Updated May 9, 2023
Differences Between Swift vs Go
Swift is a general-purpose programming language developed by Apple for operating systems like iOS, macOS, watch OS, and Linux. Swift supports multiple programming paradigms and is object-oriented, functional, and imperative. It is heavily designed to work with Apple’s Cocoa and Cocoa Touch Frameworks. Go is a programming language, also known as Golang, created by Google in 2009. Go supports multi-paradigm like procedural, functional, and concurrent. Its syntax is traditionally coming from C, but it has done a lot of modifications to improve features like simplicity and safety.
- Swift 4 version is the latest on Swift landscape. It adopts the best of C and Objective-C without the constraint of C compatibility. It uses the same runtime environment as the existing Objective-C system on Mac OS and iOS, which enables Swift 4 programs to run on many existing iOS 6 and OS X 10.8 platforms.
- Swift does not have a separate library import to support functionalities like input/output or string handling. It comes with the Playground feature, where Swift programmers can write and execute their code to see their results immediately. The first release of Swift was released in 2010.
- Many lucrative features of Swift are making it an emerging programming language. Swift designers took ideas from other programming languages such as Objective-C, Rust, Haskell, Ruby, Python, C#, and CLU. It uses safe programming patterns, one of the key ingredients of modern programming features.
- Swift provides a fabulous way to write iOS and OS X apps by providing seamless access to existing Cocoa frameworks. Swift has this great capability to combine procedural and object-oriented portions of the language.
- Go syntax after modification with C is to keep the code readable and compact. It adds literal syntax, which allows easier iteration over collection data structures like strings, maps, etc.
- Most of the features of Go and its tools follow the UNIX pattern, having utility in mind, so instead of merging into the language structure, a developer can now focus more on the development logic.
- You don’t have to compile your Go code to run it. It will be automatically compiled and run. A significant strength of Go is that it’s minimalistic and fast.
- People do write a lot of scripts in it. Go can be a powerful tool for web programming, microservices, or mobile development. In many use cases, Go web development has proved to be more rapid than Swift.
Head-to-Head Comparison Between Swift vs Go (Infographics)
Below are the top 8 differences between Swift vs Go:
Key Differences Between Swift vs Go
The key differences between Swift vs Go Performance are explained in the below-mentioned points:
- Swift is a pretty complex language, whereas Go is minimalistic, making it easy to learn and master.
- Swift uses a reference counting mechanism instead of a mark-and-sweep strategy for garbage collection, whereas Go has automatic garbage collection.
- Swift’s library and support are Apple-centric, although open-source with an official Linux port but no official Windows support. In contrast, Go is open-source and not specific to a product or operating system.
- Swift is better designed to work on iOS for writing apps, whereas Go is more suited toward writing servers and web development.
- Swift syntax may still change, as the language is not final, whereas Go is on 1.3 now and more stable.
- Swift has a built-in Playground similar to iPython’s Notebook, whereas Go only has an online Playground, which lets you run a limited subset of Go programs online.
- Swift does support generic types, whereas Go does not support generic types.
- Swift looks into the future; it embraces modern ideas from programming language design and research, whereas Go looks to the past, rejecting any modern idea about language design.
- Swift is focused on a very narrow and specific task, writing iOS apps, whereas Go aims at a comprehensive task, writing generic backend services.
- With its declaration syntax, Swift is more like Rust language, whereas Go has a short-form variable declaration close to Python and a long-form declaration closer to C++.
- Swift is more suitable for client-side development on a Cocoa framework, whereas Go is more suited for writing down servers and web application server functionalities.
Swift vs Go Comparison Table
Below are the lists of points that describe the key differences between Swift vs Go Performance:
|Basis of Comparison Between Swift vs Go||
|Paradigm||Object-oriented, imperative, functional||Procedural, functional, and concurrent|
|OS Support||Primarily used for iOS||Used mainly for Windows, Linux|
|Usage||Created by Apple, used on iOS for app creation.||Go is more focused on being a system language, suitable for servers and web development.|
|Design||Seamless use of Apple’s Cocoa Touch frameworks.||Focus on the safety and performance of a natively compiled language like C.|
|Generic||Swift supports Generic types.||Go does not have Generic types.|
|Nature||Has an in-built Playground.||Has only an online Playground.|
|Compilation||Swift is not so quick to compile as compared to Go.||Go compiles quickly.|
Both Swift vs Go has their merits, depending on the programmer’s skill and ability to understand real-world requirements. Swift is often described as a top-down, bottom-up language. It is suitable for writing safe programs but also, in comparison to Go, offers powerful generics to allow general-purpose libraries to be written to extend the power of the language. Swift does not provide concurrency language features, preferring to leave that to libraries. Go is suitable for writing programs rather than libraries. If you want to build programs, Go is easy to learn and write. It offers good support for concurrency, although you still need to be careful to avoid race conditions.
Go vs Swift take dramatically different approaches to developer productivity. Swift offers (and checks) a broad range of type-level features familiar to developers from C#, Java, and C++. Go’s philosophy is “less is more,” offering generics for maps and arrays and little else and providing only traits (interfaces) for polymorphism. With the explanation of the above functionalities and features for both Go vs Swift languages, developers can pick a better language to fulfill their project requirements. It all boils down to the project’s nature and specific needs.
This has been a guide to Swift vs Go. Here we have discussed Swift vs Go head-to-head comparison, key differences, infographics, and comparison table. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –