Swift vs React Native: Which one is better to choose when developing your app for iOs

When you want to build an App for iOS the primary question is, “Should I develop a native app on Swift or a cross-platform solution on React Native”? Here is the deal. It is always better to use Swift for iOS apps. Still, in some cases, React Native could be your platform of choice. Below, we explain the difference between Swift and React Native, their pros and cons to help you choose the right solution. 

What is Swift?

Swift was created by Apple in 2014. It works with Apple’s Cocoa and Cocoa Touch frameworks. Besides, Swift supports the existing Objective-C code developed for Apple devices. Swift has 48.2K GitHub stars and 7.71K GitHub forks. Swift is perfect for projects with complex infrastructure, native iOS features, and in-app payment. We used Swift for our recent project, Openbucks because the app required data modeling, transaction processing, and third-party integrations. To find out more, read the full case study.

Openbucks the appsolutions project

[Openbucks app by the App Solutions]

If your app requires complex integrations as well, use Swift. 

Swift Pros 

  • Available coding. Swift is an open-source language, currently distributed on Apache License. 
  • Better error-handling. Swift has a strong typing and error handling system which prevents code crashes and errors in production. 
  • Easy scaling. Swift is future-proof and can be extended with new features as needed. Thus, such apps are typically easier to scale.
  • Less coding. Swift is very concise, which means you need less code to perform the same task, as compared to React Native.
  • Faster coding. Swift was built with performance in mind. This language has a simple syntax which allows developing apps faster.

Swift Cons

  • Only for Apple devices. Since Swift is a native platform, you can only use this language for native devices. Thus, to build apps for both Android and iOS, you will have to come up with a separate app.


What is React Native?

React Native, a framework designed and supported by Facebook is used for cross-platform mobile applications. React Native uses JavaScript. Thus, developers can share up to 70% of the code between various platforms such as Android and iOS. Codesharing reduces the development time and cost of cross-platform apps. React Native has 78.3K GitHub stars and 17.5K forks on GitHub. 

React Native Pros

  • Faster developing. React Native is powered with JavaScript. Thus, up to 90% of the code for your mobile app may be taken from web applications. Building iOS apps with React Native is 33% faster than Swift and takes 1,5 months. 
  • Less debugging. With React Native, bug tracing requires much less effort. 
  • Less budgeting. You can run the project with a smaller team while reducing the costs.
  • Hot reloading. This feature allows mobile developers to visualize the code they have created. Thus, hot reloading makes the whole development process a lot more productive.
  • Feature expanding. You can extend your app functionality with existing or custom JavaScript modules. 

React Native Cons 

  • App Store restrictions. If your RN app uses libraries that dynamically update native code, App Store will reject it. 
  • Lack of wrappers. In some cases, developers need to create custom wrappers to empower the app with native modules, components, and APIs, which takes time. 
React Native works with native components
  • Complex design. Both Android and iOS have different design guidelines for apps. For this reason, it is tough to develop high-quality custom UI for React Native apps.
  • Security. Since React Native is an open-source framework, it has a gap in security validity. To develop banking and financial apps, you need to add extra security patches.
  • Frequent updates. React Native updates its components regularly. Thus, be ready to release your app updates more often. 


React Native vs Swift comparison 



React Native

User Interface

When building an app on Swift, developers create the code from scratch. Thus, the team should polish app design elements separately. 

React Native uses internal APIs to run native elements. Thanks to JavaScript, the app adjusts to any screen size. 

Speed of coding

Swift allows making app development easier while getting rid of drawbacks. 

React Native is a simple-yet-powerful working horse of app development. When building an app for both iOS and Android app, to some extent, this will be a copy-paste process.

Community and support

Developers receive support on technical topics at Swift public forums.

React Native is open-sourced. Contributions from companies and individuals around the world support React Native.


Native app, build on Swift, leverages all device possibilities. Besides, the platform performs better when dealing with graphic effects and computational-heavy tasks. 

The app on React Native will need to leverage internal APIs and libraries. Thus, developers have to create needed modules on their own. In other words, they need to add a middle-man between the code and platform, which impacts the app’s performance. 

