Microsoft has announced it will make it easier for developers to bring their applications from Android to Windows devices. The company has said that developers will be able to “reuse nearly all the Java and C++ code from an Android phone app to create apps for phones running Windows 10.” Objective-C apps for iOS will also be recyclable using new tools in Visual Studio.
A prominent example in King’s Candy Crush Saga which came to Windows Phone via these tools.
There has generally been a shortage of applications for Windows Phone and Windows 8.0 platforms. The cycle has perpetuated due to a lack of diversity from the beginning of the Windows Store meaning customers have been less likely to purchase from it and developers less interested in it.
In contrast to the Windows experience Android and iOS – direct rivals to Microsoft – have an abundance of well-known and available apps. iOS dominates but Android has managed to sustain strong growth and retained a status as somewhere for developers to create. Windows has recognised the negativity of their situation and by helping Android apps make the transition to Windows they hope to regain ground.
The announcement also included the news that web developers will now be able to bring their web apps and Windows desktop apps to the Windows Store. The web apps can also be run on the desktop as a regular app using Microsoft’s in-store purchasing features and notification tools.
To make this a more seamless process apps will be downloadable from the Windows Store where previously they had to be downloaded from the developer’s site. Microsoft made this better user experience a priority some time ago. The demo used by Microsoft to show the innovation in action was using Adobe Photoshop.