Swift 5 Release Notes for Xcode 10.2 beta 2

Update your code to use new language features and test your apps against changes.


Read these notes when you’re writing Swift apps in Xcode 10.2.

App Thinning

New Features

  • Swift apps no longer include dynamically linked libraries for the Swift standard library and Swift SDK overlays in build variants for devices running iOS 12.2, watchOS 5.2, and tvOS 12.2. As a result, Swift apps can be smaller when deployed for testing using TestFlight, or when thinning an app archive for local development distribution.

    To see the difference in file sizes between an app that’s thinned for iOS 12.2 and an app that’s thinned for iOS 12.1 or earlier, set your app’s deployment target to iOS 12.1 or earlier, then create an archive of your app with the scheme set to Generic iOS Device. After building the archive, select Distribute App from the Archives organizer, then select Development distribution. Be sure to select a specific device—such as iPhone XS—in the App Thinning pull-down menu. When the distribution process completes, open the App Thinning Size Report in the newly created folder. The variant for iOS 12.2 will be smaller than the variant for iOS 12.1 and earlier. The exact size difference depends on the number of system frameworks your app uses.

    For information about app thinning, see What is app thinning? in Xcode Help. For information about app file sizes, see View builds and file sizes in App Store Connect Help.

Swift Language

New Features

  • String literals can now be expressed using enhanced delimiters. A string literal with one or more number signs (#) before the opening quote treats backslashes and double-quote characters as literal unless they’re followed by the same number of number signs. Use enhanced delimiters to avoid cluttering string literals that contain many double-quote or backslash characters with extra escapes (SE-0200) (47725014):

print(#"<a href="\#(url)" title="Apple Developer">"#)
// Equivalent to:
print("<a href=\"\(url)\" title=\"Apple Developer\">")

  • If you declare a type that has the same name as a type in the standard library, your type now shadows the type from the standard library. (46767892)

    For example, if you declare a Result type in a module named Foo:

// Module `Foo`.
public enum Result<T> {
    case value(T)
    case error(Error)

Unqualified references to Result in any of your code that imports the Foo module will resolve to Foo.Result:

import Foo
func doSomething() -> Result<Int> { /* … */ }

To refer to the Result type from the Swift standard library instead, qualify the access with the prefix “Swift.”. For example:

import Foo
func useStandardLibraryResult() -> Swift.Result<Int, Error> { /* … */ }

  • The @dynamicCallable attribute lets you call named types like you call functions using a simple syntactic sugar. The primary use case is dynamic language interoperability. (SE-0216)

    For example:

@dynamicCallable struct ToyCallable {
    func dynamicallyCall(withArguments: [Int]) {}
    func dynamicallyCall(withKeywordArguments: KeyValuePairs<String, Int>) {}

let x = ToyCallable()

x(1, 2, 3)
// Desugars to `x.dynamicallyCall(withArguments: [1, 2, 3])`

x(label: 1, 2)
// Desugars to `x.dynamicallyCall(withKeywordArguments: ["label": 1, "": 2])`

  • Key paths now support the identity keypath (\.self), a WritableKeyPath that refers to its entire input value (SE-0227):

let id = \Int.self
var x = 2
print(x[keyPath: id]) // Prints "2"
x[keyPath: id] = 3
print(x[keyPath: id]) // Prints "3"

  • Prior to Swift 5, you could write an enumeration case that took variadic arguments: 

enum X {
    case foo(bar: Int...) 

func baz() -> X {
    return .foo(bar: 0, 1, 2, 3) 

This wasn’t intentionally supported and now generates an error. (46821582)

Instead, change the enumeration case to take an array and explicitly pass an array in:

enum X {
    case foo(bar: [Int]) 

func baz() -> X {
    return .foo(bar: [0, 1, 2, 3]) 

  • In Swift 5 mode, try? with an expression of an Optional type flattens the resulting optional, instead of returning a nested optional. (SE-0230)

  • If a type T conforms to one of the protocols in Initialization with Literals—such as ExpressibleByIntegerLiteral—and literal is a literal expression, then T(literal) creates a literal of type T using the corresponding protocol, rather than calling an initializer of T with a value of the protocol’s default literal type.

