Porting iOS App To Android? Here’s What You Need To Know
28 Feb. 2019 Mobile App
With Android commanding 74.45%* of the app development market share, it becomes quite essential for organizations to convert iOS app to Android. Therefore, if you are an app development company considering porting exercise and wondering where to start, then this article will help you with tips and workarounds on how to get started.
How To Convert iOS App To Android?
However, it is slightly complicated especially when both operating systems have stark differences in their technology ecosystem. Even, the users of iOS and Android are accustomed to their respective operating systems. This blog post aims to factor in the differences between the two operating systems and highlight some critical points of iOS to Android app porting.
Hence, before you port iOS app to Android, it is essential to consider how to compartmentalize the process.
While conducting the conversion exercise, you must set a proper version limit in regards to app features as well as target audience. For Android App Development, it is best to define the compatibility of the minimum Android version that will be supported by the app. For instance, KitKat 4.4 and above usually cover 90 percent of mobile devices. Also, it is vital to consider the peculiarities and differences of converting iPhone App to Android 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
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 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.
|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 11+, watchOS 3.0+, tvOS 10+||Android 4.2+ (Jelly Bean, API Level 17+)|
|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: Flurry, Google Analytics, Fabric, Crashlytics, Mixpanel
- Social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, and more
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 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)
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.
High responsiveness of the app is required when you convert Apple app to Android to support the variations in screen size and resolution with Android. However, Google makes this job simpler with layout tools designed to build an app adapted to different screen sizes. The designer can select a standard aspect ratio for developing visual assets.
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.
Android toggles, buttons, and tabs turn towards a ‘square’ look while iOS elements are roundish with smooth edges. The look and feel on navigation bars in Android is different from iOS. Therefore, when you port the 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.
For a successful iOS port to Android the development teams will have to perform serious quality assurance. It comprises of 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 the Google Play and, further, initiate marketing campaigns.
Porting an iOS App to Android requires significant strategic planning and design consideration. So to convert an app from iOS to Android requires proficiency in technical skills across both the mobile OS platforms. An expert Android app development company like Rishabh Software can help you. Our team has the necessary understanding of platform adaption, business logic for the app, along with programming and testing.