Flutter vs Swift: Which is the Best Mobile App Framework? (2024 Comparison)

Flutter vs Swift:

Which is the Best Mobile App Framework?

(2024 Comparison)

By Ronald Tuch

By Ronald Tuch

flutter vs swift

Choosing the framework for developing a mobile app for your business is a crucial first step in the development process. Both are popular choices for iOS app development, but when it comes to Flutter vs Swift:

Which is the better option for your business?

The decision between Swift and Flutter is pivotal. Potentially not only saving hours of development time but also ensuring your customers have a great experience when using your app. This is due to the fact that you’ll essentially be choosing between Apple and Android in making this decision.

Experienced iOS developers provide invaluable knowledge when making these critical decisions in the development process.

First, let’s take a look at these frameworks in more detail.

What is Flutter?

Flutter headquarters

Flutter is one of the most popular app development frameworks on the market. It was developed by Google as an open-source user interface (UI) software development toolkit for both iOS and Android apps. This may be surprising, given it was developed by Google.

It utilizes the Dart programming language and follows a widget-based architecture, allowing for great customizability while still creating a seamless user experience (UX).

Pros of Using Flutter

  • Framework works on both iOS and Android devices
  • Fast performance delivering 60 frames per second (fps)
  • Better for collaboration
  • Supports multiple spoken languages
  • Framework can be used for web and desktop

Cons of Using Flutter

  • Less functionality with iOS features
  • Newer framework; not all features may be available
  • Larger repository
  • Steeper learning curve for newer developers

Apps Built With Flutter

  • BMW
  • Google Ads
  • MGM Resorts
  • Groupon
  • The New York Times

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What is Swift?

Swift logo

Swift is a modern and efficient programming language designed to speed up the process of building iOS applications. It was developed by Apple and is the preferred language for Apple devices or what we call the ‘native’ language.

As a language that is specifically designed for iOS app development, it integrates seamlessly with Apple devices and the iOS ecosystem. It can also be used as a framework for Windows and Linux.

Swift is also open-source, allowing for community support in the development process.

Pros of Using Swift

  • Higher security
  • Better performance
  • Easier for newer developers due to its straightforward syntax
  • Open source framework for collaboration
  • Flexible app size

Cons of Using Swift

  • Increased development cost
  • Limited adoption outside of Apple’s ecosystem
  • Rapidly evolving language. Swift is still a relatively new language, and its syntax and features are subject to change

Apps Built With Swift

  • Uber
  • Instagram
  • Slack
  • Airbnb
  • Coursera

Key Feature Comparison of Flutter vs Swift

flutter vs swift comparison

We’ll consider the key features in a head-to-head battle!

To see which iOS programming language wins.

Accessibility

Accessibility components significantly enhance the UX for users with disabilities while contributing to the overall inclusivity of mobile applications.

In 2024, we see the trend of increased awareness around accessibility continuing. Making it an important consideration for businesses.

Apple’s native tools include an accessibility API, allowing developers to easily integrate accessibility features such as VoiceOver, dynamic type sizing, and other assistive technologies.

Flutter, while offering accessibility features, may face challenges in providing the same level of integration to iOS accessibility tools. Developers need to be proactive about adapting their UI designs with accessibility in mind.

Winner: Swift

Application Launch

When it comes to application launch and overall speed of development, both have distinct advantages depending on your priorities as a business owner.

If you are looking for a cross-platform framework, then Flutter apps have a much shorter development time compared with Swift due to their single codebase. 

Swift, being the native language for iOS app development, seamlessly integrates with Apple’s platforms which can help for a more efficient application launch for iOS apps. The name itself ‘Swift’ was due to its capabilities to speed up the iOS app development process. However, they all load in nanoseconds, so launch time shouldn’t be an issue.

Winner: Flutter

Application Size

Swift, the native language for iOS development, results in smaller application sizes due to its optimized compilation of native code.

Flutter apps require the engine and framework within the app package to render both the UI and widgets. Resulting in larger app sizes.

Winner: Swift

Build Time

Swift demonstrates a faster initial build time, taking around 10 to 12 seconds, surpassing Flutter’s initial clean build time of 33 seconds.

However, flutter does improve after the first build, resulting in a build speed similar to Swift for subsequent builds.

It’s a close race on this one!

