Top 3 iOS Mobile App Databases

The prerequisites for a mobile application vary depending on the project’s scope. If the aim is to create a new app, distinct requirements may need to be considered, while extra features for an existing one will have unique demands. Considering the vast number of daily users and regular updates, the current iOS database may need upgrading to ensure an unparalleled user experience.

The development of interactive software is crucial, but so is the use of databases. These databases grant users access to the relevant data necessary for an engrossing and captivating experience with the mobile application.

What is a database, exactly?

A database is a compilation of accessible data, usually handled by electronic devices.

An example of this could be your phone contacts, which serve as a database and storage for contact information that can be altered as per your requirements.

Both desktop and mobile applications make use of databases to ease application execution and user input management. Application databases are necessary for enabling optimal performance and proficient control over user input.

The performance of a mobile application heavily relies on the stored and processed data. For the application to function as intended, several data transformations are required.

What defines the best database for iOS applications? Criteria for selecting the ideal database for iOS applications.

Structure of data

Data storage and retrieval have a direct impact on its structure. Mobile applications are capable of handling data stored in diverse formats. Online programs require a server’s connection to operate, while offline applications store all data locally on the device.

Synchronized mobile applications can store their data on interconnected mobile devices, ensuring their functionality even in offline mode. Once the device connects to the internet, the server automatically updates the data.

Data size

The vital application data’s quantity falls under data size which can vary based on the kind of data and the database’s capacity to divide data among servers and numerous file systems.

Thus, it is crucial to consider the software-generated data’s overall volume while selecting a suitable database.

Speed and scalability

Several databases are designed to handle applications with different read and write needs. For instance, MongoDB is the preferred choice for large volumes of unstructured data as compared to MySQL due to its enhanced performance. However, MySQL usually provides faster speeds for structured data.

Scaling up commences with the selection of a database that can manage your program’s I/O needs.

Data modelling

Before opting for a database, practising data modelling is useful to express business needs and data structures explicitly. Data modelling ensures that the appropriate database is chosen to accomplish the desired goals.

Data modelling is beneficial when your app has features like search queries, reporting, and location-based services.

Uber highly depends on various databases like MySQL and MongoDB. MongoDB is Uber’s content delivery network, while MySQL takes care of the company’s business logic. With MongoDB’s usage, it is more convenient to store vast amounts of incoming data.

Data security

While implementing synchronised and decentralised storage, it is crucial to ensure the safe access, transfer and storage of data. To achieve this, it is necessary to use authentication measures for authenticating users and data along with implementing security protocols for protecting data both at rest and in motion.

Authentication should be flexible, providing support for standard, public, and custom authentication sources. To ensure seamless functioning, anonymous access is necessary for many applications. Additionally, the database should allow users to have granular control over data access and modify read and write access.

The Top 3 iOS Apps for Databases

  • SQLite Database

The most commonly used database engine is SQLite, which is a relational database management system (RDBMS). Instead of being organised in a flat-file or hierarchical structure, SQLite stores the data in a tabular format.
When it comes to iOS database, SQLite is seamlessly integrated into the program, and can function as a stand-alone service. Moreover, SQLite is a lightweight database.

What are the reasons for using SQLite Database for iOS?

Due to its user-friendly design, SQLite is becoming an increasingly popular choice among developers. Its simplicity makes it the most straightforward database option for their iOS applications, leading to widespread adoption by the development community.

This software is simple and compact, making its integration convenient for mobile phones, digital cameras, and other devices. It’s effortless to use, as there’s no need for installation or configuration.

SQLite is highly portable, allowing it to operate on almost every platform such as Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS.

  • Realm Database


Realm, formerly known as MongoDB Realm, is an open-source object-oriented database management system that utilises C++ as its programming language, as opposed to SQLite which operates on the SQL database language. Developers are able to create object relationships within the database due to its object-oriented nature.

When it comes to the best iOS app database, Realm is a strong competitor. It has been optimised to function with a wide range of mobile operating systems such as Android, iOS, Xamarin, and React Native.

What are the reasons for choosing the Realm database for iOS?

Realm’s modernity is the source of its advantages. It outperforms SQLite in terms of performance. Additionally, Realm is highly scalable, allowing it to manage a vast number of users and large amounts of data.

The clarity and brevity of Realm’s developer documentation make it easy to access vital information, enabling more efficient development procedures. Such speedy development can have a positive impact on the entire development process.

  • Core Data

Core Data is a framework supported by Apple that can improve the user experience in a variety of ways. It can store and cache temporary data to increase the application’s responsiveness and store permanent data so users can access information even when offline. Furthermore, developers can use Core Data to define and organise data types and their relationships, providing them with a powerful tool to manage their application’s data more efficiently.

Core Data is not a database, but instead, it’s a persistent framework. However, Core Data can utilise SQLite as a database.

A persistence framework is middleware that stores data in a database, serving as an intermediary between data in a database and data in an application.

What are the reasons for using Core Data?

Core Data is often regarded as the most appropriate database for Apple programming languages such as Swift and Objective-C due to its official support by Apple. In spite of this, Core Data boasts other features that give it the edge as the preferred database for iOS applications.

Core Data delivers faster data retrieval speeds than SQLite while also offering built-in features that can reduce developers’ code requirements by up to 70%. This significantly simplifies the development process and can result in saving time and resources.


Mobile applications are continuously evolving, and as such, upgrading the database to support new or modified features becomes necessary at times. To make the best choice of a database for your mobile app, you should consider criteria such as versatility. Ultimately, the goal is to select a database that is exceptionally flexible and capable of adapting to the mobile app’s changing needs.

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