Swift Vs React Native- Which One To Choose In 2021?

Swift vs React Native Which One To Choose

If you’re looking to build iOS app, you’ve got a list of languages to work with. Swift and react native are some of them. A question we often get in 2021 is whether to choose React native or swift for iOS app development. Both platforms are used to create excellent native apps that run smoothly on iOS, but they need different skill sets and resources to build. There are many factors to consider while choosing a language for app development. So here we will compare Swift vs React Native with different parameters to help you decide the most appropriate one for your project. But before digging to the comparison, let us see overview of each technology in detail.

What Is Swift?

Swift is a modern, general-purpose and multi-paradigm programming language designed by Apple to build applications for iOS, Mac, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and Linux OS. It is distributed on Apache License, that makes it available for community to use. Swift is easy to read, write and maintain with human friendly syntax. Also, it interoperates with objective C and Apple’s Cocoa and Cocoa touch frameworks. Modern software design approach makes it an efficient, expressive and reliable general-purpose language to develop complex apps with fast performance.

Slideshare, Airbnb, Twitter are popular apps built with Swift.

What Is React Native?

React Native is a cross platform open source native app-development framework for iOS and Android that is maintained by Facebook. Main focus is on Android and iOS. There is no official support for macOS and watchOS, react native works on these platforms also. React Native is written with combination of XML-Esque markup and Javascript that is also known as JSX. It is supported by Facebook. 

Facebook, walmart, instagram, Wix are some of the popular apps build with React native.

Also know- Amazing steps to optimize the performance of React Native Applications

Swift Vs React Native-

1. Architecture-

Swift-

Viper, Clean, MVVM, MV are some architectures used for apps built in Swift. Clean architecture has Xcode templates that generate components and these template components can be modified according to the requirements. Viper architecture is used with SwiftUI that separates functions, which are easy to test, maintain and helps in rapid app development. 

React Native-

React Native possesses a bridge between Native thread and Javascript thread. According to this functionality, Javascript code communicates with the platform and Native API. In IOS, React native uses JavascriptCore separately to run code, and it combines JavascriptCore within the android app. This may increase the app size and resulting in performance issues.

2. Performance-

Swift-

It is capable to run complex app logics and heavy computations rapidly. LLVM compiler converts Swift code into optimized native code that provides direct access to device hardware and API. Standard library and simple syntax helps to improve performance across apple devices and app servers. API stability feature helps to optimize performance. As per apple, apps built in Swift are 2.6x faster than apps developed in Objective C.

React Native-

React Native has three elements- native thread, javascript thread, and bridge that acts as mediator to both threads. When a user opens a React Native app, native thread sends a message to javascript thread through bridge. React apps have low performance because the number of messages that javascript thread can process is limited. So whenever the limit is crossed, the UI starts lagging. There are some cases where the application UI takes more than 16 milliseconds to render the program.

React native’s app performance can be improved by using third-party libraries such as Proguard that optimizes bytecodes. Elements like Slowlog help setting performance timers that help to track performance issues and to solve them.

3. User Experience-

Swift-

As a native iOS language, Swift creates a good user experience. APIs and native tools can be simply integrated into a Swift app to deliver a seamless experience. Also, it can offer smooth in-app navigation. SwiftUI back intended to create better user interfaces for Swift apps. With this framework UI created for one device can be translated to other platforms with few code lines that helps to deliver a uniform user experience. Also, it supports dynamic type, localization for common items, dark mode, widgets and so on. These features can be integrated easily by writing declarative Swift syntax.

React Native-

Material Design of Android and Style Design in iOS are transforming by the day and it is hard for React Native to keep up with constant change in the requirements of native platforms. Also, ready made react native UI kits like React Virgin, Shoutem and Ant Design make it more difficult to create consistent designs across platforms. But some components like ScrollView fixed header, Modal components, Snap carousals, Activity indicators, and Pagination components help to improve the UX across multi-platform. 

4. App Size-

Swift-

Now, swift is binary compatible language and this compatibility reduces the app size. Also, stable ABI has made including Swift libraries into every iOS platform possible. This results in smaller app size. Specialized metadata records generation at compile time helps to reduce memory usage, maintaining fast performance. But, prebuilt metadata records might increase binary code size that can be reduced by using Bitcode, optimizing downloading and installation size and so on.

React Native-

The size of Hello World app with React Native is 7 MB and by adding the native dependencies the size increased up to 13.4 MB.  React Native can iterate apps rapidly and at minimal size better than Flutter. Enabling Proguard and use of enableSeparateBuildPerCPUArchitecture element will reduce app size significantly by auto-generating split builds for all native and external libraries.

5. Suitability-

Swift-

Swift is the best choice if you want to add native features or some other complex integrations are needed. It performs well for apps that needs native iOS features. Swift is capable to develop apps of complex user interfaces. 

React Native-

You can use React Native to build complex native apps. It is important to remember that this can be possible only when you involve native app development with React Native. At this stage, your app is more likely to be hybrid than cross platform. Whole process of complex app development with React Native involve Javascript and use of native development skills.

6. Learning Curve-

Swift-

Swift is a modern coding language with community support. The learning curve for this cutting-edge programming language is satisfactory.  Apple’s app development curriculum offers courses to assist people with fundamentals of Swift and how to code in this modern language. As it is open source, developers can refer Stack Overflow, GitHub or Swift forums for development.

Swift playground feature is available to smoothen the learning curve for beginners. With this feature, people without coding experience can learn language and experiment on native iOS apps. 

React Native-

Learning react native is easy for those who built apps using Javascript. But, mobile developers find it relatively difficult to learn and implement the framework. Over the time, React Native has released various libraries, extensive documents and tutorials that improve the learning curve.

When To Choose Swift?

You can choose Swift to-

  • Develop apps that need native features and APIs of iOS
  • Create apps for single platform i.e, Apple ecosystem.
  • Build apps with complex user interfaces and high memory management

When To Choose React Native?

You can choose react native to –

  • Build app that needs hot reloading and live reloading
  • Develop a cost-effective app
  • Build apps that need rapid development
  • Develop a cross platform app

Final Words-

Swift and React native both offer great user experience on native platforms. So it becomes challenging to decide the one for native iOS app development. The above Swift vs react native comparison will surely help you to choose the best one. If you’re still confused to choose the ebay one, consult with Solace experts. We are here to help you through consultation and development. You can hire swift developers and react native developers of Solace team for an effective app development. Connect with Solace and get a free quote for swift and react native app development. We will be happy to help you.  

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