Nowadays, hybrid mobile application development is gaining more demand and popularity than before. This is because of the budget constraints and rapid development needs. This is why Flutter is considered as a great option to native Swift for iOS development. Here we will compare Swift vs Flutter, so that you can choose the perfect framework for app development. Before starting the comparison let us have a brief idea about Flutter and Swift framework.
Also know, How to convert iOS app to Android App?
What is Swift?
Swift is a programming language for native iOS application development. Swift is developed by Apple as fast-paced, type-paced, and dynamic programming language which is continuously being developed and accompanying value additions. Apple is consistently improving Swift by giving incredible toolset, documentation and frameworks.
What is Flutter?
Flutter is a cross-platform, open-source mobile SDK built, launched and maintained by Google for cross-platforms developers. It uses Dart language while giving detailed and robust documentation. Flutter works a lot like the React Native besides offering full support for the necessary features.
Swift vs Flutter for iOS Development-
Each iOS application needs a few features and technologies unique to it. This is exactly where Swift fits the requirements perfectly. However, Since Flutter has come as a brilliant language for building more effective iOS applications, the comparison between the two seems obvious.
1. Onboarding and installation-
The setting up and onboarding for both are different and contrasting from each other. With Swift, the onboarding requires native tools which uses Xcode as the IDE. For installation of development kit, you have to install Xcode in the macOS device. With Flutter, the onboarding process requires installing both Flutter binary other than installing Xcode. Other alternatives like Android Studio and IntelliJ IDEA should also be installed. Conclusively, the Swift onboarding is a simpler and less complex as compared to Flutter as the previous needs too little configuration.
2. Development Time-
After you have built up an application compare each application and analyze the development time for both Swift and Flutter platforms.
For native iOS applications, you can easily analyze the build time using the xcodebuild command line tool or Xcode. In Xcode, you can run the following command for allowing the build timing summary:
$ defaults write com.apple.dt.Xcode ShowBuildOperationDuration -bool YES
You can also delete the build folder or derived data for evaluating the build time for clean builds. In Xcode, you can delete the derived data by choosing Product > Clean Build Folder.
In Xcode, when you run the Build command from the Product menu, it will show the build time. A clean build tool takes near almost 13.334 seconds, though a consecutive build takes less than a second in Xcode. You can do a similar experiment from the command line with the xcodebuild command.
Developers can develop Flutter applications for iOS in debug mode with the command as given below:
$ flutter build iOS –debug –no-codesign –simulator
You can apply the previously mentioned command to get the clean build time by erasing the derived data from the build directory. It takes nearly 33 seconds for the clean build of the Flutter iOS application and afterward 10 seconds, 8 seconds, and so forth for consecutive builds. Thinking about this, a clean build of your Flutter application takes almost 30 to 45 seconds.
With the analysis of the development time for the Swift and Flutter application, Flutter development appears to take somewhat longer for clean builds. When developing additionally, Flutters gets the speed. For extra builds, the build time in Xcode is superfast.
You can hire dedicated flutter developers of Solace team to build an app with less development time.
Developers changes code frequently in iOS application development and test it on a simulator or a device. This testing strategy is called application reloading that is significant in mobile application development.
If you have to change the button name, you require renaming the interface element from the storyboard which needs changes in data and accessibility. After renaming the element, you have to rebuild the application for checking whether the changes are seen on the simulator or the device. In Xcode, this process takes 7 to 12 seconds.
Flutter accompanies an incredible Hot Reload feature. This helps to make changes in applications as per your feasibility and reload it. You will find these changes on the simulator within a few seconds. As previously mentioned comparison, you need to update the text in the Raised Button widget from Press Me to Click Me and reload your application. Flutter application building platform performs the whole procedure in only 3 seconds.
This implies that the Flutter app reloading is more rapid than Swift app development.
4. Continuous Integration & Development-
Continuous Integration and Development are key practices to accelerate ios app development with a proactive and responsive approach. In spite of the fact that the way that the Xcode server of Apple is completely equipped to ensure constant Integration and delivery of iOS applications, the solution lacks scalability regularly. To address this weakness further, Apple came up with BuddyBuild, which is still insufficient.
Contrary to this, Flutterby tying up with Nevercode actually revealed the all-new Codemagic CI/CD recently at the Flutter Live event held in London. The best thing about the Nevercode built Codemagic solution is that it can make, detect, test and package the applications with zero configurations.
In an application, the accessibility feature improves the user experience of individuals with disability. Being an iOS application developer, you should add to them with certain efforts by building iOS applications accessible to everyone.
Swift iOS tools have accessibility in the UIKit framework. Hence, there is no necessity of importing another framework for allowing accessibility support in Swift applications. Apple offers the Accessibility API, yet developers require offering accurate accessibility data for each UI component in the iOS application using the UIAccessibility protocol.
In your iOS application, you can include the accessibility features, identifiers, and labels using the code. You can also use interface builder and StoryBoard for offering the accessibility information to the user.
Flutter iOS applications don’t support for including accessibility. Instead, Flutter documentation recommends measuring iOS applications by using the Accessibility inspector tool of Xcode. There is an issue of including accessibility identifiers for testing, however it’s still in progress.
On account of accessibility feature, Flutter requires improvement for building better applications for individuals who are handicap. There ought to be something on the Flutter road-map for improving this support of Flutter applications.
Which One to Choose for iOS App Development Between Swift and Flutter?
Along these lines, it can be concluded that Swift is the winner. Without a doubt, Flutter provides quick reload yet Swift is still better. Henceforth, choosing Swift can be an ideal decision, in spite of the fact that this decision relies upon you and your business needs.