Synopsis: Several users prefer using iPhone over Google devices. That’s why many businesses have started building apps for iOS users. But Android usage also grows and business owners may want to switch from iOS to Android to target a much larger Android audience. But there are challenges, costs, and steps to migrate apps from iOS to Android. Being familiar with the basics makes it easy to switch and expand your business to reach more users.
You need mobile app development to stay relevant and reach your target audience. While the iOS app is also lucrative, Android app development is best at reaching a wider audience, as Android is the most popular smartphone platform today. When you want to convert an iOS app to an Android, it helps to know about the cost and challenges.
Before going into the cost and challenges it helps to know the reasons to convert an iOS app to Android. Benefits of iOS app include:
- Getting more features
- Wider market reach
- Saving on resources
- Getting better ROI
- Making more money
- Gaining competitive advantage
Cost to convert iOS app to Android
The cost of developing a mobile app is a major factor in evaluating whether it should be converted from an iOS to an Android app. Other factors include the size, location and features of the project.
For general feature applications, the cost of converting iOS software to Android apps ranges from $6000 – $20000 or more. The cost of porting to a different platform also depends on the iOS development services you hire. Typically, it is wise to consider the following factors:
- How the system works
- Programming languages to be adopted
- Current usage of the app – iOS user interface or Android UI
- Ensuring security in ported code
- Software or development kit
- Interaction of hardware elements with the app
- Types of devices used and android version support
- API integration
There are no readymade tools for the conversion. You need to take the services of a reputed mobile app development company. A professional company can make changes to interface design, navigation, and programming languages. You need:
- A plan
Study the jamming features of your current iOS. Include the workflow, design, potential errors and solutions, back-end personality, tools and frameworks, and the app porting process.
- Plan evaluation and implementation
Evaluate all relevant technology like libraries, code and mobile app development services and choose the right technology
- App testing and release
Focus on quality assurance which can be ensured only if you hire the services of a reputed Android app development company. The company uses Android devices or emulation tools. After getting permission from your Android app development company, you can release your Android app.
Challenges in converting iOS app to Android
Some of the most important challenges when converting iOS to Android apps include
- Architectural variations
In Android, there are a lot of versions of the operating system. New ones are coming out every few months. So it is difficult to stick with the versions and choose the one that includes all the functionalities. Features available in one version may not be in an older version. However, some common features include:
- File management, and
- Compatibility of other apps across the mobile devices
To address this, you have to differentiate between older and newer versions of the OS. You can choose up to 10 devices you want to target and choose the operating system version accordingly. For example, Kit Kat version 4.4 (or newer) will cover 90% of all mobile devices.
- Design traits
Design is the important step in porting iOS apps to Android to be successful. The UI of both the devices are entirely different and have their own design rules. It applies to the size, shape and concept of the app.
Apple uses Human Interface Guidelines, while Android is all about Material Design standards. So, you have to consider designing the app according to the platform. This will reduce the confusion caused to users using your app and make transactions easier. It will also get a good rating on Google Play.
Common differences between these two mobile OS designs include buttons, lists, tabs, widgets, navigation elements, data, and time zones. The Android look requires a redesign in wireframes and mockups.
You can choose to keep the same design for both platforms, for Instagram, or customize it according to the platform – it is for you to decide.
- Libraries, framework and code
In developing mobile applications, libraries are important assets. Know that Android and iOS use different libraries and programming languages. Apple uses Swift language while Android uses Java and Kotlin.
The only programming language that works with both operating systems is Objective-C.
If you convert an iOS app to Android, using Objective C language, you don’t need to write complete code and can complete the whole migration in a short duration. Otherwise, it may take a lot of time depending on the complexity, design, architecture, etc. of the app.
- Screen size and resolution
Significant differences exist between the size of Android and iOS. The most common problem developers face when porting an app to Android is building an Android app based on the iOS UI design.
Screen size and resolution are different for every device. Android phones are manufactured by multiple companies and each comes with screen size and unique specifications.
A developing company has to make the correct bitmap size based on the device. Android apps can work on a variety of devices, regardless of screen size.
- Navigation, optimization and troubleshooting
The design and feel of the Android navigation bar are different from that of iOS. As a result, when porting an iOS app to Android, make sure users can get to the app’s content as quickly as they can because they don’t want to spend time retrieving your awkward navigation.
Errors and connectivity issues can likely arise when you are converting an iOS app to Android. You should work on them and make sure that porting from iOS to Android is a smooth ride for the users.
You can also take it as a way to improve performance, battery consumption, navigation, etc.
- Testing standards
The number of tests you’ll need to run depends on the number of Android devices you want to support. The higher the number of assistive devices, the more tests you have to run. The time taken for such checks will improve the quality of the app and may eventually pay off.
Like any app development process, quality assurance is important when converting iOS to Android apps. Depending on the process you choose for your conversion job, you can test using real Android devices.
Also, there are many mobile app testing available, such as:
- Load testing
- User acceptance testing and
- Beta testing
The final step is to publish your Android app on the Google Play Store and start marketing your app after testing it for performance and rectifying other issues.
All things considered
Packing in all the required features and functionality can be daunting. One might think that porting apps from iOS to Android is quite challenging.
But these challenges shouldn’t stop you from porting your app to Android if you consult an expert firm for the best application development solution. If the switch is done in the right way then it has many benefits.