Etan Etan - 1 month ago 14
Swift Question

Data vs [UInt8]

Swift offers both

Data
and
[UInt8]
types, which do a very similar thing.


  • What are the differences between the two?

  • When designing new API's, what's the preferred type?


Answer

[UInt8] is essentially a byte array, a byte (as I'm sure you know), is comprised of 8 bits. Whilst NSData isn't simply a byte array, deep down it's underlying structure is based off one. You can easily convert between them using methods such as data.bytes, for example.

In terms of designing APIs, I would personally recommend you design them with NSData simply because of all the extra functionality it offers over a simple byte array. Apple has already done a lot of the legwork for you, so why do it again yourself?

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