How to Convert iOS App to Android and Is It Needed?

26 July 2021 Writer: Lera Grechanik 1278 views

In spite of the fact that one of the most common questions is related to the platform to start with, we won’t tell anything new here. It’s clear that one should start with iOS and shift to Android later. 

But why iOS? What might be the reason significant enough to form a trend and even a standard? The answer is clear and straightforward - you simply get more money from the App Store. But as soon as it becomes clear that the product is doing well, make sure you have all the resources needed to convert the iOS app to the Android version. 

Of course,  you can have some doubts and thoughts regarding the shift. For example, Android market fragmentation is one of the biggest fears the developers face. But we have put together some concepts, thoughts, and ideas to reassure you that the so-called Android shift is not as difficult and complicated as it seems.

Enter a new market by porting an iOS app to an Android

According to the statistics, iOS dominates the western markets, the US, England, Canada, Australia, and Ireland in particular. Yes, talking about the global trend Android is the dominant here, however, a lot of developers start with iOS, shifting to Android later. The reason here is pretty simple - their target audience is mostly concentrated on the markets, dominated by iOS.

An important thing to notice: the startup location has almost nothing to do with the geographical area of the app market, especially now in 2021. Startups try to target Western markets first regardless of their location. These markets support massive sales, in-app purchases are also more developed there. It means the user's average revenue is more substantial.

But the world is full of other markets, so starting with iOS and going for iOS to android porting is not the only option. It is obvious, yet the only way. Yes, North America and Europe get a lot of attention, but there are markets with huge potential and relatively vacant fields to start with. It technically means that you can start with Android application development services at the very beginning. The regions to target are Brazil, Mexico, India, China, and South Korea, Saudi Arabia where Android is growing pretty fast.

In case you are among those who want to expand the user base, the shift from iOS to Android is the key strategy for you (as well as convert the Android app to iOS). The larger your user base will be, the bigger the monetization potential and mint-be revenue, no matter which device your target audience uses.

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Android Fragmentation Is Not So Scary at All

If you believe that developing for Android is a huge pain in the head, it means the only thing - you are not developing for Android. The market of Android devices is huge, diverse and plentiful, it’s true. The fragmentation issue on its own is tackled by the developers tools, allowing to specify the UI layouts and handle all possible issues elegantly.  Keeping the same codebase, we can have as many layouts as we want because Google was actively supporting layout diversity from the very first day. 

Just for you to have a clearer vision, let us say one simple thing. The current Android SDK version supports about 20 resolutions. Amazing, isn’t it? But in fact we should not consider all 20 while developing - only about ten resolutions are enough simply because they are in active use. Some out of date versions can be ignored as well when it comes to converting an iOS app to android. For example, users of Android 2.x and Ice-Cream Sandwich (version 4.0.3–4.0.4) amount to only about 3 percent of the market. And, to be honest, they are unlikely to pay for an app at all. The version you should consider is KitKat (version 4.4.) used by 36 percent of Android owners, Lollipop (version 5.0–5.1) used by 33 percent of users, and Marshmallow. But percentage  is not the only factor to consider. For example, only the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P are running the latest Marshmallow version, which amounts to 0.7 percent. But these people will be among the ones who would willingly pay for a valuable app 

For some areas and fields, Jelly Bean (version 4.1.- 4.3.) can be the version worth supporting. But the final decision should be taken only after a profound market research, so you can be sure what options will play off.


So, we do hope that now you see in your own eyes that fragmentation is not as bad as it is considered. But there’s another exciting thing to consider - we can spend just as much time converting Objective-C to Android code.

The Cost of Android App Development Can Be Reduced

What do you think, is the difference between the cost of developing an Android app and an iOS app, huge? The answer is - no, it’s not. And it's another surprising fact worth knowing. Thanks to the data provided by Google, you can have a look at deciding which versions and devices should be the ones to focus on. Of course, if you support a few versions, the development time will be relatively short and vice versa. Time spent on development has a direct correlation with final cost. So fever versions - less time - less money. 

To figure out what devices your target audience uses is very simple - one should analyze the traffic coming from the app’s landing page. When you have all the data in hand, the complexity of the development process and the amount of versions and devices to be considered become not so pressing. 

Sometimes the stakeholders have fear, related to the amount of resources to be tested. But when you are working with Celadon, this fear should not bother you at all. We possess all the latest and most popular Android devices in-house, so our clients can expect constant support and bug fixes (if any).  

Android has another advantage which is underestimated. And this advantage is the speed of getting an app on the Google Play Store. Approval terms are milder and easier to score in comparison with App Store. It means that the releases will be delivered with minimum delay.

If you have published your app in the App Store at least once, you get what we mean. Two or three weeks in the case of iOS seems to be too much in comparison with 3-4 days for Android, however you can do updates daily, and they will be delivered to the users.

We do hope that the idea of converting iOS applications to Android does not seem so scary and terrifying. To nail it, let us provide you with some additional  arguments in favor of Android.

You Can Make Money on Google Play

The revenue Apple’s App Store can potentially bring is still two times bigger in comparison with the revenue of the Google Play Store. Numbers are numbers and we can’t dispute them. At the same time, Android is becoming a more popular.

But on the other hand, the potential for revenue is beginning to shift in favor of Android as the operating system gets more popular around the world and the quality of Android devices and the Android OS improves year over year.

But until the average quality of Android devices improves, we can actually use the flaws of Android to our own advantage. There are some mobile app features that are rather hard to implement on Android. For example, if you want to port your video editing app to Android, you will have to deal with a lot more complexities than on iOS. This is because the cameras on many Android devices lack the capabilities required for advanced video recording. Also, there aren’t many Android libraries that support cool video editing features.

