A revolutionary iOS framework that creates the best user interfaces. In June, for example, Apple unveiled new technologies that make it easier for developers (and therefore faster) can create new apps. SwiftUI is Apple's renewed and simplified way to develop intuitive apps, and let developing intuitive apps be our mission. Chance? We think not. This Apple developer ecosystem is still in beta and will need to be further developed if it is to be profitable or possible to develop advanced apps in SwiftUI. However, as an innovative app developer, we can of course not wait to get started with SwiftUI. Our iOS Gurus share their findings.

Less code, more results

Apple calls the new iOS framework SwiftUI a groundbreaking new technology for developing apps with complex user interfaces. With the new SwiftUI framework, ARKit 3 and new Xcode tools, developing iOS apps easier and faster. Because developers can work from one universal framework for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS, we as developers can quickly develop native apps for all Apple platforms. SwiftUI was developed for app development faster and, easier en more interactive to make. With relatively simple code that is easy to use, developers can create rich interfaces using automatic functions, layout options, dark mode, accessibility, and internationalization.

SwiftUI devices apple

Real-time automatic previews of the UI with Xcode 11

Developers can now use the same project and source code for Mac and iOS apps thanks to the new tools and APIs. Xcode makes it possible to open an existing iPad project and automatically add or modify Mac features. Mac and iPad applications are based on the same code, so any change in the code will affect both the iPadOS as the macOS version. Xcode 11 allows UI developers to quickly build a user interface without writing a single line of code. Thanks to the new graphical UI design tool. The Swift code is automatically generated and if the code is modified, these can be seen in real-time in the design tool. This is a big advantage as the developer sees previews of the UI as they write the code. This makes compiling, testing and refining a lot faster on all devices.

What does SwiftUI mean for developers?

With SwiftUI, Apple gives developers new tools for setting up user interfaces (UI). For example, with the new iOS framework, Apple has eliminated the bottlenecks of storyboards. Interface builder is the graphical tool for developing storyboards. You can easily build screens with it. One problem with working with storyboards is that it is difficult to work on the app with multiple designers at the same time. The developer must first build the app, after which a designer can test the result, which is not possible under some conditions. SwiftUI allows clean, readable code to be easily modified with a graphical variant. App developers can adjust certain elements both in the code and in the preview screen. Apple has been emphasizing for some time that the apps in the App Store must be unique and of added value. With the developments of SwiftUI, Apple is one step closer to this goal. Because the underlying technology behind app development is becoming more and more complicated, bugs are also becoming more common. SwiftUI makes an app more robust, that is to say: by automatically and simplifying complex matters, making the app becomes easier. And therefore less chance of bugs..

Our experience with SwiftUI

As an innovative app developer, we are of course very careful when new programming tools are available. To make things easy, Apple has provided a free tutorial for writing landmarks in SwiftUI. Frank Solleveld, our iOS developer, has gone through the tutorial and presents his findings:

  • SwiftUI is a lot more efficient compared to UIKit, because you write far fewer lines.
  • You not only write less code (which saves time), but you also see the results immediately in a preview. This makes it very nice to work with, because you immediately see what code does and no simulator is required.
  • The elements structure is both logical and easy. Where you work with UIKit with constraints, you only use 1 line of code in SwiftUI for this.

This new framework is expected to be a big step in mobile app development when it comes to efficiency. It is still small, and UIKit can still be used just fine. But SwiftUI is expected to be a solid successor that makes programming more accessible to a wider audience. UIKit is sometimes quite illogical, where SwiftUI shows very well in a simplified way how to build an app. Less code, more fun. Says Frank Solleveld, our iOS developer.

“I expect this new framework to be a big step in mobile app development when it comes to efficiency. UIKit is sometimes quite illogical, where SwiftUI shows very well in a simplified way how to build an app. Less code, more fun.”
SwiftUI framework code

Get started with SwiftUI yourself

Do you want to get started with SwiftUI yourself or are you curious whether your app can be made in the SwiftUI framework? Through this link you can play around yourself with Apple's free tutorial.

Do you already have an existing app for the Apple operating system? In some cases it is possible to convert an existing app to SwiftUI. However, because the framework is still relatively new, we will not recommend it in most cases. Too many functions will not be (entirely) convertible and the community still needs to be expanded. SwiftUI is also now only available for devices with iOS 13 and will only be rolled out later this year. As a developer and client, you probably want the app to be supported on older iOS versions as well. Switching is therefore possible, but still very early.

Are you a developer and do you want to take a look behind the scenes? Then download at least the latest Xcode 11 and MacOS Catalina, which you here can download. Still want to try integrating SwiftUI? Then take a look at the following session that Apple hosted at their annual developers conference: https://developer.apple.com/videos/play/wwdc2019/231/

Would you like to know more about SwiftUI or speak to one of our iOS developers? Please contact us via the button below and we will be happy to talk to you!

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Watch the video below for SwiftUI's announcement at WWDC 2019.

Other new features for iOS frameworks:

In a previous blog of June 4 we already wrote about the Apple update in which Apple announced new guidelines and the SwiftUI framework. In this blog we mainly focused on the consequences this had for our iOS customers with applications in the Apple App Store. For example, the fact that users can now log in with an Apple ID instead of creating accounts. This makes it more accessible and safer for the app user through two-step verification.

Other important new features for app developers for the iOS framework:

  • MapKit: Includes new features such as grid view, filter tools, camera zoom and pan limits, and Dark Mode support.
  • Improved support for languages ​​targeting SwiftUI and Module Stability. This is the basis for building binary compatible frameworks in Swift.
  • Code can be more easily shared between GPU types and Apple platforms with the new Metal Device groups.
  • PencilKit: Apple Pencil can be easily added to the app with the new toolset.
  • SiriKit: adds support for audio applications. This makes it possible to integrate Siri, allowing users to control audio using voice.