Late December 2017, Taylor Swift’s new iOS app called “The Swift Life™hit the app store.

The app is geared towards social media, allowing you to post content and interact with other people’s content in much the same way as Facebook, Instagram, and all the typical social media platforms we’re all familiar with. However, the one thing that seems to set her app apart is the fact that when a post by a fan gets popular enough, there’s a chance that Taylor Swift herself will see it, and even possibly reply. Cool stuff.

Aside from that, the app is jam-packed with Taylor Swift-ness; from exclusive pictures and videos posted by the Swift goddess herself, to animated Taylor-themed emoji (which they’ve creatively dubbed Taymoji™), to having Taylor’s songs with lyrics constantly playing at the top of the app. Even the error messages make use of lyrics from Taylor’s songs.

Error message using song lyrics

“Blank Space” error message

Now the question is, with all of this Swiftiness packed into one app, surely it must also be written in Swift, right? Wrong.

Taylor Swift’s “The Swift Life™” is, ironically, not written in Swift.

Some technical details:
There are two main programming languages which are used to write iOS applications: Objective-C and Swift.
In order for an iOS app to support Swift code, it must include something called the Swift runtime which is just a collection of frameworks conveniently packaged under a folder called “Frameworks” inside of the iOS App Store Package (.IPA) file. For a more detailed look at the inner-workings of an .IPA file, check out this post. Taking a look at Taylor’s app, it does not contain the Swift runtime, and therefore it cannot contain any Swift code.

Quite a missed opportunity if you ask me.

I guess the developers just weren’t ready for it.

Categories: iOSSwift


I'm 25 years old and I do stuff with computers.