Developer hourly rate

The average hourly wage for Swift developers varies depending on the location:

  • From $100 to $300 in the U.S. 
  • From $80 to $200 in Western Europe 
  • From $50 and $150 in Eastern Europe 

The average React Native Developer hourly rate varies by  country:

  • From $90 to $350 in the U.S. 
  • From $70 to $250 in Western Europe
  • From $40 to $120 in Eastern Europe 

So, Which is better: React Native or Swift?

Which one to pick when building your iOS app for the Apple products? To find the answer, let’s look at the following cases: 

  • Apps with complex user interfaces. Let’s imagine you need a resource-intensive mobile app with many user interface interactions. For instance, a messaging app with a built-in geolocation feature. In this case, your option is Swift, because building complex apps on native platforms are always the best option. 
  • Apps for a single platform. To create a complex and powerful app for iPhone users only, it is better to use Swift. 
  • Utilities and media players. It is easier to develop apps such as media players and battery monitoring on Swift because these applications always use native features and APIs provided by iOS. Developing native wrappers for APIs would increase the development time and cost.

swift vs react native which to choose

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To sum up

Both Swift and React Native are powerful solutions for app development. However, the choice between Swift or React Native app depends on your project type: 

Go Swift if you:

  • Want to make an iOS-only app
  • Develop a complex app that uses a large part of platform-specific code
  • Want to maintain the app over a long period
  • Need an app to manage things like memory footprint, or the app requires a lot of interactions with the user interface, like games. 
  • Need your app to support new mobile OS features after the platform updates

Go React Native in the following cases:

  • You need to build an app for both platforms with a small team with limited time and resources.
  • Your project requires fast building time, hot reloading, and live reloading features. 
  • Your app will look and work the same for both iOS and Android operating system

By choosing the right platform for your iOS apps, you will reduce development costs, increase app productivity, and improve ongoing app support. We hope that after reading this article, you now have an idea of what is the most suitable platform for your iOS and also Android app.  

Swift is Now Open Sourced

Last year Apple introduced a new programming language for coding an app – Swift. First, it was designed for OS X or iOS, and now it is taking a new round: Swift is going to become open-sourced. This is a new language developed by Apple, and its official version was available at its website Swift.org and now developers will have an opportunity to reach it through GitHub.

From now, other developers will be able to study Swift in great detail, pitch in its development, and most importantly – bring it to the other platforms.

Now Swift is available for Linux, Windows, and Android

Apple has already released a version of Swift for Linux. That was more for Apple’s partners to let them create consumer-facing applications in Swift. This time, they are going to exceed the language’s possibilities.

Apple is not going to work on other versions of Swift, but they open source the code to let developers bring it to Android and Windows on their own.

Apple states that they are expecting Swift to become a central and the most widely-used programming language of the next twenty years. If that is so, it is crucial to make it available for the biggest mobile and desktop platforms.

Open-sourcing is not that uncommon for Apple. iOS’s ResearchKit also became open-sourced this year, as well as Safari has been available for developers for a long time.

Open-sourcing doesn’t mean that Apple hands Swift over to other companies. They are still working on its development, but the process now becomes more open. Developers from other companies are free to join Apple and help them direct Swift’s further development as well as offer new ideas and contribute to Swift’s effectiveness.

It’s not that easy to get to the App Store

With the help of this new website, developers will be able to download Swift and start working on new versions of it, but that version of it would not allow creating applications that can enter App Store. Those who want to locate their apps in the App Store still have to pay a fee and utilize the official version of this programming language. The official version will be behind the open-source one, synchronizing with it from time to time, when new additions get to be sustainable and stable.

GitHub is going to be a community for developers. It will have a mailing list, a bug tracking system, and an engineering blog along with useful tutorials and instructions.

This language is expected to work faster than the previous ones, including built-in protection against the most common errors and issues. In addition, Swift could be used for watchOS and tvOS applications.

With all that effectiveness and flexibility along with the support of Apple, Swift has all chances to become the most popular programming language. Analysts report that Swift is developing faster than any other language. Thus, open-sourcing will make it grow and move forward.

See also: 5 Best Programming Languages for Mobile App Development

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Swift vs Objective-C: 5 Major Reasons to Use Swift for iOS Development

In June 2014 something happened that no one expected: Apple has introduced a new object-oriented programming language – Swift, which is slowly replacing Objective-C, previously used to develop applications for OSX & iOS.

