I found a similar question here but I want to hear the answer to my questions.

Our team has launched an iOS version of our app, let's call it X App. We have sold this to 3 clients and they like it. Now, one of our clients wants us to create an android version of X App.

Before that, they hired me as android developer. After demanding an android version, my software architect gave us (Android team) the software-design instructions for android version of X App. This is easy to follow but I'm completely disappointed.

The user interface of iOS version of X App must be same in android version. Each UI Element in iOS must be same in android version.

This is against to Android Standard UI Design. Is this a good idea? Cloning UI from iOS to android version?


  1. They want to make us an iOS Toolbar instead of using the Actionbar.
  2. The search text is also same as iOS version
  3. Buttons should have a gradient and cornered border.

Fortunately, the Android's navigation bar survived. Since I'm disappointed and concerned to the future of our app, I planned to propose a UI Improvement which follows the android standard UI design. Should I continue this plan? Or forget this problem? If we release the Android version, will the client disappointed?

Edit: I did a mock-up UI and shared the screen-shot to my teammate. He's really agreed to my suggestion, just saying.

  • I assume the the similar question you found is this one: ux.stackexchange.com/questions/37455/… I'm not clear how that is a different question to yours?
    – JonW
    Commented Jun 11, 2013 at 8:23
  • It sounds to me like management is thinking short term. Making a direct portation from iOS to Android is cheaper, from a design perspective since all flows are already set. But this will have a negative impact on the UX. Android apps are designed in a certain way partly because of the established guidelines, but also because of its capabilities (the navigation bar being one of them). Not utilizing this will produce a poor result. And it sounds to me that the management is unwilling to acknowledge this either because of lack of experience or just to pursuit a quick/cheap dumbed down product. Commented Jun 11, 2013 at 8:27
  • @AndroidHustle Yes, I forgot to mention that, the management. I'm gonna ask this to programmers stackexchange. We are a small team.
    – user24983
    Commented Jun 11, 2013 at 11:13
  • @JonW Yes, I'm also agree to wim's comment. I'm really really hate it event I'm a fresh graduate. But, there's a difference, should I continue my rebellion? I mean the UI improvement proposal? (I feel sad)
    – user24983
    Commented Jun 11, 2013 at 11:19
  • * I'm sorry "even" not "event" :)
    – user24983
    Commented Jun 11, 2013 at 11:32

3 Answers 3


You should never directly implement visual elements typical for one system in another system.

There are not only different visual representations, but also different usage scenarios of the UI of two different systems, as the features of both systems are not equal. Thus, you will never (well, maybe some very simple applications excepted) be able to keep the interface intuitive and functional.

Users will get confused and the application will look, well... "silly" seems to be the right word for that. Instead, you should take an advantage of the usage scenarios and UI elements typical for the system you are porting it to.

Although I always suggest to use UI patterns standard for a system, you can go custom interface, though. It's the middle way, not perfect, but may let you make both Android and iOS version look more similar (if you need it).


I cant think of many (If any) scenarios where it would make sense to ignore the specific OS design guidelines. Particularly with regards iOS and Android as they have significant differences.

Users expectations are different depending on the device they use and their experience.

I would recommend starting with the position of "following the UI guidelines UNLESS there is a very good reason not to"


This is not at all recommended. If you are going to use native OS UI components of either iOS/Android, please see that your iOS App design doesn't influence the Android app design.

If your app has a completely out of box UI, then its fine.

But dont follow , iOS design patterns in Android. They are different users. Different behavior. Altogether, a different culture. Both Apple and Google insists the developers/designers to follow their design patterns.

We cannot serve a same recipe for two from different poles of the world, can WE ????

What is that you are trying to achieve by being consistent across OS versions.

Users will expect the apps to be in sync with their OS.

Eg: Apple users use top left for back. But Android users will use the back button at the bottom.

There are lot of differences. It is not going to be a pleasant experience after all.

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