    For example, expressions like UInt64(0xffff_ffff_ffff_ffff) are now valid, where previously they would overflow the default integer literal type of Int. (SE-0213)

  • String interpolation has improved performance, clarity, and efficiency. (SE-0228)

    The older _ExpressibleByStringInterpolation protocol is removed; if you have code that makes use of this protocol, you need to update it for the new design. You can use #if to conditionalize code between Swift 4.2 and Swift 5. For example:

#if compiler(<5)
extension MyType: _ExpressibleByStringInterpolation { /*...*/ }
extension MyType: ExpressibleByStringInterpolation { /*...*/ }

Swift Standard Library

New Features

  • The standard library now includes the Result enumeration with Result.success(_:) and Result.failure(_:) cases. Use Result to manually propagate and handle errors in situations where do-catch statements and the try expression can’t be used, such as when you’re using asynchronous APIs that can fail.

    As part of this addition, the Error protocol now conforms to itself, which makes working with errors in a generic context easier. (SE-0235) (21200405)

  • SIMD types and basic operators are now defined in the standard library. The types provided by the simd framework, like float2 and float3, are now type aliases of the new standard library types.

    SIMD types are generic over the scalar element type. For example, the old float3 type is a type alias of SIMD3<Float>. Any type that conforms to the SIMDScalar protocol can be used as a scalar type for SIMD vectors, but effective vectorization depends on choosing a good data layout and having efficient subscript operations for the associated SIMDStorage types.

    Most existing code using simd types will continue to work with the new generic SIMD types, but there are a few changes to note in particular:

    The new types add some new conformances; SIMD vectors are now Hashable, Equatable, and Codable. This may allow you to delete some existing extensions that provide these conformances in your own code.

    The set of operators that are overloaded to provide vector-scalar arithmetic is greatly expanded. This makes it easier to write some things, but in some cases introduces ambiguity to the typechecker and may make it necessary to break apart some expressions or annotate with explicit types.

    Because the types are now generic rather than concrete, if you have defined your own protocols over the simd framework types, it may be necessary to refactor the conformances because a Swift generic type can’t have multiple conditional conformances to a protocol. This situation is relatively rare, but what you need to do in general is refactor code that looks like this:

protocol MyVectorProtocol { /* ... */ }
extension float2: MyVectorProtocol { /* ... */ }
extension double2: MyVectorProtocol { /* ... */ }

To use the following structure instead:

protocol MySIMDScalarProtocol: SIMDScalar { /* ... */ }
extension SIMD2 where Scalar: MySIMDScalarProtocol { /* ... */ }
// Or even:
protocol MySIMDScalarProtocol: SIMDScalar { /* ... */ }
extension SIMD where Scalar: MySIMDScalarProtocol { /* ... */ }

This change will frequently allow you to remove many redundant implementations, but it requires that you define any necessary implementation hooks that reference the concrete functions from the C headers on Darwin systems on the scalar type. (SE-0229) (17045503)

  • Set and Dictionary now use a different hash seed for each newly created instance. As a consequence, the order of elements in equal sets and dictionaries is different much more often than in previous versions:

let a: Set<Int> = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
let b: Set<Int> = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
a == b  // true
print(a) // [1, 4, 3, 2, 5]
print(b) // [4, 2, 5, 1, 3]

Existing code that incorrectly assumes that two unrelated but equal sets or dictionaries would contain elements in the same order produces incorrect results more often in Swift 5. Although element ordering isn’t stable across distinct Set or Dictionary instances, the order doesn’t vary between multiple iterations over the same instance. Beyond emphasizing that these collections don’t guarantee consistent element ordering, this change also fixes a number of cases where bulk operations—such as union(_:)—exhibited quadratic performance. (44760778)