Since the new iOS app programming language has been launched, disputes about Swift’s advantages and disadvantages continue to simmer till now.

Is it worth making the switch to the more approachable, full-featured (as Apple Corp. claims) Swift for iOS or continue to use Objective-C in your projects?

What are the advantages of Swift over Objective-C? Which one should you choose for your project?

Let’s sort all this mess out and see what’s really going on.

This article will help you understand Objective-C vs. Swift differences and make clear what it means not only for developers but for your business in particular.

Swift vs. Objective-C

Apple has announced Swift as a powerful and intuitive programming language for macOS, iOS, watchOS, and tvOS that completely can replace Objective-C.

Due to several key features, Swift has the potential to become the only preferred programming language for creating engaging, flexible, consumer-friendly applications.

Before focusing on the Swift vs. Objective-C comparison, let us give a brief background to the history of iOS programming language development.

In distant 2008 Apple has released the iPhone SDK 2.0. This event caused the revolution in software development and gave the impulse to a new generation of developers. Today you know them as iOS developers. That was a real challenge for many of them to develop apps on Objective-C because they had had no experience with it before.

Later, in 2010 Apple launched version 4 of the iPhone OS (the previous name of iOS). The updated version comprised not only the new features in software but the changes in the Developer Agreement. According to the new usage agreement, applications must be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++ … and only code is written in C, C++, and Objective-C may compile and directly link against the Documented APIs.

The official reason for such an unexpected bombshell was Steve Job’s desire to prevent the usage of cross-platform tools such as Flash CS5.

Nevertheless, the changes in the apps policy provided by Apple were successful and helped the company populate the App Store with thousands of apps.

But in reality, Objective-C’s popularity was a result of the growing app ecosystem, but not vice versa.

In fact, many developers were dissatisfied with Objective-C at that moment, and this has given rise to many attempts to write iPhone apps in other programming languages.

Apple continually worked on Objective-C improvements with each release, adding blocks and literals, simplified memory management with automatic reference counting.

Having worked for 6 years on Objective-C improvements, Apple Corp has to admit the fact that it might not be the best coding language for writing mobile apps. So, it was decided to arrange another challenge for developers by introducing a new iOS coding language called Swift.

Apple announced that Swift code is safe by design and it is interactive and fun to write apps on it. Also, Swift syntax is considered to be easy to learn.

Apple has done a great job and implemented big changes in the new iOS coding language. These innovations have removed unsafe pointer management and introduced powerful new features.

At the same time, the interaction with both Objective-C and C is maintained. Swift provides a great speed that ensures real-time feedback and can be smoothly included in existing Objective-C code.

It means that code written on Swift is able to work with code written in C programming languages or Objective-C within the same project.

Two Key Differences between Objective-C and Swift languages:

  • Swift is not a strict superset of the C language. It means that Swift is free to make use of syntax constructs. For instance, this allows it to implement custom operators in Swift.
  • Swift is statically typed, not dynamically typed. Swift can take advantage of many of the recent advances in type systems.

The point is a clear code

The pundits admit: the main Swift’s advantage is in its code, which is easy to read and write.

The number of code lines needed to implement the option on Swift is a lot fewer than for the same option on Objective-C.

Swift supports inferred types, and that helps keep code clean and avoid minor mistakes.

Memory is managed automatically, so there is no need to type semi-colons. Swift also includes some elements borrowed from other languages. For example, named parameters brought forward from Objective-C. These features are realized in a clean syntax that makes APIs in Swift easy to read and support.

One more of Swift’s great feature is that Swift was made open-source in its third release. So, a broad community of developers, both inside Apple and hundreds of outside contributors, can work together to make Swift even more magnificent.

Read also: iOS vs Android development the pros and cons

Five Reasons for Using Swift

Since Swift’s second release, The App Solutions developers have been experimenting with it inside our company. Because of the relative youth of Swift, we did our first project using Swift at the end of 2015. It was an app for startup Nuwbii, an amazing resource that helps local businesses promote their services. The APP Solutions team developed an iOS mobile application for this project based entirely on Swift.

Below we gathered and shared Swift advantages that we’ve discovered throughout our experience using this new language. There are five reasons why you should use Swift that our developers have spotted while working on the project Nuwbii in particular.


