How to Convert Website to Android App in 2017

Now, be honest with us, don’t you have a Facebook Messenger or the WhatsApp on your smartphone? Come on, what about an Instagram? Yeah, busted! And to think that ten years ago we’ve had only the luxury of the websites... But luckily for us, we live in the new era of mobile applications that pushes every successful startup on a whole another level. These days, it’s not enough to have just a browser version of your business when it comes to sales and marketing. Customers like speed and convenience, flawlessness, and accessibility – not every site or browser can provide such qualities. And let’s not forget and we don’t always have an Internet connection of WiFi.

Navigation
Android App for a Website. The Major Basics
1. Features & Functionality
2. Choosing the way to make Android app from website
3. Screen size issues
How to Make a Website App for Android Phone
#1.0. Lite Android App for a Website With the Hermit
Guide on How to Make an Android App for Your Website in Seconds
#1.1. Online platforms to turn a website into an app for Android
2. Convert websites into applications with Android Studio
3. Mobile app development from scratch
Final Word

So, it would only be wise if you decide to build an Android app from a website for your future e-commerce platform. You’ll conquer the Google Play Store, gain more users, and promote your products faster and easier. Let’s see how should you start when you plan to take this path.

Android App for a Website. The Major Basics

Many of entrepreneurs ask themselves how to make Android app for my website? Well, it’s a serious decision that should be made after considering some key aspects of the development process. Converting your webpage to an application could be a tricky thing since you’ll be obliged to provide customers with a heavy package of useful features that should ensure awesome user experience and the best level of the data’s safety. We’re talking about tools for payments, social networking, and healthcare where you must build a product of an absolute quality.    

So, to turn website into Android app, you have to go through the following stages:

1. Features & Functionality

You must prepare a list of all website features to see how future mobile app should work and look like. Even if it won’t be exactly the same as a site it still should be flawless and fresh. Some features would have to be excluded since they can’t be implemented in the mobile version.

2. Choosing the option to make Android app from website

In general, there are three ways you can take:

  • using an online service (browsers or special applications)
  • with the help of Android Studio
  • developing a native app from scratch (with the help of professional programmers)

Of course, the third option is the most expensive but the most reliable and high-potential at the same time.   

3. Screen size issues

When you learn how to how to make an Android app of a website, you shouldn’t neglect the differences of screen size with phones and desktops. So, if your site is full of heavy pictures, charts, analytics, and banners, this could be pretty difficult to implement in a mobile structure. Since it must be absolutely user-unfriendly and optimized to pass the marketplace’s requirements. In addition, you should keep in mind that sometimes developers can take all the necessary data for the new application’s database straight from your webpage server. But it works only if the server is configurable for the mobile OS.

Summarizing these facts, when it comes to websites for Android apps each case must be approached individually to handle all the road bumps. We’re going to discuss some available approaches that you can use right now.

How to Make a Website App for Android Phone

As we said above, to ease your task in the most profitable way, developers invented a bunch of handy digital helpers. We’ll describe the best of them.   

#1.0. Lite Application Via Hermit

Lite Application Via Hermit

When you desire to avoid huge expenses and save your time there is an answer in the form of a Hermit tool. It’s a browser, similar to Google’s Chrome or Firefox, but with the sole purpose to turn any website you’d choose into an application for your device’s homescreen. Hermit has its own inventory of popular apps from categories like social media, news streaming, entertainment, etc. If you don’t find what you seek, just type in the URL of a webpage and the Hermit will do the rest.

Why Hermit and not Chrome?

Yes, Chrome also lets you convert website to Android app, but there are a couple of factors that made Hermit so loved by users. Number one is that Hermit’s lite apps work as actual mobile applications, while Chrome creates you a shortcut in the form of a browser tab. It’s a big and sensible difference! And number two lies in the approach itself: Hermit’s products are independent, while Google’s are, in fact, a part of Chrome. Therefore, Hermit allows you to customize the created applications using different settings both universal and individual.

