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React Native vs Swift: Which One to Choose for iOS Development?

  • By Gaurav G.
  • June 10, 2022
  • 366 Views

Statistics suggest that iPhone owners have better salaries and spend more on in-app purchases, which explains their choice. As a result, today, we’ll compare React Native with Swift for iOS app development. It’s no wonder that businesses choose to build iOS apps first because monetization is one of the most important aims of any app development. When computer professionals discuss iOS app development, they frequently reference Swift, a programming language that allows developers to create native iOS apps. However, React Native comes up in the discussion because it is a well-known JavaScript framework for creating platform-independent mobile apps. In this post, we’ll compare Swift and React Native for iOS development, discussing their benefits and drawbacks and their primary features and applications. Let’s compare React and Swift to see who comes out on top.

What is the React Native Framework?

Native apps are designed for a single operating system. Native apps are designed for a single operating system. React Native, for example, is a JavaScript framework for developing online applications that are both powerful and simple to use. Furthermore, the language is simple to learn, and since the first language was launched in 1995, a variety of new tools have been made available. To create two native apps, you’ll need to code for both Android and iOS simultaneously. React Native is a fantastic tool for creating complicated cross-platform apps. Consider using React Native if you’re making a large-scale and popular product. It comes with detailed documentation and excellent technical support. If you want to reuse code between your desktop and web apps, React Native is a good choice.

React Native’s Advantages:

How simple is it to create a React Native iOS app, and what features of the framework help developers work faster?

Time Management:

As previously said, React Native is operating system agnostic, reducing the development cycle and time to market dramatically. This is accomplished by writing a single piece of code that can be deployed to both platforms with a few native adjustments.

Smaller Group:

You can have one JavaScript team working on iOS and Android by creating one software. Instead of two separate native development teams. You’ll also avoid the time delays that frequently occur when two teams work on two apps simultaneously. Finally, having a single team handle all of the work eliminates complications when one of the developers calls in sick because their peers can quickly fill in.

Library Support is Extensive:

React Native offers approximately 33,000 libraries and packages, according to nmpJS, but a similar search engine on the Swift website reveals only 3,800. While the quantity alone does not ensure the language or system’s quality, it demonstrates the community’s willingness to participate. This devotion is essential for the advancement of any technology.

High-Level Automation:

Software development encompasses more than just writing code; it also includes testing, releasing, and bug fixing. Developers seek to automate these operations to speed up the process and reduce repetition. You may use third-party services like Bitrise, AppCenter, Amplify, and others with React Native to delegate tedious chores.

The Path to Nativeness:

Although you cannot design a React Native iPhone app that is 100 percent native to iOS, you can use this cross-platform technology to create some app elements and save money. In other words, you can use native tools to construct critical components while leveraging React Native to build less performance-impacting features. You’ll be able to deliver a more cost-effective native app in less time.

React Native’s Drawbacks Include:

Performance:

When it comes to performance and speed, cross-platform solutions always fall short of native programs. React Native applications take up more space on the smartphone and, on average, give your consumers a poorer user experience. However, this issue becomes relevant only when talking about high-dynamic products like games.

Testing Takes Longer:

Although designing apps with React Native is faster due to a single code source, testing takes longer when comparing React Native to Swift. React Native apps demand more effort and precision when it comes to testing, as faults are more likely to surface on both platforms.

What Exactly is Swift?

Swift is a compiled programming language developed by Apple exclusively to create native iOS apps. Although the language is just seven years old, it has quickly acquired popularity in mobile app development. Swift was adopted by companies that previously utilized Objective-C for app development because of its flexibility, conciseness, and simplicity.

Swift was created with the primary purpose of attracting more developers to iOS and macOS development. Swift is substantially simpler than Objective-C, allowing developers to use native hardware characteristics and create feature-rich, high-quality apps. Companies can design more advanced solutions using Apple software by leveraging camera, GPS, Bluetooth, and other features.

Swift’s Advantages:

Why have businesses switched to Swift to create iOS apps? What makes it so popular in the world of mobile development?

Speed:

According to the official Apple website, Swift is 2.6 times faster than its predecessor, Objective-C. Swift has a concise syntax and uses the LLVM tool to directly compile code to machine code. Swift accelerates the development process, as the name of the language suggests.

Readability:

The language’s grammar is more transparent and easier to understand, making it a more readable technology than others. Developers also need fewer lines of code to create functional software, which reduces the time to market.

Safety:

Swift mobile development is less prone to mistakes since it includes type-safe capabilities. This allows developers to notice potential code problems as they type, preventing them from introducing errors into code execution. Furthermore, Swift defines all memory accesses automatically, preventing the program from crashing.

