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C vs Swift: What are the differences?

C: One of the most widely used programming languages of all time. ; Swift: An innovative new programming language for Cocoa and Cocoa Touch. Writing code is interactive and fun, the syntax is concise yet expressive, and apps run lightning-fast. Swift is ready for your next iOS and OS X project — or for addition into your current app — because Swift code works side-by-side with Objective-C.

C and Swift can be categorized as "Languages" tools.

"Performance" is the top reason why over 52 developers like C, while over 241 developers mention "Ios" as the leading cause for choosing Swift.

Swift is an open source tool with 48.4K GitHub stars and 7.76K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Swift's open source repository on GitHub.

Uber Technologies, 9GAG, and Asana are some of the popular companies that use Swift, whereas C is used by AdRoll, Twitch, and Redis Labs. Swift has a broader approval, being mentioned in 993 company stacks & 541 developers stacks; compared to C, which is listed in 64 company stacks and 251 developer stacks.

Advice on C and Swift
Needs advice

Hey guys, I learned the basics (OOP, data structures & some algorithms) with Python, but now I want to learn iOS development. I am considering to learn Swift, but I am afraid how the native mobile development will die out because of the cross-platform frameworks and reviews. My idea is to learn web development first and then learn React Native, and after all of that, finally Swift. What do you think about this roadmap? Should I just learn Swift first due to the pros of the native apps?

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Replies (6)

Native apps are not going to die. Especially not Swift because now Swift can be used to develop cross platform macOS and iOS apps due to the new macs having M1 chips.

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The decision comes down to your goals and needs.

If you want to be able to create any kind of iOS app, simple or complex, learn Swift. It's indispensable if you're building specialised apps like video editing, augmented reality, machine learning or anything that uses iOS-specific APIs such as App Clips.

But if you just want to create apps that make HTTP requests and display static content such as text or basic video and music, React Native would do just fine, and you can publish the same code to Android. This is a no-brainer choice if you're on a low budget.

And if you know both, you can use both in the same app. You can add React Native screens or components inside a Swift app.

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If asking about employment opportunities, native will never die out. There will always be opportunity for work in native mobile applications. There are also many advantages of using native over cross platform such as always having access to the latest APIs and developer libraries that may not be available to cross-platform without some native development involved or can wait until someone develops a bridge for you.

If you are asking about what you should develop with first? It really depends. React-Native is great for building proto-types or basic MVP application that doesn't require any of the latest and greatest features Apple has to offer at the moment. But if you're asking what to learn? I would say native will always give you a larger advantage as it will give you a good foundation in mobile development and provide you access to the latest native libraries. It is also a useful skill that can give you an edge in cross-platform mobile like react-native because you will most definitely encounter a situation where you will have to go down to the to native side to extend functionality or utilize APIs that are not yet out of the box.

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Noel Broda
Founder, CEO, CTO at NoFilter · | 3 upvotes · 450 views

"Should I just learn Swift first due to the pros of the native apps?". React Native builds Native Apps. Technologies like ionic does NOT build native apps, but React Native does it.

Learning Swift seems to be a really bad idea from my point of view. Learning JavaScript is all what you need. Why? Because then Frontend, Backend, and Mobile Dev, is simple, because it's all JavaScript.

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I would suggest to bet more on Swift! I have developed act in React and Javascript in the past and played around with Swift a little... the performances of native code vs Javascript are way too slow compared to swift native app!

Now even more than ever M1 chip will give a boost, but if it gives a boost to JS it will give a boost also to native apps. I would seriously consider Swift more than Javascript, React or even Electron!

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Carlos Iglesias

Mobile Native Development Apps will never die. Cross Plataform like React Native only exists to save time and costs for startups mainly, which is extraordinary, and indispensable often of course. But when the App get popular enough, it will probably will move to Native Development. Several improvements.

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Decisions about C and Swift

Python has become the most popular language for machine learning right now since almost all machine learning tools provide service for this language, and it is really to use since it has many build-in objects like Hashtable. In C, you need to implement everything by yourself.

C++ is one of the most popular programming languages in graphics. It has many fancy libraries like eigen to help us process matrix. I have many previous projects about graphics based on C++ and this time, we also need to deal with graphics since we need to analyze movements of the human body. C++ has much more advantages than Java. C++ uses only compiler, whereas Java uses compiler and interpreter in both. C++ supports both operator overloading and method overloading whereas Java only supports method overloading. C++ supports manual object management with the help of new and delete keywords whereas Java has built-in automatic garbage collection.

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Noel Broda
Founder, CEO, CTO at NoFilter · | 5 upvotes · 78.1K views

1 code deploys for both: Android and iOS. There is a huge community behind React Native. And one of the best things is Expo. Expo uses React Native to make everything even more and more simple. Awesome technologies. Some other important thing is that while using React Native, you are reusing all JavaScript knowledge you have in your team. You can move easily a frontend dev to develop mobile applications.

A huge PRO of Expo, is that it includes a full building process. You run 1 line in the terminal, and 10 minutes after you have 2 builds done. Double check EAS Expo.

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Russtopia Labs
Sr. Doodad Imagineer at Russtopia Labs · | 0 upvote · 61K views

As a personal research project I wanted to add post-quantum crypto KEM (key encapsulation) algorithms and new symmetric crypto session algorithms to openssh. I found the openssh code and its channel/context management extremely complex.

