Published On: Thu, Aug 6th, 2015

Microsoft Launches Open Source Tool To Help iOS Developers Port Their Apps To Windows

At a Build developer discussion progressing this year, Microsoft announced that it would shortly recover collection that would make it easier for iOS and Android developers to take their existent formula and port their apps to Windows. The Android chronicle of this, strictly named a Windows Bridge for Android, is now in private beta. The iOS version, however — formerly famous underneath a codename “Project Islandwood” — is entering a initial open preview today.

The formula for a Windows Bridge for iOS is now accessible as an open-source plan underneath a MIT permit on GitHub.

Microsoft stresses that this is still really many a work-in-progress and some of a betrothed facilities are now accessible nonetheless or are still really buggy. Still, Microsoft expects a final chronicle to land in a tumble to coincide with a launch of a initial refurbish to Visual Studio 2015.

Using a bridge, developers will be means to pier their iOS apps to both Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. Right now, they can usually aim a customary X86 and X64 architectures, yet soon, a compiler will also support ARM (and with that, mobile devices).

So how does all of this work? As Salmaan Ahmed, a product manager on a Windows Bridge for iOS team, writes currently a ubiquitous thought behind a plan is to “enable iOS developers to create Windows apps regulating [their] existent Objective-C formula and skills.” He stresses that a group motionless to go with a overpass proceed over a straight-up port. “Our idea with a iOS overpass has never been simply to run iOS apps on Windows,” he writes. “Rather, a idea is to help we write good Windows apps that use as many of your existent formula and believe as possible.”


To do this, a overpass consists of 4 components: a Objective-C compiler, Objective-C runtime, iOS API headers and libraries, and formation with Visual Studio (so we can import your Xcode projects right into Visual Studio 2015).

You can find all of a bloody technical sum of how this will work here and there’s a lot some-more info in this video from Build. One thing value stressing, though, is that Microsoft wants to give developers a ability to use all of a unchanging Windows APIs from their Objective-C formula and that a iOS and Windows APIs should be means to work together.

It’s no tip that Microsoft has had a tough time convincing iOS and Android developers to also pier their applications to Windows. By giving them a ability to recycle many of their code, many developers might now give Windows another look.

For now, Microsoft’s mobile height still stays a apart third in many of a world. But interjection to Microsoft’s new concentration on a singular height with apps that run on both a desktop and mobile, a marketplace for these ports is unexpected many bigger than a Windows Phone marketplace (though to make a mobile app inestimable on a desktop might take a bit some-more work than only porting a mobile experience).

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