How To

How To Convert A Website To Android App: Pitfalls To Avoid

10 May 2017
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11 min

You have probably signed up for Facebook, Twitter or another social network. We live in a mobile world, we are in action every day, so we need to stay in touch with whole the world. Apart from communication via mobile devices, we use all our gadgets for news reading, e-mailing, working etc. So it is almost impossible today to be fully engaged in business without using mobile apps or websites.

See how to convert a website to Android app in our video:

How To Convert A Website To Android App?

Somebody plans to create a website for his business that has the adaptive design for mobile devices as well. But if you want to involve more clients, you shouldn't forget about mobile apps. Many people cannot use websites just because they are very busy. So one shouldn't forget about this category of people. If you have a website, you may want to find out how to convert website to Android app. So that is the secret we will shed the light on.

Conversion of the website to Android app - what should you consider?

So you have a great website. It is popular, many users visit it every day, buy something, use features of this website etc. But it is not enough for you. Why? The problem lies in the mobile world. More and more people start using smartphones and tablets, switching to various mobile apps on Android or iOS. And you realize that if you want to develop your own website, you must promote it and extend the borders of operating systems.

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What should you know to convert Android to iOS app and vice versa? Read 5 Things to consider while converting Android to iOS app

Today's statistics says that more than 51% of all Internet traffic is on mobile devices. Impressive? For sure. And it means you should think about how to convert website to mobile app. There are special tools that can simplify conversion process, but they cannot guarantee that the new app will be attractive and interesting for users. Moreover, if we speak about native apps, it should be developed from scratch since it has its particularities that must be considered.

Turn website into app: internet usage statistics

Internet usage statistics

So if you decide to create an Android app, you made the right choice. But there are some issues that you cannot ignore when you convert website to app.

Development cost

Of course, it is a first important issue. Mobile app development if always higher than the development of web application or even website. But, at the same time, when you will have both website and Android app, it will help you rank higher on a Google search. Is it a benefit? Certainly!

Difference in screen size

When you think over how to convert website into Android app, you cannot forget about the screen size. Whether it be tablet or smartphone, if your website is full of pictures, charts, analytics, various buttons etc., it can be very difficult to convert in a similar design. Since the Android app won't have all of these features websites have. Otherwise, it will be absolutely user-unfriendly app. In this case, you have to think how to optimize your mobile app.

Make app from website: consider the difference in screen size

Difference in screen size

Development from scratch

We noted above that it is preferable to develop the native Android app from scratch. The matter is that native app for the specific platform can provide the user with the most optimal user interface and user experience including other features. It is because native apps are developed using the same code as device operating system has. Therefore, app functioning correctly without bugs and malfunctions.

Lower search presence

It is also a downside that cannot be ignored. Native apps aren't as searchable as web apps or websites, for example. But if you already have a website, you shouldn't worry too much about it.

There are not so many important issues you should keep in mind when you decide to turn website into app. But you can make sure that if you are getting serious about the promotion of your business, the new Android app will surely be your good companion for earning money.

Why do you need an Android app?

You can start developing your own app unhesitatingly if you can offer your user something that will be useful and interesting for him. For example, if you are a doctor, you can create the app 'Your personal doctor' that will contain articles, tests, FAQ, and the user can spend his time usefully.

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See what Android development trends are gaining popularity in 2017. Read 5 hot Android app development trends for 2017

The question is what result you want to achieve. In the case with the doctor app, it will be more likely for clients' loyalty increase and it will help them trust doctors and visit him as soon as possible when they feel ill.

To make a deliberate decision whether you need to create app from website or not, you should look into web analytics data and find out how many percents of your users log in to the website from mobile devices.

But let's finally compare benefits website and Android app have. What are the pros of each of them?

Pros of the website

Adaptation of the website for mobile devices have the following positive issues:

Low barrier to entry for users

To start using the mobile app, you should install it before. To use the website, it will be enough to click the link. If you have two links - one to the website, another to App Store or Google Play, it is likely that user will click the website link than store link. It should be considered when you think about how to convert website into app.

Cross-platform

A website is available for all platform types whether it be Windows, Linux or Mac.

Instant updates

For updating of the app, you should wait until store owner verifies your update. Updated website will be available almost instantly.

Cost

Development and support cost of a website is usually lower than those of a mobile app.

Promotion

Website promotion cost is lower than app optimization. You can create banner ads and each click will return in a certain money amount. The app allows you to do the same, but there is no guarantee that user will download and install your app when you turn a website into an app.

Pros of the Android app

The development of mobile apps will give you the following:

Full interaction between app and user

Unlike websites, you have the opportunity to send push-notifications. If you posted something new, the user will find out it. Or local notifications that function in the same way. If the user did something in the app and app is waiting for his feedback, the user will receive notification about it after a while.

