How to Choose a Tech Stack For iOS Mobile App Development?

A person testing mobile phone apps

A tech stack plays an important role in the application development process: the technologies chosen will determine what functionality the future product will have and whether it will be possible to scale it in the future. Also, the rate of specialists and the time for development will depend on the tech stack.

In this article, we will consider what to pay attention to while choosing iOS mobile app development services for your project and focus on native app development.

Varieties of applications

All iOS mobile applications can be divided into two large groups depending on the platforms for which it is created. So, applications are: native and cross-platform.

Native mobile applications are created personally for a specific platform. As a rule, native applications end up being more stable, they have fewer bugs since they were made focusing on one platform.

Cross-platform projects focus on several platforms at once. When creating such applications, the Javascript programming language is used. It allows you to write a project for different operating systems. The advantage of cross-platform development is that the application works immediately for android and iOS, which means that it covers a larger number of prospective users. Cross-platform development is faster and easier than creating an application for each platform separately. It’s very important to choose a tech stack as your decision will influence the performance of your app. In this article, we will focus on native app development.

Native app development

Native development supposes the usage of original programming languages ​​created specifically for the chosen platform. The native languages ​​for iOS are Swift and Objective-C. Such an application will only work on its platform.

  1. Objective-C.

Objective-C is a general-purpose language that is developed on top of the C programming language by adding features from the Small Talk programming language, making it an object-oriented language.

Objective-C is used by Apple and has access to most of the standard libraries. An application developed on this technology will have a beautiful smooth interface and will work quickly.

  1. Swift.

Swift is a more functional language, it is easier to avoid errors in the code. In addition, applications in this language will be more productive, and Apple now also supports this technology.

Perpetio’s iOS developers use both Objective-C and Swift, as these languages offer powerful features with minimal code that can be easily maintained. Let’s figure out in which cases Swift can be more appropriate for iOS app development.

The features of Swift

Swift is a compiled language. This means that the program does not run line by line. Before launch, it is completely translated into machine codes using special software – a compiler. This makes applications run faster. The compiler for Swift is included in the XCode programming environment for macOS.

Who uses the Swift language:

  • mobile developers who code for iOS;
  • developers of applications for the macOS operating system;
  • gamedev developers who create games for Apple systems;
  • back-end website developers working with Swift web libraries.

What is a language for:

  1. To create applications for macOS or iOS systems. This language is mainly used in the development for Apple devices.
  2. For sharing with C and Objective-C – Swift works together with these languages.
  3. To support the server-side of sites and web applications. This is a rare use case for Swift, but it is possible thanks to special libraries – they extend the capabilities of the language and adapt it to the web.

Developers like this language because it has:

  1. High speed. Swift is named after the swift, one of the fastest birds. Its main advantage is speed and performance. Apple claims the language is 2.6 times faster than Objective-C and 8.4 times faster than Python 2.7. For some algorithms, it outperforms C++. Due to the high speed of code execution, applications on Swift work quickly. At the same time, they are productive and do not overload computing power.
  1. Automatic memory management. The Automatic Reference Counting (ARC) system allocates, consumes, and clears memory itself. The programmer does not need to monitor it.
  1. Explicit handling of null. The null value is handled so that the code is safer.
  1. Understandable code. Swift is a language with a simple and non-overloaded syntax. This makes the code easier to understand. The creators of the language are constantly trying to make it more understandable. It does not contain bulky constructions, an abundance of brackets, and commas. Swift is like a natural language, staying clean and expressive even when writing complex code. Non-obvious errors are less common than in classical C-like languages.
  1. Safety. Thanks to advanced memory management, Swift is more secure than Objective-C and prevents unauthorized access to data. It more accurately tracks programmer’s errors, so the risk of subtle but critical bugs is reduced. Swift is predictable – this is important when debugging or testing.

Flaws of the Swift language:

  1. Narrow specialization. Swift is mainly used for developing solutions for Apple devices. There are no other uses for the language, with very few exceptions. This limits its application.
  1. The need to use Apple technology. Swift on Windows or Linux is a technically possible, but inconvenient and incomplete solution. Development in this language usually takes place in the Apple ecosystem in the XCode programming environment. For macOS and iOS, there are libraries and other components for Swift development that are not available in other operating systems. Therefore, for comfortable work, you need an Apple device. It must be powerful: running and building written applications are resource-intensive processes.
  1. Poor support for older versions. Older versions of iOS and macOS that existed before Swift was released are not supported. There may also be problems with backward compatibility, that is, with working together with older versions of the language.
  1. Strong connection with Objective-C. This is both a plus and a minus. Swift code is easy to embed in Objective-C programs, and this gives great development flexibility. Thus, developers need to master not one, but two languages. Without this, writing in Swift will be more difficult.

Final thoughts

If you decide to create your own application for IOS, then first of all you will have to choose between native and cross-platform technologies. The former is more expensive and better, and the latter is cheaper and faster, but with limited capabilities. Then start from the budget, speed, and competence of the developers. With Perpetio web development company you can create an iOS app using Objective-C or Swift. If you have doubts concerning the language you need for your project let the specialists choose as they have great experience to solve such important issues.

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