Stability of ABI:

The Swift 5 version of the language introduced ABI (Application Binary Interface) stability, which addressed a significant issue. Without this capability, several functionalities would break every time a new version of the language was released, and developers attempted to integrate it into an existing application. This is prevented by ABI stability, which assures that all language versions are compatible with one another.

User Encounter:

Swift applications take less time to install and demand less memory storage on the device because they are lightweight. The language was also designed expressly for native iOS programming, giving developers broader access to the device’s functionalities. Consequently, you’ll be able to create apps that are more appealing to users and appear and operate better.

Xcode:

What makes Xcode and Swift so different? The latter is a programming languages, while the former is an integrated development environment (IDE) that assists you in developing great apps. Xcode is available for developing native iOS apps with Swift. These technologies work together to let you create apps for macOS, tvOS, watchOS, and iOS. You can even make Linux and Windows programs to reach a wider audience.

Swift’s Drawbacks Include:

Are there any significant drawbacks to Swift that you should be aware of? What impact do they have on the development and user experience?

As a relatively young technology, Swift has a long way to go in cultivating a strong community and valuable libraries and packages. On the other hand, the language has received much attention from the mobile app development community. It is widely regarded as one of the best languages for app development. However, if you select Swift, you may need to spend more time recruiting experienced specialists, especially when comparing 

React Native vs. Swift. Which iOS Development Platform Should You Use? 

Cost-Efficiency:

The developer’s compensation and the overall time of the development project are two aspects that determine development costs. According to PayScale, the average yearly compensation for a JavaScript developer is around $80k, compared to more than $100k for Swift.

Given the above compensation assumptions, Swift coding needs to be around 23% faster than JavaScript development to achieve equivalent cost-efficiency. Even so, React Native has the advantage of constructing Android and iOS apps using the same code. In terms of cost-effectiveness, React Native is the winner for an app project for Android and iOS.

It’s Market Time:

React Native uses JavaScript’s strength and simplicity while designing web apps. The language is simple to learn, and several developer resources are available online. All of these elements combine to make React Native development much faster. The resources available to Swift developers are minimal. The majority of initiatives would have to start over.

On the other hand, Swift is quick since it is based on the well-known Objective-C programming language. It is the most satisfactory solution for iOS app development because of its ease of use.

Overview of Programming Languages:

The popular JavaScript programming language is used to create React Native. Several frameworks, including React, use JavaScript to create dynamic websites and web apps. On the other hand, Swift was developed as a multi-purpose compiled programming language collaborating with the open-source community. Swift is an outgrowth of Apple’s Objective-C programming language.

UI Evaluation:

The UI components in React Native resemble those in native apps. Because React Native handles native details, app components must be updated anytime the platform’s OS is upgraded. However, this feature can cause the app’s UI to crash when there is a fatal issue. Material design components must be accessed through third-party libraries if developers want to employ a consistent UI across all devices and OS versions.

On the other hand, I created Swift for native development on its platform. As a result, it naturally employs UX principles and smoothly combines iOS UI designs. However, growth for the Switch must begin from the ground up, with each UI component being developed separately.

The Curve of Learning:

React Native uses the well-known JavaScript programming language. As a result, JavaScript programmers may rapidly get started with React Native.

Apple created Swift as a powerful and simple to learn programming language. Thanks to Apple’s hallmark gorgeous UI and simplicity, new developers may rapidly get up and running with Swift.

Performance:

React Native provides a mechanism to insert native programming into apps because implementing graphical effects is cumbersome. This method enables the developer to produce a variety of assets and tools to aid in the product development process. Compared to apps built with frameworks, Swift apps perform better in general. While Swift Apps take a lot of processor power, their performance is far superior to React Native apps.

Conclusion:

React Native is far superior to Swift/native for developing iOS apps. Compared to designing a native app using Xcode, the React Native development environment is far less crowded and easier to work with. In building and controlling UI elements, I found the React Native library of pre-built and community-built components to be more than adequate. I found it easier to manipulate the layout with FlexBox rather than the selective and thick Interface Builder in Xcode. In addition, I preferred using JSX to link UI elements to my application logic rather than manually dragging a reference from UI elements to a controller file in Xcode. Even though I have extensive knowledge of React and JavaScript, I prefer to work with Swift. However, it was pretty straightforward to transfer skills from a web background, which is an important feature to consider when evaluating tools from leading a team to creating apps.

Gaurav G.

Gaurav heads global operations at Sterling Technolabs as its CEO and leverages his leadership skills to make Sterling Technolabs the most sought-after Web and App Development Company. His mindset and creative vision have been a reason for building great partnerships in the tech-powered world. Outside of work, Fauxy & Oscar- two amazing pups have his attention.
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