code. After implementing the Swift, they received a fully functional mobile application with less than a third of that.
#3 Higher level of security
Apple had designed Swift with the strong intention of improving the code safety for iOS products. That's why this programming language ensures a high level of security. Swift's syntax and code construction allow excluding many typical bugs delivered by Objective-C. How is it possible? Swift has a shorter feedback loop. Developers can see mistakes immediately and fix them instantly. The risk of providing a questionable quality product is much lower.
#4 Supported and accepted by Apple
Well, your iOS app has to appear in Apple's App Store, that's for sure. It is one of the first places where users are looking for mobile applications. As I mentioned before, Apple is rather demanding in that case. Following their best practices and trends will benefit your business. The technology used for your app needs to meet the Apple requirements and be 100% compatible with the iPhone system. Right now, Swift is the leading technology for iOS apps.
What is the future of Swift?
We observe that Apple is creating their independent ecosystem. This open-source language attracts the attention of developers and software companies. Using Swift responds to the latest trends. The global job market shows that Swift Developers are in demand and well paid. Everything indicates that iOS development will be driven by Swift in the coming years. Is Swift better than other technologies?
How to successfully develop an iOS application written in Swift?
First of all, you need to choose a solid IT partner that has experience with coding in Swift. In that case, you can cooperate with a software company or with a freelancer. Selecting the software development company will deliver you extensive know-how and service, but you will have to pay more. Hiring a freelancer is a cheaper option, but there is a high chance that it wouldn't meet your expectations. Software house will ensure a team that will work on your app success. To deliver an iOS app that will be well-designed, bug-free, and have a strong core, you'll need Developers, UX Designer, Quality Assurance Specialist, and Project Manager.
Every iOS app has to answer to market needs. It's essential to validate the app idea and check whether it will meet the user's interest. We recommend organizing the Discovery Phase (the initial stage of developing IT products).
With Swift, you can build apps for every Apple device: iPhone, iPod, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch or Apple TV. No doubt, this technology allows to release the full potential of iOS development. It gives you a broad spectrum of business and monetization opportunities.
“Everything’s going to revolve around Swift.”
Martin Conte Mac Donell, Principal Engineer at Lyft
As you can see, from the list above, great companies like LinkedIn or Mozilla Corporation had written their iOS apps in Swift 5. They know that proper code is imperative to maintain the application in a long-time perspective. If you are looking for a programming language that will allow your application to freely grow, Swift is the right choice. At Railwaymen, we honestly recommend it for our clients.
Our team makes every effort to deliver very high-quality iOS apps to our clients. As we already have +11 years of mobile app development experience with successful projects finished we can become your new Swift experts! Curious what our complete mobile development tech stack and how does the process look like?