Complete Step-By-Step Guide: How To Convert Android To iOS App

By Chandrapal Singh | July 27, 2021
how to convert android app to ios app

Let the two horizons meet at a point – serve your Android users with iOS app

If you are browsing “how to convert an Android app to iOS?” on the internet, it means your app startup business is experiencing growth. Am I right? If so, through this post, you will know different ways and tools to convert your iOS app to Android. 

A few years back, starting a mobile app development project with one platform was a good strategy to undergo regarding time and fiscal resources. But now, developing mobile apps on both Android and iOS platforms is the best idea to ensure your product reaches more target audiences. Even many established businesses also scaled gradually. For example:

  • Instagram launched iOS in 2010 and converted the app to Android only 4 years later.
  • A similar story happened with Airbnb. It released the iOS version and launched the Android one within 14 months. 

So, porting your android app to iOS makes perfect sense if you want to stay ahead of your competitors. According to Statista, “iPhone users spend more money on apps than Android users”. But an Android application to iOS conversion is not as simple as an Android APK to iOS conversion. So, how to convert an Android app to iOS? This article lets you know the simple steps to help you maximize the business potential of your existing android app. 

Table of Contents

1. 4 brilliant steps: how to convert android to iOS app

2. Challenges of converting android to iOS app

3. Two approaches: how to convert android to iOS app

4. Why should you port Android to iOS App for your business growth?

5. What is the cost to convert android to an iOS app

6. How can Appventurez help in porting Android apps to iOS?

7. Frequently Asked Questions:

4 Brilliant Steps: How To Convert Android To iOS App

  • Step # 1 – Analysis of the app requirements and functionality
  • Step #2 – Modify design for app porting
  • Step #3 – Customize Coding and mobile app architecture best practices
  • Step #4 – Well thought-out App Testing and Launch
  • BONUS TIP: Android App to iOS Conversion Tip

Let’s know about all of these steps in detail:

Step # 1 – Analysis of the app requirements & functionality

As many components shouldn’t slip from the attention of anyone, an up-to-mark plan is essential to port an Android app to iOS successfully. 

First of all, the mobile app development company together with the client garners and reviews all materials of existing apps. These materials are functional specifications, app design, and source code. It will help to align the application’s functionality and business logic. Some technical elements may need to be modified. These components could be push notifications, content adjustments and 3D Touch use on iOS. 

Also Read: How Push Notifications Value Increases With Intensity

The app conversion process breaks down the project alteration in two perspectives: Business and Technical. So, the most efficient way is to assign two experts like Business Analysts and Software Developers to perform the gap analysis. This consideration allows for preparing the work scope to increase the new app’s potential and performance.

Here are some important tech points to consider:

  • Look for app optimization and potential improvement possibilities
  • Review business logic and apply it to the new project

Here is a checklist of potential deliverables to port an app:

  • Market Analysis (optional)
  • Work Breakdown Structure is used to organize all project`s elements
  • Functional Specification 
  • Code Review
  • Design Review

Step #2 – Modify design for app porting

The user interface and layout should be changed to code an application from scratch. A common mistake is to copy the existing UI instead of adjusting it as essential. Such missteps could lead to mobile app development strategies app look, feel, or navigation. 

Here are some factors you should consider when adjusting the design for your app conversion. 

#1 – Material vs Flat Design Patterns

Google and Apple have different design patterns. So, if you want to convert an Android app to iOS, keep the flat design patterns as the priority. 

#2 – UI Design

There are top mobile app UI design trends available in the market. Android and iOS both have many different User Interface elements. So, let’s compare all these UI differences below in the infographic image:

#3 – Right Fonts for App Porting

The right font is one of the most important factors you need to consider when thinking of how to convert an Android app to iOS. Here are native fonts for each platform:

  • San Francisco Font –  iOS platform
  • Roboto Font – Android platform

When you convert an Android app to iOS, there is a chance to use custom fonts if it is relevant. Airbnb apps are a great example of this. 

#4 – UI Mirroring (for RTL languages)

The right language is essential to take into account especially if you convert an Android app to iOS. Two types of languages – LTR (Left-to-right) and RTL (Right-to-left) – are directions in which content is displayed. 

android and ios ui differences

Android has native built-in support for RTL interface, beginning from Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. So, if your app has native control on a large scale, many things will work out of the box. Whereas, iOS has great support for right-to-left language which makes it more simple for flipped UI/UX design. It means standard UI kit control automatically flips in an RTL context. To get custom user interface elements, iOS and android app developers need some extra development work.

