An Inventory of Knowledge
Developing an application for a single platform is a rational decision for most businesses, especially if they are exploring new client acquisition channels or have limited resources. Sadly, it also results in losing potential users hanging out on the other platform or operating system (OS). So, businesses tend to port their iOS app to Android or vice versa in case the first app yields them intended results. Porting also helps them to unleash new opportunities for user acquisition, access new markets, and generate more revenue.
As a business owner, you should understand the ins and outs of converting an app from one platform to another before investing in iOS/Android app development services. So, we have created a guide on porting an Android app to iOS or vice versa, along with the challenges you must consider for this purpose.
Firstly, the best option to convert an app is to collaborate with a reliable mobile app development company. In this scenario, you have to provide the source code, documentation, and media resources like icons and illustrations to your partner.
Secondly, never use any kind of app converting platforms because they only result in an unstable, non-functioning app with lots of bugs. Businesses prefer to count on iOS/Android app developers to plan the development process and ensure accurate conversion on each layer.
Moreover, you must also understand that porting an app is a time-consuming process as developers have to create an app from scratch. For example, Airbnb took 14 months to convert its iOS app to Android.
Since we have already covered how to convert an app, let’s jump on the challenges you may encounter during this process.
Mobile app developers use different programming languages for creating apps for Android and iOS platforms. For instance:
Android – Java/Kotlin
iOS – Objective-C/Swift
Applications can also be built using other programming languages, but the above ones are official and most widely used for mobile app development.
Again, translating the code written in one language to another language is not an easy task. It demands a lot of time and effort from developers to make it work. Additionally, every programming language has its own syntax, and the time required to develop the same feature using different languages may differ to a large extent. So, iOS and Android app developers work in tandem to convert applications with no compromise on the quality.
Since Android and iOS versions are updated every year, many users don’t update the latest OS version willingly or unwillingly. So, your app should operate at least on the most popular versions of the operating system.
If you want to convert an Android app into iOS, the situation is more likely to be in your favor since most of the iOS users use its latest version.
However, if you want to port an iOS app to Android, you need to research updated statistics regarding the adoption of the Android OS version. In this case, the situation is a bit complicated since the user count of Android’s latest version is relatively lesser than the previous version. Besides, a significant amount of users are still sticked to earlier versions of Android, like Oreo, Pie, and Nougat.
Anyway, you don’t have to worry about this aspect as your iOS/Android app developers will take care of this. You just have to name the OS versions your target audience uses, and they will overcome this challenge easily.
To convert an Android app to iOS, mobile app developers have to adapt the application’s layout to various screen sizes as well as resolutions. In this case, the list of screen sizes is shorter. However, we can’t say the same while converting from iOS to Android, as there are hundreds of Android devices having different resolutions and screen sizes.
But you will be glad to know that Android allows developers to support multiple screen densities by adjusting the app for several resolutions. Subsequently, the application will be automatically adjusted to other screens.
Like tech, UI/UX challenges are also worth minding while porting. After all, iOS and Android both have different design languages – Material and Flat. So, the development team should also consider the design guidelines provided by Google and Apple to ensure excellent user experience.
Let’s take a look at a few differences between designing applications for iOS and Android.
Android and iOS have a standard typeface i.e., Roboto and San Francisco, respectively. The guidelines of both operating systems specify different use cases for their system fonts by means of various weights, sizes, and letter spacings. This makes the fonts look more natural within a system.
The app icons of both systems are also slightly different. Developers must know that all iOS icons have the same shape – a square with rounded corners – and they can’t have a transparent background. However, Android icons can have a transparent background and any shape that fits the icon area.
Apart from these differences, many other factors are considered to convert an app preserving a good user experience. Some of them are bottom navigation/tab bars, navigation drawers, and app bars/navigations bars.
Testing will determine whether porting an app from one platform to another passes or not. There can be too many possible bugs to overlook this phase. So, make sure your mobile app development ally has skilled QA engineers to plan a comprehensive testing strategy that covers code testing, UX testing, and more.
Whether you’re converting an Android app to iOS or vice versa, you will have to plan meticulously and execute the process right. Porting demands a profound understanding of logic and coding, so we suggest investing in iOS/Android app development services to overcome the challenges and get results that might exceed your expectations.