Today Microsoft kicked off its Build developer conference, and while much of the event focused on code and Office, there was a bit of mobile news to get excited about.
Microsoft today announced that it’s going to help developers easily port their Android and iOS apps over to Windows 10. The OS will support an “Android subsystem” on phones, and developers will be able to take the Java and C++ code used in their Android apps and easily adapt it Windows and launch on the Windows Store.
Additionally, iOS developers will be able to take their Objective C code, open it up in Visual Studio, make a few tweaks, and launch in the Windows Store. Microsoft notes that app developer King actually used this strategy a few months ago when it launched Candy Crush Saga on Windows Phone. The app was actually a port of the iOS version, and Microsoft notes that the Windows Phone app currently has a 4.5 out of 5 rating on the Windows Store, showing that iOS app ports can work well on Windows Phone.
Windows Phone and Windows 10 has evolved to become a nice mobile OS with a unique interface, and while there are some notable apps like Facebook and Instagram on the platform, there are still quite a few big names missing from the Windows Store. Two big examples are Snapchat and Periscope. The goal with Microsoft’s announcements today are to make it as effortless as possible for developers to port their Android and iOS apps to Windows Phone and grow their user base. The number of developers that’ll actually take advantage of these tools remains to be seen, but for any Windows Phone users that are feeling app-starved, today’s news is pretty exciting.