Posted May 6, 2013 by Spyros in General Programming

5 Reasons to Prefer Objective C for developing iPhone/iOS Apps


The popularity of iPhone has generated a substantial increase in the demand for iPhone Apps from millions of individuals and business users all over the world. Apple’s online store features literally thousands of applications designed to work with iPhone/iPad; however, the market for iPhone Apps is expected to witness further growth in the coming years. Apart from using Apple’s own store, many users are also jail breaking their devices to ensure that they have access to a wider selection of products including third party vendor apps not featured in Apple’s online store. The rising demand for iPhone/iOS apps has led many software development companies to develop apps using languages such as objective C, Java, Python and Ruby. Though every language has its own strengths and unique procedures, objective C has emerged as the definitive leader in the field, I will discuss some of the key reasons why this happened even though thorough knowledge of Apple’s official SDK is mandatory in all cases.

Objective C is related to C

The old saying goes “the more the things change, the more they remain the same” and the fascination of developers with objective C is no different. Objective C is a derivative of the long series of C languages such as C++ and C#; therefore old-time programmers have often found it easier to pick it up. In case of new programmers, most of them learn C or one of its derivatives as part of their training so they too find it easier to interpret the syntax and flow of this relatively new language. Similarly, a person who knows objective C will also find it easier to pick up the nuances of other C-based languages.

Easier to Find Tutorials and Get Support

As a vast majority of iPhone/iOS developers use this specific version of C, often it is much easier to track down specific tutorials and receive support from forums. Moreover, apps development tutorials posted online by Apple also contain examples using objective C so it might just be easier to understand and learn this language. Lastly, as a majority of currently available iPhone/iOS apps are developed using this language, it’s often easier to find and reuse codes for new applications if you are so inclined.  

A Superior Intuitive and Object-Oriented Approach

This language features an intuitive and object-oriented approach to developing iPhone/iOS applications, which, is far superior compared to similar experiences while using Ruby or Python. Most developers prefer not to use Java because of the common complaints of boiler-plate codes and slow operation on mobile devices. Also Java according to most developers is more suitable for native apps, which are less popular among present-day users. Such intuitive controls ensure swifter development of new apps according to changing market requirements.             

Availability of Compatible Libraries and Development Tools

As Apple whole heartedly supports the use of objective C, the company provides a compatible development tool named Xcode. Though many developers have had concerns using Apple’s preferred combination, it is in no way the end of the road. One of the more preferred libraries for development is actually “Cocoa Touch Frameworks”, which can be used to develop cutting-edge applications for the iPhone/iOS platforms. The main problem with this combination is the continued requirement of learning new tricks for efficiently using your available frameworks. Though there is a large body of online support documents for both Xcode and Cocoa Touch Frameworks, most developers face fewer problems using the Cocoa Touch-Objective C combination, while developing mobile applications for the iOS platform.

Superior Flexibility and Memory Management

In most cases, developers shift to using this version of C from some other programming language such as C++, C# or Java. A vast majority of them agree that this language offers superior flexibility for developing new applications. An additional advantage is the superior memory management process of using the objective C-Cocoa Touch Framework. Memory management of newly developed apps is often a stumbling block during development and using this combination significantly reduces such problems.

This was a guest post by Abhishek. Abhishek is currently working with eXtendCode, a Software Development Company in India, which provides software solutions such as Java Application Development, Open Source Application Development, Data Base Solutions, Mobile Application Development and Quality Assurance Services etc.