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SwiftUI is more than just a developer convenience

Posted in Apple

Apple announced SwiftUI at this year’s WWDC. It’s a new framework that will allow developers to build apps for iOS, Watch and Mac, all using the same codebase.

Cult of Mac sums it up nicely:

For an app to work on all three platforms, the developer needs to produce three separate versions of the user interface code. SwiftUI promises to change all this, because the same framework is native on all Apple platforms

Most talk has been about the obvious – it will encourage developers of iOS apps to also build a Mac and Watch app. And it’s that, of course, but I reckon there’s a tactical angle from Apple too.

A lot of developers who build an iOS app do so in something like Ionic or Xamarin instead of using native code for each platform. That means that they can reach both iOS and Android markets using one codebase and a few UI customisations for each.

Now that SwiftUI’s here, it makes it more difficult for developers who might have automatically reached for their cross-platform mobile framework of choice. They have to decide whether they want to produce an app for iOS and Android or an app for iOS, Mac and Apple Watch.

Of course, it depends on the app, but I bet a lot more devs are tempted to ditch Android and go for the Mac market instead.

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