Design Segmentation Before converting App

Before starting the development process, the app design needs to be segmented into assets. In case, you need to convert an Android app to iOS, the app service design should be sliced in 1x *.pdf. Developers can easily resize it to 2x or 3x if necessary as it is a vector format.

Step #3 – Customize Coding & Architecture Elements

As mentioned, porting an Android app to iOS means writing codes from scratch. Besides programming languages, the app uses some libraries and third-party integrations. So, it is vital to check the platform compatibility your iOS or Android app is ported to with those elements. Otherwise, some alternative tools should be replaced to fit functionality. 

Let’s take a look at the table for tech stack outlining the elements necessary after deciding the Android app to iOS conversion.

  • Payment Systems: Braintree, Paypal
  • Analytics: Flurry, Google Analytics, Fabric, Crashlytics, Mixpanel
  • Social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Instagram
  • Postal service: EasyPost, FedEx,etc.

Here is a list of potential pitfalls that you should avoid. These could be especially challenging when you port an Android app to iOS. 

  • Check the development works necessary in the case of a multi-language app
  • Check for the app localization functionality
  • Check the work with out-of-the-box solutions (e.g. specific animation)
  • Check functionality for push notifications or in-app purchases. 
  • Create Google or Apple account beforehand

“How to convert an Android app to iOS?” is the most popular question among developers and mobile app development companies. In the conversion process, analyzing the existing app’s code is always helpful, especially if your application is implemented on some algorithms. 

Step #4 – Well thought-out App Testing & Launch

Proper software testing lets you develop a great working product. Similarly, both app coding and designing – when converting an Android application to an iOS application – includes a quality assurance. It usually takes around 30% of the total development time. The QA engineers test apps in terms of code functionality, design interface and navigation.

Here is a list of possible tests conducted during the QA:

  • Functional testing
  • Security and Access
  • Control testing
  • Performance and Load testing
  • Usability testing
  • Validation testing
  • User acceptance

Worth noting that to launch the app to the marketplace correctly, you should use common tools, software and devices. They will help you test the specific platform to meet its guidelines. In general, the App Store of Apple has harsh rules when releasing the mobile application. 

Bonus Tip: iOS App to Android Conversion Tip

Here are a list of main Android design features:

  • Three main options: “Home”, “Back” and “Multitasking”
  • Material design (feature-rich and responsive)
  • High device variety with different OS versions

Dealing With Varieties

When converting the Android app to iOS, you have to decide which operating system versions will be supported. Here, you should think about your target audience. But, usually, you can go for 4 or 5 most used OS versions as a trick. 

Google Play Submission

Google Play is more developer-friendly than the App Store due to its fewer laws and simpler submission rules. You still need to sign up for a developer account. But, Google focuses more on the guidelines than the actual regulations. There is still the moderation process and pre-release review, but the necessities aren’t as strict as on the App Store. In Google Play, the conversion process usually takes less time. 

As you know “How to convert an Android app to iOS and Vice Versa?” But you also should be aware of the challenges that many developers face during the porting process.

Top Challenges You Can Face When Porting An Android App To iOS

App conversion (whether Android to iOS or iOS to Android) is not as simple as it seems. There are several challenges to overcome if you want to thrive in your business in today’s competitive digital era. Both operating systems have a different set of requirements that you need to adhere to if you want to transform apps from one platform to another successfully. 

Here are the top five challenges you should expect when converting your Android app to iOS:

Challenge #1 – Variations of OS Versions

Both operating systems (Android and iOS) are periodically updated with some advancements and improvements. Hence, each successful application project should support new OS versions. Simultaneously, not every customer chooses to change their mobile device. So, your app should be adaptable to the most popular OS versions. According to statistics, there are 3 dominant OS versions for Android; 6.0 Marshmallow, 7.0 Nougat, and 5.1 Lollipop. 

fragmentation of os versions

The situation is easier if you transform your Android app to iOS. In general, Apple users are more prone to difficulty with their devices and thus the main tends to adopt the latest operating system versions. Many recognized Apple smartphones are compatible with iOS 10 and 92% of users. 

Challenge #2 – Screen Size & Resolution

Before starting the development process, it’s crucial to take into account the devices and their screen sizes. This is because displaying your app on the screen should be correct. Like OS versions, Android has more than 20 screens available while Apple devices have only 4-5 core screens. Fortunately, you don’t have to make adjustments for each screen size. The Android system supports different screen resolutions which are enough to cover the main 5-7 sizes. 

different device sizes of android and ios

Challenge #3 – Device Buttons & Navigation

Another important feature that draws your attention to transforming Android apps to iOS is device buttons. These buttons have an impact on user behavior when app interaction. Android users use soft keys to go back to a previous screen. Whereas iPhone users apply back buttons to go back. 

