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Why do I link to Alexandre Colucci’s articles reporting on Apple’s internal use of various technologies every time he publishes them? Because they’re fascinating!

His latest post covers IOS 16, and the results start predictably. The number of Apple’s apps using Swift and SwiftUI continues to rise exponentially, and several existing apps have included SwiftUI code for the first time this year. That said, Objective-C still dominates the iOS codebase, with it being a part of over 65% of all binaries, which should answer the question of how close Apple is to deprecating it. So far, so good.

The statistic that made me pause was that only four Apple apps use the SwiftUI app lifecycle. That’s less than 2% of all their apps that use SwiftUI.

Should we read into this that the SwiftUI lifecycle is bad? Is SwiftUI doomed because of how few of Apple’s apps are using it? Of course not! I think it’s like this for a couple of perfectly reasonable reasons. Replacing the heart of any app is never trivial unless the app is tiny, and The SwiftUI app lifecycle is still new and far from feature complete. It’s still early days for it.

It’s important to remember that going “all in” on SwiftUI isn’t necessary. Despite the famous message from this year’s keynote, the fastest and best way to write an iOS app today is with a mixture of technologies, and it appears that’s exactly what Apple is doing internally. 🚀

Note: I know I’ve used/misused this image several times. It’s worth saying that I don’t mean to ridicule it, and I don’t disagree with the message given the context in which Josh presented it. The SotU (where I believe this came from) is a perfect place for broad statements and to set direction. That direction is clear and correct, but the reality of any company, whether it be yours or Apple themselves is much more complex. It’s all fine. 👍

Dave Verwer

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And finally...

It has been a while since Objective-C got a mention in the newsletter. Does that make it a good time to link to this well-researched history of nil messaging? I think it does! 🙇