Windows Open to Android and iOS for Apps
As you might expect, there is a lot of hype surrounding the release of Windows 10 and what this version could have to offer. And why wouldn’t there be when Microsoft are billing this version the operating system for software developers.
As a consumer, one of the most annoying factors of using a Windows phone, instead of an iOS or Android device, is the limited app variety. Consumers tend to prefer Android and iPhones simply because of how much more they have to offer.
But Microsoft is releasing development tools with Windows 10 that will enable developers to run Apple and Android apps more easily on Windows devices, just by making a couple of small changes. In fact, many of the Android apps should be able to run without any changes being made to the code at all.
To integrate these changes properly, Microsoft has unveiled two initiatives, Project Islandwood for iOS and Project Astoria for Android.
Project Islandwood has led to the creation of a software interpreter that works with the development tools that iOS coders typically use. When the code is run through the interpreter, some of it is changed to allow the apps to run on Window 10. It also allows for iOS developers to take their apps and build them on Windows.
This has already proven successful and is what King.com has done with the immensely popular game, Candy Crush Saga. King developers only had to change a tiny portion of the code in order for it to be fully ported for use on Windows Phones.
Project Astoria, on the other hand, is aimed at Android apps. It involves the code being built directly into Windows and makes it able to spot when an Android app is running, before providing it with the expected response. This means that many Android apps would be able to run on Windows devices with no changes being made to the code.
While many apps are already available in the Windows Store, there are some popular ones that are noticeably absent, such as Pinterest and Plants vs Zombies 2. By adding the software development tools to Windows 10, Microsoft is hoping the OS will become more accessible for users across the board, especially app developers.
“The decision to embrace Android and iOS applications is an imperfect solution to an undesirable problem,” said Geoff Blaber, an analyst from CCS Insight. “Nonetheless, it’s a necessary move to attract developers otherwise lost to Apple and Google.”