What is Swift?

What is Swift?


  • Swift is Apple’s modern, open-source programming language, known for reliability and efficiency.
  • It’s easy for beginners yet powerful for experts, with features like closures, generics, and safety measures.
  • Swift supports multitasking and memory management, and it’s used for various applications beyond iOS.
  • Sample code demonstrates building an iOS app interface with Swift.
  • Advantages include fast development, community support, high performance, and safety features.
  • However, there are compatibility issues and limited cross-platform support, with Swift still maturing.

Why do the iOS systems look so different from Android and other Windows programs? 

Ever found yourself trying to crack the code behind Apple’s flagship products? The simple answer is, Swift. Let’s understand what it is and why it’s so reliable to developers.

What is Swift Programming Language?

Swift is a modern, general-purpose programming language created by Apple. It is primarily used for building applications across all Apple platforms, including iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS. It is designed to be easy to use and powerful enough for experts. This makes it a good choice for beginners as well as seasoned programmers. 

Further, Swift is open source. Its development is hosted at Swift.org. This invites a broad community of developers to contribute to its evolution. It is designed to be safe, with features that prevent common coding errors like null pointer dereferencing, which can lead to app crashes.

Start your tech journey today with the Global Tech Council. Learn modern programming languages from experts and join a global community of certified professionals.

Features of Swift

We learned what Swift is. Next we need to know its features that will clear your understanding about the language more! Let’s have a look:

  • Swift supports modern programming patterns and techniques like map, filter, and reduce for working with collections.
  • It is built to be safe from the start. Swift prevents certain types of common programming errors that can cause crashes or unexpected behavior. This means less crashing and fewer errors when your app runs.
  • Swift is fast because the code you write is turned into very efficient machine code that computers can run quickly. Search algorithms perform up to 2.6 times quicker in Swift than in Objective-C.
  • It includes many of the latest programming tools that make coding easier and more powerful. It has things like:
    • Closures: Closures are similar to lambda functions in other languages. These are like small functions that you can pass around in your code and execute later. They make it easy to keep related code together.
    • Generics: They let you write flexible, reusable functions that can work with any type of data.
    • Tuples: These are a way to group multiple values together into a single compound value. Tuples can be used to return multiple values from a function or to pass multiple values to a function.
  • Further, it has a powerful system for extending existing types with new functionality. You can do it through extensions. They will allow you to add new methods, properties, and subscripts to existing types. 
  • Swift also has a concept called protocols. These are similar to interfaces in other languages. Protocols define a set of methods and properties that a type should implement.
  • In Swift, Automatic Reference Counting (ARC) helps manage your app’s memory usage by automatically cleaning up memory that’s no longer needed. When you create an object, like a picture or a piece of data, Swift keeps count of how many parts of your app are using it. Once nothing needs that object anymore, Swift automatically frees up that space and ensures your app runs smoother.
  • It has a Package Manager. This tool helps you handle the libraries or sets of tools that your project depends on. It simplifies adding, updating, and maintaining the code libraries you need for your Swift projects. It is similar to how you might download apps on your phone.
  • You can use Swift together with another Apple programming language called Objective-C in the same project. This is useful if you’re working on an older project that uses Objective-C.
  • The concurrency feature in Swift lets you write code that can do multiple things at the same time (like downloading files while updating the display). And you can do it all in a way that’s safe and easy to understand.
  • Swift has a large community of developers who contribute to making Swift better. So you can find lots of help and resources online.

Read More: What is JavaScript?

What is Swift Used For?

Are you reading this article on an Apple device? The apps you use on iOS are mostly built on Swift. So, should android users be offended? Absolutely not! Because Swift just doesn’t stop at iOS:

  • Swift is known for its efficiency and less error-prone code compared to older languages like Objective-C. Companies like Uber, LinkedIn, and Khan Academy use Swift for their app development​.
  • It can also be used for server-side development. It supports building robust web services, which is facilitated by frameworks like Vapor and Kitura. This allows developers to use Swift both for frontend iOS applications and backend services and create a more unified codebase.
  • Swift is great for beginners. It’s straightforward and less complicated than many other programming languages, which makes it a good choice for people just starting to learn about coding. Apple promotes Swift as a first programming language through initiatives like Swift Playgrounds. It is an app that teaches basic coding through interactive puzzles and challenges​ 
  • Swift might be Apple’s favorite but it is open-source. So, you can use it on other major platforms like Windows and Linux. 
  • Swift is fast and secure. That’s why large enterprises like Accenture use Swift to develop their internal and customer-facing applications.
  • You can also use Swift to develop games for iOS. All you need is Apple’s SpriteKit and SceneKit frameworks to handle graphics and animation. While it won’t give you unbelievably realistic results like Unreal Engine (it uses C++) or Unity (uses C#), Swift can actually give pretty decent results in iOS game development.
  • It is expanding into areas like embedded systems and the Internet of Things (IoT). Here its efficiency and speed are beneficial for processing data on devices like wearables and smart home products.

