Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) unveiled a whole new programming language called Swift at its Worldwide Developers Conference on June 2. Developers who attended the event erupted with applause and cheers. With the new programming language, the tech giant is providing a more effective and much faster means to build apps for the company’s hardware devices. Swift will replace the current programming languages of choice: Objective-C and Python.
Apple further distances itself from the rest of the software community
App developers went crazy because Swift promises to make their lives much easier. Cade Metz of Wired says that if it lives up to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s promises, Swift will allow even new coders to build apps for the iOS and Mac OS X. It will lower the barrier to entry. Not everything is shiny though. Swift could ultimately make it a lot easier to develop apps, but existing developers will have to spend some extra time to learn the new paradigm. Another thing is that the developer world is littered with programming languages that came with big promises but eventually faded into obscurity because most developers didn’t want to deal with yet another new thing. Will they devote enough time to learn and shift to Apple’s new language?
Moreover, Swift further distances Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) from the rest of the software development community. Many developers want the iPhone maker to move towards languages that would also allow them to develop apps for other devices from many other vendors. Programming guru David Pollack says that Swift solves a lot of problems and has all the right check boxes. But it’s yet another way to drive a wedge between Apple software and everything else.
How Apple could have made the life of coders easier
That wouldn’t affect Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) anytime soon. But life of developers could have been easier if they could develop apps that instantly ran on all platforms from Android to iOS. However, Swift has many other advantages over Objective-C besides speed and elimination of errors. It has an “automatic garbage collection” mechanism that will remove unneeded information that is eating a machine’s memory. As a result, developers won’t have to spend too much time or energy to manage device memory.
It also has “inferred typing” to help developers save time on defining what kinds of variables they are using. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has added “interactive playground” to the new programming language. It allows developers to view the results of a piece of code as they type it. Developers believe that the interactive playground could push mainstream programming into a whole new direction.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares gained 0.13% to $638.34 in pre-market trading Wednesday.