Microsoft aids developers in porting Android apps to Windows Phones

Microsoft aids developers in porting Android apps to Windows Phones

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

SHARE:

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.

Topics: Operating Systems, Apple, Microsoft, Mobility, Software, Software Development, Windows

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

49 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: Microsoft aids developers in porting Android apps to Windows Phones

    Awesome. Shows they are truly serious about the platform, unlike what the critics and comments were saying. You know comparing it to the Kin!!???
    Give WP7 some time and it will be in the driver seat.
    mikroland
    • DOA!

      @mikroland
      Nobody leaves Android for windoze.
      May be iOS.
      Linux Geek
      • RE: Microsoft aids developers in porting Android apps to Windows Phones

        @Linux Geek I left iOS for Android, and then moved to WP7. So, you are wrong. Oh and it is "maybe".
        clcrockett
      • Users don't care about OSes

        @Linux Geek Just look at the T-Mobile ads. That Android and iOS have cachet is as much due to the ecosystem they've built and the networks they run on. People won't adopt (or not adopt) Phone 7 based on its Microsoftness (I think XBox demonstrates that.)

        It will have a lot to do with the caliber of phone the OS is or isn't on, and the carrier and social media features that can be accessed.
        Mac_PC_FenceSitter
      • RE: Microsoft aids developers in porting Android apps to Windows Phones

        @Linux Geek

        I had a Sprint Evo (Android) and happily jumped ship to Sprint Arrive WP7, would never go back to Android.
        ClickHouse
      • RE: Microsoft aids developers in porting Android apps to Windows Phones

        @Linux Geek
        Android suck!!! I go for iOS and Winddows Phone anytime.
        nktran19@...
      • Linux Geek has spoken, or is that.....

        mumbled like he's talking with a ham sandwich stuffed in his mouth.
        Actually LG is a Windows user. He can't be Apple, the cult would have put out a hit on him by now for making their users look so much like they have tards among them, even though they obviously do, and the Linux world would not even tolerate him with the bad image he gives Linux by playing such a doomas.
        I think he's probably a smart Windows user that is trying to give open source a bad name by association.
        Way to go LG, every time you open your mouth against Windows, another herd of Linux users rush to Windows.
        xuniL_z
      • RE: Microsoft aids developers in porting Android apps to Windows Phones

        @Linux Geek <br><br>I didn't leave Android For WP7 because I chose NOT to buy an Android "powered" device. My choice was easy when I actually demoed a WP7.<br><br>In fact I was initially turned off of WP7 when looking at the photographs, back when it was not even in anyone's hands to review. I wasn't sure after I saw video reviews.<br><br>But when I used it, oh yeah, I was sold. This depsite the initial short comings including no copy/cut/paste and a handful of other features.<br><br>Android is what exactly? Well it depends on the version, the carrier, the platform screen size, and so much more. <br><br>iOS and WP7 have the clear and distint advangate of starting off being mature and offering standards that developers (and users) can depend on.<br><br>Standards, that really does mean something with mobile computing.
        Raid6
      • RE: Microsoft aids developers in porting Android apps to Windows Phones

        @Linux Geek Thank you. You are so out there every time you "predict" the total opposite happens. And BTW that would be maybe...goofball. Oh your Fry basket is beeping better get back inside smoke break is over.
        ItsTheBottomLine
      • RE: Microsoft aids developers in porting Android apps to Windows Phones

        @Linux Geek I recently moved from WM6.5 to WP7 (waiting on Verizon) and love this phone. Not perfect but very happy so far in almost every way. Business partner was on Android owner for last 2+ years and also just moved to WP7 (Verizon again) and he's very happy with his new phone. Still a bit to learn and missing a few apps but he thinks he can either find them or they'll be ported soon enough. I like the Outlook/Exchange integration but do miss tethered option for local sync. Games On in this space which is good news for end users no matter which platform you choose - more choice, price / feature competition, innovation.
        Wolf_Lodge
      • You people replying to Linux Geek need to learn something...

        and that is that, he gets his kicks by making ridiculous statements and then watching all of you guys & gals issue your defensive and exalted responses. He's in it for the pure pleasure that comes from arousing anger in those that he knows will come quickly come to the defense of that which he attacked or demeaned. He's just busting your chops, and you should be smart enough to realize it from the way that he structures his simple posts. Besides, reading his posts, how can anybody conclude that he actually believes anything he writes? <br><br>A lot of threads like this would end up being a lot shorter if people didn't take people like Linux Geek seriously and just ignored him.
        adornoe
    • It is a logical idea

      @mikroland

      Taking a finished Android app, and allowing it to more easily be ported over to WP7 is a smart move on Microsoft's part as both Microsoft and the developers win.

      Microsoft receives another app for the Marketplace, and developers have yet another avenue to profit from, with a savings in developement as the majority of the work has been done early on.

      :|
      Tim Cook
    • RE: Microsoft aids developers in porting Android apps to Windows Phones

      @mikroland

      I would rather own an iPhone than a Windows Mobile 7 phone, but as a happy Epic 4G user, I won't make that decision anytime soon.
      DonRupertBitByte
      • RE: Microsoft aids developers in porting Android apps to Windows Phones

        @DonRupertBitByte
        I often cringe when people write "Windows Mobile 7". It makes it seem like Windows Phone 7 just an "update" to Windows Mobile 6.5... and it shows they are not informed about the platform at all. It is "Windows Phone 7"!
        xnederlandx
    • RE: Microsoft aids developers in porting Android apps to Windows Phones

      @mikroland <br>With only Android SDK experience, I refuse to look at iOS since Apple forces you to buy Mac equipment, as well as a yearly SDK subscription, just to write and publish iPhone apps. It comes out to a minimum of $1,500 just to see if you want to even bother writing iPhone apps.<br><br>Is the WP7 SDK freely available like Android's, or is it a closed money-making scam like Apple's? If I can download it for free and run it with VS2010, I might give it a shot...
      Bit-Smacker
  • How is this tool licensed?

    Does MS want a piece of developers' IP in return for use of the tool? How does MS charge developers for space in the Windows Phone market? What's in this for MS besides being able to trumpet a "large number" of apps in their online store?
    FeralUrchin
    • Its no great mystery

      @FeralUrchin They want $99 a year (similar to Apple), and they waive that if you get two apps approved.
      Mac_PC_FenceSitter
    • Like Cassandra said, &quot;Beware Microsofties bearing 'free' APIs...&quot;

      @FeralUrchin

      Exactly.

      Kids - remember to always get your parents' permission before wandering off by yourself into (proprietary) .NETland.

      And if you're ever approached by a sweaty, baldheaded stranger who promises to "help leverage your off-brand expertise" or to "open your mind to other platforms and development languages", you should (1) stall him by asking logical questions (ie: "Why is there no migration path for Windows Mobile?") and then (2) run as fast as you can to find a policeman...better still, a lawyer who specializes in developer agreements as they relate to IP conveyance and dilution.

      .NETland is a dangerous place - let's be careful, out there.
      Justa Notherguy
      • RE: Microsoft aids developers in porting Android apps to Windows Phones

        @Justa Notherguy

        And the Android and Open Source equivalent to .NET Framework is what exactly?
        Raid6
      • RE: Microsoft aids developers in porting Android apps to Windows Phones

        @Raid6. Since the CLR, CLI and C# are open, international standards, anyone can build and distribute their own implementation of these standards. Microsoft ships theirs as .NET. For Linux, Android and OSX, there's Mono (http://www.mono-project.com).
        bitcrazed