app look like it belongs into an Android phone
Many companies are converting their iOS apps to
Android nowadays. However, simple one-to-one conversion of the UI might
cause problems to the potential users.
I don't believe that inter-platform consistency between an
app's different versions is as important than consistency between apps
on a single platform. Not many users use multiple different phones at
the same time. This post describes five simple rules how an iOS app can
be made to fit into the growing Android app crowd.
Use top tabs
Google recommends that tabs in Android apps placed on top
part of the UI instead of the very bottom.
There's a very good reason for that recommendation. Take a look at the
following pictures.Both of them features app called runtastic.
Android port keeps the UI virtually unchanged and causes problems to
big portion of Android users. Many Android phones have the 4 (or some 3)
required Android buttons right on the screens bottom edge. Having your
app's navigation immediately adjacent to the buttons will inevitably
cause users to tap the navigation buttons from time to time.
Foursquare port does a good work moving the navigation tabs to higher
and avoiding the same problems as runtastic has.
On the left: iOS version. On the right:
2. No back button
Android devices are required to have a back button and user's have used
in using it. There's no need to add a back button to the UI.
bit embarrassingly this example is|
from Android Central (an
for Android news) app.
3. Use Android
platform provides icons for most common actions. One of them is share.
Allrecepies uses an iOS icon (top right corner). There's a well
established "share" icon for Android seen for example in the default
gallery app. It is freely available to use in every app.
the left: Wrong. On the right: Correct.
4. Use Android's
of the most powerful features of Android platform is the intent
. It allows apps to extend other apps' functionality by offering
access to their features. Probably the most common way of doing this is
the share function on various apps. An app can chose to share text,
URL, image etc. Other apps can then register to listen to intents that
they can handle.
should not implement their own interface for sharing through Facebook,
twitter etc. If the app just let's the Android handle the share intent
user can use their twitter etc app of choice. This way is much
more convenient to users.
On the left: Wrong. On the right:
5. Consider using
bar has become a single most easily identifiable feature in Android
apps. Using it will instantly brand the app as an Android app. Users are
used to the concept and it can improve app's usability. However, as
always UI components should only be used if it makes sense.
one-to-one conversion from iOS design is usually not enough to create
good user experience. However, the changed required might not require
too huge amount of effort and will be rewarded byt much better user