Today, if you graze your eyes over things people are doing to make money and
generate a massive load of revenues, you’ll soon find out that there is an app
helping them climb the success tree.

And if you’re too seeking such a help for your business (small or big, it
doesn’t matter), and you don’t have one, you’re missing many great
opportunities to make tons of revenue and spread your products and services
reach to the audience. Because you have a hunch that customers are waiting for
reliable and user-friendly apps. And the demand has never been higher.

Fortunately, the rise of advanced mobile technology and other data-centric
approaches are now making it easy to develop high-performing Android and iOS

However, before you push to building an app for your business, you will have
to do adequate homework so that things go according to Plan A, and there comes
no need for Plan B.

The task consists of determining which framework will work best for iOS app
development – Flutter + Dart (a cross-platform, open-source toolkit for
building UIs)” or Swift (the primary language for building apps across iOS and

Hence, this article will provide the necessary and crisp info about which
mobile app framework or language is suitable for your iOS app
development project.

Additionally, we’ll evaluate programming languages and frameworks and their
features, ease of use, and overall dev-exp (developer experience) in building
an iOS app. We’ll also guide you in choosing a language to learn or use for an
iOS app development project.

This blog post contains:

  • An advanced level overview: Swift vs. Flutter
  • Getting your system ready for iOS development
  • Heading into building an iOS app using Swift and Flutter
  • Learning phase/curve
  • Development or build time
  • Creating user interface (UI)
  • Carrying a native iOS app into Flutter

The words of Prey!

An advanced level overview: Swift vs. Flutter

Apple developed an open-source and general-purpose programming language,
. iOS devs use swift to create quality apps
for iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS. Swift is one of the modern, interactive,
safe languages that makes it easy even for newcomers to pick up, learn
quickly, and start developing iOS apps.

E.g, the use of the print() method/function for an output message to
the console like the one shown below –

And then you’ve got this – Flutter . It is Google’s
open-source UI toolkit or SDK to build cross-platform apps with native UIs
using a single codebase. By single codebase means – no need to separately
write a code for each platform.

Flutter is far more than simply capable of supporting the development of
cross-platform apps that can run on the web and desktop
besides smartphones and tablets.

Flutter’s base is on the Dart, a not very popular programming language. So, to
start building iOS apps in Flutter, you require some hands with the Dart
programming language .

Dart is not popular as JavaScript, but it’s a language optimized for clients
to develop mobile apps for any OS on smartphones. It’s a short, sweet,
strongly typed, and OOP-concept programming language supporting top-notch null

Getting your system ready for iOS development

Before starting into anything, everyone needs a kind of setup equipped with
all the necessary components so that you can build what people love. Anyway,
you don’t have to install a mechanical machine; all you need is to download a
few IDEs and install and start building iOS apps.

For iOS app development using Flutter, you need to download the installation
, then extract
the file to its desired directory/location. Next, head to the Apple
website and install Xcode
– an IDE for editing and writing code
that you then port to SwiftUI/Flutter for iOS app builds.

Once the above tools are with you, use any IDE to build iOS apps on Flutter.

Whereas, if you want to create apps native to iOS, you require setting up a
system that favors building iOS apps natively using Swift. For this, use a
macOS and Xcode; the rest are simple steps that will be ‌easier to set up an
environment for developing iOS apps in Swift than in Flutter.

Heading into building an iOS app using Swift and Flutter

Now that you’re ready, it’s time to make the starter file for a new project
with Swift iOS and Flutter.

Demo app using Flutter

Use the following commands on the command line in the directory where you have
set up everything to create a new Flutter iOS:


For your understanding, below is a demo using Android Studio IDE. The same you
can do to start a new iOS Flutter project using Android Studio:

FileNew Flutter Project , select Flutter Application , input
the project’s name, and create the project.

Flutter will create a Flutter starter app like the one below:

Image Source: LogRocket

Demo app using Swift

In Xcode, it’s straightforward to start a new iOS project by clicking Create
a new Xcode Project
, selecting App , and then inputting the project
name. Click Next and create a project in your chosen directory.

Xcode will create an iOS Starter App that displays Hello World when run in a


Now that you know the basics and a few examples of developing iOS apps
with Flutter and Swift, let’s
understand what learning curve, development time, UI creation process, and
overall developer experience are needed.

