ios – Converting iPhone/iPad apps onto Android-ThrowExceptions

Exception or error:

I have started to build my own apps on iPhone and iPad using the iPhone SDK. The next question that is always asked by the client is, “Can we have it on Android?”

So my question to you, ‘the internet’, is: what are my options?

I don’t have the time to learn another language (learning iOS has been enough!), so are there companies who specialize in this, or are there any online services that do a conversion?

Any help on this welcome, just need to know which way to turn…

How to solve:

No, there is no way to convert an existing iOS app to an Android app.

However, there are cross-platform frameworks that allow you to code once and deploy your app in more than one platform. The most popular are based on HTML/CSS/JavaScript and one of them is PhoneGap.

You can also develop for iOS and Android with Adobe technologies such as Adobe AIR (this was forbidden by Apple until recently).

And there are online services (such as Mobile Roadie) that allow you to generate cross-platform apps using a content management system.

That said, I strongly recommend to:

  • Learn Android and Java development if you want to specialize in mobile development.
  • Take advantage of the strengths of each platform when working on an iOS/Android project, instead of creating something that uses only what’s common to both.

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Converting a native application from one mobile platform to the other is not a straight-forward process unless the initial application was built with a framework with cross-platform capabilities from the start.

Your options at this point are learn the other platform and develop it yourself, or contract with another development company which specializes in the platform you need to target.

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Due to the massive differences between the 2 platforms, you are looking at a complete rewrite of your application. You either do it yourself or pay someone else to do it. I don’t see any shortcuts you can take.

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You may be interested in reading my book, HTML5 for iOS and Android, which enables you to take web apps created in HTML, JavaScript & CSS, and turn them into standalone apps that you can upload to the app stores (for free or to sell). See http://html5formobile.com – the wrappers to do this for the iOS and Android SDKs are freely available on the website, and you don’t need any knowledge of either programming language if you follow the instructions in the book.

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You can try the following https://bitbucket.org/zabirauf/icona.

Its open source iOS to Android Application Conversion Tool.

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Even if there was a way to easily port an Objective-C application to Java, I wouldn’t highly encourage it. iPhone users and Android users are two different families of users. The typical iPhone interface just wouldn’t sit well with Android users who aren’t familiar with how the iPhone works. Yes, I understand that the UIs of both iPhone and Android seem pretty trivial to learn to most people, but when you break a novice’s comfort zone, it puts your applications (or websites) on a higher learning curve.

You should take the time to learn Android’s language and UI and develop your application in a fashion that is consistent with how applications on Android work. As said in other answers, if your taught yourself Objective-C, you should find that Java will come pretty easily to you. In addition, in never hurts to know more than one programming language.

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You can’t just convert iOS apps into Android. iOS is Objective-C and Android is Java.

I highly doubt there are ‘converters’ on the internet, even if there are that’s not the way you should program an app because every SDK has his own special capabilities and you should use them for maximum user-experience.

I’m sure there are some companies who specialize in porting apps from iOS to Android. Look it up on Google I’d say..

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If you want an easy place to look for android development you can try appMaker which I hear is a GUI based Android development tool or I believe Google has released its own GUI based android application development tool. If you are not a java programmer than you might be better off with the gui. Otherwise I would say android is not too different from traditional java. As a java programmer who went from Android to iOS, I will tell you Android is a walk in the park compared to learning iOS. Two completely different beasts in my opinion.

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Selecting a mobile development environment which will enable you write once and deploy/distribute it on many devices would be a better solution in the future. If your application is HTML-based, go with HTML5/CSS alternative (ex: PhoneGap, ). If you prefer native, then chances are you may want to learn Lua, a scripting language (ex: Gideros Studio) or C++ (ex: Mosync).

Other than that, the application you created on iOS with Objective-C is very, very hard to port to Android and other devices.

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