Mobile apps are expected to generate more than $613 billion in revenue by 2025 (source: Statista). There are about 1.5 times as many apps on the App Store than there are on Google Play, and Android has a 70% market share compared to iOS’s 30%.
Wait a minute! This blog post does not aim to argue between Google Play and the App Store.
We would like to draw attention to the fact that developing a robust mobile application for your business is the best way to expand it quickly.
React Native vs Swift – the two most popular technologies that enable the smooth and effective creation of mobile apps. Today, through this blog, we will understand when to use which technology and which is the best fit for the project at hand.
Can React Native surpass Swift?
Well, as per our 20+ years of experience in web and mobile app development, sometimes this is the case. As an illustration, you must quickly develop an iOS app version that functions like the Android version. Furthermore, you can easily expand the program’s functionality thanks to React Native’s modular design. But when it comes to making sophisticated apps, Swift is the better programming language.
he functionality and performance of an iOS app are largely dependent on the technology selection. Therefore, you must be aware of their quirks to select the best one for your current project.
So, what are you waiting for? Let’s dive deeper into both of these technologies and find the winner!
Introduction of React Native
Most novice programmers get confused about React and React Native. You should be aware of the fundamental distinctions between React vs React Native before learning the language.
React Native combines the efficiency of web development with the performance and appearance of native apps, enabling faster development cycles and code reuse. It’s famous for its hot-reloading feature, facilitating real-time code changes, and its extensive community support.
The amazing features of React Native collectively make it a popular choice (liked by 29% of worldwide developers) for mobile app development, especially when there’s a need for efficient cross-platform development without compromising on native performance.
Let’s cover all such features.
Features of React Native
|Promotes the creation of modular UI elements for easy reuse across different parts of the application.
|Enables dedicated React developers to see real-time results of code changes without restarting the entire application, speeding up the development process.
|Uses a declarative syntax for defining UI, making the code more intuitive and easier to understand.
|Simplified UI Development
|The JSX syntax simplifies UI development, resembling XML or HTML and improving code readability.
|Provides developer tools for debugging, profiling, and performance analysis, enhancing the development and debugging experience.
Pros & Cons of React Native
Like every technology, React Native also comes with some strengths & weaknesses. Let’s see what those are.
Develop once, deploy anywhere. React Native allows dedicated developers to use a single codebase for both platforms (iOS and Android), reducing development time and effort.
A large and active community provides continuous support, frequent updates, and a wealth of resources, including libraries and plugins.
Integration with React ecosystem
Dedicated developers can leverage tools from the React ecosystem, such as Redux for state management, enhancing the development process.
Third party plugin compatibility
React Native supports a wide range of third-party plugins, allowing seamless integration of device-specific functionalities.
Dependency on Native Modules
Certain functionalities may require native modules, and their availability can be limited. This may force developers to write native code or use third-party libraries, introducing complexity and potential compatibility issues.
The rapid evolution of React Native introduces frequent updates, which may lead to breaking changes. This requires developers to update their codebase regularly, potentially causing compatibility issues with existing libraries or components.
Quality Variations in Community Modules
While React Native has a vibrant community, not all contributed modules may match the quality and stability of those available in native development environments. This can lead to issues with reliability, maintenance, and updates.
Introduction of Swift
Swift is a compiled programming language created by Apple for building native iOS applications. It incorporates elements from various programming languages, making it accessible for both new and experienced developers. Swift aims to enhance code readability, reduce errors, and increase development speed.
It is widely used in Apple’s ecosystem for developing various software applications, from mobile to desktop software. The language continues to evolve with updates and improvements from Apple’s development community.
It is widely used in Apple’s ecosystem to develop various software applications, from mobile to desktop. The language continues to evolve with updates and improvements from Apple’s development community.
Companies that previously developed apps in Objective-C switched to Swift to leverage flexibility, conciseness, and simplicity. This programming language is only 8 years old but has recently gained popularity in mobile app development. Companies switched from Objective-C to Swift because of its simplicity, conciseness, and flexibility.
Features of Swift
|Swift is seamlessly interoperable with Objective-C, allowing dedicated developers to use existing Objective-C code within Swift projects and vice versa.
|Swift features a concise and expressive syntax, making code more readable and developer-friendly compared to its predecessor, Objective-C.
|Unified Memory Management
|Automatic Reference Counting (ARC) efficiently manages memory, automatically deallocating objects when they are no longer in use.
|Swift Package Manager
|A built-in package manager simplifies the process of distributing and managing Swift code packages and dependencies.
|Powerful Standard Library
|Swift includes a comprehensive standard library that offers a wide range of functionality, reducing the need for external libraries in many cases.
|Swift Playgrounds provide an interactive environment for experimenting with code, visualizing results, and dynamically learning Swift concepts.
