Jan 31, 2020

What to choose for the iOS app: native Swift or cross-platform Flutter

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Now more than half of smartphone users prefer Apple products. When creating an application, you should think about the version for it. You can develop an application using cross-platform frameworks or the native language for iOS. In this article, you will learn all the advantages and disadvantages of developing on Flutter and on Apple’s special Swift language.

Flutter

Flutter is a promising product from Google. It was released in 2018, so it’s pretty new. Flutter was created to write one application code for the main mobile platforms — iOS and Android. To do this, developers need to know the Dart programming language. It is quite convenient, because the language is based on the popular Javascript.


We will analyze its pros and cons specifically for iOS.

Advantages:

  • Open-source. This attracts many users.
  • It’s free. There are no restrictions.
  • Speed. Applications work great.
  • Graphics engine. Native code for each platform.
  • Quick work. Many tools that simplify the work.
  • Hot Reload. Cross-platform advantage.
  • Support for older devices. Applications look great in any version of the platform.
  • Widgets. A set of widgets that simplifies work on creating an interface.

Disadvantages:

  • New product. Still under development.
  • Safety. Problems and errors may occur.
  • Instability. Constantly updated and refined.
  • Developers. The high cost of work, few qualified employees.
  • A small library. Many features are missing.
  • The size. Bigger than native iOS.
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Swift

In 2014, Apple introduced its own official programming language. Of course, we are talking about Swift. He quickly gained popularity and won the hearts of developers. It is ideal for applications for all devices from Apple: from mobile development to smart watches. But, even a native language has its advantages and disadvantages.

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Advantages:

  • It’s native. This means that Swift was created specifically to meet the requirements for creating apps on the iOS platform.
  • It’s free. Attracts more users.
  • Open-source. Since December 3, 2015.
  • Good code readability. This is necessary when making changes, additions, corrections to the code. Swift code is simplified and more like English. This makes reading easier, takes less time to check the code, and fewer lines for the same function.
  • Safety. Safety is an important criterion for a successful product. Applications developed in Swift are less prone to bugs and crashes.
  • High speed. The developers claim that Swift is approximately 2.6 times faster than other languages.
  • Advanced functionality. In particular, you can manage memory, which is not possible with Objective-C programming.

Disadvantages:

  • Interaction with other languages. It slows down the build process.
  • Updates. Frequent updates require regular study of new material.
  • Compilation speed. The compilation is the conversion of source code to binary. In Swift apps, the conversion speed is quite low compared to other languages. However, Apple noted that they are working to fix this defect.
  • Developers. It’s really hard to find a qualified and talented app developer for creating apps on Swift.
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Conclusions

There is no single answer, which is better to choose for iOS. Cross-platform Flutter will definitely help save money and work time. It is suitable for simple applications and their web versions. However, it is difficult to create something better than the native language. Therefore, Swift is the clear winner. To make the right choice, first decide on the goals and platform.