Learning phase/curve

If you talk about learning – Swift has the edge over Flutter without a doubt
since you don’t need any additional programming language to know, thanks to
the rich documentation and community support. However, Swift and Flutter are
relatively easy to understand and make learning a fun activity.

Flutter is a bit heavy than Swift. Once you develop a project using Xcode -
IDE and using Swift, starter iOS apps so developed are light and easy to
operate and good at speeding up. It’s because one only needs to get
comfortable with the Swift language. But in the case of Flutter
, an understanding of writing a
code in Dart programming language is a must. And FYI, working with Dart isn’t
everyone’s game. However, Swift and Flutter are pretty easy to learn. There is
a growing and supportive community of devs busy creating new learning
resources to help newbies in iOS and Android app development using Flutter and
get oriented with Dart.

The content on Dart’s documentation is super easy to grasp and under the lib
directory. And the same with the Flutter. It has extensive documentation. Once
you pass the learning curve, all you then need to do is start building iOS

And if your hands are still not dirty enough, try Google Flutter codelabs.
It’s another excellent resource that allows you to go beyond with Flutter.

Whereas Apple-designed Swift for everyone’s love at first sight kind of affair
thing. Meaning it’s original in itself. But you can also go for the SwiftUI
for building iOS apps.

Similar to Flutter, the official Apple docs are perfect for learning to
develop native iOS apps with Swift. The docs also have instructions and guides
for you on using SwiftUI, a declarative framework to build UIs for any Apple

Development or build time

Making a standard iOS app build depends on many factors like debugging,
testing, the complexity of the project, the dev’s working style, skill level,

Dart has JIT (Just-in-time) and AOT (Ahead-of-time) supports, hence the
stateful support for the hot-reload feature in Flutter — instant updating of
UIs in modifying and making changes to your code even if the app is running.
It invariably aims for a higher speed to develop a code.

One more beautiful feature of Flutter -‘ a single codebase for all platforms
(Android and iOS) – makes it possible for dev teams to release cross-platform
mobile applications in time.

With Flutter, it all results in overall productivity, reduced cost of
developing apps for different platforms, and sped up of releasing a minimum
viable product (MVP).

The options like hot-reload in Flutter are not with Swift, even though it is
the native programming language to develop iOS apps. And when you alter things
in the code of an app, you’ll require loading the application/framework again
to observe the changes you just made.

And because of the faster reloading feature in Flutter gives the edge to
developers and businesses over Swift in terms of developer velocity and build
time to deliver an iOS app development project.

Creating user interface (UI)

This section will teach you how to create a user interface (UI) for an iOS app
developed on Swift Vs. Flutter. You will also be exposed to the process
associated with each.

UI building process for an iOS app using Flutter

The core idea behind using Flutter for iOS app development is its dynamic and
eye-catchy widgets like Cupertino for providing input functionality in an iOS
app. Widgets are the building blocks of Flutter. They are a description of a
part of a UI.

Flutter has inbuilt and customizable widgets like the Text() widget that a
Flutter Dev uses to show texts in a UI.

Widgets in Flutter have the following properties:

  • Background,
  • Width,
  • Height, etc.

Flutter comes with two types of widgets:

Using widgets, you don’t have to put extra effort into creating UIs right from
scratch since with Flutter; you can take advantage of the customizable

For example, the ‘Hello World’ program using Flutter:


UI building process for an iOS app using Swift

It would help if you incorporated SwiftUI
since Swift is merely a
language, and the development and compilation of an app’s code happen at
Xcode. Then you import the code from the Xcode SwiftUI framework to create
user interfaces for all platforms from Apple.

It’s easy to read and natural to write/edit a code with SwiftUI since it takes
a declarative syntax approach.

For example, the ‘Helo World’ program using SwiftUI:


At the end of the day, since Swift is Apple’s language, it favors iOS app
development. But with both of them – Flutter and Swift- you can create
engaging, beautiful, and dynamic UIs for iOS apps. Both enjoy fantastic
support from the global community of developers. With that said, Swift always
stands out for its code brevity compared to Flutter

Carrying a native iOS app into Flutter

If you go into the Flutter docs , you will be
surprised to know that it’s possible to integrate Flutter into your current
iOS app. Here, in this subhead, you’ll learn how to carry or port a native iOS
app into Flutter.

