3 Reasons Everyone Should Be Excited About Apple’s Swift

    By Gary Rotsch | Small Business

    Apple shocked just about everyone at this year’s WWDC conference when they announced that they are releasing their own programming language specifically designed for Apple devices. The aptly named Swift programming language will allow for a more streamlined development for all apps made for either iOS or OS X.

    Developers are being encourage to now develop all of their iOS and OS X projects in this new language, and there aren’t many good reasons not to. Swift is going to allow all developers to work quicker and more efficiently than ever before, which will allow them to release content and apps at a higher rate than ever before. Swift will incorporate more modern code structures and features that have been missing from Apple devices and should empower developers to create even more impressive apps.

    While this may seem like something the average Apple user would not benefit greatly from, in reality this is going to enhance the user experience of anyone who is currently using an Apple device. In 2013 alone, there were 150 million iPhones, 71 million iPads, and 16.5 million Mac computers sold during the fiscal year. Those are the devices sold in 2013 alone that Swift will have a direct influence on, and those numbers are only going to grow. So, here are three reasons why I think everyone should be excited for Apple’s Swift programming language to be put into use by developers.

    1. Apps Will Run Faster

    When Apple releases iOS 8’s final build to the public this fall, users will find that the App Store will have added a significant amount of new apps to its already large library. Users will also find that apps that are only available on iOS 8 will run quicker and smoother than any apps previously made.

    Apple has set up the structure of this code to make it as developer-friendly as possible.  A lot of the things that were necessary in the old language are now automatically done in Swift and will save developers time in the debugging stage of app development. Small things like that will make coding an app in either iOS or OS X quicker and more efficient and will lead to more apps being released quicker for all Apple devices.

    With Swift being developed by Apple, it should come as no surprise that it will work better with Apple devices than anything before. The old languages that developers had to use for Apple device worked on top of the core elements of all Apple devices. Swift will work along with them in order for apps to utilize all of iOS and OS X’s resources. Developers will be able to build on Apple’s operating system now more than ever, and will result in the user having a “swifter” and more efficient experience on all iDevices.

    2. Developers can create faster!

    Now to the part that, personally, I am looking forward to the most from the Swift app development, the Playground.  This is a new feature in Xcode 6. Xcode is an Apple software development kit that has been around for several years now and many use it as their main Apple development tool.  Xcode 6 will release alongside iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite (unless you want to pay $8 for an Apple developer account) and will have a feature that will save developers from the worst part of the app development process: debugging.

    In the past, to see changes developers made to their code, they wouldn’t be able to see the results of their work until they built the code and run a test to see what the difference were. If you have ever used the Eclipse SDK to create an Android application, you know this struggle all too well.

    Debugging process before:

    1.    Code
    2.    Start Building
    3.    Wait
    4.    Wait
    5.    Wait
    6.    See results/mistakes
    7.    Repeat

    I may be exaggerating how long the wait is with the list, but when you do it over and over again, it adds up and can feel like hours instead of minutes. It can take several minutes to have code build and get to the point where you can see what you changed and these minutes can feel like an eternity, until now!  Xcode’s new Playground feature will display a real-time representation of what developers code is and will do. Developers will be able to see changes in seconds not minutes and it will make a world of a difference. Personally this fact alone made me go download Xcode 6 just to get a chance to play around with this feature.

    Debugging with Playground!

    1.   Code
    2.   See instant results/mistakes
    3.   Repeat

    Now, if you’re not a developer, you may think, “Why should this excite me?” But with the Playground now a active feature, debugging for the developers is now going to become a lot less time consuming of a process.

    Also, the quality of apps being developed will rise, if done with Swift. With Swift making it easier to debug, developers will have an easier time identifying where any bugs in the app would be and being able to fix them pre-release. This could save companies and users a potential headache if the apps they use to get important tasks done have less bugs and a less chance of causing loss of money or information.

    In the app development cycle, the debugging phase easily takes the longest time and is the main reason why developers take as long as they do to release new apps and updates to their previous apps. So now with debugging becoming a less time consuming activity, Apple developers will be able to get more content out faster, which is a good thing for everyone with an Apple device.

    3. App development is becoming easier and easier!

    Swift is a game-changer in the app development world. Everyone will be able to see the results of this once Apple releases iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite to the public this fall.  New apps will be available daily from more and more different developers.

    The number of Apple developers is about to grow exponentially. I’m sure many people (even myself) have at one point in their life have wished they were able to create their own apps, but never could because of the training and knowledge it takes to create a useable application.

    Apple is doing its best to make application development an easier process for everyone so more people have the ability to create their own apps and have them submitted to the Apple App Store. The field of app development is going to become easier and easier to break into.

    Depending on the success of Swift, other software companies will be sure to follow Apple’s lead and create their own languages developed with programmer ease and efficiency in mind. If other companies start to follow Apples trend and create increasingly more developer friendly languages, it could eventually lead to the point where if you had a great idea of the next great iPhone app, it would be all you need to become the next app millionaire.

    This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: 3 Reasons Everyone Should Be Excited About Apple’s Swift

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