In recent times the mobile app development has been experiencing an increase in demand and is expected to reach $189 billion in 2020. Mainly because of the faster development needs and an increase in application across sectors like eCommerce, entertainment and gaming. Often, when it comes to mobile app development, we always hear names like Flutter, Swift, React Native, Dart and Kotlin, among others. But, how do you choose the best fit for your requirements?
In this article, we will look at some of the key differences between Flutter and Swift for mobile app development.
Creating an application is essentially a time-intensive process. One has to choose the best possible language, which will decrease the development time and the cost of application creation.
Swift right now is the fastest programming language there is, what surprises some of the developers is that it is as fast as C. One can measure development time in Swift by using the command referred to Xcode build or Xcode.
Flutter for iOS is slower compared to Swift, but as one goes beyond initial clean builds, it gets faster. One can use the same codes as Swift like Xcode to measure the build speed.
Reloading means the process of making changes in the code and testing in the simulator. Reloading is often required when developing mobile apps and thanks to this, any changes made in the code is reflected upon in the app’s output in real time. Reloading is one of the key elements of mobile app development, allowing faster and precise evaluation of the coding.
Because Flutter has a Hot Reload feature, it can help update the changes in simulator within some seconds, thereby eliminating the need for waiting to evaluate. Flutter is a lot faster when it comes to making changes in the app code.
Swift requires making changes in features like button names, accessibility and data. Also, the time taken to reflect the changes is more for Swift and in addition to that, the developer needs to make sure that the changes are reflected by the simulator.
Testing and Documentation
When it comes to testing with respect to iOS development, both Swift and Flutter have many differences.
When it comes to testing in Flutter, a robust testing system is in place, which acts as an invaluable promise from Flutter. It helps test writing right from the UI level to the functional level. It also helps the developer in writing the tests even from the unit level, and there is a Flutter driver which runs all the tests successfully. Flutter is great for fast-paced documentation along with detailed examples of using and testing Flutter code.
Swift is a great choice for native iOS testing. Apple provides XCTest, which is a robust framework for native testing of tasks like UI testing, integration testing and performance testing.
When it comes to Swift testing tools, they lack features like the grouping of tests, snapshot tests and data-driven testing.
Integration and Development
When it comes to continuous integration of and development, they are the key to speeding up the building process for iOS applications
When it comes to Apple native, even though Apple has Xcode server for continuous integration and delivery of the apps, it still lacks scalability. To overcome this, Apple came up with BuddyBuild, which didn’t make much difference.
Flutter tied up with Nevercode introduced Codemagic CI/CD which makes continuous integration and development easier. The Nevercode built Codemagic can make, test, detect and package apps without any configurations.
Onboarding And Installation
The onboarding and installation for both these are different and in contrast with each other.
Swift onboarding: The Swift onboarding is easier and less complicated compared to Flutter with a little configuration in comparison.
The onboarding requires native tools which use Xcode as IDE. One needs to install Xcode in the macOS device for installing the development kit.
Flutter onboarding needs more configurations compared to Swift. The onboarding requires installing Flutter binary, Android Studio and Intellij IDEA in addition to installing Xcode.
Whereas Swift stands as the most popular and viable option for building apps in iOS compared to Flutter. But, Flutter has more pace and sophistication to it and supports various platforms with the same source code. In the future, Flutter may completely overtake Swift even in the iOS app development process.