Swift Blocks Tutorial – iOS Swift Closures

In iOS Swift Blocks (Closures) Tutorial, I have explained about iOS Swift Closures (Blocks) syntax, features and usage with examples.

Swift Closures are self-contained blocks of functionality that can be passed around and used in your code. Closures in Swift are similar to blocks Objective-C and have some extra features.

Below are topics covered in this article:
1) Swift Blocks (Closures) Syntax
2) Declaring Swift Closures
3) Passing blocks as function arguments

1) Swift Blocks (Closures) Syntax

Closures can use constant parameters,variables,and in-out parameters similar to functions. Closures stars with { and ends with }.

{ (Parameters) -> ReturnType in

Note: in is a keyword

2) Declaring Swift Closures

Below is a simple swift block, without any arguments and without return value.

        var clos1 = {
            () -> Void in
            println("Simple Closure")

Blocks with arguments and without any return value

 var print1 =
     (str:String) -> Void  in


Blocks with arguments and with return values.

var max = {
    (num1:Int,num2:Int) ->  Int in
    return num1 > num2 ? num1 : num2

println("Max of 10,2 : \(max(10,2))")

3) Passing blocks as function arguments

You can pass blocks as function parameters similar to objective-C.

To discuss more about Swift Blocks features,Let us take an example mySort() function which takes integer array return sorted array using comparator.

func mySort(inout numbers:Int[],compare:((Int,Int)->Bool))
        //Write your login  to sort numbers using comparator method
            var tmp:Int
            var n = numbers.count
            for(var i=0;i<n;i++)
                for(var j=0;j<n-i-1;j++)
                    if(numbers[j] > numbers[j+1])
 var numbers = [10,1,20,123,50]

     (num1:Int,num2:Int) -> Bool in
     return num1 > num2


Swift provides simpler way of writing closure expressions.

Inferring Type from Context:

Swift infers parameter and return value types from context. So you need not specify the return types and argument types. So the above block is simply written as

var sorted2 =  mySort(numbers,{ n1,n2 in return n1 > n2})


Implicit returns from single-expression closures:
Single-expression closures can implicitly return the result of their single expression by omitting the return keyword from their declaration.

var sorted3 =  mySort(numbers){ n1,n2 in  n1 > n2}


Shorthand argument names:

Swift provides automatically shorthand arguments. arguments are accessed by $0,$1…$n

var sorted4 =  mySort(numbers,{ $0 > $1})


Operator Functions:
More shorter way of writing closure expression is using operator functions.

var sorted5 =  mySort(numbers,>)


Trailing closure syntax:
Trailing closure is a closure expression that is written after the parenthesis of the function call.

var sorted6 =  mySort(numbers){
    (num1:Int,num2:Int) -> Bool in
    return num1 > num2
var sorted7 = mySort(numbers) { $0 > $1}


Reference: Apple Documentation

I am a Developer. My motto: "Language is not a barrier" http://hayageek.com
All posts by Ravishanker Kusuma