UIKit to SwiftUI: Why Your Company Should Make the Switch

Is your business still using UIKit? Find out why transitioning to SwiftUI is so important, as well as tips and advice to help your team make the switch. By Sandra Grauschopf.

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In the mobile app development landscape, staying current with the latest technologies is crucial for maintaining competitiveness and ensuring a smooth user experience. One significant shift in the iOS development world is the transition from UIKit to SwiftUI. If your company is still using UIKit, it’s time to make a change.

Why? In this article, you’ll discover the reasons why businesses should consider making this transition, the benefits and challenges involved, and best practices for a successful migration. Let’s get started!

Understanding UIKit and SwiftUI

UIKit and SwiftUI are both frameworks for building user interfaces in iOS apps, but they follow different paradigms:

  • UIKit is an imperative framework that requires developers to manage every aspect of UI state and behavior manually.
  • SwiftUI, on the other hand, is a declarative framework that simplifies UI development by handling state management automatically.

You can visualize the primary difference between the two frameworks by comparing UIKit to a manual transmission car that requires constant attention and control. On the other hand, SwiftUI is like an automatic transmission car, offering a smoother and more intuitive experience.

As Danijela Vrzan, an experienced iOS developer, explains: “With UIKit, you had to manage everything on your own. SwiftUI does everything for you in the background. You just press drive and drive it.” Vrzan says that sometimes you want a little more control, but usually it’s nice to not have to deal with it.

Advantages of SwiftUI

SwiftUI brings a lot to the table compared to UIKit, making it a great choice for modern iOS development. It streamlines the development process, makes your code easier to read, and ultimately delivers a better user experience. Here are some key benefits your business can enjoy by making the switch to SwiftUI.

  • Ease of Use and Readability: SwiftUI’s syntax is clearer than UIKit. This simplicity reduces the amount of boilerplate code, making the development process more efficient. As Vrzan notes, “I much prefer it in SwiftUI. It’s nicer to read, easier to understand.”
  • Faster Development Time: The declarative nature of SwiftUI allows for quicker prototyping and development. Developers can define how the UI should look and let SwiftUI handle the details. “It’s amazing how simple it is to create UI with SwiftUI,” Vrzan adds.
  • Live Previews: SwiftUI provides live previews, enabling developers to see changes in real-time as they code. This feature streamlines the development process by reducing the need for constant builds and deployments. “The previews are really cool,” Vrzan remarks, highlighting the immediate feedback provided by this feature.

Business Benefits of Transitioning to SwiftUI

Switching to SwiftUI has a lot of perks for businesses. It can future-proof your apps, boost developer productivity, and improve the user experience. By adopting this modern framework, your company can stay ahead of the curve and keep its competitive edge. Here are some key business benefits of making the switch to SwiftUI.

  • Future-Proofing: As Vrzan succinctly puts it, SwiftUI is “the future of UI” in the Apple ecosystem. By adopting it, businesses can ensure their apps are built with modern frameworks, increasing their longevity and compatibility with future updates.
  • Improved Developer Experience: SwiftUI’s simplicity and efficiency lead to significant cost savings for businesses by boosting developer productivity. Additionally, new developers find it easier to learn and start contributing to projects.
  • Enhanced User Experience: SwiftUI lets you create richer and more dynamic user interfaces. With its performance optimizations, you get smoother animations and interactions, which significantly boost user satisfaction.

Challenges of Transitioning to SwiftUI

Switching from UIKit to SwiftUI comes with many benefits, but it’s not without its challenges. Knowing what obstacles you might encounter can help you prepare and make the transition smoother. Here are some common challenges businesses face when moving to SwiftUI and tips on how to tackle them.

  • Compatibility Issues: One of the primary challenges of transitioning to SwiftUI is ensuring compatibility with older iOS versions. Some SwiftUI features are only available in newer versions, necessitating a hybrid approach. Sometimes, this causes trouble when “here might be something available in the newer SwiftUI version, but we can’t yet use it because we have to support older iOS versions,” as Vrzan explains.
  • Learning Curve: Developers accustomed to UIKit may need time to adjust to SwiftUI. Despite its simplicity, the shift in paradigm requires learning new concepts and practices, and you might not be able to do things the way you’re accustomed to. Vrzan mentions, “I had to add some UIKit in a full SwiftUI app because some components are not available in SwiftUI.”

Best Practices for Transitioning

Making the switch from UIKit to SwiftUI can be a big step, but following some best practices can help make the transition smoother and more effective. Here are some tried-and-true strategies to guide you through the process and ensure a successful migration to SwiftUI.

  • Take an Incremental Approach: For a smooth transition, gradually transition existing UIKit components to SwiftUI. Starting with new features in SwiftUI while maintaining the existing UIKit structure can ease the process. “Take smaller components and try to refactor,” Vrzan advises.
  • Utilize Both Frameworks: Combining the strengths of both UIKit and SwiftUI can yield optimal results. Using SwiftUI for new features and retaining UIKit for complex or legacy components ensures a balanced approach. “Use both and make them work together to make your UI more performant and nicer,” Vrzan suggests.
  • Acquire Training and Resources: Ensure your team has access to up-to-date training and resources on SwiftUI. This can accelerate the learning curve and help developers feel more confident with the new framework.
  • Collaborate and Share Knowledge: Encourage your team to share their experiences and solutions as they work with SwiftUI. Collaboration can help solve common problems more quickly and efficiently.
Note: Kodeco for Business offers comprehensive training and support to help your development team master SwiftUI and migrate seamlessly. Our expert-led tutorials and resources target the exact skills your team needs, making the transition easier and more efficient. We can even create a custom bootcamp just for your team, for effective mentor-guided learning. Curious? Book a no-pressure call and we’ll tell you how!


Sandra Grauschopf

Author, Editor&Team Lead

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