The Best iOS Development Companies With the Expertise in Objective-C and Swift
iOS, the second-most popular operating system developed by Apple exclusively for its hardware, has come a long way. It was born in the competition between Mac and iPod developers. The Mac team won. They created a solution that was convenient for third-party developers who were familiar with Objective-C, the language of the Mac, by simply transferring it to the mobile platform.
iOS is still actively developed today, and over the course of ten years, it has become one of the most feature-rich and well-supported platforms on the market.
Has Swift already overtaken Objective-C?
The primary programming languages used for developing iOS applications are Objective-C, a member of the C family, and Swift, a relatively new language developed by Apple.
Objective-C has been around for over thirty years, but its use exploded in the gold rush of apps when it became the main development language for Apple devices. According to Tiobe, in 2007 Objective-C was number 59 among all programming languages, but already by 2011 and 2012 it had managed the status of “language of the year.”
But while Objective-C was busy becoming the hottest language, Chris Lattner along with other programmers at Apple had started work on developing a new programming language, Swift. Swift drew on ideas from a great number of programming languages: Objective-C, Rust, Haskell, Ruby, Python, C#, and more.
When Swift was introduced at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in 2014, everybody had expected Apple to announce some changes to Objective-C. Instead, Apple knocked everybody's socks off by introducing Swift, a language that replaced Objective-C as the main iOS coding language. However, Swift is capable of working alongside Objective-C with the Cocoa and Cocoa Touch frameworks.
Swift is the fastest-growing language according to GitHub.
Demand for Swift developers has increased 600 percent, making them the most-hired developers. It's no surprise that Swift developers earn about $100,000 per year and have the highest average salaries among developers in the US.
Who develops apps in both Objective-C and Swift?
The Apple App Store has gone from 800 apps the month of its launch in July 2008 to 2.2 million in January 2017. Given the increasing demand for mobile apps, thousands of mobile app development companies have been emerging every year. Today, there are close to 19 or 20 million developers, and this number is increasing at a good pace.
To make it easier for you to find a reliable contractor, we’ve listed twelve companies that are well-versed in developing iOS applications.
One of Eleks’ areas of expertise is mobile product development. Eleks mostly works with enterprises to help them mobilize their businesses, optimize their employees’ experience and implement custom non-trivial solutions. They also provide a high-level security of corporate data across all implemented mobile solutions by integrating into them the best Mobile Application Management/Mobile Device management products. The platforms Eleks works with include iOS, Android, PhoneGap, and Xamarin. To deliver iOS solutions they use Objective-C programming language and its supporting tools.
One of the iOS applications delivered by Eleks is a peer-to-peer payment system that allows to tip service professionals by simply taking a picture of the receiver's face. Foursquare integration helps to identify already registered service professionals who have previously received a tip at the same location.
Another project Eleks worked on is a complex enterprise reporting system aimed to allow employees to simplify their time tracking and client billing processes. In addition to existing desktop solution, Eleks developed native apps for six platforms including iOS to allow track the processes and make reports on-the-go. All the corporate data is securely and quickly transferring and synchronizing across smartwatch, mobile, and desktop applications.
The Ciklum mobile development team delivers solutions ranging from simple MVPs to complex applications with third-party integrations and offers the development of both native and cross-platform applications. Ciklum developed a couple of iOS-based applications including Smart Lock and Just Eat.
Smart Lock is a lock management system for home automation that allows you to keep your home safe and secure. Management across the whole system is allowed via mobile apps (iOS and Android), Cloud Server, and web application.
Just Eat is both name of applications and company that offers online takeaway ordering service in 13 countries around the globe, including Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, India, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK. Ciklum worked with Just Eat to develop web platform along with mobile apps for iOS and Android to allow them to effectively scale their business.
Nix Solutions is a software development company that offers both web and mobile development services to its clients around the world. To develop applications for iOS, Nix Solutions team applies both Objective-C and Swift programming languages. Among the apps distributed through App Store there are business apps, games, applications for entertainment and education.
One of iOS projects is uActive, a health and fitness tracking app that counts energy consumption, heart rate, and a number of burnt calories. uActive app also integrates with HeathKit service. Another project is a car service center workflow system represented by web and iOS mobile applications. A clear web interface and user-friendly iOS app was developed for the third biggest car service center in the US to allow all workers and managers easily process the orders.
The Nix Solutions team has more apps for other industries and you can easily check them up by visiting their portfolio on the website.
