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What Is Objective-C: Definition, Usages & App Examples

Mobile App Development   -  

September 17, 2022

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Developers use programming languages to write clear instructions for a machine to do a certain task. For the purpose of this article, we will focus on Objective C, which is one of the most popular programming languages right now. What is Objective-C?

In this article, you will learn of the definition of Objective C as well as what makes it different from other languages. In addition, Designveloper will also show you some real-world examples of businesses that use Objective C so you can better understand how important it is in the modern world of information technology.

Let’s get into it.

What Is Objective C?

Objective C is a general-purpose programming language that is safe for different types of data, focuses on objects. It is also basically a superset of C. Its main purpose is to help make apps for operating systems like OS X and iOS. Apple has been using Objective C since buying NeXT in the late 1990s. Until 2014, it has been the language of choice for iOS developers.

Machine code is made from the programming language Objective C. The whole source code is turned into the language of the machine. For Objective C programs to run, the developer will need to use a text editor and a compiler like GCC. This is the same as for C programs. The compiler takes the source code and turns it into a file that can be run. Objective C supports extended data types like NSArryas and NSDictionaries. Standard data types like integers, floats, and doubles, unions, pointers, and structures also benefit.

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The History Of Objective C

What is Objective C?

At the company Stepstone, Brad Cox and Tom came up with Objective C at the beginning of 1980. Smalltalk was first used at the programming technology center of the ITT business in 1981. Brad and Tom worked together to implement some Smalltalk features and some C functionaries. This was because they decided that Smalltalk was an important tool for building a development environment for system developers. In 1980, Next Computer, Inc. got a license to use Objective C to make NeXTStep frameworks, which came before Cocoa.

Apple has approved Objective C as a core programming language for its macOS and iOS operating systems. Objective C is a general-purpose language that is based on objects. It adds to C’s messaging features in a way that is similar to Smalltalk. The computer language C is where many of the parts of the language Objective C come from. Among these are the syntax, the flow control statement used by C, primitive types, and the way classes and methods are set up. Besides this, many also consider it a strict superset of the C.

Top 5 Reasons To Use Objective C

Objective-C is a popular programming language for many reasons. Below are 5 of the most amazing things that Objective-C gives developers and apps. They help to show why this programming language should be used.

1. Class/Objects Creation

In the programming language Objective C, meta classes creation are automatic. Management for meta classes while the program is running is also easy. This it easier for developers to write code.

2. Utilization Of Dynamic & Static Typing Features

Reasons to Use Objective C

Objective C fully supports all of the features of dynamic typing. At first, it can be hard to understand how things operate during the run time. So, with the help of dynamic typing, we can declare a variable that can hold a reference to an object.

Static typing is something to think about, though, if you know for sure which objects you want to use when running the program. One of the reasons why developers like to use Objective C is because it can do two things at once.

3. Easy To Understand

Objective C’s messaging system, which is based on that of Smalltalk, is another important part of the language’s ease of use. Objective C is a good choice for programmers who don’t know much about things like multiple inheritance and overloading.

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4. Great Memory Management

There are compilers that can turn Objective C code into static code analysis, which the language can then use to separate information that is useful to the program from “garbage” information. Objective C is a great programming language for keeping track of memory.

5. Geared For iOs

Objective C has been around since the 1980s, but it still has a lot of useful features for iOS. Even though there hasn’t been a change that makes it possible to use Objective C on all platforms, for iOS mobile app development, it is terrific.

Objective C Against The World

When talking about Objective C and what it is, it’s good to place it against some other prominent programming languages. For this section, we will compare it against C++ and Swift.

1. The Difference Between Objective C And C++

Even though both languages have their roots in C, they have grown into completely different languages. One of the biggest differences is that Objective C uses its runtime library a lot to handle inheritance and polymorphism. Also, in Objective C, runtime decisions control transmission. 

Most C++ code focuses on conclusions that can only be seen when the code is compiled. C++ is a middle-level programming language that can be run on a number of cross-platform operating systems, such as Windows, UNIX, Macintosh OS, and others. Objective C, on the other hand, is a general-purpose, object-oriented programming language that Apple uses in its operating systems and many application programming interfaces (APIs).


Since Objective C is a superset of C, everything that can be done correctly in C can also be done correctly in Objective C. Objective C’s main purpose is to add a thin layer of object orientation to C. In contrast to C, which only lets you write code in a procedural way, this extension gives you the syntax and semantics you need to write code in an object-oriented way. Object-oriented programming is different from procedural programming because it focuses on how data is organized by class and how operations can be done on that data.

