In a move that will revolutionize the way enterprises use Apple devices, the iPhone company has announced it will be making its proprietary programming language open source.
Unveiled last year, Apple created Swift to make it easier to code an app for iOS or OSX. While initially only available for Apple developers, the language will now be accessible to developers outside of Cupertino through a new website, Swift.org. With Swift at their fingertips, developers will finally be able to look inside the programming language and not only contribute to its development, but bring it to new platforms for the first time.
Apple is wasting no time exploring the benefits of its newfound flexibility, already releasing a version of Swift compatible for Linux. As a result, enterprises running Linux-based servers will be able to create new apps using Swift that can communicate with their existing servers, which will be a game-changer for IBM and other Apple partners.
Just because Apple has made its proprietary programming language open source does not mean it is letting go of the reigns altogether, however. Developers who create apps using Swift will still have to pay Apple's fee and use the official version of Swift to get their apps into the App Store for security purposes. But, for the first time, outside programmers will be able to join Apple in shaping the future of Swift, one the iPhone company sees as extremely bright.
Apple has said it believes Swift could become one of the foundational programming languages of the next few decades, a prophecy made no doubt more realistic now that it will soon be compatible with all major desktop and mobile platforms. According to the analyst firm RedMonk, Swift is already well on its way, "growing faster than anything else we track."
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