Why Do You Need to Convert an iOS App to Android (and Vice Versa):?
Converting iOS Apps to Android (and Vice Versa): Why You May Need It and How to Do It Correctly
It seems that fans of iOS and Android will never stop debating. Meanwhile, most app developers try to please both parties by creating applications for the two platforms simultaneously. Sometimes, however, it makes sense to begin with a single version for only one OS, for example, iOS. For instance, it can be rational when you are launching a new product. You don’t know whether you succeed or not. Therefore, you don’t want to pay for two apps instead of one.
If over time, you see that your app does its job well and generates a good revenue, you may want to convert it to Android. Of course, this is not an impossible issue but rather a responsible one. There are some important things you need to consider. In our guide, we’ll review the main challenges one can come across when converting an app to another OS.
Why Do You Need to Convert an iOS App to Android?
1. Getting new customers. According to experts’ estimates, Android OS accounts for a huge share of the world’s mobile market – around 75%. This is why many businesses create their first app for Android. That said, iOS is a number-one OS in the world’s richest markets – the USA, Canada, and Oceania. By ignoring one of the two operating systems, you are losing a good share of customers.
2. Expanding your presence to foreign markets. This depends on what direction you choose for the expansion. Thus, if you want to conquer the American market, it’s reasonable to switch to iOS. On the contrary, to reach out to the European and Asian markets, it makes sense to port an iOS app to Android.
3. Generating a higher revenue. This is a primary reason to convert a website to Android app or an iOS app to Android. Two applications bring more profit than a single app, irrespective of the type of monetization you’ve chosen. Statistic says Android apps are downloaded more frequently, while iOS users tend to spend more on mobile apps.
How to Port an Android App to iOS and Conversely
Converting an app to another operating system is a complicated multi-stage process. Basically, it’s almost like creating a new app from the scratch. This is why (if only you are not a professional developer) never try to convert your app on yourself with the help of converting tools. You will just waste your time and get an unusable product. The best solution is to look out for an experienced developer. Keep in mind that you’ll need to provide:
- media materials;
- the source code.
Porting an app to another platform is like building two separate houses using one design project. Depending on the app’s complexity and features, it can take from several months to several years.
Technical Problems of App Converting
While it may seem that converting an app is easier than creating a new one from the scratch, in fact, the process is rather complicated. Let’s review briefly the three main problems, which app developers usually face.
Android app developers use Java or Kotlin, while iOS developers use Objective-C or Swift languages. These are official options. Programing languages, just like usual languages, need to be translated. This takes time and effort. Each language has its unique syntax, so the time of code writing can vary significantly.
Different Versions of One OS
When porting an app from OS to another, you need to keep in mind that the final product must be compatible with different versions of this OS. This is especially true for the apps converted to Android. The fact is that most iOS users (91%) regularly upgrade their devices to the latest version, while Android users often use outdated OSs and frameworks. Only 23% of them utilize the newest version.
Compatibility with Various Screens
This, again, primarily relates to Android. iOS devices are not numerous, and the chart of their screens’ sizes is pretty short. When it comes to Android devices, their screens come in a variety of forms, sizes, and resolutions. That said, you don’t need to adapt your app to every resolution possible (there are too many of them); instead, make it just for several resolutions, after which it will be able to adjust to other screens automatically.
UI/UX Problems Caused by App Converting
After converting, an app needs to be as user-friendly and convenient as it used to be before. As we’ve already mentioned, iOS and Android apps are written in different languages, so design guidelines for both platforms need to be considered in every particular case. Here are the main differences to consider:
- The two platforms have different sizes of media grids. When you port media assets from one platform to another, they can be displayed incorrectly.
- Different platforms have different standard fonts. This means you’ll need to revise the text within the app.
- Though they have much in common, there are subtle differences in the design that need to be considered.
Of course, there are a lot of other things to consider – tab and navigation bars, sliders, and other elements of design.
This is a mandatory stage, as it helps reveal all the bugs and errors. Testing is normally carried out by qualified quality assessment engineers.
As you see, porting an iOS app to Android (and back) is a complex process that needs to be carried out by professionals manually. Essentially, this is like creating a new application from the scratch. No automatic code converter or translator can cope with it. Depending on the app type and complexity, the process can take several months or even several years.
Vitaly Kuprenko is a writer for Cleveroad. It’s a web and mobile app development company with headquarters in Ukraine. He enjoys writing about technology and digital marketing.