Blog Summary:

Making the right choice between SwiftUI and UIKit involves many complications, as you need to explore many details between these two frameworks. A thorough and detailed comparison between them helps you get an idea of which one to select.

This post aims to divulge the strengths and weaknesses of SwiftUI and UIKit to help you make better decisions.

Developed by Apple, SwiftUI, and UIKit are the two most popular frameworks for developing iOS applications. Developers can leverage these frameworks to create sturdy apps with astounding UI and cutting-edge features.

But we often get puzzled when choosing the right one among these frameworks. So, a detailed comparison of SwiftUI vs UIKit helps you make the right decision. Both SwiftUI and UIKit have advantages and drawbacks. They are meant to cater to different developers based on their preferences.

For instance, SwiftUI is the most preferred choice for developers who focus on programming, while UIKit is a favorite among developers who focus on visuals. Let’s discuss the details of UIKit vs. SwiftUI.

What is SwiftUI?

Developed by Apple, SwiftUI is a declarative framework for crafting user interfaces across a range of platforms, including iOS, watchOS, macOS, and TVOS. It makes the process of creating UI less complicated with intuitive syntax and by leveraging Swift’s potential advantages.

Developers can use SwiftUI to build a responsive layout with reactive programming paradigms and declarative syntax. Its preview feature lets developers view any changes in real-time and speeds up the entire design process. SwiftUI favors code reusability and improves productivity by offering a unified approach to UI design.

Advantages of SwiftUI

SwiftUI offers several advantages over traditional UI creation methods, which is why it’s the preferred choice for app development. Let’s explore several other advantages of SwiftUI:

Declarative Syntax and Simplified UI Development

As mentioned, SwiftUI incorporates features such as declarative syntax, allowing developers to define the entire structure and behavior of their interfaces in a declarative manner. This approach streamlines development by simplifying UI updates and management.

Reactive Programming for Real-Time Updates

SwiftUI uses reactive programming principles to offer real-time updates to the UI. Its reactive framework enables any changes to the underlying data and automates the update to the corresponding UI components, ensuring an application’s responsiveness.

Cross-platform compatibility and Code Reusability

With the use of SwiftUI, developers find it easy to write a single codebase to target several Apple platforms. This kind of cross-platform compatibility provides complete support to make the overall process of development smooth. It minimizes the overhead of maintaining a separate codebase for every platform.

Swift Integrations

Another advantage of SwiftUI is its seamless integration with Swift. This integration enables developers to leverage various Swift features, including type safety, generics, and more, to write expressive and concise UI code.

Interactive Prototyping

Interactive prototyping is another popular feature of SwiftUI. Developers can use its live preview feature in Xcode to quickly visualize the effects of any changes in code on the UI. This ensures quick experimentation and iteration.

Drawbacks of SwiftUI

Apart from several advantages, SwiftUI also has some limitations. The following are some of its top drawbacks that every developer should be familiar with:

Learning Curve for Developers

One of SwiftUI’s major drawbacks is its steep learning curve. Developers, especially beginners, need to spend a lot of time familiarizing themselves with SwiftUI to create a fluid and responsive UI. This may slow down the entire development process.

Limited Adoption in Comparison to UIKit

When compared to UIKit, SwiftUI witnessed its limited adoption. It makes UIKit the most favored choice among developers when it comes to iOS app development. The limited adoption of SwiftUI may allow developers to find only limited resources, community support, tutorials, etc.

Some Missing Features and Complexities for Certain Use Cases

SwiftUI has some limited features and abilities, especially when it comes to complex use cases. Several advanced UI patterns tend to be challenging to implement or need a workaround in SwiftUI.

Advanced Customization Challenges

Advanced customization can be stringent with SwiftUI. Every crucial aspect of the interface needs resorting to a highly complicated technique. Intricate layout adjustments, custom styling, or animation tend to involve diving deep into SwiftUI’s layout system and modifiers.

Limited Third-Party Support

SwiftUI has limitations for third-party support compared to UIKit. Therefore, the limitation of comprehensive third-party support tends to reduce the overall speed of development. It also minimizes the availability of several pre-built integrations and components.

What is UIKit?

UIKit serves as a foundational framework that helps developers create complex interfaces in iOS. It provides some necessary tools and components to create an interactive and visually appealing experience on iPads, iPhones, and other Apple devices. UIKit is available with numerous pre-designed UI elements like labels, buttons, and text fields.

It’s also available with several features that can handle touch events, layout management, animations, and more. It makes the overall design process simple and implements intuitive interfaces for apps.

Advantages of UIKit

Being a reliable toolkit for creating a feature-rich and intuitive user experience, UIKit is popular among iOS developers because it offers numerous advantages. Following are some of the top advantages of UIKit:

Maturity and Stability in the iOS Development Community

Since its launch, UIKit has been the major choice for iOS development with Swift. With time, it evolved and became highly mature, and thus gained full reliability among developers across the world. Its stability ensures the number of successful apps developed with the use of UIKit.

