Developers can convert iOS and Android apps into universal Windows 10 apps
New software development kits will help developers build Windows 10 apps
Today at the BUILD conference in San Francisco, Microsoft revealed its plans to eliminate the app gap between Windows and rivaling operating system by attracting iOS and Android developers to modify their existing codes using new SDKs and release universal Windows 10 apps.
These new universal apps will work on PCs, tablets, phones, plus other devices, and the developers will have 1 billion potential new customers after all current users will presumably upgrade their existing devices to Windows 10 within 2-3 years.
The solution presented at BUILD includes new software tools – one for Objective C code (iOS), and one for Java / C++ (Android). These tools will allow developers to take advantage of their existing codes and build new universal apps for Windows 10, enriching them with unique features live Live Tiles, Cortana, Xbox integration and more.
While rumors about porting Android apps have been surfacing the Net for years, adding iOS apps came as a huge surprise during the press conference. Using current Objective C code, any iOS developer can build a Windows 10 app that works with touch and input devices. The secret technology has already given us such an app – this is the game Candy Crush.
Terry Myerson explains the process of rebuilding iOS / Android apps for Windows 10. The process will require some work, similar to what Amazon is doing for their store, but instead of using Google API, Microsoft has built their own replacements and a build-in Android subsystem. As far as the current iOS apps, the process will be very similar – the code will be imported into Visual Studio (which already has versions for Mac and Linux), so developers can adapt their apps to work on Windows.
Along with attracting iOS and Android developers, Microsoft also announced two other ways for creating Window 10 apps, and again with new SDKs. Without much effort, any current website can be transformed into a Windows 10 app that can use system notifications and in-app purchases. Developers can also extend their own .NET and Win32 projects to universal apps and publish them in the new Store.
While all these new tools for creating apps for Windows 10 will result in more new apps published in our Store, the question is whether more developers will be interested in making native Windows apps or they will just choose to port their existing code and adapt the apps to use some Windows features.