One of Innovecs’ areas of expertise is mobile application development. The Innovecs team offers the development of both native and hybrid applications for a variety of industries including telecom, healthcare, retail, media, fintech, and more.
Among applications developed for iOS you can find a secure messaging app; an e-commerce app that allows buyers to purchase goods at full price as in the traditional online store or via online auction; and a warranty wallet app that helps to manage clients’ warranties. You can get more insights about these and other iOS projects by visiting Innovecs’ portfolio.
N-iX software development company offers quite an extensive range of services including native mobile app development for iOS and Android platforms. Since 2007 N-iX has delivered several dozens applications both consumer-facing and b2b that serve different industries.
One of the major clients N-iX collaborated with is Lebara, a telecommunications company providing services targeted towards the needs of international communities and migrant workers in many countries around the world, using the mobile virtual network operator business model.
The scope of cooperations with Lebara company was quite diverse: from software and mobile development to quality assurance, database administration, and infrastructure support. In terms of iOS development the N-iX team implemented several tools such as Lebara Talk, Lebara Hub, and Lebara Travel.
Since 2003, Svitla Systems has collaborated with a wide range of clients ranging from big corporations to young startups in Silicon Valley to large educational institutions to deliver any kinds of web and mobile solutions. Some of iOS projects delivered by Svitla Systems are Recapify and E2G2.
Recapify is a collaboration app that allows sales representatives to elegantly communicate, organize, save and measure high value meeting results in a fast and efficient way.
E2G2 is both the name of an app and a company that offers business licensing software for cities and municipalities across the US. The idea behind the system is to help local businesses grow by popularizing them among citizens. Using existing web API Svitla Systems created iOS and Android applications that allow customers to find up-to-date and accurate information about every business in a given city on the go.
Yalantis is a full-stack web and mobile development company that mainly focuses on delivering advanced video, audio, and graphic functionality for iOS and Android mobile devices, as well as wearables. To help clients achieve the highest projects’ KPIs the Yalantis team focuses on user experience and user interface design. Company’s brand is well-known among executives in New York, Silicon Valley, Berlin, Copenhagen, and Oslo.
One of the iOS projects developed by Yalantis is Homesway, a real-estate app that brings together home buyers, sellers, and agents helping them gain a better understanding of each other's needs. With Homesway buyers can add and save their impressions while having a home tour, then sellers can find out what buyers think, and finally real estate agents can help sellers provide a better home touring experience to make a successful sell.
Another project is called Brilliant Move, an on-demand delivery app that makes getting heavy and bulky household goods more convenient. To help simplify the delivery process and connect all the participants for better communication Yalantis developed three separate apps: one for customers, another for delivery crews, and the other for delivery managers.
Yalantis has more iOS projects that you can find in their portfolio.
Cleveroad is a software development company that delivers web and mobile solutions for business segments, startups and private clients in various industries including real estate, banking, healthcare, farming, logistics, and entertainment. They have an extensive portfolio of mobile solutions developed for iOS platform.
Some of the projects are L!VE, an app that allows you to broadcast and share live stream video with friends and family and Vusic, an iOS app that intelligently scans user music libraries and finds them a list of the music videos for the songs on their devices.
Anadea is a software development company that offers both web and mobile development services. For iOS the Anadea team develops different kinds of projects including enterprise applications for managing and organizing various business processes, e-commerce and social networking applications, and even games. The portfolio of iOS projects includes the following apps: Dressli, Agentfolio, and Bulb Fiction.
Dressli is a social shopping application that offers users live shopping communication, curation, and content creation for picking out the best looks. Agentfolio is a real-estate applications aimed to allow agents a better way to engage and communicate with their buyers. And Bulb Fiction is an interactive mobile game similar to Plumber puzzle but turned into an electricity field where you need to fix all cable breaks by turning different wire pieces, connect them together to form a complete net of wires and switch all bulbs on.
Stanfy is a design and development team specializing in UI/UX design and software solutions for mobile, wearable and Internet of Things (IoT). Since 2009 Stanfy has delivered more than 70 mobile projects to both startups and brand leaders across a variety of industries such as telecom, retail, healthcare, education and more. Among the Stanfy’s clients are Merriam Webster, IMAX, Intel, IDS Group, BeHappy, and KEYPR.
One of iOS projects developed by Stanfy is Transplant Hero, an interactive app for transplant patients that automatically schedules medications previously added by patient and rewards him with special awards if the medications are taken regularly. Another project is HomeMoney, an advanced budgeting and money tracking application allowing people to seamlessly manage their day-to-day finances and see a real picture of monthly spendings. To find more projects, check out Stanfy’s portfolio.
