Nice apps you got there! Microsoft makes porting Android and iOS apps to Windows easier

Microsoft has long tried to convince us that there's no such thing as 'app gap' between its mobile OS and the leading duo, but has mostly failed thus far. And for a reason, seeing that — while many of the essentials have already been covered — there are still countless glaring omissions, and the store is not even close to its competitors as far as its total number of apps goes.

Realizing this problem, Microsoft has been hard at work devising an intricate plan, which is to help it populate its mobile app storefront way quicker than before. Here's what it's all about: a new technology developed by the Redmond giant will allow app developers to easily rework their Android or iOS apps so that they can work with Windows 10! There you have it - simple as that. Still, MS seems to have thought this trough: in addition to being able to reuse their Java and C++ code from Android, or Objective C from iOS, developers should find it easy to integrate their new Windows projects with any needed Windows-specific extensions and services, such as Windows' Location API, the virtual keyboard, or the on-screen navigation buttons, for example. Users and developers alike should be interested to know that reworked Android apps will be running in a safe Windows security container for maximum user data safety.

As a matter of fact, Microsoft has already been beta-testing this technology, noting that Candy Crush Saga developer King has utilized this new tool to bring its hit game to Windows Phone. And on stage at its Build dev conference, Microsoft demonstrated the Android Choice Hotels app working just fine on a Windows phone, an undertaking that allegedly took just some minor tweaks to get done.

Hopefully this new tech will help Microsoft finally close the gap between its app store and its iOS and Android competitors, but whether or not developers pick up on the idea, remains to be seen.



1. theguy2345

Posts: 1216; Member since: Jun 24, 2014

So now there is no excuse for the Evan spiegels of this world. They barely have to do anything, and just submit it to the store.

15. AnTuTu

Posts: 1620; Member since: Oct 14, 2012


16. rodneyej1

Posts: 3576; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

Well, that, and everything else MS showed today, just about solves Windows app problems.

20. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

This is good news, wp are underrated but we all know they're more than capable smartphone too. In this way the 2 main os will have to not let there guard down. Kudos MS!

25. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

If by solved meaning your phone now has two different additional app styles that are horribly out of place in your phone, then yes.

38. lalalaman

Posts: 638; Member since: Aug 19, 2013

well do u remember when android 5.0 came or ur beloved iOS 7 changed its ui....devs were totally forced to adopt the new UI style....seeing how big W10 can be...i dont think that will be a big prob even only 70% of dev update their apps to the new style

42. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

Just about every app I have updated their style to material design. And even if they didn't, it still looks like it belongs. ios/android vs. Metro is a BIG difference.

36. lalalaman

Posts: 638; Member since: Aug 19, 2013

i wish blogging,etc apps like pinterest,tumblr,Instagram beta(instachat),snapchat bring and update their apps to Windows...ill be soooo happy....:D im really digging notifications in which u can reply without going into the app(i dont know whats that called

28. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

I still wouldn't bother hitting a big staples easy button if it's pointless. I think most developers will still think it's not worth their breath no matter how easy it is. Let's face it, the issue was never how hard it was, the issue is how relevant windows phone is and the answer is not very relevant.

34. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Well this is not about phone, but about a single OS. An os that has a presence in the living room by the order of tens of millions, pcs that are in everyones homes almost, and most certainly students, the biggest buying population of tablets and laptops. 1 billion + pcs is a hard market to ignore. And now that win32 apps can be sent through the store, i wont have to worry about wading through 5 different link sights to get an app.

45. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

True. Maybe the desktop version will save the phone.

39. lalalaman

Posts: 638; Member since: Aug 19, 2013

ur forgeting universal app app make not only runs on a phone but ona tablet and a pc and an xbox...or maybe a tv as well

2. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

after a year, a lots of apps & games

17. rodneyej1

Posts: 3576; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

Maybe 2 million after a couple years.

3. Saioofi

Posts: 344; Member since: May 23, 2014

God bless you Microsoft

4. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

This is an oversimplification, but I doubt it will still be a game changer anyway.

6. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Yes and no, what may have taken 3 months, might now take a weekend. Of course depends on the complexity.

9. TheStanleyFTW

Posts: 252; Member since: Feb 20, 2013

But the fact that Microsoft can give such an option for developers is very nice :D

10. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Big time, its what they should have done with win8, but, this is not something you just throw together. Glad to hear king is coming on board more too.

5. TheBiz

Posts: 232; Member since: Apr 13, 2015

love you ms now release a 5" windows flagship im bored seeing you release more than 10 mid and low end phones last year

7. TheStanleyFTW

Posts: 252; Member since: Feb 20, 2013

The successor to L930 or....MAYBE ONE FOR L1020 (Hype) XD

12. My1cent

Posts: 370; Member since: Jan 30, 2014

Minor tweaks? Well, not really!

13. BobbyDigital

Posts: 2125; Member since: May 29, 2014

The elephant in the room is, will the developers actually do it? Microsoft built it, but will the developers come?

18. rodneyej1

Posts: 3576; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

Marketing and awareness is essential.

19. Neros

Posts: 1016; Member since: Dec 19, 2014

I bet it's not that easy as PA tells us it is. Seriously, it's not about taking an android app and uploading it to the store. We've been developing universal apps for quite some time and I have to say that WP has always been a pain in the neck. Usually, small errors and problems that make you waste days to find a workaround. Hopefully, this will make our work easier. Because so far the interest for developing WP apps is non-existent.

31. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Have you used the new win10 dev tools that have only one environment vs the two with a universal section. As well, if you watched the presentation they had it from the people there. I am sure it is not just plug and play depending on complexity. But what probably would take 5months now takes a weekend.

21. meanestgenius

Posts: 22286; Member since: May 28, 2014

This is a great idea! It will, in theory, immediately solve the "app gap" for Windows Phone. One major detail, however, is developers. Some developers are flat out lazy, and many are complacent. Most will not be willing to develop for an unproven revenue source, no matter how easy it has now been made for them. If developers aren't on board, it's not going to be a successful venture. The other major detail is the consumer. Consumers are fickle, and all too often do not want to try something new, especially if they are already locked down in another ecosystem. Windows also has an "image" problem as far as consumers are concerned (at least Windows Phone does), and it's been thus far very difficult for Microsoft to overcome it. But, I am hopeful. This has the potential to be huge for Microsoft.

37. lalalaman

Posts: 638; Member since: Aug 19, 2013

i think u are a regular windowscentral reader :D......i think if MS have worked hard to make this thing possible....they can target and encourage alot of famous app devs to jump in W10 wagon

41. meanestgenius

Posts: 22286; Member since: May 28, 2014

Nope, don't really read Windows Central at all...just calling it how I see it.

43. lalalaman

Posts: 638; Member since: Aug 19, 2013 actually they discussed how the earlier preceptoin of WP is hurting the brand

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.