With Android dominating the current mobile market, it’s no surprise that the vast majority of smartphone users worldwide prefer Android, but iOS’ large user base can still make it tempting. For a variety of reasons, many Android-based software developers consider switching to the iOS platform at a timely date. Do you need help converting your Android app to iOS and what are the most important reasons? Learn more.
App conversion from Android to iOS – reasons to consider
Almost every reason to port an Android application to iOS comes down to a chance to grow in the scope of global mobile software markets into uncharted, profitable horizons.
Customer Base Expansion and Market Development
The “flip side” of Apple’s market might be totally out of reach. It makes sense to cover both of these essential market segments even if you are exclusively focused on Android? We will gain new users and market shares as we explore new market horizons. In spite of Android’s large market share in the world, Apple’s devices are still the most popular in the US, Canada, and Oceania, covering 54% of the market. According to some estimates, iOS market share can range from 20-40% in other parts of the world;
As a result, you cannot ignore the opportunity to start operating in such communities as soon as you convert an Android app to iOS if you wish to successfully expand over them in the best-case scenario.
Taking advantage of new software capabilities
Adding iOS functionality to your Android app allows you to extend it in line with the capabilities provided by Apple in the process. Because the process of converting an Android app to iOS is essentially reworking the app from scratch, you have the chance to add or remove any features you wish. Analyze the results you get with a completely overhauled product and replicate them on Android.
The New Market Environment: Boosting Profits
Apple’s iOS software has users who are much more likely to spend than its Android counterparts despite covering a smaller part of the global market. In addition to that, developing two apps instead of one for the most important mobile platforms could help you earn more money. With all the benefits the unexplored market segments bring, you ultimately double your marketing opportunities.
Building a brand ecosystem exclusive to your business
A unique, exclusive market and user ecosystem has been created by Apple, which Android lacks. Its main advantage is that it can be used by users from a variety of demographics and segments. Apple iOS users are a special breed and must be treated as such. The long-term benefits of developing a focused approach are significant. A port of an Android app to iOS is just a first step to creating a comprehensive product that runs across the entire Apple product line, since MacBooks and iPads will be transitioning to the Apple M1 chip soon.
How to Port an Android App to iOS: 3 Things to Consider
In order to ensure a smooth, error-free process of porting Android to iOS, there are several preliminary steps that should be taken in advance.
Select a programming language
Because of Kotlin’s backward compatibility with Java, it is Google’s recommended language for the smoothest, simplest, and fastest reworking of Android elements. To finalize your iOS-converted app, you must also work with Swift, an Apple-developed programmer’s language. Although Objective-C and Objective-C++ are also suitable for
, their likelihood of being used is minimal.
Kotlin’s multiplatform programming capabilities are another efficient way to go. For the creation of assets for a new app, you will need a Mac with macOS installed. Kotlin offers quite a lot of flexibility in terms of porting Android apps to iOS, which makes it a viable option. Ultimately, technology choice is highly influenced by end-product requirements.
Preparation for a redesign project
Even though certain elements can be reused or only slightly reworked, many minor and major aspects of the design must be revised, including all the icons, buttons, fonts, ratios, etc. We’ll dive into more detail about this further in the article, but you should first consider the differences between Material design and Flat design.
Bring the OS versions into line
Apple iPhones use one iOS operating system, which iteratively updates with each new iPhone, unlike Android devices, which have multiple operating systems. In addition, all devices that are compatible with a new version are simultaneously updated. To address the desired audience segment, it would be best to pick the last stable version of iOS to transit to. The latest version of iOS 14 is already used by 75% of iPhone owners, according to Statista.
Porting an Android app to iOS
Analysis of Business and Technical Requirements – Step 1
An in-depth analysis of the app’s business logic, compatibility details with the iOS platform and third-party modules and libraries involved by the Android app, and optimizing and expanding the app are all necessary. Android and iOS applications share a common backend, which means the code performing business logic remains the same between the two platforms.
It should all be organized according to the iOS platform’s nuances. It is best to have experienced software specialists by your side to help you collect all the necessary information. At this point, you will have to determine:
- Design specifics for apps
- Logic structure for business
- Code nuances
In this case, you need to evaluate the whole project from both a technical and a business perspective. Software architects and business analysts can provide the proper elements to carry out essential functions in both areas.
Here, there is also a thorough market analysis, a project mind-map, review of the code and design, organization of the workflow, and functional specifications.
Step #2 Conduct a Design Overhaul
In order to comply with Flat Design guidelines, many essential design elements of the existing Android application will have to be revised and changed. Among the important features are the Android-native UI mirroring and the prior design segmentation. A separate patch should be created for the application porting process.
