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SwiftUI vs UIKit: what should those who want to become iOS developers study?

With the advent of SwiftUI in 2019, many novice developers were faced with a choice between SwiftUI and UIKit. Both frameworks offer powerful tools for developing the interface in iOS applications, but their approaches and capabilities differ. In this article, we will look at the features of each of them to help you make an informed choice.

UIKit is a standard framework for creating a graphical interface in iOS applications, which has existed since the launch of the iPhone. It is based on the principles of imperative programming and provides developers with a rich set of controls and extensive customization options.

Advantages of UIKit:

  • Maturity and stability: UIKit has been used for many years, so it is well documented and has a huge amount of training materials and resources.
  • Flexibility and control: UIKit provides developers with fine control over the interface, which allows them to solve complex tasks and create highly customizable user interfaces.
  • Extensive support: Since UIKit is used in most existing applications, developers often face the need to maintain and update existing projects on UIKit.

SwiftUI is a relatively new interface creation tool that uses a declarative approach to describing user interfaces. It allows developers to create complex interfaces with less code and a higher level of abstraction.

Advantages of SwiftUI:

  • Simplicity and speed of development: SwiftUI greatly simplifies the interface creation process through declarative syntax and extensive integration with Swift functions such as bindings and states.
  • Cross-platforming: Code written in SwiftUI can be used on all Apple platforms, making it easier to create multi-platform applications.
  • Automatic UI Update: SwiftUI automatically updates the user interface in response to state changes, making it easier to manage interface data and logic.

The choice between SwiftUI and UIKit depends on several factors:

  • Project goals and requirements: If you need maximum customization or support for older versions of iOS, UIKit may be preferable. For new projects, especially those focused on the latest versions of iOS and other Apple platforms, SwiftUI may be a better choice.
  • Personal learning preferences: UIKit may require more learning engagement due to its complexity and volume, whereas SwiftUI provides an easier and faster start.
  • Career prospects: Knowledge of UIKit is still in demand in the labor market, as many existing applications are built on this framework. However, SwiftUI is rapidly gaining popularity, and its knowledge will be useful in the near future.

In conclusion, the choice between SwiftUI and UIKit should be based on your goal. Look at the vacancies for iOS developers, study what the market requires, and only then, having drawn conclusions, start learning. However, we believe that being able to work on both frameworks will make you a strong candidate for the position of Junior iOS developer. Both frameworks have their advantages and will continue to evolve, so knowing both can be a significant advantage. 

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