Worth converting Android Apps into IOS??

Hello. I have 2 android Apps so far and publishing another 3 next week.
Just wanted to know if it is worth to make them available on IOS as well from revenue point of view.

I got to find the answers of following questions. kindly share your experience.

  1. My existing Apps are Java based. how much time and effort is required to convert them for IOS?

  2. I need to purchase MacBook and iPhone for this work. any other alternate?

revenue will be same or less? planning to use admob only.

  1. Noone here will be able to tell you, since we don’t know the size of your project nor do we know the complexity.

  2. I think you need to purchase a MacBook, but I’m not sure.

How much do you get out of your apps atm? Ask yourself if the app is worth anything atm. Does it create revenue? If so, I’d go for iOS too.

As I am an Android developer without any experience with iOS, I’d suggest that you hire some freelancer to port the app to iOS if your app is giving you good revenue.

A friend of mine does it the other way around, he publishes games on iOS. If they are succesfull, he hires someone to port the game to Android.

Without learning objective-c, there is no benefit of purchasing macbook. You can however download iso for mac os from some torrent and install it in a VM. For long term outlook, yes buy a macbook.

Don’t ignore ios as users like purchase more often on iOS devices.

  • My Apps are doing average on Android. $12-13 per day with admob banners and interstitials.

  • App size is 2.5MB and all written by me in Java.

  • I must say that i am more experienced in objective c than java.

Considering above 3 factors, shall i go for App convertion on IOS?

Someone told me that it won’t take much time to convert if App is java based?

any more suggestions?

MOVING FROM WINDOWS TO MAC for iOS/Android (Eclipse) development

To develop for iOS - you will need to buy an iMac - the cheapest/powerful option is to go for the desktop iMac - base model. Connect it up to your own LCD monitor.

For laptops - choose the MacBook Pro - base model. Avoid the MacBook Air - as they are more expensive (and slim which is an advantage) - but they have no CD (no big deal), and they tend to overheat a bit more (if you are doing a lot of stuff). Not overheat a lot but in the sense that the MacBook Pro will not overheat at all.

Basically for a developer the MacBook Pro will be more robust.

You can probably avoid going for the retina display (higher end models) - since for most things you won’t even see the details on the screen from far away (plus more pixels means more work for the CPU etc. and potentially overheating/battery-life etc. related stuff).

HOWEVER, I seem to have heard that if you make apps for the iPad with larger screen resolution, then it is easier to run a full screen emulator for that on a high-res display - compared to the non-retina display - or something like that. That is something which you should re-confirm.

For those transitioning from Windows to Mac - it will take about a month to acclimatize yourself with the new environment (which means knowing what the shortcuts are for doing certain things - first starting with doing everything that you used to on Windows). Fortunately, for Eclipse users, and for development for Android, it is equally easy to use - and in some ways perhaps maybe slightly better (because of the built-in unix tools). Eventually, you will get comfortable developing on Android on Mac - just as well as you were on Windows.


Now some impressions, and my own feelings on the matter.

About a year ago (after I had published a couple of apps on Android) - I had thought about switching over to the Mac - the intent being so I could slide into developing for iOS also.

One big motivator was that Google paid apps are not available to me - but I can publish paid apps on iOS (again Google’s slow expansion of their paid app country list etc.).

HOWEVER, the reality is that I have had no time to delve into iOS in any detail - so far !!

I think adding to that is the sense (which I already had before) - that Android will expand 2x or 4x in next 1-2 years (which has come true) - while iOS will stagnate (in relative terms) because of it’s higher priced products. Android will transition so it begins to occupy the very low end of the market AS WELL (esp. in underdeveloped countries and Asia etc.). So the numbers will balloon HUGELY - which has happened - and is happening.

