Windows app store has been in the shadows for some time now as iOS’s App Store and Android’s Google Play Store have been establishing their position in the race for a long time and it was long due for was Windows to make that one move to make sure it flips the story for the app market.
Now it has! Microsoft has announced the Windows Bridge for apps to be transferred from the iOS or Android platform to the Windows 10.
So how does Windows Bridge work?
Windows’ smart move involves the least work from the developers’ or the app owners’ end. If anyone has an app already on the Apple App store or the Android Google Play Store, then they can transfer the apps to Windows Phone Store, compatible to any devices, without even changing the code that it is initially made on.
The Windows Bridge allows codes like; (.Net) for Windows desktop Applications, (Java and C++) for Android Applications, (Objective C) for iOS Applications development.
This means that without changing the code of apps made with the above mentioned coding languages, using the Windows Bridge, developers can launch apps in the Windows Phone Store.
This change was definitely made to make sure enough motivation was given to developers to bring their apps on Windows as well but this wasn’t the sole aim after all. This change or development was also made so that the apps can be made available in the Windows Phone Store by making use of the existing code and knowledge of the app in question.
However, until now only Project Islandwood, another name of the project iOS, has been made live for the developers to start working on. The others are under the build and may be launched at the next Fall.
Also, the Project Android, also known as Project Astoria, is launched as a beta version and may take some more time to launch it officially. As of now it is the iOS app developers who need to pay keen attention; here and now.
According to Salman Ahmed, who deals with the iOS project ‘Islandwood,’ “ …Rather, our goal is to help you write great Windows apps that use as much of your existing code and knowledge as possible…”
Bridge consists of four components in terms of iOS
(1) Objective-C compiler: The Objective C compiler is going to work as the backbone of the whole system. It is going to take apps made using the Objective C language and compile it into being a Windows app. This component will be finally be launched at the fall, 2015.
(2) Objective-C runtime: As an additional feature it will allow and provide you with message dispatch, delegation and automatic reference counting.
(3) iOS API headers/libs: Even as Windows provides with full compatibility with the iOS API, it is possible that there may be issues as it is a new venture, therefore, it makes space for giving in comments and suggestions regarding the same.
(4) Visual Studio IDE integration: This is a tool that imports external Xcode projects and ties it to the Windows developers tool.
While this approach by Windows is surely drawing many eyes and ears from the who’s who of the Tech industry, how much is it successful is a matter only time can tell. Currently it is only iOS apps that can make its entrance into the Windows phone Store using the Gateway Microsoft has provided.
Android developers are still in the waiting to experience this change. One thing’s for sure; fall, 2015 is going to bring new experiences for everyone.