When our favorite apps are available on both Android and iOS, we often take it for granted. People who have been through it, understand the difficulty. Instagram was initially launched on iOS in the year 2010, but it only came out on Android after 4 years. There is a split smartphone OS market.
It is a known fact that mobile app development companies and developers are often confused as to which OS to use for developing their app. This is why every app must be developed in both iOS and Android apps. There are also good reasons to develop an Android app to iOS and vice versa.
Reasons to convert an app
- Expanding your market reach. Different platforms have different users and their preferences also differ. By converting your app you can reach a wider audience.
- More features. Converting a mobile app is not duplication. It is an opportunity to improve features, user experience etc.
- Extra options for monetizing. It allows you to diversify revenue from an app by way of paid downloads and in-app purchases.
- Reduction of costs. Converting an app is not as costly and time-consuming as developing an app. It is better to design the first app in such a way that it can be easily converted to another OS. This will save a lot of time, money, and resources.
Tools for converting your mobile app
Let me first make it very clear there is no simple tool which with a few clicks can convert your Android app to iOS or vice versa. You can’t copy what you have developed on Android directly to an iOS app. The second app also needs development. But you can always develop your first app in a particular way so that developing the second app won’t be that big of a problem.
- Make use of modern programming languages. Java for Android and Swift and Objective-C for iOS are common languages. But not everybody knows that Kotlin can be used for Android app development too. Swift and Kotlin are relatively new. They allow you to copy some parts of the code and make some corrections.
- Platform-specific code. You need to set apart the features that are common for both platforms. Without this, code copying won’t really work. So leave out as few tasks as possible for a new development.
You must make sure that the converted app works equally well for all the operating systems that are being used currently. You should also make sure that your app is presented properly on all kinds of screen sizes.
Differences between Android design and iOS design
- Object placement is one of the biggest difference. The material design of Android pushes a hierarchical arrangement but Apple makes its objects look flush with minimalism.
- The lists on Android have custom icons instead of having arrows.
- The Android navigation bar is bigger in height and has titles on the left while iOS has its navigation bar lower and the title in the center.
- The date picker on Android has a lot to do with tapping while the date picker in iOS is more about scrolling.
- San Francisco is used as the default iOS typography while in Android Roboto is more common.
- iOS has strict requirements regarding icons while Android allows a lot of freedom to the developers.
One major difference that influences user behavior patterns is buttons. iOS has one physical button on the screen while Android has 3 buttons to manage everything. These buttons are home, back, and multitasking. iOS apps are a mix of horizontal and vertical interfaces while Android apps are mostly vertical.
Testing is the final step. This is the step where all the features and functionalities must be tested and make sure that the design and development stages were carried out properly. Invest the time wisely and properly at the time development will save a lot of your time at the testing stage.
It is very clear that conversion of an Android app to iOS and vice versa is not really easy and can’t be done in one click. It requires an equal amount of coding, development, design, and testing. But it is an important thing that needs to be done as the outcome and the result of doing it are great and will help and benefit the brand or the company. If you need help with building iOS and Android apps feel free to contact us.
Keval Padia is the founder & CEO of Nimblechapps, a fast-growing mobile app development company. The current innovation and updates of the field lures him to express his views and thoughts on certain topics.