The ONLY advantage iOS had - and still retains - is that their customer base is RICHER - and more willing to pay (the culture in iOS has developed so that they are more accustomed to paying). In comparison Android is growing more at the lower end - and those people are less likely to want to pay (even though payment of $1 is not a lot even in poorer countries - but perhaps the requirement of credit card will still restrict for low-end users). Add to this that the Android system is not designed to push payments - though it seems in-app payments are a success story on Android (compared to paid apps - in-app payments get more traction - 2x or 5x according to some posters on this forum). However as indicated above - in-app payments also are not something available to us (Google not expanded paid countries enough).

So while iOS has retained some “value” - mainly because they allow paid apps from my location - that is tempered by the Android growth future (which bodes well for advertising-based revenue even from low-end users).

The story would be simple - however it became complicated when I started seeing stories about the “discoverability” on iOS being as bad (or worse ?) than Android.

The other thing which seemed like a brick wall for me - was the Objective-C and other info required to develop for iOS. After spending time on Android - and seeing how on starts to see nuances and how to do certain things - one starts to feel just how much of an idiot one will be on iOS - and the type of detail that must exist there as well before one is able to do some stuff - that one is only now becoming comfortable with on Android.

In other words - as developing on Android seems to get slightly easier - one begins to realize how much of a distraction it will be developing for iOS.

Add to that the feeling that iOS maybe a dying platform - even though it still occupies a place for rich users.

Add to that the uncertainty over discoverability on iOS.

At the time I bought the Mac - I was thinking that if an app succeeds - I might get better traction if I hired an iOS developer to develop the first app. And maybe that would still be the best way to motivate a start maybe - because otherwise I am feeling no inclination to start anything on iOS. Also working with someone will make this more like a business decision (which it is because you ARE essentially going after the rich iOS users with their inclination to pay etc.). Also with another iOS developer, you will be able to quickly resolve issues which can only be felt by a seasoned user of that platform.

Perhaps the real reason for lack of motivation to develop for iOS is that I am not an iPhone user - and I don’t own a iOS device.

This is something which I was thinking about recently as well - that if someone does not have the device - they cannot really feel like how to develop something for that platform. Or to think about how a user interface should be etc. So it could be argued that well before buying a Mac, perhaps the developer needs to buy an iPhone and start using it on a daily basis.

Because otherwise they will develop no feel for the platform - or even mentally feel that platform has value.

Anyway, so that is where I stand. Though I occasionally think about developing for iOS - somehow I cannot motivate myself to do so - and it is not just “for lack of motivation” . I think the real reason is that moving to iOS NOW seems like you are stepping onto the deck of a sinking ship (albeit a ship which still has many years of buoyancy left).

So the question I guess in the mind becomes “do I want to learn Objective-C and all the intricate knowledge of iOS” for that 2-3 years of viability or something … ? Something like however seems much more palatable if one thinks about having a subcontractor do the job (if you know you have a good app idea - or perhaps a slam dunk app from Android that you are pretty sure will do well also on iOS).

Great information.Thanks for sharing.

Their are some tools now that can make ios versions of your android apps, without you changing any source code. Most of them are game making frameworks like libGDX. So if your making games and using one of these frameworks it’s a no brainer to do an ios version.

Yes, actually this is something that was appealing - as you suggest that is available for libGDX and Unity etc.

i far as i know converting a LibGdx Project to IOS (using RoboVM) seems to be a big pain in the ass and the ‘end result’ is unstable and battery eating!
Maybe its has improved since i tested it, but some month ago it didn’t look like a real opinion.


Thanks for that it was a good read. I am having similar thoughts and doubts. I think one way of doing it is to hire someone to build it for you but the problem with that is you expose your source code to others for both apps.

The freelancer can simply reskin both apps and upload them as his own. Then you’ll have a competitor that you have paid for and who is more knowledgeable than you about both the app and the platform. This is what’s stopping me porting to ios

I use libGDX but converting to iOS is still too much work for me - mostly because I hate using Mac, even keyboard shorcuts are wrong. I develop Android apps on Ubuntu. All else was already well explained by adforandroidapps, nothing to add. :slight_smile:

That is probably true on Android - however, on iOS the impression is that there is closer screening of whether your app is similar to another i.e. to the extent that you maybe able to stop a very similar app. However, maybe in reality the iOS screening process is not that efficient - I have no experience with iOS yet.