As mentioned above, the last generation of Apple devices and Android are without buttons. It influences the process of user interaction with a device. This factor affects the app’s interface design, hence Android uses widely vertical elements and iOS consists of horizontal and vertical. In addition, the taps situated in the application shouldn’t duplicate the functionality of the device’s buttons. 

Challenge #4 – Unique Aspects of Programming Language

There is a common mistake that converts an Android app to iOS, one needs to port the code. Just like human languages, top programming languages also have their syntax, semantics, rules and algorithms. These languages are different in both operating systems such as Android and iOS. 

Swift and Objective-C, programming languages used in custom mobile app development for Apple products. You can also read the guide to migrate objective C projects to swift.

While it may seem that the feature on one platform works the same way, in reality, the situation may be quite the opposite. It means, once you have decided to convert the existing Android app to iOS, the same application functionality can be time-consuming on other platforms. Any professional app developer is aware of this fact and optimizes the app functionality for app operation and performance on a new platform. 

With the challenges covered, let’s move to the main topic, how to convert the Android app to iOS? For that, here are two approaches you need to port mobile applications.

Two Approaches: How To Convert Android App To iOS

APPROACH #1: Use The MechDome Android to iOS Converter

For converting an Android app to iOS, you need a reliable iOS application development solution. But what if you don’t have experienced developers? MechDome is here for you!

What is MechDome?

MechDome is a cross-platform Android runtime that lets existing Android applications operate on iPhone and iPad. If you want to deploy a native app to all platforms without engineering costs, MechDome is the right tool to use!

MechDome Product Features

MechDome offers the following product features:

  • MechDome supports Android AOSP API level 22.
  • There is no virtualization involved here.
  • Security isn‘t compromised. 
  • It ensures integration with iOS without any code change. For example push notifications increase local iOS notifications. 
  • You can design UI using tools like Android Studio by using Quartz Composer, Core Animation and other Android tools for better UX performance. There are many UX techniques to follow when it comes to enhancing user experience.

Benefits of MechDome

Here are many benefits of using the MechDome approach:

  • You can save iOS application development time 
  • Your team needs to maintain one codebase only (For Android)
  • It is easy to upgrade to a new iOS version launch
  • You can reuse your complete Android app code

How does MechDome work?

Some steps to follow:

  • Upload your compiled Android APK to MechDome in a compatible file format
  • Choose whether you create an iOS app for a simulator or a real device
  • It will then convert your Android app to an iOS quickly
  • Finally, you can now download or install your new iOS app

Here are some considerations you need to keep in mind when using MechDome:

Considerations for Using MechDome

You can use the standard Android Java APIs, 3rd party Android libraries list and Java libraries. Besides this, Java Virtual Machine (JVM) based programming languages such as Kotlin is the best option.

The standard top iOS 13 features and hardware support is available in the market. You can use the camera, sensors, and geographical location system. You can use AirDrop to share data and open URLs with the Safari browser. In brief, you don’t need to write any specialized iOS code for the conversion process.

MechDome compiles the Android app directly into native iOS code. The converted code is optimized. The company provides a free trial, you can sign-up for it on their “Create Account” webpage.

MechDemo Product Documentation

MechDome doesn’t support specific Android packages and features. For example, there are no similar functionalities for widgets, root access and wallpapers. 

MechDome has a few optional features such as AdMob and supports banner ads and Native Ads Express. Similarly, it supports some of the Google Firebase APIs like Realtime Database and Authentication. 

MechDemo Pricing

MechDemo offers packages with different prices depending on what service you want. For example:

  • Basic plan: you can port 3 Android apps to iOS in a month. 
  • Expensive plan: you can convert more per month. 
  • Premium-priced plan: you can convert more features such as maps and Google places. Plus, it provides a higher level of technical support which makes it popular among newbie developers. 

Approach #2 – Use J2OBJC For Code Porting

This approach uses the “J2ObjC” tool for code conversion. It is an open-source command-line tool – Created by Google – that translates Java source code to Objective-C. To use this approach for your project, you need a skilled iOS developer. The reason behind this is that it is a more complicated approach than using the MechDome converter. So, it requires extensive new normal for software development experience. 

What is J2ObjC?

The tool lets you keep Java source code within an iOS app. Your Android app has non-UI codes such as application logic and data model.  J2ObjC supports Java language and run-time aspects.

