Sourcebits Top 5 Design Tips for Porting from iPhone to Android

Top 5 Design Tips for porting from iPhone to Android.

The following 5 tips for designing for the complexities of Android will set mobile app designers on the path to success with the platform.

1. Choose your version/s carefully

Designing one app for all versions of Android from the infamous Gingerbread to the most recent Jellybean will add a lot of complexities, design constraints and development hours to the project. Talk to your stakeholders and find out who the app is for and whether it is really necessary to cover all the versions. Try to focus on a particular segment of the users for market share rather than designing for all versions.

2. Excellent Communication with Developers is key

Being thorough with the Android guidelines is not enough. Continuous and constant communication with developers throughout the design process is important in any app creation process. However, when porting from iPhone to Android it is important to understand how different these two platforms are in terms of pure code. Talk to the developers and get interested in the implementation details.

3. Design for Flexibility and use Dynamic Layouts

Remember that your app is going to display on several different devices and resolutions. There’s XHDPI, HDPI, MDPI, LDPI and then there are custom versions of Android on some devices. You may not be able to control every last pixel and so need to plan ahead and strategize practically for different resolutions and screen sizes.

4. There is no back button!

This may seem obvious, but the navigation structure for Android platforms is very different from iOS. At times, it requires completely relooking at the organization of your app from scratch. For example, the way tabs work and behave are different and using the same iPhone navigation structure will be confusing and unexpected for most Android users.

5. Get familiar with Pure Android

Currently there are a lot of customized user interfaces for android in the market. Several large phone manufacturers [Sony, HTC, Samsung] have a customized skins built into their devices. Make sure you are familiar with a pure android device since this is what the app is going to get coded in.