When it comes to UI mirroring, which assists with proper display of right-to-left and left-to-right languages, it is important to know that less common RTL interfaces are default and automated in systems since Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and iOS 9, respectively. The automatic text flipping for custom elements will have to be implemented by you.
A Flat Design-driven overhaul will primarily involve moving objects and making visuals look more 3D-like. Also essential is the adjustment of font types, with Android using Roboto for its basic system font and iOS using San Francisco for its.
Step #3 — Optimize the Software Architecture Throughout the Underlying Code
You will need to almost completely recode most of the software because the Android app code cannot be simply recompiled to fit the iOS architecture. All the compatibilities must be kept in line and synchronized with the new platform requirements at every step of the process. Software engineers and designers are primarily responsible for this part of the process. It is possible to convert Android code (Java, Kotlin) to iOS (Swift) with specific software. Automatization solutions produce, however, code of a poor quality and require iOS developers to thoroughly revise and optimize it.
- You will need to integrate the following third-party components into your solution:
- It is best to use multiple payment gateways, such as Stripe and PayPal;
- The ability to integrate social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.)
- Modules for data analysis (including Google Analytics, Mixpanel, and others);
- Integration of order delivery services.
As part of the code porting routine, all assets are revised and implemented step by step, making sure that the workflow is flexible enough to accommodate all the essential project phases and any unexpected factors that may occur.
Step 4 – Testing and Quality Assurance
You must thoroughly test all the functional UI/UX features and other operational capabilities of a converted Android app during the final stages after it has been converted to iOS. Additional Quality Assurance efforts must be made to guarantee the app’s quality when used in the field.
In the long run, you should include the following in your testing and QA efforts:
- Tests of performance
- Tests that are functional
- User experience/user interface testing
- Performing security tests
- Testing unit by unit
- To organize the most thorough testing process, it is well-tested to combine manual and automated testing techniques.
Step #5 — Updates and maintenance
After the Android to iOS app conversion has been completed, the final product must, of course, be properly maintained in its specific operation area. The purpose of these updates is to fix errors and flaws detected only during software operation, as well as to maintain timely and subsequent product updates.
Can Android apps be ported to iOS?
Various processes and technical/business details contribute to the overall cost range of the process. However, the final price is about the same as building a custom app from scratch. In the same way as building a new software architecture, all the design and code overhaul procedures must be carried out by full-time designers and developers.
Ultimately, the cost of porting from Android to iOS depends on:
- The complexity of the architecture to be redesigned and the number of assets involved
- Design specifics and integrations with third-parties
- A preferred software vendor’s location and rates
- The extent to which new features will be added
- Project management, support, and maintenance hassles
- Without knowing some underlying project specifics, it is difficult to give even an approximate estimate of pricing.
- Depending on the underlying nuances of your app to be converted, our experts can calculate and provide a detailed estimate for free.
- Count on us as your trusted partner
Our seasoned software development and design services team understands the major market trends and has an in-depth understanding of the software conversion process. Over 2,000 professional software engineers and 3,000+ projects under our belt provide over 27 years of experience and expertise in the market. We provide high-performing, agile mobile app development teams.
Specialized services give you access to the latest, trendiest technologies and approaches, in addition to mature workflows and passionate experts. Our end product areas and industries range from eCommerce, telecommunications, and manufacturing to healthcare, biopharmaceuticals, and insurance.
Whatever your project’s purpose and complexity, we will try to offer you the most cost-effective conversion to iOS using the latest technologies.
Our case studies, in our opinion, should speak for themselves.
An App for Healthcare
Ultimately, HIPAA requirements were met by overhauling the application. We optimized existing code, revised business rules to improve UX, and complied with all HIPAA requirements.
More than 14,000 new users were gained across 7 hospitals with the implementation of the patient retention management app.
Platform for managing properties
Another utterly relevant at all times sector is real estate, where entrepreneurs and companies are constantly looking for and creating new, more convenient ways to manage and boost realty business profits. We built a customized mobile property management solution for landlords with exactly this purpose in mind. A high-performance, stable, convenient real estate management application was achieved using React Native and Golang.
Using a fully custom platform, a six-fold team of specialists developed real estate-specific modules that ultimately make landlords’ lives easier.
Additionally, a chatting system, voting capabilities, the integration of calendars and events, residential expense planning dashboards, electronic signatures, parking management, and various automated features were added.
Converting an Android app to an iOS app requires a complete overhaul, improvement, and optimization process to gain access to previously untapped territories. The long-term benefits, however, make it worthwhile to take on this somewhat complex task as you get to acquire a completely new segment of paying users today.