Sound knowledgeable about moving your iOS app to Android in around 10 minutes

April 1, 2012 at 11:33 pm

As Android gains ground, iOS may not be enough for some brands. And with limited budgets and development constraints, sometimes you can’t give your app the full “Android Treatment” it should deserve. I’ve put together a mini guide to go over some common ways to get your iOS app over to Android, while keeping it consistent (mostly) with today’s Android patterns.

There are roughly five ways to move from iOS to Android without a full redesign:

  • Menu Only
  • Totally Custom
  • Keep everything the same
  • Move to the top
  • Full Android

I’ve put together a PDF/Presentation that goes over these visually. Go ahead and view or download here.

Menu Only
Where the app basically stays the same, but moves navigation functionally to the Android menu bar.

Totally Custom
Where the design patterns are not common to iOS or Android, and stay the same cross-platform.

Keep everything the same
Specifically break with Android patterns to keep the app the same as the iOS app.

Move to the top
Where the app basically stays the same, but the iOS menu bar is moved to the top of the Android app, while most other options stay within the Android menu bar.

Full Android
Considerations were made to use the Android app patterns to their fullest – sometimes very foreign to a iOS customer.

My experience is that Android can match the iOS experience, and has some interesting enhancements you could use if creating for Android from scratch.

On the downside is the snappiness® that you get from an iOS app that’s hard to replicate on Android (if you’re used to an iOS experience). My experience has been with a series of Android test devices, and my personal Kindle Fire (which is a great secondary iPad ;-) .

The last thing to remember is testing. Android is a much more expensive platform to build for. If you’re building a consumer experience (not a B2B device controlled experience) – then getting your app to look right, act right, and feel right across all devices is nothing more than very difficult.

As Android continues to evolve and grow, I feel like it will slowly come into its own, and if it doesn’t alienate people in the meantime, it will be a force to reckon with in the near future.