Winner: Swift

Community and Support

Flutter and Swift both allow for collaboration between developers

Both Flutter and Swift are open-source, which allows for collaboration between developers.

Swift, being Apple’s native language and launching in 2014, boasts a more mature community with a wealth of resources and documentation. However, Apple is more restrictive in what it allows.

On the other hand, Flutter’s community is growing rapidly despite being a newer programming language. This is due to more Flutter developers working with the language.

That quantity means more community support.

Winner: Flutter

Development Cost

Since there are fewer Swift developers, less than 5% of the market, monthly salaries are higher for Swift developers compared with Flutter developers.

In addition, you’ll need a separate development team or more development hours to create an Andriod app.

Swift can’t compete on this one.

If you don’t have the budget for separate development teams or you want a minimum viable product (MVP) to take to market, Flutter is the clear winner.

Winner: Flutter

Development and Integration

Swift seamlessly integrates with Xcode, while Flutter’s tools efficiently detect, build, test, and package any application.

These tools really enhance the development and integration process, giving the victory to Flutter.

Winner: Flutter

Learning Curve

Flutter uses Dart as a programming language, which is a steeper learning curve for those unfamiliar with it. A developer would have to learn Dart before beginning to write code.

The syntax of the Swift programming language resembles that of other modern programming languages. Making it easier for newer developers.

If you have a newer team of developers, Swift is the better option.

Winner: Swift

Native App Development

Swift is Apple’s native programming language and is designed to be finely tuned with iOS devices.

Flutter is designed to be native-like for iOS apps; however, it cannot compete in terms of a fully native language.

For an iOS app to utilize all iOS device features, it has to be Swift.

Winner: Swift

Onboarding Process

flutter vs swift onboarding comparison

Because Swift is the native programming language of iOS, apps will require less adaptation.

The more straightforward syntax and official support from Apple make the onboarding process simpler. If you have existing developers and want to leverage their skill set, Swift will be more efficient.

Flutter, due to its programming language, is a steeper learning curve. Making the onboarding process slower.

However, their toolkits do help speed up the development process. Potentially making up for increased onboarding time.

Winner: Swift

Platform Maturity and Requirements

As Apple’s official programming language, Swift is deeply integrated into the iOS platform. It has a mature and well-established environment since it was created earlier than Flutter.

Flutter entered the market in 2017. Despite being younger, due to its popularity, it has a large amount of third-party libraries and plugins.

Despite this, Swift’s mature ecosystem provides a wider range of features.

Winner: Swift

Performance

Swift is native to iOS, resulting in better performance due to its compatibility with iOS devices. A Swift iOS app will always perform better and have more functionality.

Flutter’s performance is strong but ultimately cannot compete with native iOS app development. Flutter’s use of just-in-time (JIT) can give some advantages in performance over Swift’s ahead-of-time (AOT). Having experienced developers can help in these specific cases.

If you don’t have a larger budget for iOS app development, Flutter’s performance remains highly competitive on iOS.

Winner: Swift

Popularity

In terms of popularity, Flutter is a more popular framework.

There are also more Flutter developers available to hire than Swift.

In fact, Flutter is now the most popular cross-platform language for app development due to its ability to reduce development time.

If it’s popular, it must be for a reason. Right?

Winner: Flutter

Security

Swift benefits from the robust security features embedded within the iOS ecosystem. Secure syntax, along with the use of encryption, protects app data.

Flutter allows developers the freedom to code with fewer guidelines compared to Swift. While this is a plus in terms of creativity and getting apps faster to market, it does come at the cost of reduced security.

If your app is processing highly secure data, the best option is Swift. You can also use Swift developers to help with increased security on other platforms.

Winner: Swift

Speed

Swift leverages seamless integration, quick iterations, and native framework access to deliver high app speeds. The highly optimized code also helps with fast performance.

Flutter’s performance is impressive, but its initial build time is slower. After the initial build, Flutter has a similar build speed.

However, it’s a really close race on this one.

Winner: Swift

Stability

Which platform has more stability, Flutter or Swift?

Flutter benefits from a dedicated team at Google that consistently enhances its performance to ensure exceptional reliability. The platform incorporates automated testing tools to identify and address potential bugs proactively, producing excellent stability.

Meanwhile, Swift strongly emphasizes reliability, with Apple developers diligently working to prevent bugs or crashes. This allows for delivering an outstanding user experience and stable apps.

