Let's assume you have created an Android platform app, successfully launched it, and decided to expand the project by acquiring users of the iOS platform. The right decision will be to convert the Android app to iOS.
Converting Android app to iOS or vice versa is a challenging assignment. You can't just use the same app for Android and iOS.
And when you are ready to start the app converting process, you probably ask yourself how to begin. In this post, you'll find five key stages that you need to accomplish during the converting process of the Android app to iOS or vice versa, iOS to another platform.
Converting the app: What you should know
Versions of operating systems
The systems iOS and Android have frequent updates. However, not all users update the devices as soon as the latest version airs. Thus, to make sure your app is working correctly, you need to make it compatible with at least three latest versions of the iOS/Android systems.
There are so many mobile devices out there. Each of them comes in different sizes and with different screen resolutions. These differentiations could become another challenge for app developers. Your app has to look perfect on any device, doesn't matter if it is an Android or iOS platform.
The app's appearance includes more aspects to consider than screen sizes when you convert Android apps to iOS. One of the critical factors distinguishing Android and iOS apps is navigation — buttons vs. swiping and gestures.
Android and iOS apps are built on two different languages. You can't simply translate the code when converting Android apps to iOS or vice versa due to the syntax and algorithms specifications.
For iOS products, developers mainly use Swift, Objective-C and build Android apps on Java, Kotlin.
Knowing all aspects that affect converting Android apps to iOS or vice versa will help you build a particular plan and organize the work pattern for the team.
Converting Android app to iOS: 5 steps
Converting an app from Android to a new platform requires responsibility and concentration from developers. Hence, it's vital to create a consistent and logical plan. Below you will find the breakdown of an Android app converting process and the essential tasks you need to accomplish.
Five steps of the app converting process:
- Revision of the app (both business and technical side of production).
- Alignment of design with the new platform specification.
- Optimization of the app's code and architecture.
- App testing and publication to the store.
- Further technical support and updates.
Step 1. Review technical and business sides of the app
The step includes an in-depth analysis of the Android app technical side. It implies the review of the app's business logic, modules, and integrations, compatibility of separate elements that may cause performance issues on the new platform.
You need to take the Android app's revision from business and technical perspectives. Involve in the process a business analyst and a software architect to hear the professional opinion from both sides.
Before converting the Android app to iOS, you need to study the app's functionality. Pay attention to the business logic and app architecture and its alignment with the specifications of the new platform.
Here are the primary steps of the examination:
- Review the app for optimization and possible enhancements.
- Check the app's business logic, make the necessary changes and implement it into the new project.
- Review and approve compatibility with integrations.
Revising the app and studying a new platform's requirements will help to build the same features correctly for the new version. You will probably find some flaws and aspects that need to be improved. So you can shape a new direction through which you can enhance the existing app and make sure the new iOS app will be performing smoothly.
Step 2. Make adjustments to the app design if needed
Analyze the app's appearance because you may need to change the look and feel of several design parts. Copying the interface when converting the Android app to iOS or vice versa is not good.
Android and iOS platforms follow different design paths. If you have experience developing Android apps, you know that this platform follows the Material Design UI guidelines. And for iOS, Apple has its Human Interface Guidelines and follows a flat design style.
When you convert Android apps to iOS, you will probably need to renew the critical elements such as buttons, icons, fonts.
User interface components
Each platform has its navigation system. So app users will interact differently with your product. iOS apps, for example, do not have back/home buttons when Android apps have. iOS devices generally have fewer buttons, and to operate within the system, you are required to swipe or use gestures.
So when you are converting an Android app to iOS, or vice versa, you need to keep in mind that the design of your product should be properly revised to provide convenient navigation.
Except for UI components, you may need to change the fonts. The fonts each platform originally uses are the following:
- iOS — San Francisco
- Android — Roboto
You don't have to stick to those two options. Using unique fonts for the app is applicable when it's necessary.
The mirroring factor is about your app supporting the RTL (right to left) and correct content display. If your app includes this functionality, you should consider how the content is displayed. It is vital to pay attention to this aspect when converting Android apps to iOS or vice versa. You will have to work on the automated text mirroring for custom elements yourself.
Step 3. Rewrite the code and optimize app architecture
iOS apps and Android apps are built with different programming languages. You can not recompile the code easily to fit the iOS app architecture specifics. You will need to change a significant part of it.
It could take a long time to have this work done. Make sure any changes in the code don't cause new bugs after the app is converted. It is also vital to check all the compatibilities and sync them with the requirements of the new iOS app.
When converting the Android app to iOS, or the other way around, check the localization thoroughly, review the custom functionalities, and do not forget to create Apple and Google developer accounts beforehand.
We know that this particular step, and the conversion in general, is very time-consuming whether you convert the iOS app to Android or follow the opposite way. Unfortunately, there are no other alternatives. You can find software that automatically converts Android code to iOS to reduce manual work. However, the result won't be clear, and in any way, you will have to spend a lot of time rewriting and reviewing the code.
Step 4. Testing
The vital finalizing process after converting your app from Android to iOS, or vice versa, is carefully testing everything. A significant amount of QA tasks should be completed to check all features and functional and operational capabilities to ensure everything works properly.
The tests that must be conducted are functional and security testings, performance, load, and control tests.
In-app development process, testing is considered to be the crucial part. Use these recommendations and check the app for any shortcomings before finishing the conversion.
Step 5. Further technical service
After the app is converted from Android to the iOS platform, there is an ongoing task for you to follow. You can detect critical errors only during the active app operation. That's why you have to keep a finger on the pulse to catch any flaws immediately, fix them and provide relevant and timely product updates for both iOS and Android.
When is it right to convert the app from Android to iOS?
Many factors can drive you to convert an Android app to an iOS app or the other way around, but in case of any doubts, the following are the key indicators telling why you should start the conversion process.
- Successful app performance
Evaluate the performance of the Android app on the market. Look at the numbers, such as the overall amount of downloads, the number of users, in-app purchases, and determine if they are positive before launching the app for a new platform.
- Expanding customer base
Converting the Android app to iOS will be the right way to get more customers. By entering the new market, you attract the new platform's users.
- Make more profit
Android app and iOS app will generate more profit together. Users tend to spend more on the iOS platform, and with a high downloading rate on Android, you can earn more through in-app advertisements.
- Competitive advantage
Most of your competitors may favor one platform over the other. Having a product for both platforms gives you a competitive advantage.
Your decision to convert an Android app to iOS, or versa, will require you to allocate resources and have the whole team involved in the process as if you were creating an app from scratch. But that pays off in the long-time perspective as you get the opportunity of acquiring a new paying user audience.
And if you'd like to test another platform first, you can build an MVP. This way, you can analyze whether the users' will be interested in your product and understand if it is enough for you to develop a new app. No-code platform AppMaster.io is ready to help create an MVP or a complete project, generating code for you.