According to Statcounter, Android dominates the global mobile OS market share with 71.45% while iOS holds 27.83%. However, in the United States, iOS accounts for 57.43% of the mobile OS market share and Android at 42.29%.
With a recent survey revealing more people switching from Android to iOS, no wonder why startups and mature enterprises invest heavily in iOS app development.
Since its launch, Swift has become a go-to language for building iOS applications. Swift brings all the advantages of developing top-notch, custom-tailored and highly functional iOS apps that help businesses enhance their bottom line.
Thus, the world’s leading brands such as Lyft, Airbnb, WordPress and others made a switch to Swift for their iOS apps.
Through this post, we’ll take a deeper look at these apps built with Swift. But let’s first have a quick overview of Swift and its market usage.
What is Swift?
Swift is a multi-paradigm, general-purpose, compiled and open-source programming language for building apps for iOS, macOS, watchOS, tvOS and Linux.
It was developed by Apple in 2014 to provide developers with a robust programming language for iOS app development. According to swift.org, Swift was designed to be fast, safe and expressive. The programming language adopts the best traits of C and Objective-C but without the constraints of C compatibility.
A Quick Glimpse at the Market Usage of Swift
Before we take a deep look at the reasons why developers and companies alike choose Swift, let’s first take a peek at the language’s market usage.
- Swift is ranked 10th in the Tiobe Index June 2022 report.
- As per the PYPL report, the programming language secured 10th position with a market share of 2.17 %.
- At this time of writing, Swift has 59.5K stars, 9.6K forks and more than 900 contributors on GitHub.
- According to the 2021 Stack Overflow Developer, 63.59% of developers loved using Swift.
Why is Swift Preferred for iOS App Development?
When it comes to investing in iOS app development, you’ll also have to make a decision between React Native/Flutter vs Swift. In simple words, you need to decide whether to go for a cross-platform or a native app development approach.
If you decide to go for a native app development approach, you’ll come across another decision: Swift or Objective-C.
Well, the aforementioned numbers clearly show the increasing popularity of the brand-new Swift programming language. Now, let’s understand why companies prefer Swift over Objective-C for native iOS app development.
As Swift is an open-source and free programming language, it has a decent community of developers and companies alike behind it.
Moreover, the availability of ample resources in the form of blogs, articles and documentation make it easy for even beginners to learn and gain expertise in the language.
The Swift programming language has a simple, expressive and clean syntax. That makes it easy for developers to read, write and modify the code. Moreover, concise code ensures a lesser volume of code which translates to reduced development time.
Swift was designed to be safer than C-based programming languages. It eradicates entire classes of unsafe code. It comes along with many safety traits such as automatic memory management and variable initialization.
Also, iOS developers can see any code errors, which reduces the debugging time and eliminates the risk of low-quality code deployment.
Besides being faster than Objective-C language, Swift promises an app performance enhancement. According to Apple, Swift is 2.6X faster than Objective-C and 8.4x faster than Python 2.7.
You can build an entirely new app from the ground up using Swift or use Swift language to implement new features in your existing app. Swift and Objective-C can co-exist in the same iOS app development project.
Applications built using Swift programming language are easy to maintain. Compared to Objective-C, which is maintained in two code files, Swift combines the header (.h) and implementation (.m) files in just one (.swift) file.
These were some of the major reasons why Swift and developers with strong expertise in language are gaining immense popularity among companies for iOS app development. Many leading brands are already using it for their iOS applications.
Read on to learn more about them in more detail!
10 Popular Apps Built with Swift
Swift is among the most popular open-source programming languages out there. The language is used in many prominent iOS apps, which include:
Lyft is one of the leading ridesharing apps that makes use of Swift as its primary programming language for iOS. A San Francisco-based rideshare app, Lyft provides driver-on-demand service with a wide range of vehicle options to choose from.
After porting its iOS application to Swift language, the company ended up with an app that was more compact, lighter, responsive and easier to maintain.
