Swift 5 is set to change the game of iOS app development in three core areas elaborated above, i.e., library evolution, ABI, and module stability.
Swift is a functional, multi-paradigm, and compiled programming language built by Apple Inc. to serve general purposes of building apps for devices like iPad and iPhone. It works well with Objective-C code that is written for Apple products.
Considering the overall mobile app market, it is booming presently with millions of apps available on the Google Play Store and App Store. These stores are currently dominating the mobile app development market. For the first quarter of 2019, app users choose to download 2.2 million iOS apps from Apple Store.
With more consumers spending their time on mobile devices, retailers need to meet their needs there, by investing in mobile app development and incorporating the latest technology in the same like Swift 5.
Every iOS app developer that you hire chooses Swift 5 as it is geared to the consumers and is built to work in a simplified manner. Apple has developed Swift 5 from an inspiration from multiple programming languages such as Ruby, Objective-C, C#, Rust, CLU, and Haskell. After several years of cultivation, Swift 5 gets introduced as the biggest update in terms of beginner-friendly programming language.
So, what can you get with Swift 5 for iOS app development?
A brief list of benefits that iOS developers can experience with the evolution of Swift is given below:
An introduction of ABI (application binary interface) stability
ABI or application binary interface allows Swift libraries to interact with other libraries at runtime. Several low functions like locating metadata and access it, how to perform function calls, and how to utilize its data are being defined by it.
With its introduction in Swift 5, now all Swift libraries will be integrated into various Apple device OS, thus an app built on Swift 5 will be able to run with systems developed on Swift 5 libraries. Earlier, Swift did not allow ABI stability.
This feature is set to be beneficial for Smaller apps where developers will no longer require Swift libraries inclusion into the iOS app’s build while reducing app sizes. It will make the download time faster of the app on iOS devices.
Adding to this, faster loads of apps, better app performance, and customer experience will also be derived from ABI stability of Swift 5.
Shift from UTF-16 to UTF-8 to enhance App’s Efficiency
Aiming to preserve Objective-C-interoperability, Swift 5 has shifted encoding of strings from UTF-16 to UTF-8. This shift to UTF-8 will help in String’s major goal to achieve high-performance processing, that is desired at the developer’s end while coding an efficient app.
This encoding will allow the iOS developer to build an efficient app with enhanced overall memory and performance along with an improved client-side and server-side communication.
As earlier mentioned, Swift 5 has focused on run time with ABI stability. With Module stability, it aims to cover compile time. It is an interface that will work with future Swift compiler well.
At present, Swift is using swiftmodule, an opaque archive format for library interface description. This module is limiting a developer’s capacity to use the different versions of the compiler. To remove this restriction, module stability is required.
This approach involves the traditional opaque format augmentation with module’s textual summary so that the clients can use a specific module without bothering about default compiler being used.
In conclusion, Swift 5 is set to change the game of iOS app development in three core areas elaborated above, i.e., library evolution, ABI, and module stability. Now that you know the improvements to Swift will address several issues faced earlier from the developer’s community, I want to encourage businesses to opt for retail app development on the iOS platform.
For more updates in regards to Swift 5, you can refer to the official documents.