Huge news: Windows 10 can run reworked
Android and iOS apps
By Tom Warren
on April 29, 2015 01:30 pm
After months of rumors, Microsoft is
revealing its plans to get mobile apps on
Windows 10 today. While the company has
been investigating emulating Android apps ,
it has settled on a different solution, or set
of solutions, that will allow developers to
bring their existing code to Windows 10.
iOS and Android developers will be able to
port their apps and games directly to
Windows universal apps, and Microsoft is
enabling this with two new software
development kits. On the Android side,
Microsoft is enabling developers to use Java
and C++ code on Windows 10, and for iOS
developers they’ll be able to take advantage
of their existing Objective C code. "We want
to enable developers to leverage their
current code and current skills to start
building those Windows applications in the
Store, and to be able to extend those
applications," explained Microsoft’s Terry
Myerson during an interview with The Verge
THE IDEA IS SIMPLE, THE EXECUTION IS A
LITTLE MORE COMPLEX
The idea is simple, get apps on Windows 10
without the need for developers to rebuild
them fully for Windows. While it sounds
simple, the actual process will be a little
more complicated than just pushing a few
buttons to recompile apps. "Initially it will be
analogous to what Amazon offers," notes
Myerson, referring to the Android work
Microsoft is doing. "If they’re using some
Google API… we have created Microsoft
replacements for those APIs." Microsoft’s
pitch to developers is to bring their code
across without many changes, and then
eventually leverage the capabilities of
Windows like Cortana, Xbox Live,
Holograms, Live Tiles, and more. Microsoft
has been testing its new tools with some
key developers like King, the maker of Candy
Crush Saga, to get games ported across to
Windows. Candy Crush Saga as it exists
today on Windows Phone has been
converted from iOS code using Microsoft’s
tools without many modifications.
"AT TIMES WE’VE THOUGHT, LETS JUST DO
During Microsoft’s planning for bringing iOS
and Android apps to Windows, Myerson
admits it wasn’t always an obvious choice
to have both. "At times we’ve thought, let's
just do iOS," Myerson explains. "But when
we think of Windows we really think of
everyone on the planet. There’s countries
where iOS devices aren’t available."
Supporting both Android and iOS developers
allows Microsoft to capture everyone who is
developing for mobile platforms right now,
even if most companies still continue to
target iOS first and port their apps to
Android at the same time or shortly
afterward. By supporting iOS developers,
Microsoft wants to be third in line for these
ported apps, and that’s a better situation
than it faces today.
Alongside the iOS and Android SDKs,
Microsoft is also revealing ways for
websites and Windows desktop apps to
make their way over to Windows universal
apps. Microsoft has created a way for
websites to run inside a Windows universal
app, and use system services like
notifications and in-app purchases. This
should allow website owners to easily create
web apps without much effort, and list
those apps in the Windows Store. It’s not
the best alternative to a native app for a lot
of scenarios, but for simple websites it offers
up a new way to create an app without its
developers having to learn new code
languages. Microsoft is also looking toward
existing Windows desktop app developers
with Windows 10. Developers will be able to
leverage their .NET and Win32 work and
bring this to Windows universal apps.
"Sixteen million .NET and Win32 apps are
still being used every month on Windows 7
and Windows 8," explains Myerson, so it’s
clear Microsoft needs to get these into
Microsoft is using some of its HyperV work
to virtualize these existing desktop apps on
Windows 10. Adobe is one particular test
case where Microsoft has been working
closely with the firm to package its apps
ready for Windows 10. Adobe Photoshop
Elements is coming to the Windows Store as
a universal app, using this virtualization
technology. Performance is key for many
desktop apps, so it will be interesting to see
if Microsoft has managed to maintain a fluid
app experience with this virtualization.
A SET OF BRIDGES TO WINDOWS 10
Collectively, Microsoft is referring to these
four new SDKs as bridges or ramps to get
developers interested in Windows 10. It’s a
key moment for the company to really win
back developers and prove that Windows is
still relevant in a world that continues to be
dominated by Android and iOS. The aim, as
Myerson puts it, is to get Windows 10 on 1
billion devices within the next two to three
years. That’s a big goal, and the company
will need the support of developers and
apps to help it get there.
These SDKs will generate questions among
Microsoft’s core development community,
especially those who invested heavily in the
company’s Metro-style design and the
unique features of Windows apps in the
past. The end result for consumers is,
hopefully, more apps, but for developers it’s
a question of whether to simply port their
existing iOS and Android work across and
leave it at that, or extend those apps to use
Windows features or even some design
elements. "We want to structure the platform
so it’s not an all or nothing," says Myerson.
"If you use everything together it’s beautiful,
but that’s not required to get started."
Microsoft still has the tricky mix of ported
apps to contend with, and that could result
in an app store similar to Amazon's, or even
one where developers still aren't interested
in porting. This is just the beginning, and
Windows universal apps, while promising,
still face a rocky and uncertain future.
Microsoft Breaks Down Windows Phones Because Who Cares About Them Anyway
UPDATE: Microsoft has fixed the issue in the Mail and Calendar app with a new version. You need to update to 16006.11001.20083.0 to resolve the bug. Original story below.
It’s not a secret that it’s all just a matter of time until Windows phones go dark once and for all, but for the time being, the platform is still in maintenance mode and Microsoft has no other option than to make sure everything’s running smoothly.
But as it turns out, the software giant has disappointed its mobile users one more time, as an update to the Mail and Calendar apps on Windows 10 Mobile introduced a bug causing them to crash at launch.
And while you may be tempted to believe that only a few people still use Windows phones these days, it looks like there are a lot of them, so the bug is impacting more than just a handful of devices.
The Reg spotted a Microsoft Community discussion with more than 22 pages of complaints posted since November 7 when the issue was introduced by the update to Mail and Calendar version 16006.11001.20083.0.
“Mail and Calendar no longer starts. After a short flash screen the app crashed back to the main screen. Tried restart and soft reset. App got updated today 07-11-2018. This morning before the update it worked fine,” topic starter A. User explains in their post.
Right now, it looks like the glitch hits pretty much any device, regardless of model, and I’ve seen reports of both old and new Lumia phones being affected, including the former flagship Lumia 950.
It goes without saying that Microsoft hasn’t provided any statement, though there’s a chance the company is already investigating these reports.
However, given Microsoft is already struggling to leave Windows 10 Mobile behind and the team probably counts just a few engineers still working on the platform, it could take a while until a fix is released.
In the meantime, those still running Windows 10 Mobile should consider a switch to Android or iOS because right now, this is pretty much the only way to go. No workaround has been found to correct the issue until a fix lands.