Concurrently, I was learning Go. It occurred to me that Go's excellent standard library, including crypto libraries, plus its much safer memory model and string/buffer handling would be better suited to a secure remote shell solution. So I started from scratch, writing a clean-room Go-based solution, without regard for ssh compatibility. Interactive and token-based login, secure copy and tunnels.

Of course, it needs a proper security audit for side channel attacks, protocol vulnerabilities and so on -- but I was impressed by how much simpler a client-server application with crypto and complex terminal handling was in Go.

$ sloc openssh-portable 
  Languages  Files    Code  Comment  Blank   Total  CodeLns
      Total    502  112982    14327  15705  143014   100.0%
          C    389  105938    13349  14416  133703    93.5%
      Shell     92    6118      937   1129    8184     5.7%
       Make     16     468       37    131     636     0.4%
        AWK      1     363        0      7     370     0.3%
        C++      3      79        4     18     101     0.1%
       Conf      1      16        0      4      20     0.0%
$ sloc xs
  Languages  Files  Code  Comment  Blank  Total  CodeLns
      Total     34  3658     1231    655   5544   100.0%
         Go     19  3230     1199    507   4936    89.0%
   Markdown      2   181        0     76    257     4.6%
       Make      7   148        4     50    202     3.6%
       YAML      1    39        0      5     44     0.8%
       Text      1    30        0      7     37     0.7%
     Modula      1    16        0      2     18     0.3%
      Shell      3    14       28      8     50     0.9%

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Pros of C
Pros of Swift
  • 64
  • 45
  • 33
  • 28
    Hardware level
  • 18
    Embedded apps
  • 12
  • 9
    Performance of assembler
  • 7
  • 4
    Great for embedded
  • 4
  • 2
  • 2
    No garbage collection to slow it down
  • 2
    Compiles quickly
  • 250
  • 176
  • 124
    Not Objective-C
  • 105
    Backed by apple
  • 91
    Type inference
  • 60
  • 54
  • 49
    Semicolon free
  • 39
  • 35
    Tuples offer compound variables
  • 23
    Clean Syntax
  • 23
    Easy to learn
  • 21
    Open Source
  • 20
  • 19
    Beautiful Code
  • 11
  • 11
  • 10
    Promotes safe, readable code
  • 9
    Protocol-oriented programming
  • 8
    Explicit optionals
  • 8
    No S-l-o-w JVM
  • 6
    Storyboard designer
  • 5
    Best UI concept
  • 5
  • 5
    Type safety
  • 5
    Super addicting language, great people, open, elegant
  • 4
    Its friendly
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
    Highly Readable codes
  • 4
    Faster and looks better
  • 4
    Swift is faster than Objective-C
  • 4
    Feels like a better C++
  • 3
    Its fun and damn fast
  • 3
    Easy to learn and work
  • 3
    Much more fun
  • 3
    Protocol extensions
  • 3
  • 3
    Strong Type safety
  • 3
    Easy to Maintain
  • 2
    All Cons C# and Java Swift Already has
  • 2
    Protocol as type
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
    Protocol oriented programming
  • 2
    Type Safe
  • 1
    Can interface with C easily
  • 1
    Numbers with underbar
  • 1
    Actually don't have to own a mac
  • 1
    Optional chain
  • 1
    Runs Python 8 times faster
  • 1
    Free from Memory Leak
  • 1
    Swift is easier to understand for non-iOS developers.
  • 1
    Great for Multi-Threaded Programming
  • 1

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Cons of C
Cons of Swift
  • 5
  • 3
    No built in support for concurrency
  • 2
    Lack of type safety
  • 2
    No built in support for parallelism (e.g. map-reduce)
  • 5
    Must own a mac
  • 2
    Memory leaks are not uncommon
  • 1
    Its classes compile to roughly 300 lines of assembly
  • 1
    Complicated process for exporting modules
  • 1
    Very irritatingly picky about things that’s
  • 1
    Is a lot more effort than lua to make simple functions
  • 0
    Overly complex options makes it easy to create bad code

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What is C?

What is Swift?

Writing code is interactive and fun, the syntax is concise yet expressive, and apps run lightning-fast. Swift is ready for your next iOS and OS X project — or for addition into your current app — because Swift code works side-by-side with Objective-C.

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What companies use C?
What companies use Swift?
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Blog Posts

What are some alternatives to C and Swift?
Java is a programming language and computing platform first released by Sun Microsystems in 1995. There are lots of applications and websites that will not work unless you have Java installed, and more are created every day. Java is fast, secure, and reliable. From laptops to datacenters, game consoles to scientific supercomputers, cell phones to the Internet, Java is everywhere!
Python is a general purpose programming language created by Guido Van Rossum. Python is most praised for its elegant syntax and readable code, if you are just beginning your programming career python suits you best.
C# (pronounced "See Sharp") is a simple, modern, object-oriented, and type-safe programming language. C# has its roots in the C family of languages and will be immediately familiar to C, C++, Java, and JavaScript programmers.
Objective-C is a superset of the C programming language and provides object-oriented capabilities and a dynamic runtime. Objective-C inherits the syntax, primitive types, and flow control statements of C and adds syntax for defining classes and methods. It also adds language-level support for object graph management and object literals while providing dynamic typing and binding, deferring many responsibilities until runtime.
Rust is a systems programming language that combines strong compile-time correctness guarantees with fast performance. It improves upon the ideas of other systems languages like C++ by providing guaranteed memory safety (no crashes, no data races) and complete control over the lifecycle of memory.
See all alternatives