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Apple's New Programming Language, Swift, Will Lure More Developers

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The logo for the new Swift programming language.

Apple says its new Swift programming language offers a faster, easier way to build software for its products than using Objective-C.

Credit: Apple

Apple recently unveiled Swift, a new programming language it says offers a faster, easier way to build software for the company's products than its existing predecessor, Objective-C.

Developers say Swift will be especially helpful for inexperienced coders who may have resisted developing iPhone apps in the past. Swift is simpler than Objective-C and enables developers to see their code in real time, rather than having to run it through a compiler. Swift also is compatible with Objective-C code, which means it will work with apps already in Apple's App Store.

Swift "just lets you play around a little more without having to load it on the phone and try something new every time," says Yahoo Labs researcher Frank Bentley.

Another factor that could help encourage new developers to build software for iOS is that Swift is very similar to other modern programming languages. "I know people, even in our shop, that are getting up to speed on iOS, coming from a Ruby or JavaScript or Python background; all of the overhead of Objective-C gets rather confusing," says Yeti president Tony Scherba. "I think Swift is going to make that a lot easier."

He also says Swift is better suited to developing games and apps with three-dimensional graphics and will make coding clearer and more concise.

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