Jan 22, 2019 | Updated: 08:49 AM EST

Apple's Swift Programming Language Is One More Step Down the Rabbit Hole

Jul 11, 2014 04:06 AM EDT

Swift Programming Language
(Photo : Yuko Honda/Flickr)

Apple unveiled a new programming language for developers earlier this week at the 2014 Worldwide Developers Conference called Swift. Designed for streamlining code and reducing bugs, the programming language received a rousing round of applause from developers in attendance - but what does it really mean for the App store ecosystem?

Swift does a great job of eliminating a lot of unnecessary time writing simple code with preset packages and allows developers the option to see their code work in real time. Sounds great doesn't it?

The truth of the matter is that Swift is a step forward, but a step forward in Apple's direction. Don't expect any of the benefits (or the out-of-platform adoption) that you eventually end up with open source codes.

"Swift is a good move for Apple; it makes developing for iOS more attractive. And because Swift, like Objective-C, is only relevant within the Apple ecosystem it encourages developers to commit exclusively to Apple and neglect other platforms. This is clearly a good outcome for Apple, but it's a bad outcome for developers wanting to engage as many people as possible," writes product marketing manager Gabe Sumner in the Huffington Post.

Then there's the fact that Apple has made Swift a separate entity from Objective C - hinting that Swift will eventually be the new go-to for iOS developers. For those not too program-savvy, Objective C is derived from C and is what Apple has made developers rely on to code for its platforms.

"Think of how you'd feel if one day, the government announced that the new national language would be Klingon. Even if you thought that was the coolest idea ever, you'd still be a bit anxious about how difficult the language would be to learn, and who else you'd be able to talk to," says cybersecurty expert David Gewirtz on ZDNET.

"There's a big difference between a new programming language and a new programming language from Apple that's intended to be the default iOS language. Any ol' language might, over time, get picked up and used. But with 9 million registered developers and 130 million new customers added in just the last year, you can be sure that Swift is going to experience extreme adoption at a breakneck pace," Gewirtz added.

Swift has created positive buzz, although developers still have some gripes to pick with it. In the end, Swift will be successful thanks to Apple's established footprint, but should it? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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More: Apple, Swift, iOS, iOS8
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