  • To help prevent inconsistent hashing for Cocoa objects, the hashValue property on NSObject is no longer overridable. Overrides of hashValue were deprecated in Swift 4.2. To customize hashing in NSObject subclasses, override the hash property. The following example shows a sample implementation:

class Person: NSObject {
    let name: String

    init(name: String) { = name

    override func isEqual(_ other: Any?) -> Bool {
        guard let other = other as? Person else { return false }
        return ==

    override var hash: Int {
        var hasher = Hasher()
        return hasher.finalize()

Hashing and equality go hand in hand. If you override hash, you also need to override isEqual(_:), and vice versa. (42623458)

  • The DictionaryLiteral type is renamed KeyValuePairs. (SE-0214) (23435865)

  • Swift strings bridged into Objective-C code may now return a non-nil value from CFStringGetCStringPtr(_:_:) when appropriate, and the pointer returned from -UTF8String is tied to the string’s lifetime rather than the innermost autorelease pool. Correct programs shouldn’t have any problems and may see significant speed-ups. However, it may cause previously untested code to run, which could expose latent bugs; for example, if there’s a check for a non-nil value, the branch may never have been taken prior to Swift 5. (26236614)

  • The Sequence protocol no longer has a SubSequence associated type. Methods on Sequence that previously returned SubSequence now return concrete types. For example, suffix(_:) now returns an Array. (45761817)

    Extensions on Sequence that use SubSequence should be amended to either similarly use a concrete type, or be amended to be extensions on Collection instead, where SubSequence remains available.

    For example:

extension Sequence {
    func dropTwo() -> SubSequence {
        return self.dropFirst(2)


extension Sequence {
    func dropTwo() -> DropFirstSequence<Self> { 
        return self.dropFirst(2)


extension Collection {
    func dropTwo() -> SubSequence {
        return self.dropFirst(2)
  • The String structure’s native encoding switched from UTF-16 to UTF-8, which may improve the relative performance of String.UTF8View compared to String.UTF16View. Consider re-evaluating any code specifically tuned to use String.UTF16View for performance. (42339222)

Swift Package Manager

New Features

  • Targets can now declare some commonly used, target-specific build settings when using the Swift 5 Package.swift tools-version. The new settings can also be conditionalized based on platform and build configuration. The included build settings support Swift- and C-language defines, C language header search paths, linked libraries, and linked frameworks. (SE-0238) (23270646)

  • Packages can now customize the minimum deployment target setting for Apple platforms when using the Swift 5 Package.swift tools-version. Building a package emits an error if any of the package dependencies of the package specify a minimum deployment target greater than the package’s own minimum deployment target. (SE-0236) (28253354)

  • A new dependency mirroring feature allows top-level packages to override dependency URLs. (SE-0219) (42511642)

    Use the following command to set a mirror: 

$ swift package config set-mirror \
--package-url <original URL> --mirror-url <mirror URL>

  • The swift test command can generate code coverage data in a standard format suitable for consumption by other code coverage tools using the flag --enable-code-coverage. The generated code coverage data is available inside <build-dir>/<configuration>/codecov. (44567442)

  • Swift 5 no longer supports the Swift 3 Package.swift tools-version. Packages still on the Swift 3 Package.swift tools-version should update to a newer tools-version. (41974124)

  • Package manager operations for larger packages are now significantly faster. (35596212)

  • The Swift Package Manager has a new --disable-automatic-resolution flag that forces the package resolution to fail when the Package.resolved entries are no longer compatible with the dependency versions specified in the Package.swift manifest file. This feature can be useful for a continuous integration system to check if a package’s Package.resolved is out of date. (45822895)

  • The swift run command has a new --repl option that launches the Swift REPL with support for importing library targets of a package. This allows you to easily experiment with API from a package target without needing to build an executable that calls that API. (44889181)

