Where Can We Use Swift Programming Language Other Than iOS App Development?


For starters, it is only fair to say that Swift is a general-purpose programming language that is primarily meant for iOS development. But, does Swift programming language have any scope beyond iOS development? If yes, let’s see how far can we go with Swift, if not, is it wise to make a career around Swift?

Swift for a quick, easy app development


Apple introduced the Swift programming language as a successor to Objective-C in the year 2014. Click here , to learn more about Swift and its advantages for iOS development. The best part about Swift is, true to its name, it expedites the process of application development due to its simplicity. Furthermore, Swift’s charm lies in its ability to integrate with a wealth of third-party tools, the flexibility it offers, and its great readability.

The REPL (Read-Eval-Print-Loop) feature in the Swift programming language offers the developers a chance to mess around with the code, makes it interactive displaying the results immediately, similar to the Jupyter notebook for Python.

Is Swift iOS just for iOS app development?


The Swift language was developed for Apple devices – the iOS, Mac OS, WatchOS, and tvOS. Does this statement hold water? Well, it is partially true. Let’s see why. Even the XCode, the popular IDE for Swift has the templates for Apple app development, predominantly. Does it mean that Swift cannot be used beyond Apple?

Can Swift go beyond Apple?

There are some use cases where Swift has been used for Linux OS for mobile and desktop applications, cloud services, and also some instances of server-side programming.

Server-side programming?

Yes, that’s right. Its features like run-time safety, smaller size, and great performance are the reasons why it is used for cross-platform app building. The development of the Swift framework, SwiftNIO enables cross-platform, asynchronous event handling for serverside application development proves the fact that Swift is being targeted for cross-platform app development.

To add to this, the Swift Server Work Group, the Swift community is working towards developing server-level tools like database drivers. Swift is already great for Apple-specific applications and Linux. Swift is popular for third-party integrations. However, it looks like the community is determined to expand the Swift portfolio.

It is not Apple’s doing but the Swift community who are looking to project Swift as a multi-platform programming language. They are offering support to other developer tools with its Sourcekit-LSP, the Language Server Protocol for Swift, and other C-based languages.


So, Swift is not just for Apple…

As already mentioned, more than Apple, it is the Swift community that is working to make Swift ubiquitous.



Swift Android Compiler

As the name suggests, do you think it is a compiler that supports Android application development? Certainly not. Swift is not there yet. The Swift Android Compiler enables you to execute Swift code on Android devices. But the compilation is limited only to the server-side/business logic. You will need a Swift counterpart for full-fledged UI development and native coding.

But, as for every problem, there is a solution, so does Swift. This brings us to SCADE.



SCADE

In simple terms, Scade allows for cross-platform application building using Swift. SCADE lets you use Swift for Android app development. It is an SDK that offers native UI along with unlimited access to native controls for all mobile applications. It enables bringing the AutoLayout on Android and iOS on a single platform. With a single Swift language codebase, we can combine native UI designing and mobile app development. However, the catch is SCADE is not completely free and open-source.

Source: https://docs.scade.io



Swift for server-side applications

The Swift Server Workgroup (SSWG), the Swift community we mentioned earlier is fighting tooth and nail to promote Swift as a server-level programming language.

A Career in Swift language


At this point, you can learn Swift to gain entry into the Apple world. However, with the progress the SSWG is making, the Swift language will not remain as an Apple language alone. The future of Swift seems to stereotype as a multi-platform programming language.

The Bottomline…


To conclude our debate on whether Swift is a multi-platform programming language or a mere Apple language, it suffices to say that the work is in progress. Swift as of now, is not there yet. But, definitely working towards it.

While the Swift UI, a framework for Apple devices only, and XCode, the Swift IDE are enough to prove that Apple intends Swift to be an Apple language. However, the Swift community has bigger plans.














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