Today’s release of the app marks the first time Lyft for iOS has been written entirely in Swift. It was a lot of engineering work, but it was worth it – this Lyft app is not only more responsive, but we can now accelerate development cycles and create new features for drivers and passengers even faster.” – Lyft.
The next one on our list of amazing apps built with Swift is LinkedIn.
With over 830 million members globally, LinkedIn is the world’s biggest professional network that connects industry professionals and helps people find amazing employment job opportunities.
LinkedIn is one of the companies that use Swift for its iOS apps.
A popular online marketplace that connects travelers with local hosts, Airbnb is also one of the apps built with Swift. The company’s primary app for the iOS platform was engineered using the Swift programming language.
To get into more detail about Swift at Airbnb, check out here.
Khan Academy is an online learning platform that provides free and world-class short video lessons covering various subjects such as science & engineering, mathematics, finance, computing, English language arts and much more.
It is one of the eLearning platforms that uses Swift for its iOS app engineering.
Kickstarter is the world’s popular crowdfunding platform intended to help people with creative projects raise capital from backers. Many people from artists, filmmakers, musicians to designers and other creators rely on Kickstarter to bring their ideas to life.
Its iOS application is coded and maintained using the Swift programming language.
WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system (CMS). It rules the CMS market with a whopping 65% market share. Today, there are many top websites built with WordPress and which include names of big brands such as Sony Music and Vogue.
The platform also has a dedicated iOS app that helps you build and manage your WordPress website or blog while on the go from your iOS device.
WordPress’s iOS app is written in Swift language. For more details, check out here.
Coursera is another online learning platform that collaborates with top universities and organizations to provide affordable and flexible job-relevant online courses, degrees and certifications in a wide range of subjects.
The Coursera iOS application that empowers learners to upskill on the go is coded in Swift programming language.
“We have been using Swift since it was released for all our new features. The following reasons led to that decision: good interoperability with Objective-C, Learning opportunity for the team” – Coursera
Thus, if you’re thinking of creating a platform like Coursera, you should consider using Swift for iOS app development to deliver an unmatched user experience to iOS users.
Slack is a popular team communication and collaboration tool that over 600,000 companies around the globe use it. When the company modernized its mobile applications, it completely switched to Swift language for its iOS application.
Artsy is the world’s biggest online art marketplace to explore, sell and buy fine art. It is also one of the apps built with Swift.
“It’s been three years, and Swift Package Manager (SPM) is at a point where it can be useful for iOS projects. It’ll take a bit of sacrifice and a little bit of community spirit to fix some holes probably but in my opinion, it’s time for teams to start adopting SPM for their 3rd party dev tools.” – Artsy
Firefox, one of the most popular browsers in the world, is also a leading example of an application powered by the Swift language. Its application for the iOS platform is entirely coded in Swift. Learn more about Swift at Firefox for iOS.
Hire Expert-Vetted Swift Developers from InfoStride
Whether you have an app idea like Lyft, LinkedIn, Coursera or others, we have a team of Swift developers with expertise across varied business verticals to help turn your idea into an app that stands out in the Apple App Store.
With affordable and flexible engagement models in place, you can hire dedicated remote pre-vetted Swift experts from InfoStride on an hourly, monthly or project basis.
What more you can expect if you engage with InfoStride include:
- End-to-end development support from design to deployment and maintenance
- Time zone flexibility and on-demand scalability
- Ready to sign an NDA if requested
- Support for onboarding, training, infrastructure, administrative, payroll and compliance
- Access to all vetted tech experts under one roof: developers, designers, testers, project managers, DevOps and many more.
- A dedicated account manager to keep you updated at every stage of your project.
To get started, share your requirements or ideal candidate profile with us. One of our experts from our sales team will get back to you with perfectly matched developers for your needs.
Swift is becoming the preferred choice for iOS development. As you can see, the programming language already has a decent list of popular success stories.
Most importantly, Swift is evolving into a more mature programming language with every update, which soon might displace Objective-C as the primary language for architecting iOS apps.
Do you know any other awesome apps built with Swift apart from our list? Let us know in the comments below.
Few hand picked articles for you