  • For more information about using the Swift Package Manager, visit Using the Package Manager on

Swift Compiler

New Features

  • In Swift 5 mode, the type of self in a convenience initializer of a nonfinal class is now the dynamic Self type, and not the concrete class type. (47323459)

  • Exclusive memory access is now enforced at runtime by default in optimized (-O and -Osize) builds. Programs that violate exclusivity will trap at runtime with an “overlapping access” diagnostic message. You can disable this using a command line flag: -enforce-exclusivity=unchecked, but doing so may result in undefined behavior. Runtime violations of exclusivity typically result from simultaneous access of class properties, global variables—including variables in top-level code—or variables captured by escaping closures. (SR-7139) (37830912)

  • Swift 3 mode has been removed. Supported values for the -swift-version flag are 4, 4.2, and 5. (43101816)

  • In Swift 5 mode, switches over enumerations that are declared in Objective-C or that come from system frameworks are required to handle unknown cases—cases that might be added in the future, or that may be defined privately in an Objective-C implementation file. Formally, Objective-C allows storing any value in an enumeration as long as it fits in the underlying type. These unknown cases can be handled by using the new @unknown default case, which still provides warnings if any known cases are omitted from the switch. They can also be handled using a normal default case.

    If you’ve defined your own enumeration in Objective-C and you don’t need clients to handle unknown cases, you can use the NS_CLOSED_ENUM macro instead of NS_ENUM. The Swift compiler recognizes this and doesn’t require switches to have a default case.

    In Swift 4 and 4.2 modes, you can still use @unknown default. If you omit it and an unknown value is passed into the switch, the program traps at runtime, which is the same behavior as Swift 4.2 in Xcode 10.1. (SE-0192) (39367045)

  • Default arguments are now printed in SourceKit-generated interfaces for Swift modules, instead of just using a placeholder default. (18675831)

  • unowned and unowned(unsafe) variables now support Optional types. (47326769)

Known Issues

  • The Swift compiler crashes in the “Merge swiftmodule” build step if any members of the UIAccessibility structure are referenced. The build log includes a message that says:

Cross-reference to module 'UIKit'
... UIAccessibility
... in an extension in module 'UIKit'
... GuidedAccessError 

This issue may also occur with other types that contain NS_ERROR_ENUM enumerations, but UIAccessibility is the most common one. (47152185)

Workaround: Build that target using the Whole Module option for the Compilation Mode build setting under “Swift Compiler - Code Generation”. This is the default for most Release configurations.

  • To reduce the size taken up by Swift metadata, convenience initializers defined in Swift now only allocate an object ahead of time if they’re calling a designated initializer defined in Objective-C. In most cases, this has no effect on your program, but if your convenience initializer is called from Objective-C, the initial allocation from +alloc is released without any initializer being called. This can be problematic for users of the initializer that don’t expect any sort of object replacement to happen. One instance of this is with init(coder:): the implementation of NSKeyedUnarchiver may behave incorrectly if it calls into Swift implementations of init(coder:) and the archived object graph contains cycles.

    In a future release, the compiler will guarantee that a convenience initializer never discards the object it was invoked on as long as the initializer it delegates to via self.init is also exposed to Objective-C, either because it’s defined in Objective-C, or because it’s marked with @objc, or because it overrides an initializer exposed to Objective-C, or because it satisfies a requirement of an @objc protocol. (46823518)

  • Some projects might experience compile time regressions from previous releases. (47304789)

  • Swift command line projects crash on launch with “dyld: Library not loaded” errors. (46824656)

    Workaround: Add a user-defined build setting SWIFT_FORCE_STATIC_LINK_STDLIB=YES.

Resolved Issues

  • Single-element labeled tuple expressions, like (label: 123), were allowed in some contexts but often resulted in surprising, inconsistent behavior that varied across compiler releases. They’re now completely disallowed.

