React Native Vs Swift: Battling the Mindshare of Developers

It is a must-read for those who don’t know React Native vs Swift development but also seem to fathom its meaning!

React Native is for those who can do away with the challenges it comes with, of course imbibing JS and incorporating  Native-like features in creating a mobile app that runs across platforms. It comes with Random Access Module Bundling, Inline Requires, Native Parallel Fetching and plenty more already integrated into the framework. But it is up to the development teams to get rid and leverage the in-built challenges of React Native comes with:

  • Push notifications,
  • frequent crashes,
  • out of memory problems,
  • Overhead caused due to injecting the JavaScript bundle into JavaScriptCore (the VM used by React Native both on iOS and Android) and instantiating native modules and view managers,

React Native and React

Essentially, React Native is a custom renderer for React, just like ReactDOM is for Web. Apart from transforming React code to work on iOS and Android, React Native also gives access to the features that these platforms offer.

Most of the React code for Web relies on features available in Web browsers, so these will not work for mobile platforms. However, the same code base can be used between mobile and web apps and there are chances that the ability to reuse the code will improve in the future.

React Native and PhoneGap

PhoneGap used to be a reasonable solution a few years back, but with rapid technology changes it is no more suitable for most of the users. PhoneGap apps used to be Hybrid Websites that were embedded in mobile apps through a “WebView”. Reactjs was also capable of getting certain things accomplished if combined with PhoneGap, but device-specific and native functionalities were severely restricted in these cases. This limitation got resolved with the emergence and penetration of React Native. The biggest benefit being the much better performance in the case of hybrid apps.

React Native and Flutter

Comparing Flutter with React native, the former is relatively new. The reason it is highly promoted by Google is enough for it to survive well in the market. Flutter is a reactive framework, which is easy to learn, is highly performant, lets you build native-like applications and offers live or hot reloading i.e. when the code is being created the changes can be seen simultaneously.

[Note: When we say ‘native-like’ it means that the application is fast, slightly expensive as it makes use of all device features, is platform and device-specific.]

React Native as a Favorite platform for Cross-Functional Apps

React Native is still the industry standard for developing applications across platforms, using single codebase, saving time, effort and cost. React Native Mobile Apps are highly efficient and reasonably good when it comes to counting an average based on cost, time and efforts. Doing away with the small platform or device-related challenges, adding or importing packages and libraries to suit according to the requirements of the application makes it highly preferable amongst developers.

React Native can never equalize the features and abilities of ios and Android platforms. It can harness the potential, by utilizing these native features in the best possible way, easily adapt UI according to the given platform’s needs.

React Native vs Swift

Swift is open-source, fast, in huge demand is a native programming language, highly preferable for iOS development, is 2.6x faster than Objective-C and 8.4x faster than Python. Hashing out Swift’s popularity the arguments that propel it ahead were: whether would it be able to fit in with the existing Objective-C ecosystem.

Moving the code to a new platform would have been difficult and a major challenge for the developers. Apple continued investing in Objective C and simultaneously committed to the development of another safe programming language in the name of ‘Swift’. In a few years, as Apple registered its beta version, it then subsequently released it as part of Xcode tools and the download trolls followed.

Initial reactions to Swift were a mix; some people were delighted by its features and performance, while others fancied its flexibility and simplicity. Yet a major part still criticized it. The language evolved and came at par with other competitors on edge.

Providing great access to existing Cocoa frameworks, it did not require to import a separate library to support functionalities like input/output or even the string handling. Swift merges procedural and object-oriented portions of the language.

Moreover, the run time used by swift is the same as that of the Objective-C system on MacOS and iOS. Swift is enjoyable to code, is expressive and simple to use.

Why are Swift vs React Native Preferred in iOS app development?

Why React Native?

React Native is convenient to code and gives a native-like feel to the mobile app. It is also possible to access all platform features to the fullest by making use of React Native. The use of JS makes rendering easy across server and client browsers. It is as well not laden with side effects of a hybrid HTML5 app. It interactively crafts the UI, due to the presence of enormous libraries, tools, and many ready hand solutions. Overall this fastens the development process.

Other Features That Make React Native Desirable:

React Native (RN) is open-source and is driven by a vast community. It can ease out programming on both iOS and Android platforms. RN architecture is well-tuned to mobile devices as it is based on the Graphics Processing Unit instead of the Central Processing Unit. It has the ‘live-reload’ feature that allows top react native app developers to see instant changes to code at runtime. The modular and interactive interface makes it easy to create flexible applications, thus makes the task of test engineers easy, and builds appropriate testing scenarios. It makes use of predictive API that predicts app UI, a highly responsive interface. React Native allows code reuse (write once, use anywhere paradigm) and helps save time, effort and cost subsequently.

Major React Native Applications

Facebook: social media and social networking, Instagram: the Photo-sharing app, Skype: Video calling and messaging app, Walmart: Online shipping app, Tesla: Vehicle communication app, Airbnb: Hotel Booking, SoundCloud Pulse: Online music, Bloomberg News etc., Gyroscope, Myntra, UberEats, Discovery VR, Townske, Wix and Delivery.com etc.

Why Swift?

Swift is open-source, quick to be coded, cost-effective (but slightly on upper hand than react native), general-purpose, a multi-paradigm programming language that can be used to create beautiful responsive applications for mobile apps of all complexities, wearables, tvOS, macOS, watchOS and makes use of dynamic libraries.

Other Features That Make Swift Desirable:

It has functional programming patterns, powerful error handling, advanced control flow, structs which support extensions, methods and protocols, generics, concise and fast iteration, it comes with multiple return values and tuples, it follows safe and easy programming patterns, enables quick access to existing Cocoa frameworks, there is no need of separate library import to support functionalities like input/output or even the string handling, it has almost the same run-time as Objective-C on Mac OS and iOS and unites the procedural and object-oriented portions of the language.

Major Swift Applications

Firefox iOS app, Airbnb, Apple Store, Bitmoji, CNN, Camera+, Dubsmash, Eventbrite, Fitbit, Flipagram, Flipboard, Groupon, Hotwire (car-rental platform), Imgur, KAYAK, LinkedIn, Lyft (car-hailing platform), Medium (Blogging platform), Meetup (dating platform), Microsoft Selfie, Mint, MyFitnessPal, Pandora, Product Hunt, Timehop, Truecaller, Tumblr, Twitter, VSCO, Venmo, Vimeo, Vine, Wallapop, The Weather Channel, Yep: A community where geniuses meet, WordPress for iOS written in Swift, AudioKit: Open-source audio synthesis, processing, & analysis platform built-in Swift, WeChat clone etc.

Decisional: Choosing the best amongst React Native vs. Swift

Although we have discussed major features, functionality, performance, time, budget and cost factors – it completely depends upon the client requirements, available skillset, and experience of the developer to make use of desired technology to achieve the best results by the app. This can be considered as a base, but a quick discussion with experts and architects can propel the entire app development strategy in a new direction. If you are a top-notch app development company and plan to create a native or cross-platform app from scratch, discuss your challenges and we will be upright with possible solutions.

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