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React Native or Swift: Which one to choose for iOS app development?

Both- Swift and React Native are potential technologies used for architecting iOS apps. React Native is used for developing both iOS and Android apps having native-like feel and performance. It is a cost-effective solution. Swift comes with performance-boosting functionalities allowing the development of rich native apps.

iOS apps, being the second largest contributor to top-notch mobility solutions and revenue generation because of its world-wide usage, corporate entities and businesses are leveraging iOS app development at a fast pace. Let’s look at some enticing insights by Business of Apps, a reputed online portal for statistics. Their report forecasts:

  • In May 2019, the number of apps published in the iOS App Store was 2.2 million.
  • Every month, about 35,000-42,000 apps were uploaded on the iOS App Store between March and May 2019.
  • The annual growth rate of iOS App Store Revenue is 13.2%.

Another well-known research portal- Statista forecasts that in the U.S.  alone, the average user spending on iPhone apps amounted to $100 in the year 2019 which was reported to be $79 in the year 2018.

Looking at the figures above, it is evident that iOS apps rakes in far more revenue than Android apps. No wonder why this market is blooming and expecting massive investment from entrepreneurs across the globe.

But the real challenge arises when it comes to the choice of the right technology for building the iOS applications. For this purpose, the two technologies- React Native and Swift are largely being preferred. Both are relatively new yet vibrant. So which one to pick for your new iOS app?

To resolve this query, I will outline the advantages and drawbacks of both these technologies and also walk you through the comparative analysis of both. So, let’s get started.

Native App Development with Swift

Swift is the first technology that comes to mind when we think of iOS development. Swift is the best-suited option for complicated apps that need to take advantage of the native components to the fullest. So, let’s have a look at the pros and cons.

Pros of Swift App Development

  • Easy to read and ensures faster and effective coding
  • Requires less maintenance and better handling of errors
  • Easy scaling and compatibility with all Apple products
  • Higher performance and captivating UI
  • High safety and security
  • Compatibility with Objective C

Cons of Swift App Development

  • Young language with a limited talent pool
  • Bad interoperability with third-party tools and IDEs
  • No proper support for earlier iOS versions

Also read our article- “Why Start-ups Prefer Swift Over Objective-C” for more details.

Cross-platform App Development with React Native

This framework is a combination of JavaScript library and native components. It is a cross-platform framework used for building fully-functional apps having simple design requirements. So, let’s look at some pros and cons of React Native.

Pros of React Native App Development

  • Code reusability, third-party plugins, hot reload feature, lesser efforts for debugging, etc. for speedy development
  • Provides optimal performance with native controls and modules
  • Provides native features like scroll accelerations, animations, keyboard behaviour, usability, UI with native widgets, gestures, push notifications, camera, location, etc,
  • Simplified and responsive UI
  • Allows feature expanding with ease

Cons of React Native App Development

  • Issues with memory management
  • App Store rejects these apps if these apps use libraries that dynamically updates native code
  • Platform specific code needs to be written to create native functionality
  • Frequent updates required to the app as this framework updates its components very often

Also read our article “https://www.biz4solutions.com/blog/noteworthy-pros-and-cons-of-the-react-native-framework/” for more details.

React Native vs Swift: Comparative Analysis

Coding Speed

Both of these technologies ensure faster app development. React Native, being a cross-platform framework, allows reusing the code due to which a single code can be utilized for developing apps for multiple platforms. Swift requires less code for the same task as this language is very crisp.

Cost-effectiveness

In React Native apps, the overall development cost is reduced by 30%-35% as compared to Swift. So, for a limited budget requirement, React Native is the most relevant option. Besides if Swift is used for iOS app development, separate code needs to be written for Android apps.

Performance

Swift leverages all the possibilities of the device. This platform fares better when dealing with complex tasks and graphic effects. App developed with React Native have to leverage internal libraries and APIs. Hence React Native Developers need to create required modules on their own. This means that they have to add a mediator between platform and code which impacts the performance of the app.

User Interface

React Native enables building native-like UI in the apps but it does not match the quality that Swift offers. Swift seamlessly integrates with the iOS platform for creating remarkable UI. But the Swift app developers need to write the code from scratch and separately polish the design elements. React Native developers can use ready-to-use components and internal APIs for creating a simplified UI which can adjust to different screen sizes automatically.

Security

React Native uses third-party libraries like React-native-sensitive-info, React-native-keychain, and React-native-secure-storage for securing data in the apps. On the other hand, Swift offers high security using its technologies like Cryptographic Message Syntax Services, Randomization Services, Keychain Services API, etc. Swift ensures better security than React Native.

APIs and Third-party Libraries

React Native’s constantly growing community often adds third-party libraries and enriches this framework. Likewise, Swift also has a host of open-source libraries and APIs to support the smooth functioning of the apps.

Maintenance

React Native app development services face several maintenance issues while updating codes, compatibility with third-party libraries, and many other unresolved issues. For every new version of react native framework that is released, developer needs to check whether updated version works with the library version being used in the app. But Swift, being a statically-typed programming language, can be easily maintained and errors can be handled easily.

Community Support

Both Swift and React Native have powerful communities to support and respective developers enjoy assistance from worldwide technical experts in case of any doubts.

Final Words:

Coming to the end of this blog, both these technologies are powerful and have their set of pros and cons. After all, it depends on your end goals and budget constraints.

Swift is a great tool when you want to develop a complex, performance-oriented and highly secured app. It is a good choice when you want to maintain the app for longer time, if the app requires frequent interactions with UI like resource intensive games, etc.

But React Native is best when you aim to reach a wide range of audiences through both iOS and Android platform, with comparatively lower investment due to code reusability for multiple platformsBusiness Management Articles, etc.

I hope this article was insightful. Do share your thoughts in the comment section.

Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Shelly Megan is a Project Manager at Biz4Solutions with 14+ years of experience in Project Management, Quality Assurance and Test Management in IT-related services. She has expertise in various domains like Healthcare, Finance, Water technologies, Transportation, Telecom, etc. She has experience in defining and implementing quality management strategies to ensure exceptional delivery of software projects.



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