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Before we start talking about ways to convert your apps, let’s give you some solid reasons to go for mobile app porting!
Expand Your User Base - Both platforms have their loyal audience base. So, why miss out on a section of the audience just because you don’t have an app for that platform. Thus, it is always a good idea to have your mobile app on multiple platforms.
More Features - Porting a mobile app is not duplication of the app which means there are chances of better user experience and advanced features in the app.
Better ROI - Why have a single revenue stream when you can have two? Well, both Android and iOS apps have their own advantages. Android apps have more number of downloads which means more money from the in-app ads. On the other hand, iOS users usually spend more money on apps which means higher rate of in-app purchases.
Expand to New Markets - By converting your app, the opportunities will expand in terms of geographical locations as well.
If you convert an iOS app to Android, you can acquire a lot of new users from the regions such as Central and Eastern Europe, Asia, South America or Africa. Similarly, if you are porting an Android app to iOS, you may get new users from Western Europe and North America.
We are sure these reasons are good enough to convince you to start looking for mobile app porting services. Now, let’s look at how it works and what are the factors you need to take into consideration.
Convert an iOS App to Android
The factors to consider while porting an iOS app to Android are as follows:
The process begins with deciding the minimum Android version that will support the app. For instance, if you are choosing Android 4.4 KitKat, then you can cover approximately 90.5% of the Android users.
But you have to choose the version on the basis of features and architecture. Therefore, it is necessary to have a clear understanding of the difference between both the platforms.
Then you can precisely work and modify those features which are different in Android and iOS. Some of these features include the push notifications, specifications about switching content and touch 3D etc.
Both platforms have a great difference in terms of designing. Android apps usually use Material Design while iOS uses flat design. So, an app designer has to redesign the Android app while converting.
Talking about icons, Android has its own icon library and it makes use of Roboto as its standard font.
Content navigation is mainly at the bottom with two types of button - flat and floating. You may also find other elements and tools such as Bottom Sheets, Switch, RadioButton, Text fields etc.
Another important factor to take into consideration are the metric differences that basically include screen resolutions and 48 DP rule dominance in UI design. The comparison of font size becomes an important job and the ratio to be maintained is .075.
Framework & Code Library of Android
The developers mainly use external elements and libraries to develop apps. But while converting iOS to Android, it is important to check the app compatibility of the elements.
It is a well known fact that iOS apps are developed using Swift and Android apps using Java or Kotlin. Recompiling the first code into second is not possible. However, both the platforms use and support C code, so it can be ported with certain conditions.
Thus, while converting the app needs to be written in a completely different language and you need to take into consideration the app architecture and library etc.
Once you are done with the conversion, it's time for quality assurance of the app before making it live on the Play Store. You need to ensure that the app is bug free with seamless performance. Also, make sure that you are providing an optimal quality of UI and UX to the end user.
The Android platform has more number of devices than iOS so you need to take into consideration the various screen sizes and OS versions.
Convert an Android App to iOS
Now that you are pretty clear about how the conversion of iOS apps to Android works, let’s talk about the other way round. Although Android app development rules the market, iOS still leads in terms of revenue generation.
Have a look at the steps to convert an Android app to iOS!
If you know the functionality of both the devices, then you should know that the biggest difference is in the home button. An iphone has a single home button whereas an Android phone has three main buttons - home, back and multitasking.
Android users can tap on the back button to return to the previous screen which iphone users can’t do. iOS apps have both horizontal and vertical tools while Android apps have mostly vertical ones.
As already discussed earlier, there is a huge difference in design aspect of both platforms. Apple has a flat design technique whereas Android has material design.
Furthermore, iOS has centre text alignment and Android has left text alignment. Similarly, navigation bar is in the center in iOS and on left in Android. When it comes to font, default font for Android is Roboto and San Francisco and Helvetia Neue for iOS.
Apart from these differences, the platforms are opposites in terms of icon, object placement and alerts too.
Device Screen Resolution Support
Just like while converting an iOS app to Android you have to check the versions, the same rule applies in this case too. However, an advantage in case of iOS is that users regularly update their systems.
So, you can directly move forward with the latest version of iOS. But you need to take into account the different screen sizes. There are lesser number of iOS devices as compared to Android which means less screens to work on. This makes the iOS app development process easier.
You need to take into account the compatibility with another OS as Apple doesn’t allow much accessibility to components.
Framework & Library
Android operating system uses third party framework tools or library so that needs to be taken into consideration. If not, then you need to find a suitable framework.
This can turn out to be a challenge for the mobile app development team. In this case, the relief factor is finding libraries that are friendly with both the operating systems. Therefore, you will always find a number of popular apps on both platforms at the same time.
App Testing & Launch
The quality assurance stage can be considered a very crucial one. It should basically include:
Integration testing - combined testing of software modules
Validation - whether the software matches your expectations or not
Beta testing - real time data by real users before the final launch
Once all this is done you need to follow the Apple Store Guidelines to launch the app and you will need a developers account to do that.
To sum up, it can be definitely said that mobile app porting cannot be done in a few clicks. However, all the efforts are worth it!
Having a mobile app on both the platforms is important due to cut throat competition in the market. It is a necessity to sustain in the market. The approximate time to port a mobile app can be between one to six months.