Extensive Libraries and Components for Varied Functionalities

UIKit provides a complete set of components and libraries that include a range of functionalities necessary for creating modern iOS applications. It enables developers to easily use the tools required to craft engaging and rich user interfaces.

Legacy Support for Maintaining Existing Projects

With the launch of every new iOS version, Apple always ensures backward compatibility with several existing UIKit-based apps. This enables developers to maintain and update their projects without any necessary heavy rewrites, saving time and resources. It also ensures applications are developed using UIKit.

Proven Track Record

UIKit has a good track record of powering some of the most popular and successful iOS applications. Be it Instagram, Facebook, Slack, or Evernote, you will come across several apps that leverage UIKit for their user interface requirements. Its proven record verifies both effectiveness and reliability.

Robust Ecosystem

UIKit serves as a wider ecosystem of frameworks, tools, and resources offered by Apple for iOS app development. Developers can leverage this ecosystem to make the development process hassle-free, stay up-to-date, access valuable resources, etc., with the modern trends and also advanced practices for iOS app development.

Drawbacks of UIKit

UIKit has several challenges that developers always encounter while using it. Below are some of its drawbacks:

Verbosity and Boilerplate Code

One of the major drawbacks of UIKit is its boilerplate code and verbosity. Developers always need to write lengthy code to achieve a simple task, which leads to fast development time and complications. The verbosity also makes code more complex to maintain and read.

Less Intuitive Syntax Compared to SwiftUI

Compared to SwiftUI, UIKit includes less intuitive syntax. It generally depends on an imperative style that is less inherent for developers, especially those who are familiar with the latest programming practices.

Steeper Learning Curve for Beginners

The steepest learning curve is another major drawback of UIKit for freshers. It includes more complicated architecture and extensive API, which make it necessary for developers to invest both their time and effort in mastering it.

Limited Flexibility in Layouts

Limited flexibility is another challenge that most developers face while working with UIKit. Though UIKit comes with several robust tools for crafting custom user interfaces, it’s certainly not easy to create a complicated layout for responsive designs. This limitation tends to hinder innovation and creativity in UI design.

Dependency on Storyboards

UIKit relies mainly on storyboards that cause serious issues for developers, especially when they collaborate on projects. Storyboards are useful for crafting an engaging user interface, which leads to merging conflict and also makes it complex to track changes.

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SwiftUI vs UIKit: A Comprehensive Comparison

Category SwiftUI UIKit
Features SwiftUI is available with declarative syntax, state management, data binding, and many other features. UIKit has imperative syntax, manual state management, delegate patterns, and a host of other features.
Performance SwiftUI uses advanced techniques for a highly effective rendering UIKit may need an optimization for complicated UIs.
Design Capabilities SwiftUI makes the process of UI creation simple with its complete layout modifiers and systems. It offers a fully-grained control with UI elements for custom designs.

Factors to Consider while Choosing the Right UI Framework

The selection of the right UI framework requires consideration of multiple factors. Let’s understand all those factors to make the best selection:

Project Requirements and Complexity

First, you should review the complete project requirements, complexity, goals, etc. Then, you should get details on the type of apps you need to develop, performance requirements, desired user experience, etc.

Developer Expertise and Familiarity

You need to assess your development team’s expertise with UI frameworks. To streamline the development process, you should always choose a framework with which your team is proficient.

Future Scalability and Compatibility

You should also consider the long-term compatibility and scalability of the selected UI framework. It helps you find the right framework.


After reading the above discussion, you may now have complete details about the major difference between SwiftUI and UIKit. The choice between these two generally depends on the complexity of your app and the extent of your ultimate development goals. You should determine your specific use case even before making the right decision.



Are iOS applications built with SwiftUI compatible with earlier iOS versions?

No, an app developed with SwiftUI may not be fully compatible with the older iOS versions. It can be compatible only with the latest versions of iOS.


Can UIKit's extensive libraries better support advanced user interactions in iOS applications?

Yes, UIKit’s extensive libraries can support advanced user interaction in iOS applications. It lets users implement animations, complex gestures, interactions, etc., which improve both the appeal and usability of iOS apps for users across multiple preferences and contexts.


Is SwiftUI meant to replace UIKit?

No, SwiftUI is not meant to replace UIKit. Rather, it’s intended to complement each other and let developers build user interfaces for iOS apps.


What are the downsides of SwiftUI?

Some major downsides of SwiftUI are a steep learning curve, limited adoption in comparison to UIKit, limited third-party support, advanced customization challenges, and more.
About Author

Jayanti Katariya is the CEO of Moon Technolabs, a fast-growing IT solutions provider, with 18+ years of experience in the industry. Passionate about developing creative apps from a young age, he pursued an engineering degree to further this interest. Under his leadership, Moon Technolabs has helped numerous brands establish their online presence and he has also launched an invoicing software that assists businesses to streamline their financial operations.