Integration

A substantial benefit of the native Android app is its quick integration into the platform. It quickly accesses phone contacts, browser, camera and other apps to interact with them and implement its goal easily and qualitative. So when you create Android app from website, you needn't forget about this advantage.

High-quality user interface

All control elements like buttons, text margins, links shall be convenient for finger clicking, not for mouse using. Moreover, each operating system has its own logic of switching between screens in apps. And users of each OS get accustomed to the same behavior in any app. But each website has a different interface, and every time you need to look for 'Ok', 'Back', 'Log In' buttons.

Choose your software to convert website to android app

Android Nougat

Multi-touch feature

This feature you can find only in the native app whether it be Android or iOS app. It allows the user to apply various touch gestures such as swiping, pinching etc.

Multi-touch feature in tablet

Multi-touch feature

High level of personalization

The mobile app can store all user's data and change interface depending on his demands. If the user entered his home address, he won't need to enter this address again.

Working offline

As a rule, mobile devices have the Internet connection, but it can depend on your current location. Moreover, quality of a mobile Internet is often worse than the quality of home Internet lines. And app allows customers to work with the app even if there is no web connection. It can motivate you to find out how to turn a website into an app.

Using of all capabilities to the full extent

Mobile devices are personal devices. They know a lot about its user, and using of this information for service level increase is the key reason of mobile apps growing. It remembers all your actions, so when you open news app every morning, for instance, the operating system reminds to this app that it will be opened soon. And app is loading latest news in the top, so you can see them all immediately. This point also refers to the device hardware - depending on the app type you can use data from camera, accelerometer, compass etc.

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As you can see, app availability has substantial pros, moreover that we live in a mobile world, more and more people use tablets and smartphones. So even if you have a website, you should pay your attention to the alternatives of how to convert website to Android app. And we will scrutinize the conversion process step by step.

What should you consider when you convert webpage to app

Pros of the website and Android app

Steps to convert your website into an Android app

What is the process of conversion? You know, there are several resources that can turn your website into an app even if you are not engaged in programming, but it will never be the same as your website. If you want to have a serious powerful app, only software developers can help you. What do developers need to implement it? They perform the following steps.

1) Website functionality. First specialists should list all website features to understand how the future app should look, what it will perform. It is worth noting that app cannot be exactly the same as a website. A number of features will vary since some features have reason only on the website, as it was noted above.

2) Development cost estimate. Considering a number of features to be integrated, their complexity, sales department can summarize how much the app development will be and how properly make app from website.

3) User story. The project manager is writing the user story for developers. What is this? It is detailed feature list that allows developers to solve many important issues even before they start coding. They are looking for the best options how to implement the required functionality.

4) UI/UX design. The designer creates the optimal user experience for your future app and pleasing interface that will be attractive for you and future users. Color spectrum and color background can be the same as that of a website, but design shall be developed on the basis of mobile platform and particularities of mobile devices. If you don't know how to make website into an app using special designing patterns, experienced designers will help you.

5) Development process. Here Android developers are applying their high skills. Apart from using Android Studio, integrated development environment for the app development, they need to apply some other technologies for the correct back-end development when you want to convert site to mobile app.

RESTful API

Service that determines feature suite developers can and get feedback. Interaction is performed via HTTP protocol. Widespread use of HTTP protocol is the advantage of such approach. Therefore RESTful API can be used almost from any programming language.

Database development

The database is one or several files intended for storing, changing and processing of large volumes of interrelated information. And developers need to create the new database for the mobile app.

Pagination

It is a tool that divides all content into separate pages. If you see, for example, a number of pages at the bottom of the page, you can choose any page to see what you need. It is what pagination does. It is very convenient tool in news apps.

Important! Summarizing all the above, it is very important to note that communication with database and server is implemented in a different way on the web and mobile app. You should know it when you learn how to make an app from a website.

Besides, mobile app structure also differs from the website - the app can connect directly to the database, whereas in the other scheme server will be communication point between database and app.

In some cases, developers can just take data from your website server for the new app, but only if the server is shaped up for the mobile OS.

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What type of the website is better? See our article Responsive web design vs adaptive web design. How to make your choice?

So there is no one optimal solution to create mobile app from website. Each specific case requires an individual approach, so it is what you shouldn't forget about.

Drawing the line

Unfortunately, nothing occurs by magic in this world. And to do something groundbreaking and stunning you should work as hard as you can. And the app development can not be quick and easy. But when you are confident in your future success, you must move further whatever it takes.

Do you still plan to build app from website? Then you should write us a letter with the description of your plans. We will get in touch with you and find the best solution together. 

And, by the way, do not forget to sign up for our blog in order to keep an eye on things.

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