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Port iOS App To Android

26 Apr 2021

Porting applications from one OS to another is a business decision. It helps to take advantage of the time and resources based on the interest of different target audiences.

As per the latest report by Statcounter, Android commands 71.81% of the app development market share worldwide. So, it becomes quite essential for organizations to convert iOS app to Android.

If you are reading this article, you probably already have an application built for iOS. Moreover, you’re likely wondering whether it is possible to port it from one platform to the other and if it is worth doing. Well, the answer is simple: yes, it is! You have come to the right place.

Through this article, we will help you with tips and workarounds on how to get started. Here is what we would cover;

  • Why Convert an iOS App to Android?
  • Challenges of Porting iOS App to Android App
  • How to Convert IOS App to Android?
  • Cost of Converting An iPhone App to Android

Why Convert An iOS App To Android?

Expand Your Market Reach: It is a known fact that Google Play generates far more downloads than the App Store. That means without the Android version of an app, there are high chances that you’ll lose a colossal number of potential customers.

Add-On Features: By converting the iOS to Android app, leverage multiple attributes such as back navigation buttons, widgets, push notification, android intents, android wear and more to appease your target audience.

Higher ROI: Porting an application from one platform to another helps market it to a wider global audience. It enables the mobile app to get access to millions of new users that guarantee high returns on your investments.

Competitive Edge: Most of your rivals may favor a specific platform over the other, leaving the other open. Creating an app for both platforms – iOS and Android provide you an early mover’s advantage. This helps you gain a progressively significant share in the market.

Port iOS App To Android Or Vice Versa

Our experts can help with the seamless porting of your application to achieve a better ROI.

Challenges Of Porting iOS App To Android

Let’s discuss some of the important considerations while converting an iPhone App to Android with a list of the most common challenges.

  • Code Porting
    Apple’s mobile devices mainly use Swift/Objective-C for programming, while Android developers build apps widely using Java and Kotlin. Every programming language has its syntax. Converting the program written in one language to another language is usually a daunting task. So, the time and efforts required to build the same feature for different platforms may differ. Android and iOS developers work in tandem to transform applications with high quality.
  • Different Screen Sizes and Resolutions
    Creating an Android app based on iOS UI design for different screen dimensions is the biggest and most common challenge that developers face while porting an app. Each device has unique screen sizes and resolutions. Apple devices have certain fixed screen parameters. Whereas Android phones are manufactured by hundreds of companies. So it is imperative to ensure there exists support for a variety of screen sizes and resolutions. The designer can select a standard aspect ratio for developing visual assets.
  • Architecture Differences
    Android and iOS versions are updated almost every year. Features supported in one version may not be there in another older version. So, your app should operate seamlessly at least on the most popular versions of the operating system. But don’t fret! Just choose the OS versions that you want to target, and the rest will be taken care of by the developers.
  • Framework and Libraries
    Using third-party libraries can ease setting app rules, adding graphics, customized templates, communication protocols and more. However, when you convert iOS to android app, it is necessary to identify the frameworks and libraries that support both operating systems and makes replication of functionalities easy.
  • Navigation
    Android toggles, buttons, and tabs turn towards a ‘square’ look while iOS elements are roundish with smooth edges. The look and feel of navigation bars in Android are different from iOS. Therefore, when you port iOS app to Android, ensure that users can access app contents as quickly as possible because they do not want to spend time re-learning your peculiar navigation.

How To Convert IOS App To Android?

There are certain elements that should not slip from one’s attention. A proper planning is necessary to convert an iOS app to Android successfully. Before you port iOS app to Android, it is essential to consider how to compartmentalize the process.

Stages for Converting iOS App to Android App

Step 1:
Design
The first step for porting iOS apps to Android is design development. The two OS environments are entirely different from each other, and they act differently. So, as a development team, while porting your iOS app to Android, you must avoid copying the design elements. Material design offers a boost to Android. The real innovation in this interface is the flexibility in elements (icons, texts, lights, shapes, images). iOS, on the other hand, is built using a flat design.

