Are cocoapods widely used in iOS development

How Apple binds developers to itself

The new Swift programming language modernizes iOS programming and is rapidly gaining followers.

Next Monday, software developers from all over the world will gather in San Francisco for the Apple World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC). New versions of the operating system and improved programming tools are eagerly awaited from Apple.

Own rules

At last year's developer conference, Apple presented the new Swift programming language for the development of iOS applications. Before that, the developers had no choice: Knowledge of the Objective-C programming language was required to create native applications, as the programming interfaces provided by the system were available in this language. Objective-C was not particularly popular with many developers, largely because of its syntax. The square brackets, inspired by Smalltalks message semantics, raised nostrils or even discouraged them from learning this language.

Compared to Objective-C, Swift offers more type security and a few other amenities such as type inference, access control or optional. And above all, Swift offers a syntax and (functional) language options that are much closer to other popular languages ​​such as Java, C # or Ruby, which e.g. B. concerns method calls, class declarations or closures. It doesn't make app development easier with Swift, but it does give developers a more expressive and safer programming language. Swift is syntactically in the current language mainstream and makes it easier to develop apps.

Swift is a proprietary language and Apple is the only language that is being developed further. Apple publishes numbers to prove Swift's popularity; this idiom should soon be among the 20 most popular in the world. Given Apple's strong market position, this should come as no surprise. Swift is designed for the Apple platforms, but it is unlikely that the language will find followers outside of the Apple world.

With millions of mobile apps on offer, it's hard to make money from apps or their development. To make matters worse, many apps are free or very cheap. The Apple App Store is still more commercially successful than Google Play, followed by the Windows Phone Store.

At its developer conference last week, Google presented Cocoapods, a new option for integrating Google services such as Analytics, Cloud Messaging or Maps more easily into iOS apps. And at the end of April, Microsoft announced that iOS apps could easily be converted for Windows 10 and that Android apps should even run directly on it.

Without Borders

Apple should succeed in getting its own developers excited about Swift. Whether the company will also be able to win over supporters of other operating systems with platform-independent programming tools is a question that WWDC promises to provide answers to next week.

* Ruedi Arnold works as a computer science lecturer at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts with Android and iOS programming.

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