Are the Top Apps Using Swift?

Ryan Olson
Jan 11, 2016 · 2 min read

Last week, NatashaTheRobot asked on twitter about which companies are using Swift.

Judging by the number of responses, you might have thought that most apps are deep into the transition to Swift. But rather than rely on anecdotes and one-off replies, I decided to pull some numbers from the App Store to get a clear picture. I once again downloaded the top 100 free apps and wrote some scripts to analyze the .ipa files. It surprised me to find that the vast majority of the apps in the top 100 are still building without any Swift.

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To be clear, these apps are probably not representative of what’s happening across the iOS ecosystem as a whole, but they certainly play an important part. Beyond the Swift question, there are other interesting things we can learn from looking at these apps. For example, I was surprised to see that none of the top apps have bumped their deployment target up to iOS 9, and there are still a couple supporting all the way back to iOS 5.

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All of the apps were built with the iOS 8 SDK or higher, and a healthy majority are using an iOS 9.X SDK. Most of the apps also support both iPhone and iPad.

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While the top 100 was pretty light on apps containing any Swift, I also analyzed the other apps in my library and found a number of well know apps with some Swift. Here’s the list in alphabetical order: Airbnb, Apple Store, Bitmoji, CNN, Camera+, Dubsmash, Eventbrite, Fitbit, Flipagram, Flipboard, Groupon, Hotwire, Imgur, KAYAK, LinkedIn, Lyft, Medium, Meetup, Microsoft Selfie, Mint, MyFitnessPal, Pandora, Product Hunt, Timehop, Truecaller, Tumblr, Twitter, VSCO, Venmo, Vimeo, Vine, Wallapop, and The Weather Channel.

The full dataset from the top 100 apps is included in the gist below along with some additional information on each app.

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