2. The Difference Between Objective C And Swit

Swift is a proprietary programming language made by Apple. It was first shown to the public in June 2014. You can expect Objective C to have all the problems that come with a language that was made from C. The @ sign is added to new keywords before they are used so that they can be told apart from C keywords and types. Swift wasn’t built on the C programming language, so it can combine all the keywords and pull out the multiple @ symbols when an Objective-C type or object-related keyword is present.

Objective C Vs. Swift

Along with other modern programming languages, Swift code’s syntax is also very close to real English. Because Swift is easy to read, it’s much easier for programmers who already know JavaScript, Java, Python, C#, or C++ to add it to their toolchain. This is not like when programmers had to use Objective C, which probably needs a steeper learning curve.


There are many things to think about if you want to decide which of these two languages is better. Objective C has been around since the late 1980s, while Swift is a newer language. The best language will be the one that can keep up with the needs of the market. Both of these languages can help make similar native iOS apps . So, how well it works is the deciding factor! Objective C uses 60% less code than Swift, according to reports. Since objective C has been around for a much longer time, the language is more familiar and there are more free resources to use.

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5 Companies That Use Objective C

Apple’s main programming language is Objective C, which assists in the development of most of the OS X and iOS operating systems. Both of these systems are very popular with users. It is a general-purpose programming language that adds a messaging system like smalltalk to the programming language C. We can be sure that it will be around forever because it has so many great features and abilities. The proof of this is that besides Apple, many of the biggest companies today also use Objective C. 

1. Instagram


Instagram is perhaps the most outstanding example of a famous company that utilizes Objective C. The Instagram app was first made available for Apple’s iOS in 2010 and lets people share photos and videos. It is now one of if not the most popular social media sites in the world.

Users who have signed up for the app can upload files, change them using a wide range of filters, and then share the new versions publicly or with their followers. Also, Instagram users can now add more than one piece of media to a single post, and it has a chat feature.

2. Uber


Uber is a company that offers transportation services. It is based in the United States and works in about 72 countries around the world. Depending on where they are, customers can get different services to meet their needs. For example, by using Uber, people can ride bicycles in countries where a large number of people use motorcycles as a way to get around. Uber also has other food delivery services, like Uber Eats, which its subsidiary companies provide.

Registered Uber users can book or schedule a ride right from the app on their phone. The app also shows extra information like the estimated travel time and how far away the user is from the driver.

3. Pinterest


Most people who use the internet are familiar with Pinterest as an app that lets them download their favorite photos. Pinterest is more than just a way to find pictures, even though that is one of its main uses. It is more than just a pinboard, and it is now growing as a tool for social networking and a place to write.

Right now, Pinterest is one of the most popular sites for sharing images and connecting with other people. With Pinterest, users can find information in the form of images, GIFs, and videos that they can save to virtual pinboards. It’s just a digital “catalogue for ideas” and users can interact with “pins,” which are pieces of media that are linked to or posted from a website. Every user can make their own board and look for pins to find new ideas, people, and styles.

4. Slack


You can’t run a business well if your main ways of talking to people are things like email and WhatsApp. This is where Slack might be useful. Even though the platform doesn’t have enough features to make it slow or cause other problems, Slack has the best features and functions. It could be the best way for your company to get in touch with people.

It’s a business communication tool with features like persistent chat rooms based on topics and direct messaging that are similar to IRC. Businesses use it to give their employees access to the information they need whenever and wherever is best for them, no matter what time or place it is. The main way people talk to each other on Slack is by working in channels, which are topic-based chat rooms where anyone in the business can connect and talk to anyone else. You can divide channels into two groups: public and private.

5. Snapchat


Snapchat is a type of multimedia instant messaging application where users can only send and receive content for a certain amount of time from other users. It has up to 300 million daily active users who share media that only exists for a limited amount of time. One of the main reasons Snapchat has become so popular is that it uses technologies like filters and lenses that are based on artificial intelligence

The way people exchange media on Snapchat was the inspiration for the “Stories” feature on other instant messaging apps like Instagram and WhatsApp.

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Honorable Mentions

A great number of businesses use Objective C in their tech stacks,The majority of them are quite well-known as well. In addition to the five companies that we have listed here, there are a few other prominent names that also make use of Objective C. Some examples of these companies include Instacart, Delivery Hero, Tokopedia, Square Pay, and Glovo.


Objective C is without a doubt one of the best and most popular programming languages out there right now. This is because it’s geared for excellent, specific OS support, while also having a huge number of features and benefits. It could be the best choice for your new businesses in most cases. Still, you need to think carefully about your needs and preferences before choosing the best option.

If you don’t know much about app development or the programming language Objective C, you might want to consider help from a company like Designveloper. We will make sure your project is successful in many ways. One of the ways we do this is with a team of experienced developers who are ready to support and give advice around the clock.

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