Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Microsoft to ditch Android app ports for Windows Phone which help to easily port apps

Mobile app developers who wanted to easily port their apps from Android or iOS to Windows 10 devices were in luck when Microsoft announced it created tools to help with that transition last year. But now Microsoft is going back and dropping the Android bridge, focusing on just iOS.

In a blog post, Microsoft announced that while it has been updating the Windows Bridge for iOS, it is dropping the Windows Bridge for Android project with an interesting explanation.

“We received a lot of feedback that having two Bridge technologies to bring code from mobile operating systems to Windows was unnecessary, and the choice between them could be confusing,” wrote Kevin Gallo, director of Windows’ developer platform. “We have carefully considered this feedback and decided that we would focus our efforts on the Windows Bridge for iOS and make it the single Bridge option for bringing mobile code to all Windows 10 devices, including Xbox and PCs.”

The two projects for iOS and Android were very different in how they bridged apps from those platforms to Windows and were obviously platform specific. While many app developers create apps for both iOS and Android, there are Android-only developers that are now missing out on the Windows Store market unless they want to rewrite their app.

The solution for this is the acquisition of Xamarin, which is an app development company. Xamarin allows developers to use a homogenized C# language which easily moves between all three platforms. This is more of a forward-looking move, as it won’t help developers who already have their apps on iOS or Android.

There is some speculation from Extreme Tech that the Android bridging was canceled because being able to seamlessly port any app would cancel out the need for developers to create Windows-optimized apps.