During the company’s Build 2015 developer conference, Microsoft announced that both Android and iOS applications will be able to run on the upcoming Windows 10 platform. Using the new Project Islandwood (iOS) and Project Astoria (Android) development kits, developers will be able to port their applications and games to Windows universal apps. Microsoft is letting Android developers use Java and C++ code on Windows 10, allowing applications to be quickly and easily compiled for the platform. Since the majority of the code being used by Android devs is being recycled, this will save app makers a ton of time and money in the long run.
Microsoft is urging developers to bring their code to Windows 10 with only minor changes at the start. Once the bulk of the app is built, the devs are encouraged to take advantage of some key integration points to build in Windows-specific features like Cortana, Live Tiles, Xbox Live, Holograms and more, which are all included in the Project Astoria dev kit. Microsoft has been testing its new APIs out for the past few months, specifically on the popular puzzle game Candy Crush. In fact, the Candy Crush version that’s currently on Windows is converted from iOS code using Microsoft’s new Windows APIs.
To clarify, this doesn’t mean you’ll be able to install any APK on Windows 10. This is simply just Microsoft making it much easier for Android devs to convert their applications. Microsoft has struggled over the years to keep up with the number of apps available for both Android and iOS, so for the end user, this is certainly great news. The Google Play Store will never come pre-loaded on any Windows 10 devices, but rest assured many more applications will soon make their way to the platform.
We’ll be sure to update you as we learn more.