Is Objective C The Same As C

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Objective-C and C are both programming languages, but they have some significant differences. As a developer who has worked with both languages, I can provide some insights and personal experiences regarding the similarities and differences between Objective-C and C.


Objective-C is a superset of the C programming language, which means that Objective-C includes all the features of C and adds additional functionality for object-oriented programming. It was introduced in the early 1980s and gained popularity with the development of Apple’s macOS and iOS operating systems.

Objective-C vs. C

While Objective-C and C share a common foundation, they have distinct characteristics that make them unique.

Object-Oriented Programming

The most significant difference between Objective-C and C is their approach to object-oriented programming. Objective-C supports object-oriented programming paradigms, such as classes, objects, inheritance, and polymorphism. In contrast, C is a procedural programming language that focuses on functions and structures.

With Objective-C, you can create classes, define properties and methods, and utilize concepts like encapsulation, inheritance, and polymorphism. These features make Objective-C well-suited for building complex applications with modular and reusable code.


The syntax of Objective-C is heavily influenced by Smalltalk, another object-oriented programming language. Objective-C uses square brackets ([ ]) to send messages to objects, which can be a bit unfamiliar for developers coming from a C background. On the other hand, C follows a more traditional syntax with the use of parentheses and semicolons.

Understanding and adapting to the syntax differences between Objective-C and C may take some time, but with practice, it becomes second nature to switch between the two languages. As a developer, I found that the ability to work with different syntax styles improved my overall programming skills and adaptability.

Frameworks and Ecosystem

Objective-C has been the primary language for developing macOS and iOS applications for many years, thanks to Apple’s frameworks and libraries built on top of Objective-C. These frameworks, such as Cocoa and Cocoa Touch, provide a rich set of tools and APIs for creating user interfaces, handling data, and integrating with system features.

While C is a powerful and widely used language, it doesn’t have the same level of support and ecosystem for building native macOS and iOS applications. If you are specifically targeting these platforms, Objective-C is the preferred choice.

Personal Experience

Having worked with both Objective-C and C, I can say that each language has its strengths and areas where it shines. Objective-C’s object-oriented nature makes it excellent for building user interfaces and handling complex business logic in macOS and iOS applications.

On the other hand, C is a more lightweight language that is used for low-level programming, system development, and performance-critical applications. It is the language of choice for operating systems, embedded systems, and software that demands high efficiency.


In conclusion, Objective-C and C are two distinct programming languages with different purposes and features. Objective-C extends C with object-oriented programming capabilities, making it suitable for building macOS and iOS applications. C, on the other hand, is a versatile language used for various purposes, including system development and performance-critical applications.

As a developer, having experience with both Objective-C and C opens up opportunities to work on a broader range of projects and enhances your overall programming skills. So whether you choose to dive into the world of object-oriented programming with Objective-C or explore the low-level capabilities of C, both languages have their merits and can contribute to your growth as a programmer.