Microsoft aids developers in porting Android apps to Windows Phones

Just two months after delivering a tool to help developers port iPhone apps to Windows Phone 7, Microsoft is adding Android support to it.

Just two months after delivering a tool to help developers port iPhone apps to Windows Phone 7, Microsoft is adding Android support to it.

On June 9, Microsoft announced it is adding Android support to its API (application programming interface) Mapping Tool. Microsoft also is publishing a “Windows Phone 7 Guide for Android Application Developers” white paper, as well as "case studies and perspectives from developers like Chaotic Moon Studios and Groundspeak and Avalinx who have already ported existing applications created from Android or iOS to Windows Phone 7," the Softies said.

Microsoft also plans to get more aggressive in participating in porting-related discussions in online forums like Stackoverflow and Windows Phone 7 Development to encourage more programmers to consider moving their apps to the Windows Phone platform. At last count, there are approximately 20,000 apps available in the Windows Phone Marketplace.

The mapping tool is similar to a translation dictionary. In April, Microsoft explained how it worked on the Windows Phone Developer Blog:

“With this tool, iPhone developers can grab their apps, pick out the iOS API calls, and quickly look up the equivalent classes, methods and notification events in WP7. A developer can search a given iOS API call and find the equivalent WP7 along with C# sample codes and API documentations for both platforms.”

The first iteration of the tool is focusing on network/Internet, user interface and management APIs. Microsoft officials said not to expect a mapping for all APIs, as the different phone platforms are built on different architectures and user interface.

"We are continuing to expand the scope of the API Mapping tool and the technical guidance. Our next step is to include the Mango features into the API Mapping tool (planned for this summer)," said Microsoft officials in a June 9 post to the Windows Phone Developer blog.

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