Swift Programming Language is Announced As the Future of the Apple Universe

Ben Moss By Ben Moss  |  Jun. 02, 2014

At Apple’s WWDC today, the company debuted some pretty ‘meh’ changes to iOS7; iOS8, which will be available to download in the Autumn of this year, might have more appropriately been named iOS7.1.

Amongst the multi-threaded workflow and invasive notifications—so I can be distracted by Twitter even more often—was one shining gem: Apple have a new programming language.

It’s significant, not because it’s powering anything yet, but because it will more than likely power everything developed by and for Apple for the next decade and beyond. It’s significant because all of those hours spent staring at Objective-C until you finally gave in and switched to PhoneGap are no longer relevant.

The new language, named Swift (for obvious reasons), is designed to deliver the power of a full programming language with the simplicity of a scripting language.

Swift will inspire a whole new generation of application developers and it may be enough to ensure Apple fights off the rising challenge of most developers’ platform of choice, Android.

Naturally Swift is object orientated, but Apple believe its syntax is simple enough to ensure that even novice coders will enjoy picking it up. The key to Swift is that it enforces very rigid constraints on the developer: namespaces are a feature, as is Objective-C’s dynamic object model.

The exciting thing is that anything up to and including an operating system can be built with a syntax that JavaScript (and moreso—dare I mention its name?—Actionscript 3) developers will find instantly recognizable.

If you want to get a jump-start on Swift development, Apple have released a free eBook, which you can download now.