Pros & Cons of Swift
Find the advantage and disadvantages of using Swift in your next project
Comes with safety
Swift incorporates safety features to prevent errors and improve code reliability. Optionals, type inference, and automatic memory management improve coding practices.
Swift is designed for high performance. It combines low-level programming control with high-level language conveniences, resulting in efficient and fast code execution.
Swift is open source, fostering community collaboration and allowing custom web application developers to contribute to its evolution. This openness has led to its adoption beyond the Apple ecosystem.
Functional Programming Features
Swift supports functional programming paradigms, including first-class functions, closures, and immutability, enhancing code clarity and maintainability.
Multiple Paradigm support
Swift supports both object-oriented and functional programming paradigms, giving developers flexibility in choosing the approach that best fits their application’s needs.
Swift is relatively new compared to established languages like Objective-C. As a result, the ecosystem may not be as mature, with fewer third-party libraries and community support. This can require more effort to build certain functionalities from scratch.
Source Code Compatibility
Swift has undergone significant updates, and sometimes, new versions are not backward compatible. This can lead to challenges when maintaining or updating existing projects, requiring developers to adapt their code to the latest Swift version.
Limited Server-Side Adoption
Swift is primarily designed for iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS. If you aim to develop cross-platform applications, you may need to use additional technologies or languages for Android or other platforms, leading to fragmented codebases.
Deep Head-to-Head Analysis of React Native vs Swift
React Native and Swift are two prominent players in the mobile development landscape, each with strengths and weaknesses. Let’s delve into a comparative analysis to aid in making an informed decision.
React Native vs Swift
|Mode of Comparision
|Cross-platform (iOS, Android)
|General-purpose compiled programming language
|Native components wrapped using APIs
|iOS native UIs using SwiftUI
|Speed of Coding
|Faster development for both platforms
|For iOS, Swift can offer faster results.
|Larger and more established community.
|Being new relatively less support
|Excellent, benefit of automated documentation.
|Apple offers great documentation support.
|Cost of Development
1. Market Share
React Native, with its cross-platform capabilities, has gained traction, especially for its efficiency in building apps for both iOS and Android. Swift, Apple’s language, is dominant for iOS development, reflecting its exclusivity to Apple’s ecosystem. Market shares can fluctuate, so checking the latest data for the most accurate comparison is essential.
|Market Share- 63.61%
|Market Share- 4.65%
Google Trends is depicting a new story. What’s that?
Google Trends result shows that in the last one-year, Swift has remained more search technology than React Native. It indicates that top web and mobile app development firms are now getting interested in Swift. However, React Native remains the most popular framework when quick and efficient development is required.
2. Application Architecture
Swift, on the other hand, out of React Native vs Swift follows an imperative paradigm and uses Apple’s Cocoa Touch framework. Swift applications generally have a native feel due to close integration with iOS APIs.
Swift applications use a variety of architectures, including MVVM, MV, Clean, and Viper. Components are generated in a clean architecture using Xcode templates. These template elements are modifiable to accommodate future requirements.
Viper is used with SwiftUI to divide functions, facilitating app development and making them easier to test and manage.
Result: React Native generally offers a simpler architecture with a single codebase for iOS and Android. Swift, while robust and native to iOS, involves platform-specific development, potentially making it more complex for cross-platform projects.
3. Programming Language
Result: Developer preferences and project requirements frequently influence the decision.
4. Learning Curve
Swift has a steeper learning curve, especially for those new to iOS development or without experience. Moreover, Swift’s syntax and iOS-specific concepts may require more time to grasp.
Result: Out of React Native vs Swift, React Native is relatively easier to learn
5. Developer’s Availability
Result: React Native is a clear winner out of React Native vs Swift in terms of popularity and developer’s availability.
Many variables affect how well Swift vs React Native performs, such as GPU speed, CPU usage, memory usage, etc. Swift performs better than React Native in terms of CPU consumption but React Native performs better in terms of memory usage and GPU speed.
In scenarios where maximum performance is critical, such as high-end games or resource-intensive applications, Swift might be a preferred choice for iOS development. However, React Native’s performance is often sufficient for many applications, offering the advantage of code sharing and faster development across multiple platforms.
Result: While choosing React Native vs Swift, you should consider specific project requirements and performance expectations.
7. User Interface
When creating a visually appealing UI for a native app, out of React Native vs Swift, Swift is more user-friendly than React Native and allows seamless integration with the iOS platform. Apple launched a new Swift framework called SwiftUI at WWDC 19, and it enables declarative user interface development. Therefore, Swift developers can create a completely native and enhanced user experience by using SwiftUI from the ground up.
Although React Native can produce a passable native-like user interface, it is not as stable as Swift. Swift has a reputation for being stable. Its ability to handle intricate tasks and visual effects with efficiency makes it a reliable choice for iOS development.
Even though React Native is powered by one of the most well-known programming languages, it does not generate native applications. Its operation depends on utilizing internal libraries and APIs to run the application.
