5 Top iOS App Development Languages and Frameworks

You should read this blog if:

  • You want to know which programming language is right for iOS application development.
  • You are looking for frameworks that help to build cross-platform apps to run on iOS.

The Apple App Store is the second largest store that has over 2.2 million apps. As the data shows, the iOS mobile application market is competitive. It becomes essential to choose the right tool to make your application performance seamless.

leading app stores statistics

Image Source: Statista

Being a leading iOS app development company in Canada, we have experience in developing custom iOS mobile applications such as roof management app, YouTube intro video maker app.

Therefore, we decided to create a blog to help you select the best dynamic programming language for iOS app development.

Here’s the complete article about iPhone app development languages that includes information about programming languages and frameworks, their advantages and disadvantages and learning resources. Let’s get started.

Native iOS App Development Languages

To build iOS apps, two main programming languages are available in the market.

  1. Objective-C
  2. Swift

Here’s the table on the best programming languages for iOS app development.

LogoActive DevelopersFamous AppsYearDownload
swift logo2.1 Million
  • Twitter
  • Pandora
2014Swift
Objective-C logo1.6 Million
  • Snapchat
  • Instacart
  • Pinterest
1984Objective-C
  1. Swift Programming Language

  2. Swift is a programming language to create applications for the iOS operating system. Swift language particularly helps developers in programming for macOS, tvOS, and watchOS platforms.

    According to the survey of StackOverflow 2021, Swift is ranked 20th and has been used by 5.64% of developers globally. It is an improved programming language that supports a modern approach to safety, performance, and software design patterns of applications.

    survey of StackOverflow 2021

    Image Source: StackOverflow

    Why do developers use the Swift programming language?

    Swift is an object-oriented programming language that helps developers to structure codes in classes, so it makes the code clear and increases the readability of programs. Hence, it becomes easy to scale mobile applications in the future. Swift also allows developers to create cross-platform applications for iOS and Linux operating systems.

    Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Swift Programming Language

    Advantages of Using SwiftDisadvantage of Using Swift
    Swift programming language helps in fast development because of its simple syntax.Swift lacks support for the earlier versions of iOS applications so it is not possible to integrate Swift in applications that are built with the iOS versions earlier than 7.
    It allows developers to reuse the same code to enhance the productivity of developers and reduce the time required for the development.
    In Swift, code maintenance is easy and developers don’t need to maintain two files (header (.h) and implementation file (.m)). This will save you time.

    Best Resources to Learn Swift Programming Language

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  3. Objective-C Programming Language

  4. Objective-C is the most famous iOS app development language. It is a superset of the C programming language and helps developers to create applications for Apple operating systems i.e OS X and iOS.

    Objective-C is an object-oriented programming language that has dynamic runtimes and inherits its syntax from the Smalltalk programming language. As Objective-C is a mature iOS development language, it is possible to create native iOS apps with complex server-side logic.

    When you want to develop a stable software solution, choose Objective-C because it doesn’t offer frequent updates similar to new alternatives. On top of that, Objective-C gives you the benefit of adding backend compatibility with C and C++ programs.

    Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Objective-C Programming Language

    Advantages of Using Objective-CDisadvantage of Using Objective-C
    Objective-C is considered one of the best programming languages for iOS because of memory management. Its compilers are available to convert Objective-C code into static code analysis.iOS apps built in Objective-C need to be updated over the time period for proper functioning.
    Developers get the benefit of interoperability with C++ and C languages, so it becomes easy to integrate code in Objective-C.

    Best Resources to Learn Objective-C Programming Language

This was all about the programming languages for iOS app development. Moving further, you will get information about the hybrid app development frameworks. Let’s check it out.

Hybrid iOS App Development Frameworks

Now, let’s move into the hybrid iOS app development programming tools that can help to create mobile apps for multiple platforms. By developing hybrid apps, it offers different benefits to developers, such as:

  • Faster development
  • Easy to maintain the iOS apps
  • Less complex to integrate with apps

The following table consists of which framework we are going to discuss below in detail.

LogoDevelopers Using (Statista)Famous AppsYearDownload
flutter logo42%
  • Groupon
  • Square
2015Flutter
react native logo42%
  • Instagram
  • Discord
2015React Native
xamarin logo11%
  • UPS
  • FreshDirect
2014Xamarin
  1. Flutter

  2. Do you want to create iOS apps that can work on multiple platforms? Using Flutter, you can build hybrid apps. Flutter framework allows developers to create applications that are fast, productive, and flexible.

    According to a report by StackOverflow 2021, 13.5% of developers are using Flutter for creating web, mobile, and desktop applications.

    We have also used Flutter in one of our recent projects of on-demand ride-sharing apps. This ride-sharing app is built for the USA audience. It allows customers to book rides and drivers can accept it. The app is designed with all the functionalities similar to Uber for rides. As of now, it has successfully completed over 5K rides.

    Now check out how Flutter helps Google to enhance the performance of the Google Pay application. The developer team of Google Pay rebuilt the application using Flutter and developing Google Pay with Flutter framework helped them to reduce the engineering efforts by 70% and 35% reduction in the lines of codes.

