Main Characteristics of the Languages Used for iOS Apps

Objective-C is the iOS coding language created by Stepstone in the early 1980s. It was presented to the public in 1988 when Tom Love and Brad Cox released the book "Object Oriented Programming: Evolutionary Approach." In the late 1980s, Objective-C was adopted by NeXT Computer, Inc., authorised for the development of the NeXTStep framework and eventually acquired by Apple. It’s a standard that has been in the field of iOS application development for many years.

Objective-C was developed under the influence of two other languages: C and Smalltalk. This is why it has such lengthy and complicated grammar. It derives its object syntax from Smalltalk, whilst the syntax for object-oriented operations is the same as in C. It uses message exchange and dynamic typing and also needs to split the class into two code blocks: interface and integration.
Swift is a relatively new iOS development language. Apple initiated work on Swift in 2010 and released it in 2014. By 2015, the language had become open source. It’s now given up its Smalltalk and C legacy and has all the features of modern programming languages: generics, type inference, options and higher-order functions.
Apple app development language: what to choose?
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Development Speed

Language functions seem technical, but they have a considerable influence on the business side, depending on the speed of development. Application development in Swift is faster than in Objective-C. The use of generic and higher-order functions leads to cleaner, more reusable code. The optional and type inference leads to the security responsibility code being transferred from the programmer to the compiler. A more concise syntax, with no need to create two code blocks for the class interface and implementation, means that the programmer can write fewer lines of code, the effect is the same as Objective-C.

All this makes development faster. This is more than just a theory – although there is no official research, we can confirm it as fact based on our own experience and the experience of our iOS developers.

Other Pros and Cons

Swift is faster to develop, but this isn’t the only factor you should consider when taking business-critical decisions. What are the pros and cons of these two Apple-related languages?

  • It has existed for many years and has been thoroughly tested. Millions of lines of code were written in Objective-C. There are many well-documented third-party frameworks and almost every question has an answer.
  • Compatibility with C and C ++. Because it is a superset of C, Objective-C runs relatively smoothly with C or C ++ code.
  • It is very stable. If you use Objective-C to build your app, you may not need to spend money to migrate your app to a new version in a few months.
  • More difficult to learn. Objective-C is very different from many other popular coding languages and its memory management is very complex. This is why Apple developers familiar with Objective-C are more likely to learn Swift and vice versa.
  • Lower number of available developers. Because Objective-C is hard to learn, there are more programmers studying Swift than Objective-C.
  • Applications developed using Objective-C may be easier to decipher than their Swift alternatives. As Objective-C is well known and has existed for many years, this means that reverse-engineering tools have also evolved very well.
  • Swift is safer. Because of its features – generic nature, options and type interference – applications developed in Swift are more prone to errors and crashes than applications developed in Objective-C.
  • Apple focuses on Swift. Apple continues to develop this language and support the community. There are some amazing technical talks about Swift in every WWDC, with the premise being that Swift should be taken seriously.
  • We can also assign IT specialists that can speak your foreign language and that are close to you geographically so you'll be able to communicate conveniently on your own time zone. Our app developer for hire are very adaptable and versatile.

Our Achievements:

322 App Development Projects
413 Mobile Applications
75 Enterprise Software Solutions

Which Apple App Development Language Is Better?

  • The application was written in Objective-C and you just need to add new features. Swift interoperates with Objective-C, which means you can successfully use both languages ​​within one project. However, this may not be the best option. Keeping an application in two coding languages ​​can cause problems. You should be aware that there may be some edge conditions. Firstly, you’ll need a developer with proficiency in both languages. More importantly, context switching makes the developer's job slower since they need to switch between programming languages ​​every day.
  • You need to use third-party C or C ++ structures extensively. This situation is relatively rare. In this case, since Objective-C is a superset of C, it might be worth using that language.

What Language is Used to Write Apple Apps?

From the developer's point of view, Swift is safer, faster and more enjoyable. On the other hand, it just isn’t as mature as the C-family. The proper decisions are always made in a specific context.

iOS Development: Getting Acquainted with the Process

Developing a native iOS app can be a tricky process. The developers you hire will work on it at every step, so there should be a professional technician on hand to visualise your application through the design and coding phases.

First, let's get acquainted with the real development aspects of your app – including some of the terminologies and techniques that are useful when starting an Apple app development project.

Critical Point: the First Phase of iOS Application Development

We start by discussing your project, including wireframing, storyboards and user interface design, with the development team. We build a prototype and then write your app in order to set up any server-side architecture such as a database. Our experienced iOS developers become your key consultants and guide you through each stage until your product is submitted to the App Store.

The Development Starts with the User Interface (UI)

The user interface is developed using Storyboard and Interface Builder. This lays the foundation for how your application will work – it forms the interaction among the user interface, the database and the users. The prototype will create a style guide, but will also serve as a template for developers to start using the front-end and back-end software plans.

All iOS Applications are Supported by Event-driven Development

The interactions mentioned above are always caused by events. The event is triggered by a user action, the user action sends a request, manipulates the data and sends a response. The definition will guide application interaction to lay the foundation for all the code that will run application logic.

Building the Front-end and Back-end

The software architecture planning phase coincides with the design of the user interface and usually goes through several iterations of feedback editing. Developers will ensure that any proposed project is well supported on the back-end, optimised for performance and scalability. Using the Foundation framework and the Core Data framework and API, developers will create a template for your application to organise data so that the controller layer of your app knows how to extract it from the database, delete or edit content. The controller layer is built using the Objective-C, Swift and Cocoa Touch frameworks. If you need to build your own back-end or you’ve chosen a BaaS (backend as a Service) software package or engineer back-end system, back-end developers are key to the application development process.

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Our Skills

  • Software architecture design: We understand what technology is used on the front-end and back-end of the app so that it is well-supported and scalable enough to grow;
  • User Experience and UI Design: The design and software architecture phases require a complete understanding of user experience and UI design, so that prototypes can be created and encoded from these templates.
  • Design Patterns: The iOS software design standard determines how the application behaves, so knowing when and where to apply these standards to better support your application is essential for smooth, efficient development.
  • iOS Framework and Development Environment: The Apple framework contains a library of code and methods for applications accessible through the framework API.
  • Apple Xcode IDE: Apple SDK
  • Cocoa Structure: Cocoa (OS X) and Cocoa Touch (iOS) are proprietary Apple structures written in the Objective-C programming language.
  • Apple UIKit Framework: Advanced framework for creating user interfaces
  • Core Graphics: Low-level structure for building graphics like as Core audio, Core animation, Core data.
  • iOS programming language: Objective-C, Swift

Principle of Object-oriented Programming

Third-party platforms allow our developers to encode applications using CSS, HTML and JavaScript, including: PhoneGap, Titanium Titanium, Xamarin.

We have a wealth of experience in Apple app development, design, testing and deployment in the App Store. Contact us to discuss your project and we’ll do the discovery for your existing software solutions, estimate the functional demands of your task and suggest the Apple app development language that fits best.

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