During this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple presents SWIFT 2, calling it “the next big programming language.” SWIFT may well be on its way to becoming a leading programming language for app development. Especially since it is open source—a first for Apple. This controversial move is changing the mobile app development landscape and let’s talk about why.
During this year’s WWDC, Apple presented the newest versions of its entire software suite: iOS9, OSX El Capitán, Watch OS 2, and SWIFT 2. Many audience members were clearly in awe by a keynote peppered with words like “beautiful” and “stunning”. But why is this particular release so important for enterprise app developers?
App Store Statistics
To say that Apple is an authority in mobile app development is an understatement. Over the past seven years, the App Store has paid out over $30 billion to app developers. It holds the record for app downloads, at over 100 million, and is currently averaging 850 downloads per second, according to TechCrunch. What’s more, 83% of iOS users have the latest version, as opposed to only 12% of Android users. This presents a more homogenous market for app developers, who want to present a clear and satisfying user experience. This has not gone unnoticed by Fortune 500 companies; 98% of them have built one or more iOS apps since iOS8 was released.
SWIFT: A Smarter Programming Language
However, it is now important for enterprise developers to focus on the latest SWIFT version and what it means in terms of context and machine learning of user behavior. Tim Cook described the new SWIFT as being, “the next big programming language… [for] the next 20 years.” Furthermore, a point not to forget is that it will be open source.
New and improved features, such as a smarter Siri, who can now understand natural language, and geolocational searches showing nearby Apple Pay vendors, can offer a great deal of new possibilities for developers.
Tech evangelists, such as Robert Scoble, could not be more thrilled. In his book ‘Age of Context’, he presents a utopian vision of the future where most daily life activities are performed using machine learning technologies. It would appear that SWIFT is the beginning of that future.
Of course, context and machine learning come at a price, which is why Tim Cook emphasised Apple’s concern for user privacy, security, and trust. Nevertheless, enterprise app developers may benefit tremendously from leveraging SWIFT for app development, particularly with proactive users.
SWIFT is promising to be a smarter programming language; one that can create a more direct and meaningful connection between app developers and end users. The fact that it is open source only stands to recognize the fact that Apple wants to push this technology further into becoming the standard for enterprise app development.