Requirements for using J2ObjC

Here are some requirements to follow:

  • They need JDK 1.8 or higher
  • Mac laptop
  • Mac OS X 10.11 or higher
  • Xcode 7 or higher

J2ObjC Installation & Source Code

You can download and install J2ObjC following instructions in the Google/J2ObjC GitHub repository. They can also view the source on the Google/J2ObjC GitHub webpage. 

J2ObjC Pricing:

With this approach, you build a significant part of the app from scratch as J2ObjC doesn’t aid with UI coding. For a medium complicated app, you need a dedicated team of 1 user interface designer, 2 or more iOS developers, 1 tester and a project manager with development experience. Worth noting: Your geographical location will heavily impact your labor costs. 

Hopefully, you have now understood how to convert an Android app to an iOS. But if you are a novice in this field, you should be aware of the reasons for choosing app conversions.

contact us if you want help in porting your android app to ios

Why Android To iOS App Conversion Perfect For Business?

Here are some reasons how iOS app benefits business to grow:

#1 – Garner more profits

The profits usually depend on the monetization method you choose. But, it’s only logical that two applications generate more profit than one. On the iOS platform, the users can spend more which means more profit. Whereas on the Android platform, the number of downloads is exceptionally high. It means you can earn through in-app advertising. 

#2 – Competitive benefit

Many competitors may favor a certain platform. Developing an app for both platforms opens up undetermined areas for you giving you an early and a competitive edge by getting the majority of this market. 

#3 – Strong market or demand

When converting an Android app to iOS, the first thing you must consider is the market. If more than 90% of your audience is one of the platforms, there is no logic in investing money and resources. So, the point is that if you have a strong market or demand for your app, only then should you think about doing it. 

#4 – New opportunities for user acquisition

Converting your app on another platform means expanding the opportunities for getting more users effectively. The Android platform is considered the most popular OS and iOS is more dominant in some markets. That’s why a presence on both platforms gives you sufficient opportunities for new user acquisition. 

The app conversion gives any business owner the next benefits:

  • Opportunities to enhance your market share while acquiring new users
  • Possibility to add new app features
  • Chance to increase Return on Investment (ROI)
  • Ability to arrange the process with software developer quicker

Read more: iPhone vs Android: Startups First Choice

How Much Does It Cost To Port An Android App To iOS?

The process of converting an Android application to iOS is very similar to developing a separate iOS app. The process contains the adaptation of features and design to meet Android platform specifications, creating a corresponding backend and applying monetization models. 

What’s more, it is vital to take into account the communication time and team meetings. These aspects are essential to port your Android application to iOS. App converting services are often customized. The price to port an Android app to iOS is determined through mentioned aspects. 

Grow Your Business With A Reliable Android App To iOS Conversion

If you are planning to convert your android application, Planning for business and technical aspects is essential. This process takes up practically as much time as creating an app from scratch. However, Apple Pie, the no-code platform has just the right solution for you. With the aid of different no-code apps and tools, you can create your Android and iOS apps without any coding. If you are still unsure about how to convert an Android app to iOS, get in touch with Appventurez!

How Can Appventurez Help In Android App To iOS Conversion?

Appventurez excels in porting Android apps to iOS. We have a dedicated team of developers who use the best tools to offer the best designs and iOS development tools. Our experts follow a simple and powerful conversion method to serve our clients with the best. 

Experienced developers work on the process of converting Android apps to iOS. After analyzing the features and functionalities of your app, our experts finalize the elements needed in the iOS app. If you are still unsure why you should choose Appventurez for Android to iOS app conversion, here are some convincing reasons:

  • We have expertise in the deep analysis of the existing Android app.
  • Our expert developers have experience in delivering innovative apps within rapid development cycles.
  • Seamless and intuitive navigation flow like the porting Android App.
  • Agile methodology promises a flawless App.

Read More: Why Choose Agile App Development Method


connect us if you want to move your android app to ios

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q.1- What is a good Android emulator?

Bluestacks is a good Android emulator. After downloading and installing it, you can download APKs and run them via your PC. 

Q.2- Can you convert your Android app to iOS using PhoneGap?

With PhoneGap, you can create all platform apps with the same package. If you think that you will need a certificate to build iOS, you are wrong! The fact is that the same package you use for Android can use for iOS as well. 

Q.3- How long does it take?

The process of Android app to iOS conversion is similar to building a separate iOS application. So, don’t expect it to be covered within one week. This process includes the conversion of features and design to meet Android platform specifics and applying monetization models.

Chandrapal Singh

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