Having an Android or iOS app is great, but supporting two major mobile operating systems is greater anyway. However, it’s often too expensive for entrepreneurs to support two system at once, so they start with one supported platform and then go for another. Before developing your first app, check out the popularity of mobile operating platform in your area. In most countries except the U.S., Android OS tops the market of handheld devices.
Actually, lots of businesses have first checked the idea with one platform. For example, Instagram has developed an app for iOS and then headed for Android. Another example is Airbnb, it took them more than a year to transfer the iOS app to Android.
As you can see, even today’s market leaders have checked their idea with something smaller than they’ve achieved now.
Today we’re going to consider how to convert iOS apps to Android ones or vice versa. Don’t have any app yet? Find out how to build your first mobile app.
Four Reasons to Convert Your Mobile App
You may ask, why should I convert app? What can it bring? Here are four main and obvious reasons why you should support two or more mobile operating platforms.
- Expand your market
With two major mobile operating platforms, the market is divided into iOS and Android users. So why should you miss out on those who can become your loyal customers?
- Add more features
When you convert the app, you don’t just copy it. You can add more features to provide more value to your users.
- Better monetization options
The more apps you have, the more money you can get off them.
- Reduce the app development cost
Building an app from square one and converting existing apps aren’t the same in terms of resources including time and money. Converting apps is faster and far cheaper.
How to Convert an Android app to iOS and iOS to Android
The converting process isn’t as simple as you may think. It’s not just a copy-paste thing. You can’t just ctrl-c and ctrl-v your app from one platform to another. You have to develop it from scratch.
From now on, we’ll be talking about various aspects of app porting including:
- Tools to convert apps
- iOS and Android coding languages
- UI/ UX considerations
What Tools Can Convert Apps?
Most people mistakenly believe that there is a magic app or platform that could convert apps from iOS to Android and vice versa in a few clicks. Indeed, it would be great. So if you want to transfer your apps with something like app converters, there is no tool that can automatically convert app.
Transferring Android to iOS isn’t similar to copying files on your computer. Unfortunately, you can’t just create a new folder called “iOS app” and copy the files from the “Android app.”
To convert apps from one platform to another, you should find and hire professional app developers who will build your app from scratch. They’ll use your previous app as an example to follow.
Objective-C, Java, Swift or Kotlin? What’s the Difference?
These are the most popular programming languages for mobile app development. The only difference between them is that they’re used for different mobile operating systems.
Java and Kotin are common languages for Android development while Swift and Objective-C are used for iOS app development. Kotlin and Swift are quite new programming languages. That’s why they have lots in common. Of course, Swift and Kotlin aren’t of the same mind.
So to develop an app, you can use any of the languages mentioned above. You can develop apps for Android with Kotlin or Java or iOS apps with Objective-C or Swift.
Fragmentation. Frag… What?
Fragmentation isn’t as terrible as it sounds. Fragmentation is all about devices running on the platform you’re going to reach. It describes versions of operating systems, screen sizes, and resolutions.
When speaking about operating systems, there are a few things to consider. Firstly, not all users are early adopters. Many mobile users don’t update their phones to the latest OS for some reasons. Secondly, you’ll have to support at least a few versions of the OS that are in active use now.
While developing a new app, you have to make sure that it’s correctly displayed on screens. Apple has a limited number of screens while Android has plenty of them. Android makes things more complicated.
iOS Design vs. Android Design
Android and iOS interfaces are completely different. Apple makes objects more flush and minimalistic while Android prefers material design. That’s the very basic differences.
The lists are totally different as well. Android keeps them simple enriched with custom icons while Apple makes them highly intuitive using arrows for better navigation.
Also, pay your attention to the typography. Apple devices use San Fransico as a default font while Roboto is associated with Android. Last, but no the least. Your icons should be different. You can’t use the same icon for both platforms since Apple has strict requirements for the icon’s shape and form while Android provides more freedom.
Don’t forget about the buttons iPhone 8 and earlier have one physical button while Android comes with three or none. Note, new iPhones come without a physical button.
To Sum Up
Unfortunately, you can’t convert your Android app to iOS in a few clicks. But the good news that we can do it for you. At IDAP, we build and convert apps for any industry and of any complexity.