IntroductionIt’s better to spend some extra time on research than work with incomplete information. Before we dive into the comparison, let’s take a sneak-peek into the two technologies - Swift and Flutter.
What is Swift?Swift is an open-source, general-purpose, compiled, multi-paradigm programming language. It supports development for iOS, macOS, Linux, watchOS, and other Apple platforms. Swift is easy to learn. It offers an interactive and straightforward programming interface because of the expressive and concise syntaxes. Swift is a fast, type-safe, and modern programming language that updates itself according to new development trends. It can work with Apple’s Cocoa and Cocoa Touch frameworks and also supports the existing Objective-C code for Apple’s development.
What is Flutter?Flutter is a cross-platform software development SDK powered by Google. Along with iOS application development, developers can use it for Android, Windows, macOS, Linux, Google Fushia, and more. Flutter uses the Dart programming language for developing Android and iOS apps. Most cross-platform development frameworks are looked down on for stability and performance. However, Flutter was designed with four important pillars in focus - fast, beautiful, productive, and open-source. For excellent performance, Flutter is one of the best cross-platform development tools.
Swift vs Flutter: Best Choice for iOS Application DevelopmentHere’s a detailed comparison between native app development using Swift and Flutter development based on different parameters.
1. Onboarding ProcessAccording to the development project, onboarding involves initial project setup once you hire dedicated iOS developers. Flutter uses Xcode and Flutter binary for making an iOS app. However, there are several other tools like Android Studio, IntelliJ IDEA, etc, to use based on the requirements. You can refer to the detailed “getting started” document provided by macOS to prepare the setup for development. When developing iOS applications with native tools like Swift, Xcode is used as an IDE. It comes with a basic iOS app development kit. However, to access Swift programming language, you will require a macOS machine with Xcode installed on it. Once the basic requirements are fulfilled, Xcode creates a template code, and developers can start with their work.
2. Development TimeTime taken to convert an app idea into reality is a major concern for most businesses. Since this affects your development decisions, comparing tools based on this parameter becomes essential. Flutter allows you to determine the development time taken for any app you may be working on. You simply need to run a code. Generally, developing an iOS app using Flutter takes more time than it does with Swift. However, Flutter arguably gains speed once the initial clean builds are done. One can measure development time in swift development using Xcode command. It will show development time, once you finish developing your app and run the build command from the product menu. When using Swift, a clean build takes approximately 13.334 seconds.
3. App Reloading TimeFlutter’s Hot Reload feature is one of the greatest advantages it offers to iOS app developers. It takes only a few seconds to update all the changes in your app. Developers can see the results of changed codes in real-time. This speeds up the development process. When using Swift, there are various changes like the button names, data, and accessibility. However, you have to manually ensure that the changes are successfully reflected on the device or simulator. Additionally, the reloading feature helps you with understanding changes in real-time.
4. TestingEven the best iOS apps tend to fail without rigorous testing. Therefore, you must not ignore it even when choosing development tools for your applications. Flutter comes with a robust testing framework within its development tool kit. It has helped in writing cleaner codes since the beginning. It has various other features that allow testing functionalities and make the unit testing process easier. Flutter follows a reliable, rapid documentation process at all stages that the developers can depend on. Being a native iOS app development language, Swift uses XCTest. It’s Apple’s native tool for testing. It’s an efficient tool that allows various tests, including integration testing, performance testing, UI testing, and more. Moreover, Apple’s testing tools are updated regularly to make sure they comply with evolving technologies.
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