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Apple Swift

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

Apple Swift is Apple's programming language for IOS, WatchOS , TVOS, MacOS and Linux.

Swift provides a compiled general-purpose language for Apple devices and computers, as well as Linux-based systems. The language makes it possible for a program to run C, Objective-C and C++, as well as Swift code within a single application.

Apple started developing Swift publicly at in 2010. The language was developed to be easy to use and offers type safety, eliminating entire classes of common coding errors. Swift was also made to be secure without impacting performance. Bundling object-oriented programming (OOP) with similarities to C helped its popularity with programmers. The language is designed to be easy to learn, making it more tempting for new students and established programmers alike.

Swift maintains compatibility with existing programs coded in Objective-C and works with the Cocoa and Cocoa Touch API frameworks for MacOS and IOS devices. At the same time, the language strips away some of the baggage of C, for a less verbose and more efficient code. Swift performs better than Python with 3.9 times the speed sorting complex objects, while Objective-C outperforms Python 2.8 times. In RC4 encryption, powerful Objective-C offers 127 times the performance of Python, while Swift offers 220 times the performance of Python.

Swift is included with Apple's Xcode software development kit (SDK). Apple offers full documentation of Swift for free at the iBooks Store with the manual “The Swift Programing Language." Swift Playgrounds offers a site where iPad users can access a real-time interface to display their program as they develop it. Swift-enabled, programmable toys are also available.


This was last updated in February 2018

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