Microsoft Launches Open Source Tool for Bringing iOS Apps to Windows
At its Build developers conference earlier this year, Microsoft said it would soon provide necessary tools to help developers port their existing apps over to Windows. Making good on that promise, Microsoft on Thursday released the iOS version of this.
Previously known under the codename “Project Islandwood,” the Windows Bridge for iOS enters its first public preview today, and the code is available as an open-source project on GitHub.
Using the tool, developers will be able to take their iOS apps to both Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. Currently, the preview SDK only supports the standard X86 and X64 architectures; support for ARM-based architectures used by mobile devices will be added later in this year.
As for how this all works, the iOS bridge essentially allows iOS developers to build apps using their existing Objective-C code. Microsoft makes it clear, though, that the tool is not for “porting” apps.
“Our goal with the iOS bridge has never been simply to run iOS apps on Windows,” writes Salmaan Ahmed, the product manager on the Windows Bridge for iOS team. “Rather, our goal is to help you write great Windows apps that use as much of your existing code and knowledge as possible.”
The full release of Windows Bridge for iOS is set for the fall. It will be released alongside a public beta of the Windows Bridge for Android, which is currently available as a technical preview by invitation only.