Whether you are managing app development in-house or outsourcing iOS app development services, the question of choosing the programming or development framework will be looming over you until you take a pick. Deciding whether to go for Swift or Flutter will determine many factors of your app development process including the time duration, the agility, and its cost. Before moving forward let’s quickly get acquainted with both terms.
Swift is the key programming language for a native iOS app development framework. It was developed by Apple itself. It is not only the fastest programming language but also modern and interactive making it a beloved choice of most iOS developers to build apps for Apple Watch, Apple TV, MacBook, and iPhones.
On the other hand, Flutter was launched by Google in 2015 and since then has been heavily advocated for. Over the years we have seen an inclination of iOS developers towards using flutter for iOS app development. It is a free and open-source mobile app SDK that creates high performing apps. To create apps with this network, we use an object-oriented programming language known as Dart. Developers rely on this as it allows them to create enhanced versions of apps for multiple platforms using a single code.
While your iOS app development company may be able to guide you, you’re the one who has to call the shots. A comprehensive comparison between the two can help you make a wise choice for your business. Let’s take a deeper look at the advantages both frameworks can offer.
Creating an app is pointless if it is not accessible to as many people as possible. This involves taking into consideration disability as well. At the end of the user experience can make or break an app and accessibility is all about giving effortless access to as many people as possible within and beyond your target segment.
Swift has a UIKit framework in place and doesn’t require any third party framework importing. Apple provides an accessibility API that aids developers during the development process. By using the UI Accessibility Protocol developers can get their hands on accurate data sets for different UI components which can provide code for identifiers and labels that use code.
Flutter in this matter is a little behind Swift. It doesn’t have direct support for accessibility. Developers have to rely on flutter documentation through which they can use the Accessibility inspector tool of Xcode. However, it limits accessibility identifiers used in testing.
The binary size of native apps made of swift is 23.3 MB. Swift is a form of Xcode that adds artifacts from the CI server and data. The app then uses the format or extension of the app to showcase the data directory.
Since Flutter app development is different from native iOS app development, the app size varies as well. It can go up to 52.4 MB due to assets and app icons.
Since Swift happens to be the fastest programming language, it is naturally faster as well. Its build speed can be measured by Xcode by using the following command:
$ defaults write com.apple.dt.Xcode ShowBuildOperationDuration -bool YES
Flutter is slower compared to Swift, but as the development gets deeper and you go beyond initial clean builds it picks up the pace. Build speed for flutter can also be measured by Xcode like swift with similar codes.
Integration & Development
A responsive and proactive approach is the key factor in offering successful iOS app development services. Swift delivers as the Xcode server offers continuous integration. But while the integration is prompt and uninterrupted, it can limit the scalability of the apps. BuddyBuild was launched to counter this problem but had little success with it.
However, with Flutter, the results will be more promising compared to using Swift. Codemagic CI/CD was launched by a partnership between flutter and Nevercode. This feature makes development and integration simpler, easier, and efficient.
Reloading is the process of making changes in the code and testing in the simulator in real-time. It is a critical step in evaluating the code. When it comes to Swift the process is time-consuming as changes in button names, accessibility, and data are made. It also takes longer for those changes to reflect in the simulator as well.
On the other hand, Flutter comes with a hot reload feature which only takes seconds to update the changes on a simulator in real-time. This saves time during evaluation. It definitely wins in this aspect.
Onboarding & installation
The onboarding & installation is a distinguishable factor between Swift and Flutter. Swift Onboarding is easier and less complicated in comparison to the latter. It uses native tools like Integrated Development Environment (IDE). Xcode is installed in a macOS device for installing a development kit.
Flutter requires more configuration required than Swift. Since a single code is used for multiple platforms, in addition to installing Xcode, it also requires installing Flutter Binary, Android Studio, and Intellij IDEA.
Testing & Documentation
Any top iOS app development company understands the importance of testing and documentation for iOS app development. Therefore it is not surprising that many prefer using Swift as it is a great choice for native testing. Apple provides a robust testing framework XCTest that can be used for UI testing, integration & performance testing.
However, Swift testing tools lack features like a grouping of tests, snapshot tests, and data-driven testing. Flutter, on the other hand, has a robust inbuilt testing system. It can help run tests successfully from UI level to functional level.
Flutter offers a more sophisticated and fast-paced solution. Its high memory usage often ranks it extra preference by many iOS developers. Researchers predict in future Flutter might completely overtake Swift due to the business advantage it offers by using a single code for multiple platforms. However, Swift being the fastest programming language is currently the most viable and accessible option for iOS app development. And in most aspects over shines Flutter as well.If you’re looking for iOS development services, Origami Studios is experienced in both Swift and Flutter to cater to your business needs.