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Best Languages for Developing an App: Swift VS Flutter

Posted 18/10/22

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A developer must choose a programming language to develop an application through coding. Choosing the best programming language depends on what application you want to build. 

All programming languages have their respective portions. So, for example, if you want to develop iOS applications, you can choose Flutter or Swift. Otherwise, if you plan to develop Android applications, then Java can be your answer. 

A survey shows that 69.7% of developers use JavaScript as the most popular programming language. So, does popularity guarantee that the programming language is the best?  The answer is absolute no.  

Getting to Know What are Programming Languages?

When developing an application, you must give instructions to the computer. For that, you must code in machine-interpretable language. This language is known as a programming language. 

There are hundreds of programming languages, each with its own function and purpose. Maybe some have similar functions, but if you analyze, there must be differences that you can compare. 

Finding out the differences and comparing them is undoubtedly very useful for those looking for a programming language to develop an application because knowing it allows you to choose the language that best suits your needs. Furthermore, you can choose which one has the most advantages. 

Let’s take two examples of similar but different programming languages, Swift and Flutter, both of them can be used to develop iOS apps, but which one is better? 

Swift VS Flutter: Which is the best?

Most iOS app development companies are looking for these two technologies: Swift and Flutter. Both were created by the two giants: Google and Apple.

Google Play and Apple App Store both offer millions of applications to their users. According to Statista, they offer 2.9 and 2.0 million applications which are consumed by 4.5 billion internet users worldwide. 

Then, what makes their product different? Between Flutter and Swift, we will find out. 

What is Exactly Swift? And How About Flutter?

Have you heard about Objective-C? It can be said that Swift is the successor of that programming language. They are both created by Apple and used in-house but are also offered to various app developers on iOS-powered devices. 

Swift was launched late by Apple in 2014, and since 2020 Swift can also be used to develop Android and Windows applications.  Meanwhile, as reported by Flutter’s documentation, Flutter is a cross-platform UI toolkit designed to allow code reuse across operating systems such as iOS and Android. The platform is based on the object-oriented programming language Dart. 

Both Dart and Flutter were developed by Google. In 2011, Dart was born first. Followed by Flutter, who joined in 2015. 

While Swift is a programming language, Flutter is a platform that combines a language (Dart) and compatible widgets to build applications. 

Read Also: App Development Cost: Is It Cheaper to Outsource or In-House?

Why Should We Compare Them? And How?

After knowing the meaning of Swift and Flutter, why do we need to compare them if one is a programming language and the other is a toolkit or platform? 

Both are popular solutions for developing mobile and web applications, and each has advantages and disadvantages that you should consider. Through the 9 factors below, you will be invited to compare Swift and Flutter. 

1. User Interface 

Since Swift is iOS native language, there is no problem implementing any native iOS interface features. Therefore, the UX will be as iOS-type as possible. However, keep in mind that when using Swift, you must build every feature from scratch and every part of the UI. 

Using Flutter allows you to have many UI elements ready to go. You need to name the Material and Cupertino widgets to get started. From a user point of view, UIs built with Flutter should be indistinguishable from native Swift. 

2. Speed of Coding 

For developing iOS apps from scratch, Swift works well and is fast. However, reflecting changes in code takes more time. Nevertheless, Swift’s developers claim that the time required is relatively short, especially when creating applications from scratch.

On the other hand, increasing the coding speed of Flutter is helped by a large number of widgets, libraries, navigation tools, and tests. In addition, Hot Reload Flutter can shorten the time to see the latest changes in the code. So modification with Flutter is faster. Also, another advantage is that there are fewer lines of code written in Flutter than in Swift. 

3. Performance 

Another advantage that Swift has as a native language for iOS applications is that it can provide better performance for tasks that require a large amount of computing power (such as graphic effects). Not to be outdone, Dart on Flutter uses a garbage collector. Then, compiled AOT (ahead of time) allows faster communication with devices. 

4. Stability 

Although relatively new, neither Swift nor Flutter causes many stability problems. Therefore, Swift should be more stable on iOS than Flutter. However, because they are developed and maintained by professionals who use them daily, they can maintain their stability. 

5. The Maturity of The Platform 

Judging from the publication age, Swift and Flutter are relatively young, but that doesn’t mean they are immature. Before developing Swift, Apple had a lot to learn from Objective C., While Google went through a long process to develop Flutter. 

6. The Cost of Development 

Experienced or amateur developers will be charged the exact cost to develop applications using Swift or Flutter because both are open source, and the costs incurred do not need to be extra. 

The usual difference will be mild if you aim only to develop iOS applications. In another case, if you want to make an Android version, Flutter will be your best choice. 

7. Developers Talent Pool 

As a developer, you might be wondering if you should learn Flutter or Swift. Which application development company will be more sought after? Data from Stack Overflow for 2020 shows that Swift is famous among 6.1% of professional developers, while Dart, the language behind Flutter, is only 3.7%. However, if you learn Flutter, you will have the opportunity to develop Android apps all at once. 

8. Documentation

To access the documentation, Swift and Flutter can be accessed online. On Swift, you can check the Apple Developer documentation and Swift.org. As for Flutter, check out Flutter. Dev, the good thing is you can enjoy comprehensive and well-written documentation in one place. 

9. Community and Support 

The Swift community gathers at Swift.org. According to GitHub, over 830 contributors to Swift, and about 2600 are watching the thread. Also, if you search for Swift-related questions on Stack Overflow, you can quickly find them because there are more than 284 thousand questions marked with ‘Swift’. 

More, the thread for Flutter has been viewed by 3400 with 770 contributors. Unfortunately, the number of questions on Stack Overflow marked with “Flutter” is less than 70 thousand. However, if you’re more inclined to Flutter, you can join Google Groups and other forums (like the Slack community for Flutter) because the Flutter community gathers around. 

Conclusion 

Still, trying to understand which programming language is the best? All programming languages have advantages and disadvantages. You need to adjust everything to your needs. You also can learn some programming languages. Now you can outsource an application developer proficiently with the programming language you want to use.  However, if you are still curious about custom apps we have several articles that can help you in the app development process.

More Resources:

  1. Best Practice to Hire Remote Top Developers 2022
  2. How to Creating a Social Media App Super Simple
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