I don’t have direct knowledge - but my understanding is that maybe truer for some other game engines - like Unity etc. - where essentially it seems the whole setup is a canned process which dumps out the platform-specific stuff. Perhaps there are areas where one would need to do some tinkering in the code.

I had one or two simple app ideas which I thought I could probably get working on iOS without too much trouble.

But if it is something that has to have facebook integration and all that kind of stuff - assuming it is as time-consuming as on Android - then that is a lot of work (which for programmers tends to get easier over time since they develop their own libraries for doing it simply etc.).

So just as for android, one starts to understand how to do certain things - and those things are reused in the next app - in a way it tends to get easier. Thinking about iOS one feels that if it is a simple tool app or something then perhaps that could be done and make it a paid app or something - but if it is something that needs to be integrated with iOS or the facebook/twitter etc. type of thing - it just seems (maybe I am wrong) that each of those things will require time.

Also android has some advantages in the intent model - i.e. you can offload some of the stuff to other apps - I have a feeling this would require explicit programming on iOS to do each of the things which in android we take for granted as being easy.

Please tell me I am wrong about this stuff.

This reminds me of one more observation - if you start using the Mac for any length of time, it completely screws up your Windows hand movement memory.

That is - when you switch to a Windows machine to do some simple thing you will feel like a complete idiot - because you will be reaching for different keys.

However, perhaps if one is using BOTH platforms on a daily basis - then it probably IS possible to develop an instant mental switch when you switch machines.

But whenever I move to Windows to something, I wind up clicking all the wrong things - command-w on Mac to close window - compared to ctrl-w on Windows - keys are in completely different places. That sort of thing.

Perhaps same thing happens with Ubuntu - which is closer in terms of those keyword shortcut behavior to Windows (since Linux grew up on the Intel architecture - which was most easily found on Windows machines).

Yes, Ubuntu has practically the same shortcuts as Windows. It’s easy to switch between them.


Nice info.
Someone mentioned here that hiring someone for IOS porting is risk taking. i am agree with that.
I have 1 whole week in my hand and i will purchase the Mac-Pro and will start playing with it to download the necessary tools.

Do i need to purchase the iPhone as well or IOS Simulator is available there?
What language i need to use in IOS development? i think basic java part should be the same and can be re-used.
I need to find out the IOS equivalent of android SDK related calls and then build it.
Tell me if i am wrong.

The Android (Eclipse) stuff is similar - similar way to download off Google websites etc.
The Mac stuff is Xcode - available on their Mac App Store - I forget if it was paid or not - I’d downloaded it (but never used it yet !!).

I think the Xcode has an emulator also - but common sense would suggest that one should get an iPhone (some may suggest getting a used older model if you don’t care about battery life etc. - maybe others would say to get the latest so you build for the latest screen sizes or something - maybe others can comment on that).

But the greatest reason for getting the iPhone - is as suggested in earlier post above - that I can’t see how you will motivate yourself to start to feel “in the zone” with the “Mac way” or whatever. Or get ideas about how to improve things for users - if you don’t yourself use it a lot.

A lot of times developers get ideas for apps after seeing their own frustration with doing something on that platform - I assume that something similar may operate in the iOS space as well.

Xcode has an emulator. Should be enough but I heard it has some weird differences, so some things might work differently on emulator and device. I bought iPad Mini - it’s cheaper than iPhone - and it’s completely useless. I have like a dozen of tablets and iPad is the only one gathering dust in my home (I even found a use for Blackberry Playbook - as a desk clock). I just can’t get myself into Apple world I think. Maybe in time. :slight_smile:

Actually you can emulate any iOS device. Wasting money on all iOS devices of all sizes for testing is just bananas unless your app/game is making crazy money.