What are iPhone apps written in?

What are iPhone apps written in? Learn about the programming languages used in developing most of iOS mobile application through this post.

Designing and developing a mobile application is one thing but developing one for the iOS platform is another. Apple can be selective and restrictive when it comes to their apps that is why it is important to familiarize yourselves about the how's and why's of creating an iOS mobile application. In this post, we will tackle the programming languages used in coding iOS apps so you will know what iOS apps are written and be ready once you decide to develop one.

Apple XCode

XCode is the Integrated Development Environment (IDE) of Apple that is used for both Mac and iOS applications. An IDE is a platform or software that provides a user interface for code development, testing and debugging. XCode contains everything you need to develop apps for iOS and and it what you will use to write the codes for your mobile application. Given that iOS apps require special features, you have to familiarize yourself not only with the programming languages but also with the process of using XCode.


Swift is a modern and open-source programming language that allows new users to access numerous references and resources about its usage. Just like its name, Swift was designed to be faster than other programming languages. Not only that, it has also a better syntax, type-safe, and memory-safe. This allows the easier encoding of longer codes and prevents most common types of errors. Swift is also more popular and is used more often for iOS apps especially by start-up and mid-level companies. The only thing that you might want to consider is the fact that Swift comes with large migrations between new versions from Apple.


Before Swift came to life, most iOS apps are written using Objective-C. It is a programming language based on the language C. Given its long years of existence, it is more stable compared to Swift and is also considered object-oriented and used for general purposes. Objective-C belongs to the C family language and is compatible with C and C++ libraries.  While mid-level and start-up companies use Swift for their mobile apps, larger companies use Objective-C instead. This makes it good to learn for starting mobile app developers who wish to climb the industry ladder.


Swift and Objective-C are the two programming languages used for iOS mobile application development. They are both good according to their respective features, advantages, and disadvantages. While you can still use other programming languages for Mac and iOS app development, you should keep in mind that these other languages may require more effort and requirements from your part which makes the development process more complex.

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