MLSDev is a software development company that offers a full range of services in mobile and web app development as well as design, consulting and testing. MLSDev serves different clients ranging from early-stage startups to well-known brands.
One of MLSDev’s notable clients is McDonald’s. For this well-known brand the MLSDev team created both iOS and Android apps called McDonald’s Baltics. McDonald’s Baltics is a mobile loyalty app for brand customers in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia aimed to provide brand clients with personalized deals, information about new promotions, products, and their nutritional value. This app also help clients find a detailed description of all McDonald’s restaurants in the region and access customer service.
SteelKiwi is a software development company that mainly focuses on web development but also offers mobile development, UI/UX design, and server engineering services. SteelKiwi delivers only native mobile solutions for iOS and Android platforms. They build apps of different complexity from communication and social collaboration to VPN products aimed at secure enterprise solutions. Among SteelKiwi's iOS projects you can find such applications as Nova Vita, Hang App, and Flerika.
Nova Vita is a medical center that lacked online presence. Along with a professional website, the SteelKiwi team developed mobile apps, including one for iOS. With the NovaVita app patients get informed about all the latest updates in the clinics. They get personal reminders about visits, analysis time, and more.
Hang App is a simple user-friendly application that allows users to invite their friends to hang up together by specifying date and time of the occasion. Flerika app is a kind of social shopping network where users apart from shopping can like, share, follow, and engage with friends and the brands they prefer.
What are the advantages of Swift for iOS development?
Swift is compatible with Objective-C
Swift is fully compatible with Objective-C that it’s possible to use Objective-C classes in Swift and vice versa. That’s possible due to the use of Objective-C Runtime and almost identical internal structure of classes.
Swift has clear syntax
Swift’s syntax is simple, concise, and unambiguous. And it’s capable to undertake many complex concepts through standard language constructions.
Swift is safe
Static typing, the concept of optional types, lack of direct managing memory and pointers, emphasis on immunity and protocols allow Swift to be quite resistant to errors as well as easy to debug.
Swift is optimizable
Thanks to the static typing, rigidity and unambiguous behavior of the application in execution, there appears an opportunity for aggressive optimizations impossible in Objective-C.
Swift is open-source
Swift is greatly impacted by its huge and friendly developers community that’s maintaining and supporting the language day to day. Here comes as well incredible speed of language updates. Initially created for Apple platforms it’s slowly expanding to build on Linux.
Swift is interactive
Swift playgrounds like read-eval-print loop (REPL) visualize data and allow developers to quickly check and correct everything along with further development.
What are the advantages of Objective-C for iOS development?
Objective-C is compatible with C
Since Objective-C is a thin layer atop C and its superset as well, it becomes possible to compile any C program with an Objective-C compiler and to freely include C language code within an Objective-C class. Put it simply, any program written in C will be a program in Objective-C.
Objective-C supports object-oriented paradigms
A significant innovation according to the trends of that time was the addition of object-oriented paradigm which gives the ability to developers to create complex abstractions for large applications and re-use the code.
Objective-C is flexible
Dynamic typing and the mechanism for sending messages provide incredible flexibility for Objective-C. While running the application it’s possible to create new classes and types right, add methods to existing classes and send messages to interfaces that don’t yet exist.
Objective-C is efficient
There’s an Objective-C Runtime system written in C that provides all the above opportunities without consuming a huge amount of resources, unlike Java Virtual Machine. But there’s one aspect: Objective-C Runtime only works with macOS and iOS operating systems.
Objective-C has a rich ecosystem
Being one of the members of C programming language family, Objective-C inherits some of its predecessors’ achievements. For example, Objective-C can use existing C libraries and even C++ via Objective-C++ extension or through C mediation.
Objective-C is a runtime-oriented language
Unlike its relatives, C and C++ languages, Objective has an Objective-C Runtime that supports reflection. Reflection means that Objective-C runtime allows developers to analyze code instantly.
Objective-C offers effective memory management
Objective-C can deal with memory management directly or via Automatic Reference Counting (ARC) which is more efficient than for example Garbage Collection used in JVM.
iOS was developed on the basis of Darwin, an open source operating system released by Apple as well. macOS was created on the basis on Darvin, and tvOS and watchOS were created on the basis of iOS. That means that all Apple platforms have an approximately similar core that greatly facilitates the development within the Apple ecosystem and provides the ability to port applications from one platform to another with minimal effort. For example, it's not a problem to port the iOS application to macOS.