While you might spend more money developing these features for Android, your solution will also be more novel. Because there is little competition on the video editing app market on Google Play, you can put a price tag on your app. Google now allows you to create promotions, which means you can give users a paid app or in-app product for free with a promo code. This is a great way to attract more people to the unique functionality that your app offers. You can read more about implementing video functionality on Android here.

With or without editing features, video functionality is a great source of advertising revenue. According to the latest report by Opera Mediaworks, video-ad impression share has increased sixfold in just one year. Interestingly enough, mobile users in the U.S. view more video ads than mobile users in any other country.

Another positive trend noted by Opera Mediaworks is that in the first quarter of 2015 Android generated 45.8 percent of ad revenue compared with 45.4 percent for iOS. This was the first time Google outperformed Apple in advertising revenue share. You should keep in mind that most reports don’t include Chinese Android app stores. Google Play is banned from the Chinese market, but people still download Android apps from other stores. Recent rumor has it that a Google Play Store that complies with Chinese censorship rules will launch in China after the Chinese New Year in February.

Entering Chinese market is a very significant reason why to convert iOS app to Android.

Android Offers Some Specific Features iOS doesn’t

When you convert iOS to Android app, you should pay close attention to unique possibilities of the Android platform as compared to iOS. There are some Android-specific features that you can use to better engage your users. After all, to port iOS app to Android doesn’t only mean to convert iPhone app to Android. What it means is creating a great experience for users of the Android platform.

Android has been allowing users to put widgets on their home screens for years. A widget offers a great opportunity for user retention. It lets users quickly access the app, luring them with useful information. A news app, for example, can display the headlines of new articles from a category a user subscribes to, or a task-management app can have a widget that displays tasks due today. If the information that comes with a widget is valuable enough, you can even sell your widget among other in-app purchases. In this case, the idea to convert an app from iOS to android comes with added monetization opportunities.

But if you think that iOS apps do not have such flaws, you are not quite right. There’s a significant difference, though. Let’s take push notifications. They do not light up the screen, nor are they displayed on the locked screen. It makes them more secure because  all the world around does not know what the app is about to say to you. However, Android has a bigger character limit for push notification. 

The “Back” button allows Android users to navigate through the apps, menus or pages history. For business, it means, in particular, that the user can easily return to the purchases in case he had left a checkout page open. iOS's users know: as soon as the back button is tapped, the app is closed. 

But the key focus should be on the intent. In simple words, an intent is a dialog asking users what app they would like to use to complete the intended action. Also, they can provide the app with information whether they want it to handle all similar requests the same way in the future. The most common example is when a reading app asks a user if he wants to use the same app to open the files of the same type. Intents know everything - what apps are installed and what is going on the device. They can be easily implemented. One should just register intent filters, so the OS could figure out what the apps should do with this or that kinds of data.

Answer to How to Convert iOS App to Android

Well, after getting to know all the benefits of Android market and the reasons why it’s a good idea to convert an iOS app to android, a question “how to convert iOS app into android” naturally comes up. 

  • Hire a new team or assign employed developers team who will convert iOS code to android 
  • Draw up a roadmap ofhow to port iOS app to Android in your particular case and think over custom conversion tools to be applied
  • Set the requirement for code porting 
  • Think over 
  • Conduct your MBaaS arrangement review
  • Pick the Android IDE
  • Select a programming language that will work the best with your project
  • Go for libraries to advance the coding of an Android apk
  • Find a use of plugins to swift apps more efficiently  
  • Create UI in Android Studio with taking into account theinterface differences
  • Coding to convert iOS app to Android app

Users Can Set Your App as Default

One of the biggest pros of Android is its customizability. Perhaps, a user likes an app and finds it convenient and user-friendly. Thus, such an app can be set as a default. Messaging apps are the best example. 

Smartwatches are another game changer now. They are developed for Android, they are affordable, users like them and use them on a daily basis. But now they work pretty well with both iOS and Android. The battery capability is bigger, and there are more possibilities for customization as well.


To sum up, we can put it simply - Android is a good platform to put an app to. We can’t give any strong recommendations, it is still up to you which platform to start as the first one. But we would still suggest following the steps of other successful startups and launching your app on iOS first. When you get some substantial success with it, think about the shift to Android.

We would be glad to help you port your app from iOS to Android so the success will be doubled!

Areas of responsibility - brand and growth marketing. Strongly believes that software development is an art and marketing is not just about sales but about sharing your passion. Her educational background in the field of business and marketing allows her to create expert content and help others to grow and expand knowledge.

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F.A.Q.

01.
How can I convert iOS app to android apk?
Lena
Project Manager

The first and the most significant reason for conversion is Android has a larger coverage across the globe. Yes, the Apple users tend to buy more, but the developing an Android clone will multiple user inflow and increase purchasing. Yet, Android development is cheaper and broader in terms of features. These are a few reasons why porting is a lucrative idea.

02.
How much does it cost to port an iOS app to an Android app?
Nik
Head of Sales

The costs are calculated for a particular project, as the price may greatly vary. The cost variety pivots on the app complexity, features set, the programming language to be used, and several other factors. If you’d like to get informed on a price for converting services, reach out to us. We’ll conduct estimation for your case.

03.
How can I convert iOS app to android apk?
Alex
CEO

There’s no a converter that would do this job yet. In any case, you’ll have to write a new code. We recommend trusting the conversion to professionals. Celadon is a company that focused on end-to-end software development. Converting apps is one of the areas of our large expertise. Whether you have an iOS app built by Celadon or other developer, we’ll flawlessly shift it to Android. All you have to do is contact us.

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