Programming with Swift: Sample Code

Let’s take a simple example of Swift code that demonstrates how to create a basic iOS app interface with a button that, when pressed, changes the text of a label:


  1. Import UIKit: This is necessary because it provides access to UI components and functionalities for iOS apps.
  2. ViewController Class: We define a class ViewController that inherits from UIViewController. This class manages a view that the user can interact with.
  3. UILabel and UIButton: We declare a UILabel to display text and a UIButton which the user can press.
  4. viewDidLoad() Method: This method is called after the view controller’s view is loaded into memory. Here, we set up the initial configurations.
  5. Setup UI Elements: We initialize the label and button, set their properties (like titles, colors), and specify their location and size on the screen.
  6. Action Method: We define an @IBAction function that changes the text of the label when the button is pressed.
  7. Constraints: Instead of using constraints, the position and size are explicitly set, which is straightforward but less adaptive to different screen sizes.

import UIKit

class ViewController: UIViewController {

    // Declaring the UI elements

    var label: UILabel!

    var button: UIButton!

    override func viewDidLoad() {


        // Setting up the label

        label = UILabel(frame: CGRect(x: 50, y: 150, width: 200, height: 20))

        label.text = “Hello, World!”

        label.textAlignment = .center


        // Setting up the button

        button = UIButton(frame: CGRect(x: 50, y: 200, width: 200, height: 50))

        button.setTitle(“Change Text”, for: .normal)

        button.backgroundColor = .blue

        button.addTarget(self, action: #selector(buttonTapped), for: .touchUpInside)



    // Action for the button

    @objc func buttonTapped() {

        label.text = “Text Changed!”



Instructions for Using This Code

  • Open Xcode: Start a new Xcode project.
  • Choose a template: Select an iOS Single View App template.
  • Paste the code: Replace the ViewController.swift content with the provided code above.
  • Run the app: Use the iOS Simulator to run your app and see the result.

Read More: What is Go?

Advantages and Disadvantages of Swift

Fast Development: Reduced code compared to Objective-C, speeding up the development process​​.Compatibility Issues: New versions may not support older Swift projects​.
Open-Source Community: Extensive support and collaboration since becoming open-source​.Still Maturing: Lacks extensive libraries and tools compared to older languages​​​.
High Performance: Efficient memory management and faster runtime​​.Limited Cross-Platform Support: Mainly used for Apple’s platforms, not as versatile for other ecosystems​.
Easy to Learn: Natural language-like syntax makes it easier for new developers​.Small Developer Community: Fewer developers available compared to languages like Java​​.
Safety Features: Type safety and automatic memory management reduce crashes and bugs​​.Frequent Updates: Rapid changes in the language can lead to instability.


As we learned in this article, with its emphasis on safety and speed, Swift allows developers to build high-quality software that is both efficient and effective. It offers the tools and community support to help you succeed in your projects. If you’re looking to enhance your skills or begin your coding career, consider Swift as a strong candidate for your development needs. 

At the Global Tech Council, we serve as your one-stop-solution to learn all about technology, including modern programming languages. Grab our latest offers and get certified today!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Swift programming language?

  • Swift is Apple’s modern, open-source programming language.
  • It’s designed for building applications across Apple platforms like iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS.
  • Swift is known for its reliability, efficiency, and ease of use for both beginners and experienced developers.
  • It offers features like closures, generics, and safety measures to prevent common coding errors.

What are the advantages of using Swift?

  • Swift allows for faster development with reduced code compared to older languages like Objective-C.
  • It has an active open-source community, providing extensive support and collaboration opportunities.
  • Swift offers high performance with efficient memory management and faster runtime.
  • Its natural language-like syntax makes it easy to learn, and safety features reduce crashes and bugs.

Can Swift be used for other platforms besides Apple’s?

  • While Swift is primarily used for Apple’s platforms, it’s also available for other major platforms like Windows and Linux.
  • Companies like Uber, LinkedIn, and Khan Academy use Swift for their app development.
  • Swift is expanding into areas like server-side development, games, embedded systems, and IoT.

Are there any drawbacks to using Swift?

  • New versions of Swift may not support older projects.
  • Compared to more mature languages, Swift still lacks extensive libraries and tools.
  • Its cross-platform support is limited, mainly focused on Apple’s ecosystem.
  • Swift’s rapid changes can sometimes lead to instability.
  • Developers need to adapt quickly to updates.