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App Development with Swift

Estefanía Teixeira

Table of Content

What is Swift iOS?
Why use Swift?

Building an App with Swift
Testing a Swift App Beta Version
Designing an iOS App with SwiftUI
Considerations for creating iOS Apps
Interactive Dev with Swift Playground

Conclusion

Techs always go through reinvention processes. Thus, programming languages are ​​ever-growing and preparing for new digital eras. In this context, Swift rises as one of iOS' programming languages. Further, it's the latest development language introduced by iOS. The replacement for Objective-C arrived in 2014.

Nowadays, there are one billion iPhones circulating the world. These are 23.4% of the smart devices' global market. Moreover, it has more than 2.23 million apps in its App Store, and the number is increasing. With these digits, iOS apps are something to consider as a business strategy. So, what is the process of creating an app with Swift? Hop on, and let's review it!

What is Swift iOS?

Swift is a new language, and devs who handle it are scarce. With eight years on the market, it became an open-source programming language in 2015. The language is safe, fast, and expressive. Also, it's helpful to develop more than iPhone apps. Also, it's a valuable resource for creating desktop apps (with macOS). You can find Swift's code on Apple's GitHub.

Yet, this language has some determining factors for its development. For starters, it's intuitive and easy to learn. Its simple syntax helps speed development processes and pipes full-stack capabilities. Also, its dynamic libraries cut memory consumption. Not to mention, its improved security system covers fewer code locks. Last but not least, it has a huge support community and a lot of quick functions.

Why use Swift for App Development?

Swift is a clean and concise language. It's gaining more and more popularity over native iOS development. Within its short time, Swift is the 20th most-used programming language worldwide! It is the fourteenth most popular language among programmers. Not only devs use Swift to write safe codes for iOs. Plus, it's easy to use on other OSs like Linux and Windows.

Compared to predecessors like Objective-C, C, and C++, it's safe and intuitive. It contains an intuitive core and hosts a tight-knit community. Since its heyday, Swift has been the preferred choice of many big-name entities. The list of companies using Swift goes on and on. The first ones often thought about are platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram. Yet, it's also the language behind platforms like Uber, CNN, Airbnb, Medium, and Fitbit.

App Development with Swift

How to build an iOS App with Swift?

Swift follows a series of phases of downloading and development. In the first stage, there are specific steps to consider:

1. Xcode

It's essential to have the required tools for development. Here, Xcode comes as a functional toolkit for developers. The platform focuses on developing Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV apps. Plus, Xcode provides tools for UI design, coding, testing, and debugging. Also, it offers direct submission to the App Store.

2. Configuration

Through Xcode, it is necessary to create a "New project." The dev service has a list of project types. Hence, it's vital to choose the right kind from scratch. Besides handling Swift, Xcode still offers Objective-C development.

3. UI Design

Apple updates have improved design and coding with XCode. Here, the UIViews class runs the elements implemented on the User Interface.

4. Connection

In this phase, it's crucial to establish and connect the project’s labels. Here, it's necessary to create an IBOutlet. In the Swift environment, outlets are objects' properties referring to other objects. The reference gets archived via its Interface Building. Fur different reasons, the containing object unarchives from its .nib file. With this feature, the connection between objects and outlets reestablishes. It has the IBOutlet type-qualifier weak option. With the IBOulet tag, the Interface Builder recognizes and synchronizes the outlet.

5. Coding.

Here, braces and "self.label.text" code are vital elements. This code allows Swift to optimize the programming process. A highlight is that Swift's code translation is incredible! Like programming languages like Objective-C, Python, and C++, objects predominate in Swift.

These objects comprise properties. Further, they have variables that house information. In the Swift syntax, properties have access by using the dot notation. With this code, properties get updated to a string. The string "" is shorthand for converting the object to a string. As a result, it sets it as your label's property. For example, the text property holds some text. You can put as much text as you want between the quotes.

Playing around and being curious about XCode and its functions is advisable. It is necessary to update the label's text on ViewDidLoad and determine the reaction. After each action, you'll get a response. It all depends on what you want to achieve.

