Choosing the Best iOS Database: A Comparison of SQLite, Core Data, and Realm

  • Posted on June 14, 2022
  • in
  • by Varunika Panicker

When it comes to developing a fully functioning mobile app, iOS application development firms prioritize several crucial factors. Among these, UI/UX design, robust code, and a responsive database play a significant role in creating a successful app.

The Popularity of iOS Apps

The market demand for iOS apps has grown exponentially over time. With an abundance of design options and a wide range of database choices, the popularity and craze for iOS apps continue to soar. From utility apps to entertainment and gaming applications, iPhones provide a fertile ground for various app categories.

The Rapid Growth of iOS App Development

As iOS app usage among iPhone users continues to rise, developers are constantly striving to create more robust apps that enhance user convenience. The field of iOS app development is expanding rapidly, with developers exploring new possibilities and pushing the boundaries of app development.

The Importance of a Responsive Database for App Performance

The performance of a mobile app depends heavily on its ability to respond quickly to user search queries. The speed at which an app provides search results directly impacts its performance. A key determinant of search efficiency lies in the effectiveness of the database used for storing app data.Let's delve deeper into three popular databases to understand which one offers greater convenience and improved performance:


SQLite, an open-source database, has long been favored by developers for creating mobile applications across various platforms such as Mac OS-X, iOS, Android, Linux, and Windows. Its simplicity, user-friendly interface, and versatility make SQLite a preferred choice among developers.

Reasons to Choose SQLite:

  • No configuration hassle
  • Independence from server restrictions
  • Easy data storage in tables with multiple columns
  • Secure access to data from multiple threads

Core Data

Core Data is another widely used database storage solution for iOS applications. While SQLite focuses primarily on traditional table storage, Core Data offers more detailed object-based storage. The choice of the database depends on the nature of the content to be stored, making Core Data a logical option for certain scenarios.

Key Features of Core Data:

  • Faster responsiveness leading to better performance compared to SQLite
  • Greater space utilization compared to SQLite
  • More memory consumption for content storage compared to SQLite


Realm is a relatively new database gaining popularity among iOS developers due to its impressive benefits. It surpasses SQLite and Core Data in terms of speed and efficiency.

Noteworthy Advantages of Realm:

  • Minimal code required to handle tasks
  • Supports both Objective-C and Swift
  • Superior performance compared to SQLite and Core Data
  • Easy sharing of database files between iOS and Android
  • Free of cost with no limitations on data storage
  • Consistent speed and performance regardless of data volume or storage capacity

Realm: The Preferred Choice for Developers.

Considering the pros and cons discussed above, it becomes evident why Realm stands out as the preferred database for iOS developers. Apart from technical advantages, there are numerous other benefits that can be best experienced by firsthand usage of the Realm database.

Understanding Realm: The Cross-Platform Mobile Database.

Realm is a lightweight, cross-platform mobile database specifically designed for mobile applications. It offers easy integration into projects, and developers can achieve their goals with just a few lines of code.Realm Mobile Database offers Simple Saving, Fast Queries, and saves valuable development time. Its zero-copy design makes it faster than an ORM and often faster than raw SQLite. For mobile database needs, Realm is the superior choice.

The Perfect Backend for Reactive Mobile Apps.

The Realm Mobile Platform provides seamless real-time data synchronization and powerful event handling between servers and devices. With the Realm Object Server ready to run on servers or in the cloud, and its cross-platform support for iOS and Android, Realm is trusted by Fortune 500 companies, innovative startups, and top-ranked app store successes.

How Does It Work?

The Realm Mobile Platform combines the Realm Object Server with the Realm Mobile Database to offer a comprehensive solution.

  • Realm Sync Engine: Automatic two-way data synchronization and conflict resolution.
  • Realm Object Store: Data persistence and management as objects mirrored on mobile devices.
  • Dashboard: A centralized system monitoring and management tool.
  • Realm Event Framework: Trigger server-side events in response to data changes.
  • Realm Authentication System: Identify users using prebuilt mechanisms or custom solutions.
  • Realm Access Control: Grant users appropriate permissions for data reading and writing.
  • Realm Mobile Database: An embedded object database for mobile apps. Synchronization of live objects with the Realm Object Server is possible through Realm Mobile Platform extensions.

Sync functionality is available for Realm Java, Realm Objective-C, and Realm Swift, with support for Realm React Native and Realm Xamarin coming soon.

Building Better Apps Faster.

The Realm Mobile Platform enables various capabilities that empower developers to build better apps more efficiently:

  1. Real-Time Collaboration: Create real-time collaboration experiences similar to Google Docs.
  2. Offline-First: With data stored locally in the Realm Mobile Database, each device can function fully offline and sync when the network is available. The Realm Mobile Platform handles network state and conflict management, eliminating concerns about server errors, JSON decoding, and conflict resolution.
  3. On-Premises or Public Cloud: Deploy the Realm Object Server on-premises or in popular public clouds like AWS and Azure. Integrate existing infrastructure with the Realm Object Server to connect current and legacy systems to your mobile apps.
  4. Build Reactive Apps: Realm objects are always up to date, ensuring the latest data availability. Subscribe to notifications for updates, enabling real-time UI updates. Say goodbye to outdated app experiences.

In conclusion, iOS app development firms prioritize crucial factors such as UI/UX design, robust code, and a responsive database for building successful mobile apps. While SQLite and Core Data have been popular choices, the emergence of Realm has provided developers with an even more efficient and flexible option. With its faster performance, ease of use, and cross-platform compatibility, Realm has become the preferred choice for many iOS developers. By leveraging the Realm Mobile Platform, developers can build better apps faster, unlocking the potential for real-time collaboration, offline functionality, and reactive user experiences.



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