    Single-element labeled types, like var x: (label: Int), were prohibited starting in Swift 3. (SR-8109) (41474370)

  • If a key path literal refers to a property that’s defined in Objective-C or that’s defined with the @objc and dynamic modifiers in Swift, it now compiles successfully and generates the correct hash value or equality comparison with other key paths at runtime. (47184763)

  • Extension binding now supports extensions of nested types which themselves are defined inside extensions. Previously this could fail with some declaration orders, producing spurious “undeclared type” errors. (SR-631) (20337822)

  • In Swift 5 mode, a class method that returns Self can no longer be overridden with a method that returns a concrete class type that isn’t final. Such code isn’t type safe and needs to be updated. (SR-695) (47322892)

    For example:

class Base { 
    class func factory() -> Self { /*...*/ }

class Derived: Base {
    class override func factory() -> Derived { /*...*/ } 

  • In Swift 5 mode, attempting to declare a static property with the same name as a nested type is now always correctly rejected. Previously, it was possible to perform such a redeclaration in an extension of a generic type. (SR-7251) (47325738)

    For example:

struct Foo<T> {}
extension Foo { 
    struct i {}

    // Error: Invalid redeclaration of 'i'.
    // (Prior to Swift 5, this didn’t produce an error.) 
    static var i: Int { return 0 }
  • Designated initializers with variadic parameters are now correctly inherited in subclasses. (16331406)

  • In Swift 5 mode, @autoclosure parameters can no longer be forwarded to @autoclosure arguments in another function call. Instead, you must explicitly call the function value with parentheses: (); the call itself is wrapped inside an implicit closure, guaranteeing the same behavior as in Swift 4 mode. (SR-5719) (37321597)

    For example:

func foo(_ fn: @autoclosure () -> Int) {}
func bar(_ fn: @autoclosure () -> Int) {
    foo(fn) // Incorrect, `fn` can’t be forwarded and has to be called.
    foo(fn()) // OK

  • Complex recursive type definitions involving classes and generics that would previously cause deadlocks at runtime are now fully supported. (38890298)

  • In Swift 5 mode, when casting an optional value to a generic placeholder type, the compiler will be more conservative with the unwrapping of the value. The result of such a cast now more closely matches the result you would get in a nongeneric context. (SR-4248) (47326318)

    For example:

func forceCast<U>(_ value: Any?, to type: U.Type) -> U {
    return value as! U 

let value: Any? = 42
print(forceCast(value, to: Any.self))
// Prints "Optional(42)"
// (Prior to Swift 5, this would print "42".)

print(value as! Any)
// Prints "Optional(42)"

  • Protocols can now constrain their conforming types to those that subclass a given class. Two equivalent forms are supported:

protocol MyView: UIView { /*...*/ }
protocol MyView where Self: UIView { /*...*/ } 

Swift 4.2 accepted the second form, but it wasn’t fully implemented and could sometimes crash at compile time or runtime. (SR-5581) (38077232)

  • In Swift 5 mode, when setting a property from within its own didSet or willSet observer, the observer will now only avoid being recursively called if the property is set on self (either implicitly or explicitly). (SR-419) (32334826)

    For example:

class Node {
    var children = [Node]() 
    var depth: Int = 0 {
        didSet { 
            if depth < 0 {
                // Won’t recursively call didSet, because this is setting depth on self. 
                depth = 0

            // Will call didSet for each of the children,
            // as this isn’t setting the property on self.
            // (Prior to Swift 5, this didn’t trigger property
            // observers to be called again.)
            for child in children { 
                child.depth = depth + 1
  • #sourceLocation is now honored when diagnostics are emitted in Xcode. That is, if your source uses #sourceLocation to map lines in a generated file back to the original source, diagnostics now show up in the original source file rather than in the generated file. (43647151)

  • Using a generic type alias as the parameter or return type of an @objc method no longer results in the generation of an invalid Objective-C header. (SR-8697) (43347303)

Beta Software

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