No clear winner here.

Winner: Draw

UI and UI Builder

Flutter employs a customizable widget system where each interface and experience element has a corresponding widget for a responsive app. This results in a native-like appearance.

Swift excels in creating native iOS elements, offering ease of development with streamlined code. It does, however, require building UI elements and writing code from scratch.

Flutter’s UI widgets make them a clear winner as a UI builder.

Winner: Flutter

Upgradation

Swift aligns seamlessly with iOS updates, ensuring immediate integration and streamlined coding adjustments, giving a clear advantage to native iOS apps.

Flutter may not reflect updates as quickly, and bugs caused by updates may require work from development teams to fix them promptly.

Winner: Swift

Use Cases

Swift is able to be used in both sophisticated gaming and typical mobile app development.

Its robust security also makes it suitable for businesses that handle more sensitive customer data.

Flutter is a versatile framework suitable for crafting sophisticated applications across diverse industries; however, it can’t be used for sophisticated gaming app development.

Due to its quick development time, Flutter is ideal for creating an MVP or prototype on multiple platforms simultaneously.

Swift wins in this final round due to a wider range of use cases.

Winner: Swift

Final results

Swift: 12 vs Flutter: 6

Swift takes the gold medal with an impressive 12 wins compared to Flutter’s 6.

Congratulations to Swift!

The crowd goes wild.

Now, what does this mean for you as a business owner?

Let’s now look at important considerations for your iOS app.

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What to Consider When Choosing the Right Framework for Your iOS App Development?

Compare different data points when choosing the right framework for your project

Swift is our winner from the head-to-head battle. However, when selecting the appropriate framework for iOS app development:

Several crucial factors come into play.

These will be different based on the desired mobile app features combined with business constraints such as time and money.

App-Specific Requirements

Do you require specific iOS accessibility features?

Do you need to utilize features from the Apple iOS ecosystem?

Are you handling sensitive data?

If your business or customers have specific requirements, Swift may be your only option for developing apps that meet those needs for iOS integration.

Cost and Timeline

This is often the largest factor in deciding between Swift and Flutter. Swift is more costly to develop, including a slower development time.

Using Swift has various advantages with iOS apps, but the budget and time needed to build in Swift may not be possible or make sense for all businesses.

Support and Maintenance

You’ll need to consider both long-term support and maintenance of iOS apps.

Swift benefits from the extensive support of the Apple ecosystem, while Flutter’s updates may not align as closely with iOS updates.

This requires ongoing development and maintenance to fix bugs.

User Experience

Both Flutter and Swift offer a great user experience; however, there can be differences based on accessibility features that impact UX.

A native iOS app will also run more smoothly, something iOS users may notice

In addition, fewer bugs during updates will also create a better UX.

Mobile App Development Company

Different companies have different areas of expertise, and making sure they align with your business goals is an important factor.

Clear communication is another important factor to consider, so while hiring swift developers abroad may be cheaper, miscommunication can create increased stress and development costs. This is where we can help with a solution that offers the best of both.

Finally, make sure to see a portfolio and examine their previous experience. Check reviews to ensure they’ll be reliable and trustworthy.

Another option is Staff Augmentation instead of a managed development service where you hire a developer into your existing team.

Start Your Mobile App Development Process Hassle-Free

Here at All-Win, we save you the headache of finding good developers. Our expert developers can help you decide between Swift and Flutter if you’re still not sure which mobile app development language is right for you.

We specialize in iOS app development and place hand-picked, vetted expert iOS developers within your existing team. Our incredible risk-free 2-week trial offer is the perfect way to get you started.

Book your 2-week risk-free trial here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Flutter Replace Swift?

Despite Flutter’s growing popularity, Swift remains the best choice for iOS app development. So yes, you can use Flutter to create an iOS app, but it is extremely unlikely to replace Swift altogether.

Can you Use Flutter with Swift?

Yes, you can use Flutter with Swift to build iOS apps. Flutter has an API that integrates with iOS native code. Advanced coding skills are needed in order to create apps using both.

Can I Migrate An Existing iOS App From Swift to Flutter?

Yes, it’s possible to migrate an existing iOS app from Swift to Flutter. You will need to integrate it into your current module or library. All-Win’s trusted developers can help if this is something you require.

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