Really groovy stuff when you need to experiment with something, to check out, or to try something. Xcode provides the programmer with space for experiments. It looks like a simple editor window where you can write code. The code is compiled and executed immediately. There is no need to build the project, and then run the emulator in order to test it. Everything runs simultaneously: you write code and instantly see the result.

A special panel on the right is capable of displaying almost anything – from simple lines to the finite control elements, from simple images to the graph of the variable value changes during processing.

Swift requires less code

Swift has reduced the amount of code that is needed to implement repetitive statements and string manipulation.

With Objective-C, there were a lot of problems that caused app crashes.

For instance, the developers were faced with messing up the order or using the wrong string token.

Here, Swift win by providing a code that is now less error-prone because of its inline support for manipulating text strings and data.

And finally, classes are not divided into two parts anymore: the interface and the implementation. This halves the number of files in the project, which makes it easier to navigate through it.

Swift is faster and safer

Even the name of the new framework – Swift – implies it’s swiftness (pun intended.) Apple continues to improve the speed at which Swift can run app logic. Swift is applying best practices and demonstrates the following results: in an 8.5-fold boost for FFT algorithm performance (compared to C++ with only a 1.1-time performance). Also Swift has outperformed C++ for the Mandelbrot algorithm by a factor of a mere 1.03.

To provide safety Swift triggers a runtime crash while you use a nil optional variable.

This crash enables consistent behavior, which makes easier the bug-fixing process because it forces the developer to fix the problem immediately. This gives the possibility to fix the bug sooner or completely avoid it in code.

Swift supports dynamic libraries

Swift switched from static to dynamic libraries. Dynamic libraries are executable chunks of code that can be linked to an app. This feature helps current Swift apps connect with the newer versions of the language due to its constant evolution.

Swift is unified with memory management

The model remains the same: Automatic Reference Counting (ARC) with strong & weak references. But weak references are now available via Optional values. Plus unowned references were added, which are used when the applying of strong references is unacceptable because of the creation of circular references (which lead to memory leaks).

Objective-C Swift
Semicolons are required Types are inferred
Types must be declared Functions are first-class objects
You have to have header files Collections are typed using generics
You have to set pointers You can manipulate strings easier
KVO and custom setters Memory is automatically managed

Now the developers shouldn’t think about memory for every digital object they have created. ARC handles all memory management at compile time and works across both procedural and object-oriented code.

Swift adds language features that make developers’ code safer, faster, more reliable, and more predictable compared to Objective-C.

See also: Where to Find App Developers: “Near Me” or Outsource

Additional arguments that give you the reasons to believe Swift is the language of future

In 2015 Swift won first place in the nomination “Most Loved Programming Language” in the Stack Overflow Developer and took second place in 2016. In 2017, Swift overtook Objective-C on GitHub’s review:

Swift is gaining popularity significantly quickly. This is one of the fastest-growing languages, according to GitHub, it is in 13th place in popularity now. More and more proficient developers are implementing Swift code in their apps. Among the great apps that were built on Swift are LinkedIn, Lyft, Yahoo Weather, and many others.

VSCO Cam chose Swift to build the latest version of their photography app for iOS.

Read also: How to make your app compatible with iOS 13

Would Google move Android to Swift?

Since spring it is rumored that Google is considering using Swift as a first-class language for its operating system Android.

After Swift was going open source, representatives of three leading corporations – Google, Facebook, and Uber – conducted a meeting in London to discuss a new language. The Next Web sources say that Google is considering making Swift the main language for Android, while Facebook and Uber also intend to give Swift a central role in their developments.

But Swift is not portable across platforms, and you can’t just copy-paste it. So, Android as the minimum would need the execution environment (runtime) for Swift – and that’s just to start. Google also has to change all its standard libraries for Swift, as well as to implement the language support in APIs and SDKs.

However, using Swift for Android isn’t impossible. The developer Romain Goyet worked with Swift on Android – and has gained some success. Although it was long before Swift moved to the open-source, it proves that such work can be done. He used the Android NDK, which allows implementing other languages on this platform.


Summarizing, we can state with complete confidence that Swift is the future of mobile development. Developers are able to write safer, more reliable code, save time, and cost to design amazing app experiences. The APP Solutions iOS developers are unified in the opinion that Swift passed the exam!

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