September 25, 2018

How to Create an Android App from an iOS App

The Android platform is taking over, or at least accounts for a pretty huge chunk of the mobile user market. In a perfect world, all apps would have cross-platform potential, but this isn’t the reality of app development. Even today’s biggest app development market leaders have shown the definite lag time between the release of an iOS app and the Android version. If you have apps to convert, you can follow a few steps to make it happen.

Converting App Layouts and Buttons

The Google Play app marketplace is very particular about which apps it shows on its featured list. These apps don’t look like they belong on an iPhone. Android icons tend to have square, clean-looking app thumbnails, while Apple likes to cut the corners, so to speak.

Top Android apps follow the same set of navigation rules. Some characteristics worth noting include the look and feel of the close button, a left-aligned title bar and a search function embedded in the title bar itself. Android apps are made for easy use and aren’t designed to re-teach the user how to navigate, which makes for quicker and simplified app access.

Other unique Android variant elements include:

  • Tabs located at the top of the screen
  • Physical navigation buttons
  • Widgets
  • Date/time selectors

Generally, if you’re interested in creating an Android app, you should just avoid using iOS design tools entirely and take design inspiration from the top-ranking Android apps to develop your own designs.

Prepare to Account for Multiple Devices

iOS app developers have one glaring advantage over Android app developers—the device pool is extremely small. Over a given cycle, Apple might release a handful of new iPhones and iPads. Sometimes they roll out new devices, but nowhere near as many devices that run the Android platform.

For instance, Android-powered devices are generally lighter and cheaper, which means they are capable of operating on slower networks. This factor contributes to a need to reduce text size and number of PNG files used to avoid slow-moving apps. On the other hand, iOS apps actually require a PNG splash screen, which is a significant contrast to Google’s requirements.

In conclusion, posting an iOS app to the Android platform takes subtle yet extensive design considerations. While the Android platform continues to increase its sizable lead over the iOS market, bringing in-demand apps to Androids from the iOS app store just makes sense. One day soon, the tables might tilt in favor of Android rollout first, then iOS conversion on a large scale, but we still have plenty of work to do on existing apps in the meantime.

 

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