Swift vs React Native: Which Framework To Choose For Your Project?
09 Oct. 2017 Mobile App
React-Native has been on the app development tech-radar for all the right reasons for some time now. It is a framework that uses React to design the user interfaces for native devices. It is maintained by Facebook, Instagram and a large community of developers and corporations.
Swift is relatively easy to learn, as it is similar to many languages (Java, C++). But learning Cocoa Touch (the iOS framework) is a much harder task.
Native iOS apps versus React Native: Which Should You Consider?
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.
But how does it compare against Swift in reality? Since both small and big projects can benefit from React Native, a comparison between React Native (RN) and Swift can disclose the actual benefits.
React-Native or Swift?
- The development process for both RN and iOS is quite similar. The main difference is just the order of consecutive tasks. One chief advantage of React Native over Swift native is the time of development. For a simple app, for example, the technical team at NetGuru found that there is a 30 percent mobile development cost and time efficiency.
In terms of design layout, React Native provides hot reloading that keeps the app running and allows injecting new versions of files that have been edited, at runtime. This helps to preserve all of your states especially when you are working on the UI.
- Obviously, React Native may not have all the same components as Swift. It is an open-source project, fast gaining popularity due to an active community and Facebook support. While many functions are still unavailable, some scenarios can use React’s Native Modules tool with an npm package that works for certain issues. But sometimes developers will have to build the required modules themselves. For example, to make shadows work exactly like they do on iOS, there is no custom solution in React Native. Thus, you will have to tweak and customize to get the desired results.
- Performance is an important consideration for mobile apps, especially to see which framework is more efficient. The three main factors that help in deciding this are CPU usage, allocated memory and energy impact for various tasks like taking a call, the first run, opening a URL. It is also important to note the speed of opening and scrolling the language list to call (frames per second).
- React Native is as good as, if not better than Swift for CPU usage and energy impact. Applications developed with RN tend to allocate more memory than those written in Swift. It is also true that RN apps reserve nearly 20 MB of memory for RCTBridge and its various components. So, in terms of performance, both have similar behavior and efficiency.
- Many startups have started considering React Native due to the short development cycle and obvious cost efficiency. React Native is also relatively easy to learn and easier to debug, making the training part easier for companies. As with React Native, you forego the cost of two separate teams for iOS and Android, there is a reduction in the overall resources employed.
React Native or Swift, The answer lies in the complexity of the app. For more complex applications, it is better to write in Swift or else your app simply does not measure up against the competition. For simpler apps, React-Native provides budget and time-line gains that are hard to ignore. React-Native and Xamarin both have proven themselves to be more ‘native’ than other cross-platform or wrapped web apps in the market.