How to Convert Android App to iOS With Minimum Loss and Maximum Profit

Even though Android controls the lion share of an app market, the majority of apps are launched on iOS first with further conversion to Android. The most prominent examples are Instagram and Airbnb, which got their Android versions years after being released on Apple’s platforms. But what if you have an opposite situation, urging to convert Android app to iOS?

First of all, let’s check what you will get from this transfer. According to the recent research, online spendings of iOS users are threefold bigger than the amounts of money Android enthusiasts invest online. You can boost your income with the increased rate of in-app purchases. Thus, your second app may even become more successful and profitable in terms of ROI than its predecessor. Moreover, it will enlarge your audience and target a new segment of users.

Top Three Technical Aspects to Keep in Mind When You Convert Android App to iOS

Unfortunately, there’s still no way to make an iOS app from an Android one with a click of a magic button. Unless you’ve been using tools for hybrid mobile app development, you’ll need to build it from scratch.

We gathered main issues you have to keep in mind when creating an application for a new platform. With our tips, the process will not be that painful and troublesome.

1. Choosing a Programming Language: Depends on Your Android Stack

We’ve already suggested you use Kotlin for your Android app development. And if you have accepted our advice and adopted this programming language, it will be easier for you to create a version for Apple operating systems. Now, you have to develop an iOS application using Swift.

iOS and Android design

Code comparison for Swift and Kotlin, taken from this presentation

Being relatively new programming languages (even for different platforms), Kotlin and Swift have much in common. This similarity will also let you copy significant parts of the created code and reuse it with slight corrections.

However, if your Android application is already Java-based, you may utilise Objective-C, Objective-C++ or Swift to build an iOS one. And J2ObjC is an indispensable tool that will help you translate Java source code into Objective-C and convert Android app to iOS.

J2ObjC is an open-source command-line tool from Google that helps developers utilise non-UI code parts, like data models or application logic in Java and then share them by Android or iOS apps. It doesn’t convert Android binary applications, though, and developers need to have either own or licensed source code for their Android app.

2. OS Versions Matter

iOS and Android design

Percentages of users of different iOS versions. Source

To convert Android app to iOS, you have to know which versions of operating systems your target consumers use. According to the recent Apple’s statistics 65% of users have already moved to iOS 11, 28% use iOS 10 and only 7% are still on earlier versions. Thus, you have to focus solely on two versions of Apple’s platforms and make your app compatible with their requirements.

But mind the fact that iOS 11 is upgraded in comparison to iOS 10 and has more functions you can add. The 10th version, for example, doesn’t support NFC, so don’t rely on Apple Pay functionality. The 11th iOS system update also includes Apple Pay Cash, which is supported neither on previous iOS versions nor on Android.

3. Conversion Also Means Redesign

iOS and Android design

iOS vs Android design patterns. Source

Pay attention to the difference in navigation, design, screen sizes and resolutions: while Android icons and font sizes are measured in pixels, iOS uses points. The ratio of points to pixels is about 0.75. So, make sure your app displays correctly on screens of different sizes. While this tip is applicable both for Android and iOS projects, you might also find that iPhone owners are much more demanding when it comes to the look and feel of the apps they use.

The design also varies. First, it is the object placement: Android works in material design, and Apple has a flat one. Moreover, iOS has strict requirements to the custom icons and doesn’t allow different forms and shapes.

As for navigation, iOS devices have one button or none at all, while Android has three - Home, Back and Multitasking. Consider this fact when developing an interface of your new app, as iOS apps will combine horizontal and vertical elements, while Android applications are vertical in most cases.

How can you speed up the process of converting Android app to iOS?

If you have already decided to enter the new market and cover both platforms - Android and iOS, you have to make it perfect. The competition on the App Store is fierce, and your application has to perform flawlessly and have an intuitive UI/UX.

Come over to our blog and learn more tips on how you can speed up the process and build a first-rate application. Plus, you can always contact us below for practical advice from a team of mobile development experts.

21 May 2018
Olya Bohun / Tech Enthusiast
TALK
to us