Kotlin vs Swift- A Battle Between Powerful Languages

Kotlin vs Swift

As the world is progressing towards digital technology, it is necessary to advance your business with mobile apps. You can easily achieve your business goal with a business mobile app by comparison and competitive analysis, analyzing your targeted users, Conversion rates, and revenue generation. Many companies are seeking development services to secure their position in the mobile app market and the technology world. Java, Swift, Kotlin, and Objective-C are the leading languages for mobile apps development. Kotlin and Swift are the two programming languages that offer swift development with ease of coding and high features. There are some similarities and differences in Kotlin and Swift. Before we dive to Kotlin vs Swift, let us see an overview of each of the language and its similarities.

What Is Kotlin?

Kotlin was first unveiled in July 2011, a new programming language for JVM. It is a statically typed programming language developed by JetBrains aimed at fixing some of the shortcomings of the Java language. Kotlin is the best alternative to Java language for Android OS with a low learning curve and the ability to counter the limitations of Java, such as lengthy source code and runtime exceptions. It has a similar structure like Java, with new features, cleaner syntax, security, and clarity. Kotlin is younger than most other android app development languages and also it supports first-class support google, hence many developers and big brands have adopted the language. If you don’t know the Kotlin server-side frameworks, go through- 5 Best Kotlin Server-side frameworks.

What Is Swift?

Swift is a general-purpose programming language developed by Apple in 2014. It is also an open-source programming language explicitly designed to replace Objective-C. Mainly it is used for software development for iOS, macOS, tvOS, watchOS, and now zOS for IBM servers. Since its release, it quickly became popular among iOS app developers and is not the go-to language for iOS mobile app development. It is interoperable with Apple’s frameworks, such as Cocoa and Cocoa Touch. And Cocoa also happens to be a critical element in Swift’s infrastructure. 

Before we go through the Kotlin vs swift, let us see the similarities in between them

Kotlin-Swift Similarities-

  • Syntax of Kotlin and Swift is straightforward, natural, and easy to understand.
  • Both are the functional languages that prioritize the app function.
  • Both languages can deal with nullable and non-nullable types by referring to the differences.

Syntax of both languages is almost similar and hence developers can easily switch from one language to another without any hassle. Swift and Kotlin are an open-source Mac platform that makes the conversion possible instead of how languages run in different environments, access different frameworks and system libraries. Swift developers can enjoy working with Kotlin and vice versa. For cross-platform development, developers can work with Xamarin, React Native, Cordova, or low-level libraries. Both languages have a simple learning curve and are concise and readable.

Kotlin vs Swift:

Kotlin vs Swift

Kotlin and Swift both are powerful programming languages than their predecessors, Java and Objective-C. They offer swift development of android and ios app development. Let us see the  Kotlin vs. Swift comparison. 

1. Development-

Kotlin is used for android whereas Swift is used for iOS app development. Swift and Kotlin are preferred over other programming languages due to its easy syntax and modern techniques. Kotlin native allows developers to use it for hybrid development, targeting platforms that execute bytecode without VM. In the same way, developers can also use swift for Android. The Swift compiler creates a Swift code that can run on Android OS but for that, it needs integration of a framework to build a compatible UI for the app. Know the reasons to use Kotlin for android at- Why you should use Kotlin for Android development?

2. Memory Management-

Swift and Kotlin both have opposite approaches towards memory management. Swift uses Automatic Reference Counting whereas Kotlin uses the Garbage Collection method for memory management. Comparing both approaches, Automatic Reference Counting is more dependable and precise than the garbage collection method.

3. Delegated Properties-

Generally Delegated Properties allows developers to send methods and citations from one class to another class. Other than this, Delegated Properties allow in defining different properties of classes. Delegated Properties are not available in Swift and hence iOS app developers require content with the default properties only. Whereas, Kotlin supports and allows android app developers to use Delegated properties.

4. Data Class-

Kotlin has a data class whereas Swift does not. Developers can create the classes to hold the data. These classes automatically drive standard functionalities and utility functions.  Data class in Kotlin, allows developers to implement things like impartiality and replication.

Swift has no counterpart for data class.

5. Enums-

In coding, Enums means enumerations. It contains a set of name limitations. In Swift language, Enums perform computation properties, features of the Struct, and other values.

Kotlin Does not possess an Enum list and hence it does not have Enum patterns for coding. Alternatively, these patterns can be gained by a sealed class, but it is a complicated technique.

6. Structs-

Basically, struts are passed by value or passed by reference. Kotlin and Swift differ in Structs also. When developers call a method with it, return a struct, or assign a struct, the values are transferred to the new variable. Modifications to the structure will only influence the modified variables, not the others. Also, structs do not allow inheritance and this makes them ideal for data classes.

Kotlin has no specific Struct types because its functions are like Java, where the fundamental types, int, float, and Boolean, are passed by value, and remaining others by preference. On the contrary, Swift offers flexibility for developers about choosing their preferred Struct or class according to their requirements.

7. Annotations-

Annotations allow developers to add metadata to the app code. Kotlin supports multiple annotations for app development like @Target, @Repeatable, @Retention, @MustBeDocumented but Swift does not.

8. Guard Statement-

Guard statements are an alternative to the ‘if’ sentence for condition checking of functions. Swift has guard statements, but Kotlin developers have to stick with ‘if check’ then reverse the condition.

9. Tuples-

Tuples are a set of structured data with multiple parts. For rg., in a relational database, data is stored in the form of rows called rows. The main purpose of a tuple is to help developers understand the interaction between different components where additional classes do not exist. Kotlin does not feature any tuples. Swift, uses tuples to outline the interfaces among components.

10. Function Implementation-

Kotlin and Swift have a slight difference in function implementation. In Swift, the variables have an underscore (_) as a prefix, where Kotlin does not. Kotlin has $ as a prefix with the variable name to return to the argument and swift features the variable in braces and forward slash().

Future Of Kotlin-

Certainly, Kotlin has a  bright future since it received first-class support from Google. Besides this, it has many advantages. For beginners, it has a lower cost of development and maintenance and it offers a lot of features. You can blindly choose Kotlin for Android app development.

Future Of Swift-

On the contrary to Kotlin, Swift had many issues to fix when it was launched. But with some years, it has become a more mature programming language.

Apart from all these, we can say that Swift is the right language to use for building iOS applications. There are many large brands that have already adopted Swift For eg., Facebook, Uber, Twitter etc.

In short, you can surely rely on Swift to build an app in 2020.


Technologies are continuously developing. Kotlin is leading the android market whereas Swift for ios app development. Here you have seen the similarities and differences between Kotlin and Swift. If you are still confused to choose the best between, Consult with solace experts. We have dedicated experts to help you through consultation and development. Connect with Solace and get a free quote for app efficient and effective app development. We will be happy to help you.

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