For example, the things you can customize in the Hermit’s lite product include:

  • Open app as full-screen, in frameless mode, or as desktop site
  • Choose a custom theme & icon
  • Block advertisements
  • Handle the Javascript
  • Pull from top to refresh
  • ‘Scroll to Top’ button
  • Set up the terms of images loading and links opening  
  • Disallow sites to track your presence
  • Set up the location permissions
  • Navigate the access to various files, camera & microphone

And much more! Such a wide choice lets you customize one particular app without applying the same requirements to other sites. But we should mention that Hermit works best with Android 5.0 Lollipop or higher versions. And Hermit’s fully functional free package gifts users only with two lite applications. If you need to create more, you’ll have to prepare $4.99 to pay.

Guide on How to Make an Android App for Your Website in Seconds

Just follow these simple steps and you’ll be able to finish with a great product of your own efforts:

1. Download (from Google Play only!) and install the Hermit on your device, then open this tool.

2. After launching it, you’ll see a floating menu icon on the right corner of the screen near the lower end. Tap on it to see two options for making process: 1) ‘enter up the URL’ or 2) ‘select from one of the presets’ (with the options under the menu).

3. Choose the method you’d like to make Android app for website, then you’ll see its main page loaded on your screen. After it’s loaded fully, go to the text field stationed below in the app to write down a name for your future application. When you’re done tap on the ‘Create’ button you’ll see on the screen. Your brand new mobile product for the chosen webpage will then launch up.

4. Now, as we described above, you’re free to customize anything you like through the customization menu. To access it, just pull the sidebar within a created application. Change what you want when it comes to the theme, configuration, integration, and so on. After you finish, don’t forget to tap a check mark – save changes box positioned in the top right corner.

5. Okay, the Hermit automatically adds a quick access icon on your phone’s homescreen. The final step is that you reload a lite app through this icon and enjoy the ride. Use the website you chose in a more pleasant and convenient way, within the application that greatly saves your battery.

6. What even cooler about the Hermit is that when you launch your new ‘child’ there is a cog icon at the top-right. It lets you set up such options as the day & night mode, adblock, font types, and colors. All of this could be applied to each application individually.

That’s about it! The service is super easy to handle while as the result you get some nicely functioning and customizable lite app.

#1.1. Online platforms

There are dozens of them, designed to convert webpages to mobile products. How to make Android app from website using such programs? Well, the service grabs all the required data from the web source to transfer it into a future application. And after a template is ready the program sends it to be published on the Google Play.

Although, don’t expect to get something great looking or attractive. And the range of functions is quite limited too. This cheaper option is good when you’re not building a brand application that must represent a corporate style and be flawless.

If you’re interested, we can recommend a few famous website builder apps for Android:

  • IBuildApp – one of the best online platforms for business application development in 3 simple steps. Has a wide variety of features but costs up from $23.40 monthly.
  • Como – here you can create a customized mobile product from scratch with useful and attractive features. The price is a bit higher – $59 monthly.

However, these ready-made solutions won’t help you to captivate a demanding user or make their experience even a bit satisfying. So, you should probably consider other options if you want your business to succeed.

2. Convert websites into applications with Android Studio

Android Studio

It’s for more advanced developers, but there is a way of building web apps with the help of WebView. It allows you to create interfaces from JavaScript to the client-side code. WebView is used to display webpages in the Android application layout. The whole process, in general, takes about 7 easy steps during which you’ll write a code for Android Studio project files: activity_main.xml, strings.xml,  MainActivity.java, and AndroidManifest.xml. If you’re ready for this ride, you can find out more in this specific guide or from this video tutorial.

3. Development from scratch

The third option is for those who understand the massive effect of the well-designed application on the marketing campaign. Yes, it would cost you a lot of money, but only a team of professionals can build you a trustworthy, nice-looking, and perfectly functioning tool. It would work just the way you imagined it, all the features would serve their purpose, and the developers would test and prepare the product for the Google Play release.

Final Word

The choice is yours after you define the goals and budget you have for a task. Options number 1 and 2 could be handy for those who don’t have an opportunity to hire the specialist or learn to become specialists themselves. However, if you have money and don’t have the luxury of free time the 3rd way is just what you need.

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