On the other hand, Swift can create a native application that maximizes the platform’s capabilities and performs significantly better when handling complex computations and graphics effects.
Result: Regarding stability out of React Native vs Swift, Swift beats React Native.
9. Speed of Coding
Swift, while providing a more streamlined and statically-typed syntax, may have a slightly steeper learning curve. However, Swift benefits from an integrated development environment (Xcode) that offers features like autocomplete making coding efficient once developers are familiar.
Result: Coding speed largely relies on your objectives. Swift is unquestionably the best option if you are creating an application exclusively for iOS. However, React Native will ensure quicker outcomes if you want to publish the app on both iOS and Android.
10. Platform Maturity
In terms of platform maturity, both React Native and Swift are still relatively new in the industry. In 2014, Swift was released, and in 2015, React Native. But with every version update, both communities welcome more robustness.
React Native, on the one hand, serves as a bridge between the iOS platforms and code, whereas Swift excels at handling intricate calculations and graphic tasks due to its higher performance.
Result: Both are winner in terms of platform maturity
11. Community Support
React Native is an open-source programming language that many skilled developers use worldwide. React Native boasts a vibrant community and global support from companies and contributors like Microsoft, Infinite Red, Software Mansion, Expo, and Callstack.
React Native GitHub Stats
When we compare React Native vs Swift, Swift’s enhancements are guaranteed because Apple, one of the biggest corporations in the world, supports it. The Swift community provides excellent support and is highly motivated to make Swift the best programming language.
Swift GitHub Stats
Result: While the communities surrounding Swift and React Native are both quite strong, React Native has a slight edge regarding community support.
React Native vs Swift both platforms come with excellent documentation and are managed by reputable companies (Meta and Apple). Because they are both well-organized, developers can work on projects faster.
React Native has extensive and well-documented resources, including official documentation, guides, and a robust community contributing to forums and tutorials. Its documentation is comprehensive and beginner-friendly, supporting dedicated React Native developers in learning and troubleshooting.
Swift, being Apple’s official language, also has thorough documentation provided by Apple, covering language features, frameworks, and best practices. Xcode, Swift’s IDE, offers integrated documentation, aiding developers during coding.
Result: Both React Native and Swift benefit from dedicated communities, forums, and resources, ensuring developers have access to valuable information for effective development.
12. Cost of Development
We know you are excited to explore who provides more cost-effective solutions in React Native vs Swift.
React Native often has a cost advantage due to code reusability across iOS and Android, reducing development time and potentially lowering expenses.
Swift development is iOS-specific, potentially requiring additional resources for Android development. However, Swift can excel in performance, reducing long-term maintenance costs.
A React Native developer will cost less to create iOS applications. However, hiring a React Native or Swift developer won’t make much difference. React Native, however, can help you save more money if you wish to hire an entire team.
Find the hourly cost of React Native vs Swift developers in the table below.
React Native vs Swift: Hourly Cost of Developers
Result: Overall, React Native’s cross-platform capabilities and broader skill pool can lead to more cost-effective development, but the specific project requirements, performance needs, and available talent pool should be considered for a comprehensive evaluation of development costs.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the React Native vs Swift argument. The choice is based on your project’s requirements, team experience, and long-term objectives.
Although Swift provides native performance and smooth iOS interaction, React Native is more effective for cross-platform development. To make the best decision and guarantee the success of your project, you must be aware of the subtle differences between each technology.
In the battle between React Native vs Swift, we hope this blog provides everything you were looking for. You can select a reputable mobile app development firm and consider their advice for proper guidance and assistance.
Being a top web and mobile app development company, we can assist you in reaching your goals. Contact us to learn more about the differences between Swift vs React Native and how to select the best framework for your upcoming mobile app development project.
Frequently Asked Questions
When should I use React Native?
Use React Native when:
- Cross-platform development is crucial.
- Development speed is a priority.
- A large, reusable component library is beneficial.
- The project involves a dynamic and active development community.
When should I use Swift?
Use Swift when:
- Native iOS development is the primary focus.
- Optimal performance is critical, especially for graphics-intensive or computational tasks.
- Full access to iOS features without abstract layers is required.
- Seamless integration with the Apple ecosystem is a priority.
Which offers faster development: React Native vs Swift?
React Native generally offers faster development due to its cross-platform capabilities, enabling code reuse across iOS and Android. Swift is focused on native iOS development, potentially requiring additional effort for cross-platform compatibility. React Native’s hot reloading and wide adoption contribute to quicker iterations in the development process.
Excellence-driven professional with 11+ years of experience in increasing productivity, and revenue, while effectively managing products of all sizes. He has worked for international clients in the US, UK, and Singapore and local companies in various domains. With excellent attention to detail and a methodical approach to execution, he is an expert in bringing projects to a successful stage. He follows James Humes’s famous saying- “The art of communication is the language of leadership.”