Some key design differences to bear in mind when you convert iPhone app to Android:

  • Buttons (square on Android vs. round on iOS)
  • Icon & Font Size (for Android- measured in points (pt), and pixels (px) for Apple platform. The ratio of points to pixels is about 0.75)
  • Lists (left-pointing arrows vs. right)
  • Tabs (at the bottom of the screen vs. top)
  • Date/time selectors
  • Navigation (physical button for back navigation vs. top back button for the back)
  • Widgets

In addition to this, the components like Bottom Sheets, Lists, Checkbox, RadioButton, Switch, Text fields and more are important while considering the differences of port the designs to the Android platform.

Step 2:
Android Application Architecture
While conducting the conversion exercise, you must set a proper version limit depending on app features as well as the target audience. For Android app development, it is best to define the compatibility with the most recent version that will be supported by the app. As per the latest report by Statista, the Oreo 8.1 and above versions usually cover more than 76% of Android devices mobile worldwide.

So, it is a necessary consideration while designing the architecture and also the peculiarities & differences of converting iPhone App to Android. This is done by reviewing the app architecture and features with either of the OS versions.

It includes parameters like; app shortcuts on Android and Touch 3D on iOS, content switching specifics, Push notifications, and Interaction with other installed apps

Step 3:
Coding
The development team will have to rewrite the entire app code from scratch for this initiative. Therefore, it is essential to prioritize the “time-sensitive” elements of the product. However, the code written using the basic version of C can be reused while porting to Android. It makes converting the apple app to android simpler with multiple libraries to enhance the performance. Further, if you are developing the code from scratch, Xamarin or PhoneGap can be used to create cross-platform apps.

For your convenience, we have listed below a tech stack that summarizes the components much required before you start with the conversion exercise from iOS app to Android or otherwise.

 

iOS Android
Programming Language Swift 4 (preferred) / Objective-C Kotlin (preferred)/ Java
Integrated Development Environment Xcode 9+ or AppCode Latest Android Studio
Development OS Latest Mac OS X Ubuntu, Mac OS
Target OS iOS 14+, watchOS 7.0+, tvOS 14+ Android 11 (API level 30)
Store iTunes App Store Google Play, Amazon and more.

 

While developing a mobile app, the app development teams often consider specific external tools and libraries. For converting the iOS app to Android app, the compatibility of these tools with Android requires a proactive check.

In addition to this, the integration of the following 3rd party service is much required;

  • Payment Systems: Braintree, Paypal
  • Analytics: Google Analytics, Fabric, Crashlytics, Mixpanel
  • Social Platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, and more

Step 4:
Testing and Release
For a successful iOS port to Android, the development teams will have to perform serious quality assurance. It comprises mobile app testing – both during and after the development process. It covers the below steps;

  • Integration testing of software modules (individually and as a group)
  • Validation testing: whether the final software product meets business requirements
  • User scenario testing
  • Beta testing with an analysis of real-time data (by users and a client) before its final release.

Further, real device testing will help the development teams to conduct efficient app testing. Moreover, after performing the above and with satisfying results, submit the app to Google Play and, further, initiate marketing campaigns.

Cost Of Converting An iPhone App To Android

The cost of developing a mobile app plays a significant role in deciding its conversion from iOS to Android app. It depends on the project size and features.

Let’s go through some of the factors to be taken into consideration while calculating the cost of conversion.

  • Programming Languages used
  • System Frameworks
  • User Interface (UI) design
  • APIs
  • Software Development Kits (SDKs)
  • App’s interaction with the device hardware
  • Types of devices and Android version support

As a standard consulting approach, our development team can enable you to analyze project requirements, study target groups, map the potential challenges, and work with you to port the app based on your chosen key features. Our extensive experience in custom software development of varied scope enables us to create a cost-effective model that fits in your budget.

Learn how we helped one of our healthcare customers to convert iOS EMR app to Android for a robust system. We designed and developed an Android version of the existing EMR iOS app to reach more customers and achieve higher ROI.

To Conclude

Porting an iOS App to Android requires significant strategic planning and design consideration. We believe you noticed that it requires a proper, systematized approach to create a solution almost identical to its previous version and no less inferior in functionality, accessibility, and performance. It requires proficiency in technical skills across both mobile OS platforms.

So, how do you make the converting process simple and fast? Hire someone like Rishabh Software as the expert mobile app development partner. Our team has the necessary understanding of platform adaption, business logic for the app, along with programming and testing. With our collaborative approach, the transformed app would be supported by all the popular Android-based devices.

So, if you need more inputs on how can go about project development for your projects, do connect with us and we will be more than happy to answer any of your questions!

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