Thus, to do so, all you need is to create a Flutter module first in the root
directory of your project, as shown below:


Once you run the above command in the terminal, it will invoke Flutter to
auto-run flutter pub get, which adds all the necessary Flutter dependencies to
my_flutter/pubspec.yaml file.


Note: The flutter module’s name in the above demonstration is

But below is the actual structure of the my_flutter module directory from the
flutter docs itself:


Observe: The .ios/ directory is hidden.

The next step in porting a native iOS app to Flutter is to embed the Flutter
module into the iOS application.

Based on the Flutter docs, there are two ways to do it:

  • CocoaPods
  • Flutter plugins

The recommendation says; to use the CocoaPods. It is a dependency manager;
hence you need to proceed accordingly.

So, assuming you already have the Flutter SDK installed
in your system. Then add
the Podfile (a specification that describes the dependencies of one or more
Xcode projects) to Flutter.

Thus, to create a Podfile, first open the terminal, then CD into the iOS
project directory, and finally, run ‘$ pod init.’

And to open the Podfile using an editor such as VS Code, use the below code:


Now, use the target Podfile and add the following to embed Flutter between the
do and end:


Then to end the porting process, run $ pod install using the terminal, and
voila! Your iOS app is now embedded with the Flutter SDK.

Now, it’s time to build projects in Xcode – play with the build and run play
icon or command + B.

But do not forget to exit the Xcode first and then relaunch it to open the
project; .xcworkspace.

Your iOS app is now ported, or in full integration to Flute. So, start

The words of Prey!

This article showed you the ways and compared the developer-level experience
associated with the favorability of the Swift programming language if you opt
for building native iOS apps Vs. the Flutter UI toolkit for developing cross-
platform, especially for the iOS apps.

But in the end, it’s all about a choice/preferences and your level of comfort
in writing a code in Dart Vs. Swift. So, choose Swift if the target is iOS
platforms only, but select flutter if you aim to develop cross-platform apps
using a single codebase, i.e., iOS and Android OS.

For more info on building cross-platform apps using the Flutter framework,

check out – Flutter: The Perfect Fit For 2K22 Mobile App Development


Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better for iOS app development, Swift or Flutter?

The choice between Swift and Flutter depends on various factors. Swift is the native programming language for iOS, offering excellent performance, extensive iOS frameworks, and seamless integration with Apple’s ecosystem. Flutter, on the other hand, is a cross-platform framework that allows you to build apps for iOS, Android, and other platforms using a single codebase. Flutter provides fast development, hot reload, and a rich set of customizable UI widgets. Consider your project requirements, target platforms, and development priorities to determine which framework suits your needs.

Is Flutter faster than Swift in terms of app performance?

Flutter uses a different approach to building apps, utilizing its own rendering engine and widgets. While Swift is optimized for iOS and benefits from native performance, Flutter’s performance is achieved through its Skia rendering engine and Dart language. Flutter apps can offer excellent performance, especially for UI-intensive applications, but Swift tends to have an edge in terms of raw performance. It’s essential to consider your specific app requirements and conduct performance testing to make an informed decision.

Which has a larger community and better support, Swift or Flutter?

Swift has a robust and thriving community, supported by Apple and a vast number of developers worldwide. It has been around longer and has a vast ecosystem, making it easier to find resources, libraries, and community support. Flutter, while relatively newer, has also gained significant popularity and has an active and growing community. Google supports Flutter, providing continuous updates, improvements, and developer resources. Both communities offer online forums, documentation, tutorials, and dedicated communities to assist developers.

Can I use Swift and Flutter together in the same project?

Answer: While it is technically possible to integrate Swift and Flutter within the same project, it can introduce complexities and challenges. Swift and Flutter have different approaches to app development, rendering, and UI frameworks. Integrating them may require building custom bridges, managing communication between the two, and potentially duplicating efforts. It’s generally recommended to choose either Swift or Flutter for a project, depending on the specific needs and goals.

Which has better long-term support and future prospects, Swift or Flutter?

Swift is Apple’s official programming language for iOS app development and is backed by Apple’s continuous support and updates. As a result, Swift is expected to have long-term support and a solid future. Flutter, backed by Google, has also gained significant traction and has a promising future, especially as a cross-platform development framework. Both Swift and Flutter are actively maintained, and their communities contribute to their growth and improvement. Consider the specific platform requirements and your development team’s expertise to make an informed decision regarding long-term support and future prospects.


swift vs flutter

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