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May 3, 2017

Migrating from Swift 2.3 to Swift 3: An Update Using Xcode 8 Migrator

Introducing Swift 2.3 and Swift 3

Swift 3 is the latest, open-source iteration of the Swift mobile programming language. It contains major improvements and refinements to the core language and standard library. Naturally, those having an existing iOS app would like to know after any iOS update, the why’s, how’s, and when’s associated with an update and migration to the newest version. In very simple words—the sooner, the better. That is simply to say, with constraints of time and resources in your favor, you must migrate your app and update it from Swift 2.3 to Swift 3 using the latest version of Apple’s IDE, Xcode 8.

Swift 2.3 was a minor update to the Swift language that allowed developers to work within the latest software development kits (SDKs), those built for updated operating systems like Sierra, iOS 10, tvOS 10, and watchOS.

Why do I Need an Update?

Migrating code from previous versions to Swift 3 can help you to future-proof your app. Apple, itself emphasizes on the importance of migrating existing code to Swift 3, with the many advantages that all the new features in Xcode 8 brings.

How do I update?

Xcode 8 with a Swift Migration Assistant and a quick pre-migration checklist helps the developers to get started. This task of migration being a labor-intensive task, however, has challenges of its own. Before treading on to this path of migration, it is, therefore, important to be well prepared. All over the web, the development teams who have carried out the migration of Swift 2.3 to Swift 3 have also documented the challenges that they had faced in their relevant blogs, that can ease a development team’s headache.

The migration tool can help fix some of the compiler errors after migration. It is, however, not 100% error-free. While apart from this, Apple provides a compiled list of known migration errors that can certainly help you through.

Winding Up!

Apps written in both Swift 2.3 and Swift 3 can be submitted to the App store with Xcode 8. However, an important point to note is Apple’s own statement where it meant that Swift 2.3 and Swift 3 are not binary compatible. So, the entire code base needs to pick one version of Swift. This, directly or indirectly, whatever you may choose to understand, means update Swift 2.3 to Swift 3, and do it ASAP.

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