Swift is faster than Objective-C

September 13th, 2019 - ozonesoft


Let’s find out why– 

Swift is a programming language that was first released by Apple in June 2014. While Objective-C is primarily known as the language for creating iPhone Apps, its development dates back to the 1980s.

The core of both programming language is the same but Swift has several essential features that Objective-C lacks.  

After the introduction of Swift, iOS developers have started passionately arguing about which language is better. Among the general excitement about a new, easier way to build apps, there were sceptics, unsure if the world needed another transformative but forgetful technology.  

Just in three years, Swift became the fastest-growing programming language in history. Regardless of that, Apple continues to support Objective-C as an alternative for old-school developers. 

But which of these languages can both make developers work easier and provide a cost-effective solution for a business?  

  • From the business perspective, stakeholders usually consider these factors when choosing a language for a project the cost of development, its duration, and the scope of further innovation.
  • While developers take into account simple syntax, a helpful compiler, and code safety. So this article covers the possible aspects which show swift is faster than objective-c:

The main difference Swift vs Objective-C is in the way the code is presented. Here are few key differences: 

  • Swift code is unified and has simpler syntax, whereas, working with Objective-C, the code is divided into 2 code blocks:
    • header (interface) files (.h)
    • implementation files (.m)
  • Object initializers in Swift are much stricter in many ways than Objective-C’s; for instance, they cannot return a subclass. This means that in some cases, the optimizer knows exactly what class an object is, and it can statically link and even potentially inline calls to its methods.
  • The compilation of the entire module is done at a time in Swift and can optimize across source file boundaries. In languages like objective-C, the linker is the first tool that sees the entire module, and it’s harder for it to perform such optimizations.
  • In Swift, the optimizer doesn’t need to worry about aliasing very often. (Aliasing in objective-C is when two pointers both point to the same piece of memory, so something that seems to only change *ptr1 might change *ptr2 as well.) This gives the optimizer many more opportunities to speed up your code.
  • Swift allows and encourages the use of constants much more than C ever did. The optimizer can assume that constants never change—even backdoor techniques like forming an Unsafe Pointer to the constant are banned—and so it can safely cache previously-fetched values and perform other optimizations.
  • A lot of aspects of Swift memory layout are not defined, for instance, it is up to the compiler if a data structure is stored on the stack or in the heap. This gives it a lot more flexibility to choose the fastest options for a given situation.
  • Optional ensure that certain pointers can never be nil, so the compiler can omit nil checks.

Swift gets frequent updates and many ongoing growth plans, and the language receives great support.