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Swift vs Xcode: What are the differences?

What is 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.

What is Xcode? The complete toolset for building great apps. The Xcode IDE is at the center of the Apple development experience. Tightly integrated with the Cocoa and Cocoa Touch frameworks, Xcode is an incredibly productive environment for building amazing apps for Mac, iPhone, and iPad.

Swift can be classified as a tool in the "Languages" category, while Xcode is grouped under "Integrated Development Environment".

"Ios" is the primary reason why developers consider Swift over the competitors, whereas "IOS Development" was stated as the key factor in picking Xcode.

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.

According to the StackShare community, Xcode has a broader approval, being mentioned in 1052 company stacks & 604 developers stacks; compared to Swift, which is listed in 994 company stacks and 541 developer stacks.

- No public GitHub repository available -

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.

What is Xcode?

The Xcode IDE is at the center of the Apple development experience. Tightly integrated with the Cocoa and Cocoa Touch frameworks, Xcode is an incredibly productive environment for building amazing apps for Mac, iPhone, and iPad.

Want advice about which of these to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

Why do developers choose Swift?
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What companies use Xcode?
What are some alternatives to Swift and Xcode?
Objective-C
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.
React Native
React Native enables you to build world-class application experiences on native platforms using a consistent developer experience based on JavaScript and React. The focus of React Native is on developer efficiency across all the platforms you care about - learn once, write anywhere. Facebook uses React Native in multiple production apps and will continue investing in React Native.
Kotlin
Kotlin is a statically typed programming language for the JVM, Android and the browser, 100% interoperable with Java
Go
Go is expressive, concise, clean, and efficient. Its concurrency mechanisms make it easy to write programs that get the most out of multicore and networked machines, while its novel type system enables flexible and modular program construction. Go compiles quickly to machine code yet has the convenience of garbage collection and the power of run-time reflection. It's a fast, statically typed, compiled language that feels like a dynamically typed, interpreted language.
Java
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!
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What tools integrate with Swift?
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Decisions about Swift and Xcode
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Reviews of Swift and Xcode
Avatar of Bessalitskykh
Software Development Consultan at MLSDev Inc.
Review ofSwiftSwift

The performance of Swift is almost the same as that of C++, which is considered the fastest in algorithm calculation arithmetics. Apple had this idea in mind and worked to improve the speed of Swift. For example, Swift 2.0 has beaten C++ in several computation algorithms, such as Mandelbrot algorithm. Objective-C is slower because it contains C API legacy.

Swift is faster than Objective-C, because it removed the limitations of C language and has been improved with the help of advanced technologies that were unavailable when C was developed. As mentioned by Apple, Swift was originally designed to operate faster.

Despite the fact that languages are different, they both integrate, and work with Cocoa and Cocoa Touch APIs, for all Apple platforms. Therefore, a regular app-user would not recognize the difference in operating speed between Objective-C vs Swift. Speed also depends on a programmer’s level and capabilities, since a slow app can be written in Swift as well.

Learn more here https://mlsdev.com/blog/51-7-advantages-of-using-swift-over-objective-c

Avatar of Bessalitskykh
Software Development Consultan at MLSDev Inc.
Review ofSwiftSwift

Its performance approaches the one of C++ which is considered the fastest algorithm calculation arithmetics. And Apple strives to improve the speed of Swift. Learn more here https://mlsdev.com/blog/51-7-advantages-of-using-swift-over-objective-c

How developers use Swift and Xcode
Avatar of Lawrence Cheuk
Lawrence Cheuk uses SwiftSwift

iPhone app, a new born language, it may good but the IDE, xcode is bad compare with Visual Studio. It just like a baby. playground can only use without connect to other library...you can not do a simply refactor of renaming a variable. You can go to definition and find reference, but you can not go to implementation....I should write them on xcode not here basically it is not the fault of swift, but it tightly to it, unless you want to use a notepad to write it.

Avatar of Refractal
Refractal uses SwiftSwift

Most of our newer apps are written completely in swift, with our older ones and some special cases using a mix of Swift and Objective-C, but with Swift 2, the language is pretty much a must-use. "guard" is <3.

Avatar of Ryan VanBelkum
Ryan VanBelkum uses XcodeXcode

Even though React Native takes care of most of the heavy lifting, there are still some cases where we need xcode. These cases include app icon integration, mobile deployments, loading screens, ect...

Avatar of Refractal
Refractal uses XcodeXcode

Xcode is our primary development platform for iOS applications, with a very fully featured set of dev tools for the platform. For everything else, there's Sublime Text 3.

Avatar of Flutter Health Inc.
Flutter Health Inc. uses SwiftSwift

Flutter is coded with Swift v.2.3 and can be run with Xcode v.8.2.1. To launch in Xcode 9.3, the code needs to be migrated to Swift 4.1

Avatar of Nick De Cooman
Nick De Cooman uses XcodeXcode

Experience with Xcode in the context of iOS development. This includes Storyboards, Debugging tools and the Simulator.

Avatar of Ujjwal Bhujel
Ujjwal Bhujel uses XcodeXcode

QA and Testing have been so much easier with the help of its simulators on Apple Devices like; iPhones and iPads.

Avatar of Promethean TV
Promethean TV uses XcodeXcode

PrometheanTV provides SDKs for IOS devices and utilizes the XCode IDE for development and testing purposes.

Avatar of Maxim Ananov
Maxim Ananov uses SwiftSwift

Most of the app code was gradually rewritten in Swift for better performance and code maintenance.

Avatar of JINJA Ltd.
JINJA Ltd. uses SwiftSwift

Our native iOS app is built on Swift, and most of the basic function is still written in Swift

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