React Native vs Swift: Which One to Choose for an iOS App 


By Tej Chalishazar 

You have a slew of programming languages available when creating an iOS application. Amongst all, two of the most common mobile development technologies are React Native and Swift. 

React Native is an open-source platform built on JavaScript by Facebook, while Swift is an Apple product. Swift and React Native are both mobile app development technologies.  

There are advantages and disadvantages to both platforms when it comes to creating iOS applications that perform well, but they demand different skill sets and resources. The framework you choose has financial and technical repercussions as you need to hire a dedicated React Native app developer when going for the same. both demand a certain skill set and resources. 

Therefore, this post will have a quick comparison of React Native vs Swift to decide which is best for your iOS app development project.  

The following are the five key factors to consider before settling on a platform for your native iOS app development. Therefore, it is best to know the difference between React Native and Swift for these factors and identify the right technology stack that works for you. 

Before that, let’s have a quick look at the top applications built on a different framework. 

Top Applications - Framework

Now, back to React Native vs Swift comparison for key factors to create an iOS application. 

1. Coding Speed 

When it comes to coding speed, Swift can effectively remove drawbacks of coding standards and simplify creating an iOS app, providing a time-saving choice for developers.  

This is useful if you do not want to create two separate apps to function on iOS and Android.  

There are several advantages to using React Native, including constructing an iOS and Android app using a simple copy/pasting method. 

You need to hire swift developers for full-time projects for Swift iOS development that uses Swift programming language. On the plus side, it is relatively user-friendly as even those with little programming experience get started using this one. 

With its safe and simple syntax, you’ll often write less code to implement functionality with Swift.  

The compilation in React Native is slower since it is a compiled language, taking longer to complete the identical programme in Swift, which is a non-compiled language. 

Therefore, you can choose Swift if you have skilled resources in place to ensure faster coding. 

2. Performance  

There are a few parameters that you need to consider when comparing React Native vs Swift for iOS app development.  

This includes: 

  • Memory 
  • CPU consumption 
  • GPU consumption 

Here are key findings on these three parameters for both.  

Key Parameters

The above results suggest that it is slightly better for CPU consumption while also allowing developers to ingrain the native code into the app to tackle this challenge. 

For GPU, creating visual effects is challenging with React Native as the framework supports integrating native programmes into applications. This needs developers to create multiple assets and tools for addressing development activities. 

When it comes to Swift applications, they demonstrate higher performance compared to apps written using frameworks. Also, Swift Apps uses relatively significant CPU power while topping the performance compared to React Native apps. 

Therefore, performance-wise React Native is a better choice for developing iOS native applications. 

Perhaps you’re looking for someone with specific skills or expertise that you can’t find in your local talent pool, gives you the reason to hire offshore developers that can help you in making the app with high performance.  

3. Testing 

The Jest framework allows developers to test React Native applications. Also, they can develop test automation for the application to check specified circumstances and behaviours. React Native Testing Library and Test Renderer are available from other libraries to assist in testing React Native applications. 

In addition to XCTest, which is incorporated into Xcode, Swift provides automated testing with XCTest. Useful for UI testing, XCTest is easy to use and supports unit testing.  

On the other hand, the QA team can use Waldo as a no-code testing tool for React Native and Swift applications. It doesn’t need any other setup to test your app with it. 

When comparing React Native with Swift, testing is more time-consuming with React Native as it is a single code source. When it comes to conducting tests, React Native applications need to be given more time and attention since problems might surface on both platforms. Here, it is better to go for Swift to ensure timely testing. 

4. User Interface 

When it comes to the User Interface (UI), you will have no hassles in using Swift as it is built by Apple to power applications. This means, seamless integration into iOS design is possible when using all of the UX standards. React Native, on the other hand, requires you to start from scratch when developing native applications that require catering to each component individually. 

React Native uses JavaScript libraries to build user interfaces which help developers create platform-centric versions of components for a native-like experience. With the help of JavaScript and declarative UI, React components wrap native code and communicate with native APIs.  

Therefore, it’s very easy to create an amazing UI with the help of JavaScript but very difficult to stay updated with changes and advancements that happen in the native environment. 

5. Stability 

You can choose Swift to create Native applications that fully use the platform’s features. In terms of stability, Swift beats React Native in the Swift vs. React Native comparison to handling big jobs and graphics effects. Thus, Swift improves the platform’s stability.  

Even though React Native is the most popular development framework, it lacks the stability that native applications demand.  

The functioning of the application relies heavily on the underlying libraries and APIs of the system. Here, choosing Swift ensures simplicity in dealing with computation and graphic tasks. Therefore, when you consider leveraging a platform at its best, Swift offers a better choice. 

6. Community Support 

Swift was first announced at WWDC in 2014 to take the role of Apple’s Objective-C programming language. You get the most up-to-date features, the simplest syntax, and the fastest performance with an equally engaged community behind it.  

The Swift community is always working on new features and improvements to make Swift the finest general-purpose programming language. 

React Native is an open-source project supported by Facebook. In 2018, React Native had the 2nd highest number of contributors for any repository on GitHub, a testament to a very active community supported by contributors and companies worldwide, including Microsoft, Callstack, Expo, Software Mansion, and Infinite Red. 

Both React Native and Swift have tremendous community support and are community-driven. 

Wrapping Up: React Native or Swift? 

Chances are, you will need to hire iOS app developers from India when creating an app and therefore. Prior to that, you should choose the right framework when designing an iOS app for Apple products.  

  • Apps having sophisticated UI: Think of a resource-intensive mobile app with many interactivity options for the user’s interface — a messaging app with built-in geolocation. Here, Swift is your best option as creating complicated applications on native platforms is always the best alternative.
  • Utilities and media players: Instead of React Native, creating media players and battery monitors using Swift is relatively easy because of iOS’s inherent capabilities and APIs.
  • Single-platform apps: Swift should be your go-to programming language if you want to build a strong and complicated app specifically for iOS devices.

As mentioned above, many factors favour Swift, especially when looking for native iOS applications. Also, you need to consider the financial and technological considerations when comparing React Native vs Swift. It is a good idea to take some time to examine the details of your project before making a choice. 

One way involves experimenting with Swift and React Native to understand which ones work best for your app development project. 

About the Author

Author - Tej ChalishazarTej Chalishazar is a Project manager at one of the leading Top mobile application development company India, Peerbits. He devotes his time to inspiring young talents to take the leap of faith. With the experience of 10 years and still adding in Web and App development, he now gives full attention to the enterprises to stoke their growth by offering various solutions like strategic planning and execution.


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