How to test the Beta Version of an iOS App?

You can use the XCTest framework or the iOS Unit test while testing. Also, there's TestFlight for feedback recollection. Through beta testing, devs will be able to check different features. These traits include notifications, data storage via Core Data, and third-party API calls.

To run these tests, you'll need to load the app's beta version. Through iTunes Connect, you can add names and emails for test participants. Yet, each party has to install TestFlight for it.

Carrier firmware and modifications may cause performance changes on real devices. Thus, testing through real devices is quite a logistical challenge. Here, cloud testing on Xcode becomes quite the tool. With tested sections and ended beta version, devs can join Apple Developer Program. Within it, members have access to different features. Some enclose beta software and tools and app analytics.

App Development with Swift

How to Design an iOS App with SwiftUI?

Not all app-building processes rely purely on development. Design, especially for both interface and experience, is fundamental. Here, SwiftUI takes the lead. This library allows declaring UIs for any iOS application. SwiftUI works with Swift and Xcode via short and simple code and declarative syntax. Thus, devs can state what the UI needs to do. For example, you can write a list of text fields. After, you can add their alignment, font, and color.

On its last upgrade, SwiftUI added some exciting features:

Quick Charts

SwiftUI Swift Charts entitles to create several views. It allows visualizing graphs of lines, bars, and even fancy graphs. What's more, this tool supports VoiceOver.

Navigation API

This update offers programmatic control over the app navigation behavior. Plus, it manages transitions between classes and sizes. All these additions ensure checked quality before launching.

Advanced Design

With SwiftUI, it's possible to create advanced and reusable designs. It offers a grid API for horizontal and vertical views' simultaneous alignment. It also includes ViewThatFits, which lets you specify several variations of a view.

Moreover, XCode has intuitive tools that allow easier use of SwiftUI. This automated process hosts synchronization with the editor code. Hence, the code is visible as you type, and you can view it from many configurations. XCode compiles the pushed changes into the executable version of the app. All this while you have the option of viewing and editing. It offers drag and drop, dynamic replacement, and preview features.

When using a non-SwiftUI UI element, it's possible to unfold platform combinations. Here, SwiftUI works in confluence with platforms like UIKit and AppKit. In turn, you can take advantage of the usefulness of all libraries.

What to Consider when Creating an iOS App?

First of all, it's essential to have a Mac capable of running Xcode's IDE. Apple itself suggests using Swift as the programming language for iOS. Xcode includes the iOS SDK with tools, compilers, and frameworks. Hence, it allows for designing, developing, coding, and debugging. iOS' SDK contains a long list of elements, like Cocoa and Cocoa Touch environments. Also, there are tools like UIKit, MapKit, PushKit, GameKit, and Foundation.

These environments and frameworks allow the connection with devices' features. Among devs, the most used are camera access and voice interaction via SiriKit. Yet, it also offers exploring features like MusicKit and AirPlay. Plus, devs can add iMessage Business chats on apps.

App Development with Swift

Swift Playground: Interactive iOS App Development

Swift Playground allows users without code knowledge to learn the iOS' programming language. This downloadable platform creates an interactive world with 3D characters to enhance engaging learning. Moreover, users can both write code to see the results or interact with elements to see how the code changes. It offers specific versions for iPads and Macs. Yet, Swift Playground requires macOS 13.0 or later to function on computers.

Conclusion

As a programming language, Swift offers endless possibilities for app projects. Its performance, scalability, and maintenance costs make it an ally for thriving businesses. Are you ready to start Swift's journey and get a first-row seat in the App Store?


There's a reason Apple has over 20% of the smart devices market. Not only its OS offers intuitive interfaces combined with speed-focused performance. Its app development possibilities seem endless, and the Swift programming language is a big reason for it. Take advantage of this amazing tool with our specialized team of Swift devs! Check our showcase and content, and become a part of the A-list clients who trust us. Let's shape the future together!

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