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React Native or Swift: Which to Choose for Your iOS App Development Project?

09 Oct 2017

React Native is a framework from Facebook. It allows the development of native mobile apps for iOS and Android platforms with a single JavaScript codebase. React Native framework uses the React.js library to create an accurate native mobile app. Swift is a general-purpose, multi-paradigm, compiled programming language developed for building iOS-powered devices and its ecosystem. It includes iPhones, macOS, watchOS and tvOS. And, it works with Apple’s Cocoa and Cocoa Touch frameworks while supporting existing Objective-C code developed for Apple devices.

Through this article, we aim to provide a comparison between React Native (RN) and Swift mobile app development technologies.

swift-vs-react-native

Native iOS apps versus React Native: Which Should You Consider?

Apple’s IDE (Xcode) helps develop the advanced and user-friendly applications. On the other hand, React Native enables developers in Android and iOS mobile app development with the help of JavaScript. It is a cross-platform mobile framework, but with a difference.

With React, you are not building a ‘mobile web app’ (that is Web App wrapped in a native container). It compiles your JS codebase to a mobile app similar to an iOS app built with Objective C or Android One using Java. Therefore React-Native has the advantage of both native and hybrid technology. Since both small and big projects can benefit from React Native, a comparison between React Native (RN) and Swift can disclose the actual benefits.

Swift or React Native – Which fits your iOS project better?

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React Native vs Swift:

User Interface

As Swift is a native language designed for building powerful iOS apps, it seamlessly integrates into iOS design, leveraging all the UX design principles. And to build an app with Swift, the development team should code a native app from scratch and polish every design element separately.

In contrast, React Native uses JavaScript as a power behind the scene and uses internal APIs to run native elements adjusting it to any screen size. The user interface is identical in the native one and much easier to code. Additionally, JavaScript’s web development legacy eradicates the issues of apps being displayed on varied screen sizes, including the iPhone and iPad.

Speed of Coding

When it comes to coding in Swift, it is the most time-saving option to develop an iOS app. It makes the development process more manageable by eradicating the drawbacks of Objective C, which was used earlier. Hence, it is a convenient way to build iOS apps.

On the other hand, React Native is useful if your goal is to build applications for both Android and iOS platforms simultaneously.

Community Support

Swift developers receive technical topics support through public forums during the mobile app development process. And as react Native is an open-source framework, developers get help for concerning issues from companies and individuals worldwide.

Performance

Performance is an essential consideration for mobile apps, especially to see which framework is more efficient. The three main factors that help decide this are CPU usage, allocated memory, and energy impact for various tasks. It is also important to note the speed of opening and scrolling the language list to call (frames per second).

Native mobile apps developed on Swift leverages all device possibilities. Swift performs better when dealing with graphical effects and heavy computational tasks. Whereas, using React Native to build mobile app leverages internal APIs and libraries. The developers create modules on their own, which acts as a middle-man between the code and platform, which in some cases might impact the app’s performance. Also, React Native is better than Swift when it comes to CPU usage optimization. However, graphical effects may prove difficult for the framework.

Development Cost

React Native is a cross-platform framework that is a cost-efficient solution for building a mobile app with a short development cycle. React Native can reduce the development cost by 30%-35% compared to that of Native app development for the same project, as stated by the top mobile app development companies. So, if the cost is a primary concern, then you can choose react-native.

Conclusion

React Native or Swift? The answer lies in the complexity of the app. For more complex iPhone applications, it is better to write in Swift, or else your app does not measure up against the competition. For simple iOS apps, React-Native provides budget and time-line gains that are hard to ignore.

Both React Native and Swift are robust solutions for mobile app development. However, the choice between the Swift and React Native app depends on your app type, functionality, number of users, and other factors. Choosing the right technology is a crucial decision for your iOS app development project that will impact its path to success.

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