React Native vs. Swift: iOS Mobile App Development
The last decade has seen rapid growth in the mobile app development market. Statista predicts that this market will generate $935 billion by 2023. While Android dominates the market share worldwide, iOS also steadily increases its loyal consumer base.
React Native and Swift are the two popular languages for building stable yet interactive iOS mobile applications. While both these languages are efficient, knowing which is the best suited for your project is essential.
React Native for mobile app development
Meta Inc., previously known as Facebook, developed React Native in 2015. The open-source framework is ideal for creating native apps on iOS, Android, and Windows without compromising the user experience.
Most of the native apps use different languages for different platforms. React Native, instead, allows users to share code across multiple platforms, which reduces the time taken for mobile app development. Popular apps like Instagram, Bloomberg, Discord, Skype, Pinterest use React Native for mobile app development.
Pros of React Native
- Cross-Platform framework: React Native is a leading framework for cross-platform mobile app development. Cross-platform frameworks offer a more expansive reach, and thus, they are highly scalable.
- Faster development: With almost 70 percent less code to write, the turnaround time for building applications in React Native is impressive. Apps in React Native are faster to build and also deliver excellent performance.
- Code reusability: Reusing code helps developers to focus on platform-specific changes. React Native’s code reusability is also applicable to website development, apart from mobile app development.
- Lower development cost: Instead of building apps for each platform, you can create one app for multiple platforms with React Native. Therefore, the overall project development cost is lower.
Cons of React Native
- Stability: React Native is not the best option if your app requires animations and transitions. React Native is more suitable for lean development and agile delivery.
- Difficulty in debugging: Apps built on native languages can be challenging to debug. Developers can overcome this with third-party debugging tools.
- New framework: React Native is still improving as a language. And thus, maintaining applications for the long term can get tedious with constant updates on the framework.
Swift for mobile app development
A group of engineers led by Chris Lattner at Apple and the open-source community laid the foundation of Swift in July 2010. Swift is designed mainly for iOS devices and is available for installation on the Linux platform. Swift is concise, interactive, and safe. It is one of the fastest-growing languages as it delivers excellent performance and an even better user experience. Popular apps like LinkedIn, Firefox, Lyft, Slack, and WordPress use Swift for mobile app development.
Pros of Swift
- Scalability: Swift’s flexibility with functions enables it to scale projects quickly. The LLVM compiler technology transforms Swift code to improved native code, resulting in high-performance mobile apps.
- Code Readability: Swift has a simple syntax that makes the programming language readable. Additionally, it requires less code and is easy to maintain.
- Automatic Memory Management: Swift’s Automatic Reference Counting (ARC) uses a garbage collector function. ARC collects redundant instances and gets rid of them. And thus, it creates more room for apps to run with full potential.
Cons of Swift
- Limited talent pool: Finding experienced Swift developers is challenging. The Stack Overflow 2021 developer survey reveals that only 5.1 percent of 83,035 developers use Swift.
- Overall cost: The lack of Swift developers is also why the overall project cost is high. Using Swift usually means opting for a new development team for a new platform.
React Native vs. Swift: Which one to opt for iOS mobile app development?
There is no correct answer to this question. Your decision mostly depends on the product requirement and how you want to see the product transform in the long run.
For a startup looking to scale and acquire more users, React Native is a suitable option. Swift is a better choice for managing memory footprints and continuously updating the interface for iOS users. However, it is best to opt for different languages to develop an app with multimedia features.
No matter which language you choose, you cannot build a good software solution without a team of good developers. And this is where Turing can help you. Turing is an Intelligent Talent Cloud that lets companies hire pre-vetted, skilled developers in just a matter of days.
Head over to the Hire page to know more!
Join a network of the world's best developers and get long-term remote software jobs with better compensation and career growth.