SwiftUI is Coming on Strong in the iOS World

The results of the 2020 iOS Developer Community Survey are out, we’re investigating the rise in popularity of SwiftUI over the past year and what's driving this change.

The 2020 iOS Developer Community Survey is out, and it is shedding light on some interesting trends in the iOS development world. The iOS Developer Community Survey is conducted annually, and this year’s edition collected input from over a thousand iOS developers throughout January and February of 2021. This most recent installment provides an interesting snapshot of the iOS development world, but when compared to previous years, it offers insight into how the space is evolving and what is driving that evolution.

One of the most notable developments over the course of the past year in the iOS world is the leap in the adoption rate of Apple’s SwiftUI as teams migrate from Apple’s older UIKit. More than 98 percent of respondents to the 2019 survey shared that the iOS apps they had shipped within the past year used Apple’s UIKit, and only nine percent of respondents had used SwiftUI in projects they had shipped.

However, 60 percent of respondents to the 2019 survey anticipated a shift to SwiftUI within the next year for either personal projects or applications developed for an employer. And, while the adoption rate didn’t jump quite that high, that anticipated increase in adoption of SwiftUI has proven to be the case, as 35 percent of respondents to the 2020 survey reported that they have shipped applications using SwiftUI within the past year – up from nine percent in the previous year, as called out above.

Moreover, interest among the iOS development community in SwiftUI seems to be continuing its upward trend, as 75 percent of respondents to the 2020 survey reported plans to use SwiftUI within the next year for either personal projects of applications developed for an employer.

This upward trend in the adoption of SwiftUI over UIKit seems to be, at least in part, driven by iOS developers' personal interest in and exploration of the framework through personal projects, as more than 75 percent of respondents to the 2020 survey reported significant personal interest in SwiftUI.

Of course, the other major driver in the increased interest in SwiftUI is the evolution of Apple’s developer ecosystem itself. SwiftUI is only available for iOS 13 and above, which was first released in 2019. So, to make use of it, development teams need to be using Xcode 11 or higher, which – in turn – requires macOS Mojave 10.14.4 or later.

If your team is looking to use SwiftUI in your upcoming projects, but is struggling to keep pace with managing the evolving infrastructure requirements to do so, MacStadium offers a simple solution. All of our macOS cloud resources are able to run multiple versions of macOS, up to and including Big Sur. Get started with a Mac mini today or reach out to a sales engineer to learn more about how we can help your team stay at the forefront of iOS development.