Businesses like to cast their nets as wide as possible in search of new customers. This type of broad outreach requires designing mobile apps for both iOS and Android phones. Although iPhones are very popular in the U.S. market, if you want to step up and attract global customers, you need to expand your product to the Android platform. Most Android app developers will face this challenge at some point: how to create an Android app from an iPhone app, and make it at least as successful as the primary product.
It’s not surprising that developers tend to concentrate on building up their skills for one platform in particular. Both platforms have their challenges. Spreading yourself too thin in an effort to meet the requirements for both phones can mean that the user experience suffers. But the challenges can be overcome. iPhone apps are great, but limited in terms of market size. Android apps are the biggest market players, and companies often ask the same team of Android app developers to take on both projects at once. With a few tips and tricks to help you along, you’ll be able to make your project a success.
What are the benefits of redesigning an iPhone App into an Android App?
Before converting your iPhone app into an Android app, it’s important to keep in mind
that enlarging the customer base is not the only benefit.
You will also get the chance to add more features, diversify money-making methods with new options for in-app purchasing and advertisements, as well as get a full product overhaul at only a fraction of the cost of starting from scratch. These are the obvious reasons why companies usually don’t overlook the possibility of iPhone app conversion. When a company has a team of iPhone and Android app developers and can save on new projects, it often pays off handsomely in the end.
Hiring a product manager to oversee the process is not a bad idea if you have the budget for it. A manager can help the team understand the similar elements of these otherwise different platforms. Despite the UX/UI design differences in terms of navigation, icons and app architecture, you still need to code with customer requirements in mind. Also, before you start redesigning the product, keep in mind that the business model may need to be tweaked and the store submission process is quite different.
UX and UI design differences between Android and iOS
The platforms have significant differences in terms of design.
You cannot simply copy the elements from an iPhone to an Android phone environment, at least not in a clear-cut way. You must design with the already-set styles in mind. For example, Android apps use a specific icon library, which is different from the one used for iOS.
Android app developers and designers work with a wider color palette, varying in nuances and shades, while iPhone apps are more standardized. Roboto is the preferred Android font, and San Francisco is its iPhone counterpart. The hierarchical typography is not the same either.
Because of the variations in the navigation tools, the user interface looks very different on Android phones. iPhone navigation is concentrated at the bottom; Android phones use more side and top navigation bars.
Don’t forget about the thumb issue. iPhones are generally built around an average-sized thumb. With Android, you have a bit more leeway to accommodate all thumb sizes.
Even if you focus only on these design basics, the user interface on an iPhone will still look different than the one on an Android smartphone. If we factor in button styles (flat on iOS vs. flat/floating on Android), grids and action sheets, as well as dropdown menus, things get even more complex. This guide offers a helpful comparison overview you can use when converting iPhone apps into Android apps.
Sizing and resolution on Android phones also present their own challenges. Designers need to include different Android screen resolutions, which is already significantly more challenging than designing for the unified iPhone layout. iPhone app developers use points, and Android app developers use pixels when measuring screen objects, such as fonts and icons. The pt/px ratio is 0.75. At the same time, clients need some degree of standardization for brand recognition. They don’t want to confuse users with two apps that don’t appear to be from the same company.
Further considerations Android app developers need to make about code and external libraries
It can be challenging to find a team of Android app developers who also know how to code in iOS-friendly languages. However, it may be more efficient and cost-effective than working with two different teams. Programming languages that work for both Android apps and iOS apps are Kotlin and C-languages. Nonetheless, both platforms have widely preferred languages: Swift for iPhone apps and Java for Android apps.
Android app developers should also check for compatibility before using external libraries and tools in the conversion project.
Although challenging, converting iPhone apps for the Android OS platform is far from impossible. After all, people do it every day, as dual-platform apps are the rule rather than the exception. All you need to do to make a great product is to understand the key differences and make the necessary adjustments.