    Google Pay with Flutter framework

    Image Source: Flutter

    Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Flutter Framework

    Let’s check out the advantages and limitations of the Flutter framework:

    Advantages of Using FlutterDisadvantage of Using Flutter
    Flutters come with an integrated testing option that helps to perform unit tests, integrations tests, and UI tests of mobile applications.Developers face struggles in writing automated tests when working with Firebase.
    With Flutter, it is quick and easy to create MVP of your mobile app idea. Because it comes with multiple visual widgets like Material Design, Cupertino, so the entire process of development becomes fast.

    Are You Looking to Develop Cross-platform Apps?

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  3. React Native

  4. React Native is a famous JavaScript library for creating iOS and Android applications. Even if you want to integrate React Native in your existing application, it gives you flexibility as well.

    Create applications that use a single code-base and share the codes for multiple platforms. Hence, you don’t need to develop two similar applications for two different platforms – iOS and Android.

    Examples of applications that use React Native are Facebook, Instagram, Walmart, and Skype. Furthermore, here is the feedback of Walmart on the React Native framework.

    “From startups to Fortune 500 companies, if you’re considering taking on a new mobile project, consider using React Native — we know you won’t regret it. – Walmart”

    Advantages and Disadvantages of Using React Native Framework

    Here are the advantages and limitations of the React Native framework:

    Advantages of Using React NativeDisadvantages of Using React Native
    React Native offers a hot-reload feature that helps developers automatically save the live changes in the code and helps to reduce the development time.Integration with third-party components is limited that affects the versatility of the application built with React Native.
    React Native offers native controls and modules that help to improve the overall app development process. Thus, it results in the faster development of iOS apps.As the mobile apps are built with React Native, the performance won’t be the same as native iOS apps.
    React developers don’t need to invest a lot of time to learn React Native because it has features and components inherited from ReactJS. So, it is smoother to develop iOS apps.

    Best Resources to Learn React Native Framework

  5. Xamarin

  6. Xamarin allows developers to create applications for iOS, Android, and Windows platforms using the .NET framework. Developing iOS apps with Xamarin allows developers to code with C# open source programming language. So, developers having hands-on experience of C# give benefit to creating iOS mobile apps without going the extra mile.

    In fact, applications built with Xamarin share around 80% of code across multiple platforms. So, developers don’t need to invest time in writing code separately for iOS and Android mobile apps.

    Also, if you are a newbie developer and want to learn Xamarin, then the official website provides best practices for new engineers to learn and adopt the project faster. Examples of companies that have used Xamarin are Alaska Airlines, HCL, BBC Good Food, and Azure App.

    Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Xamarin Framework

    Here are the advantages and limitations of the Xamarin framework:

    Advantages of Using XamarinDisadvantages of Using Xamarin
    Xamarin allows developers to access native iOS and Android SDKs that result in providing the native or near-native performance of iOS and Android apps.You need to be an iOS/Android developer to develop an application using Xamarin because it is only a different language that provides core APIs to build applications.
    Developers don’t need to switch between environments and technologies because Xamarin uses a single technology solution that is C#.Based on the experience of developers, developing apps with a single codebase increases the size of cross-platform apps. Thus, it affects the performance of applications as well.
    Performing testing on a Xamarin mobile app is easy compared to React Native. Therefore, developers can leverage the benefits of tools that allow them to run automated tests.

    Best Resources to Learn Xamarin Framework

    Furthermore, you can check our frequently asked sections to gain more information about iOS programming languages.

    FAQ About React Native vs Flutter

    1. What is the average salary of an iOS developer?

    2. According to Indeed, the average salary of iOS app developers is $115,874 per annum with a $5000-year bonus in the United States. In Canada, the average salary of iOS app developers is $87,702 per annum.

    3. What are the skills essential to becoming an iOS developer?

    4. To become an iOS app developer, you need to learn several things that help in developing iOS apps such as:

      • Swift iOS programming language
      • Apple’s Xcode IDE
      • You need to learn the iOS platform
      • Databases
      • Networking
      • You need to learn design guidelines
    5. How to create an iOS Flutter or React Native mobile application?

    6. We bring you a step-by-step process to create mobile applications using React Native or Flutter.

      • Conduct market research and understand client requirements
      • Study the competitors
      • Validation of your app idea
      • Design the UI/UX of the application
      • Developing of iOS mobile app
      • Testing of hybrid or native iOS apps
      • Launch of iOS app
      • Maintenance of iOS application

    Ending-note on iOS App Programming Language

    In this blog, you learned about different programming languages for native iOS mobile app development and frameworks that help you to develop cross-platform mobile applications. Every programming language for iOS app development has its advantages and limitations. So, choosing one from the above list depends on your requirements and how you want to develop apps.

    If you have any confusion on which one to choose to develop a solution, let our experienced mobile application developers help you. Reach us by filling up our contact us form. We are a leading iPhone app development company in Canada, and we have experience in developing 300+ mobile and web apps.

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Rakesh Patel

Written by

Rakesh Patel

Rakesh Patel is the Founder and CEO of Space-O Technologies. He has 28 years of IT experience in business strategies, operations & information technology. He has expertise in various aspects of business like project planning, sales, and marketing, and has successfully defined flawless business models for the clients. A techie by mind and a writer at heart, he has authored two books – Enterprise Mobility: Strategy & Solutions and A Guide To Open311.