How to Port Your App to Another Platform

Developing an application often begins with a choice of a platform to start with. When the app is up and running, it is time to reach new heights and get thousands of new users from another market. Sounds tempting, but first, let’s get to know what it actually means “to port an application”.

Porting an application to another platform refers to changing software programming. The main goal here is to allow the application to run on a different operating system (OS), for example, you can port Android app to iOS or vice versa.

To help our customers and readers explore new markets and enjoy benefits of a new platform, we decided to explain how to port an app.

Porting iOS app to Android or any other type of porting is a challenging and time-consuming process but if done right it ensures smooth application performance. Let’s review the following transferring stages.

1. Take into account all the operating systems differences when you are porting apps to another platform

Porting doesn’t mean simply translating the code to a different operating system. In most cases, you have to create everything from scratch because each platform has its own peculiarities that need to be taken into account.

Hardware

iPhones and iPads produced by Apple might vary in hardware configurations. Application developers need to bear in mind a range of differences in configurational items, for example, screen resolution, memory, etc.

Access

iOS and Android have different access to the sourсe code. While Apple belongs to the closed-source type, Android has an open-source. But it doesn’t mean that you can be completely free while implementing your ideas using Android OS. As an example, Slow Motion effect can’t be applied because the hardware support for video recording at frame rates is absent on this operational system. In the same time, Apple’s restrictedness doesn’t really mean a complete limitation of developers’ freedom.

Performance

Time-sensitive parts of the application do have importance. For example, Objective-C is faster than Java. Such peculiarities influence design or capability. If you want to prevent rubbish collection on Java you need to use a native for this OS code.

Customization

iOS and Android have different access to the sourсe codes. While Apple belongs to the closed-source type, Android has an open-source. But it doesn’t mean that you can be completely free while implementing your ideas using Android OS. As an example, Slow Motion effect can’t be applied because the hardware support for video recording at frame rates is absent on this operational system. In the same time, Apple’s restrictedness doesn’t really mean a complete limitation of developers’ freedom.

Data

Sometimes you have to take into account data variability. For instance, iOS data size is bigger that Java. It means you can’t open images full size, and your app may be impacted by that restriction. Also the design will have to be adapted because of data differences.

Other possibilities

It may turn out that some things which are impossible for iOS are available on Android. All Bluetooth LE (iBeacon) can bee seen on Android but is not applicable for iOS. Such opportunities may cause you to change something in your application to make it better.

2. Discover how to port an app preserving or changing its design

Probably, this is the most challenging step in porting Apple apps to Android or any other OS to this or that operating system. It involves work with screen dimensions, resolution and other elements which will make your app attractive for customs. There are three design adaptation types:

  • platform-oriented;
  • brand-oriented;
  • mixed.

Each type has its own approaches and methods applicable to a particular case.

Firstly, you analyze your app and then choose which type is better for your particular case. For example, social networks with a huge functionality will be easier to re-design using a platform-oriented method. Meaning, while porting a design you bear in mind a particular platform and don’t go into brand details.

When you port iPhone apps to iPad, you pay attention to the size of the screen (how data and graphics will look on a larger or smaller display), horizontal and vertical aspects ratios and other issues.

Mixed type of adaptation (a most complicated one) is the best when you port iOS to Android or vice versa. Adaptation to the platform peculiarities together with supporting the values of the brand will meet your expectations.

NB: Don’t forget to think about your target group while porting iOS app to Android.

Making your application adaptable to a new platform and to those which already exist is a crucial step. You may support the last version of an app but it will be great if you pay attention to those which are the trendiest in your region – this way you will satisfy users.

3. Test your application

Testing is the final and the most important step. Sometimes it is the longest one. A huge number of versions of the application means a higher possibility of a mistake. This stage is aimed at getting rid of these drawbacks before your app will be transported to an operational system.

It is extremely hard to predict will the app function or not in all the versions as many small details have to be considered.

4. Enjoy your success!

When you have your application successfully ported, of course, there is no guarantee that your app will work without any halting. Sounds not very inspiring but this only means that the final result – transported app, needs constant support of professionals. If you did everything right you have to take care of trouble proof work of your app.

Think about your clients, do your job with all love and devotion and success, for sure, will find you. In case you need any help or consultation, don’t hesitate to contact us, we are ready to help!

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