As an iOS developer, there may sometimes be a need to reuse code. Many developers have their custom extensions that they import into nearly every project. However, every once in a while the need may arise for more than just a simple extension. This is where dependencies come in.
The ability to leverage code that other developers have created is an important part of almost any modern programming language. When working with Swift, there are a number of ways to implement these dependencies. Some examples are the default Swift Package Manager (SPM), Carthage and CocoaPods. This article will focus on 4 of the most helpful ‘Pods’ I have come across in my career thus far.
SwiftLint is a tool to enforce Swift style and conventions. Keeping a codebase consistent and maintainable in a project with a team of developers sometimes may be very hard, different conventions and styles, plus different levels of experience with the language across developers may result in most of the times in an application very difficult to debug and mostly very hard to understand for new developer joining the team. To integrate SwiftLint into your project, visit https://github.com/realm/SwiftLint for instructions.
Realm is a cross platform mobile database for iOS (available in Swift & Objective-C) and Android. Realm is built to be better and faster than SQLite and Core Data. It is not just better or faster, it’s also easier to use and you can do a lot of things with just a few lines of code. Realm is totally free and you can use it without any limits. Realm is built to target mobile apps only as in the last decade we didn’t notice any innovation in mobile databases. In order to deal with mobile databases, you previously had only one option which was SQLite or any wrapper that used SQLite behind the scenes like Core Data. Realm is designed to be easy to use as it is not an ORM and it uses its own persistence engine to give you great performance and speed.
Alamofire is a networking library written in Swift. You use it to make HTTP(S) requests on iOS, macOS and other Apple platforms. For example, to post data to a web-based REST API or to download an image from a web server.
Alamofire has a convenient API built on top of the URLSession framework. Common use cases for networking include:
An advantage of Alamofire over URLSession is that it’s often easier to use than URLSession. Everyday iOS development involves many typical tasks related to networking and HTTP requests; Alamofire provides convenient APIs and abstractions for those tasks.
A disadvantage of Alamofire, compared with URLSession, is that using URLSession is often good enough for simple networking requests. If you’re only going to post some JSON data to a URL, you might be better off by just using URLSession.
It’s worth noting that networking with Alamofire is completely asynchronous. Requests are handled off the main thread, which keeps the UI smooth and snappy.
Kingfisher is a lightweight library for downloading and caching images from the web.