Microsoft shows how to make a simple iOS app which can be ported to Windows 10

Microsoft clearly wants iOS app developers to consider porting their apps so they can work on Windows 10. The latest such effort gives those developers a simple tutorial on how to use the Windows Bridge for iOS tools on a simple iOS app.

The highly technical blog post outlines how to make a basic "to-do list" app in Xcode, and then use the Windows Bridge for iOS tools on the app so it works on Windows 10. The tutorial requires a PC running Windows 10, along with with Visual Studio 2015 and the Windows Bridge for iOS tools. It also requires a Mac with OS X 10.11 and Xcode 7.

The bridge tools, which are also known by their code name "Project Islandwood", have been available for the past several months as an open source project on the GitHub site.

Source: Microsoft

173 Comments
  • Please devs, the tools are there. Also, first comment, yay !
  • You could always ask your favorite app developers to port their app and send them the information about the Bridges. A lot of developers have been focusing on iOS and Android and don't even know what is going on with Windows.
  • Yeah that's true
  • I do have a few companies I'm going to contact about this, though they aren't necessarily the developers of the apps. I haven't wanted to do that until the bridge actually became available.
    Ok, now I see at the end of the post that they have been available. But now I can point them to the tutorial.
  • I think we should contact Microsoft first so that they can port their more usable & feature rich iOS apps to Win10
  • I have heard devs were unaware, but I would be surprised if that were true.
  • I sent an app request to the developers at this website; https://www.timetopet.com/. The founder got back to me and essentially said that Windows Phone was not on their roadmap - particularly as US market share has stagnated (and is now declining).
    I can't see the small time devs making things for Windows. Microsoft missed the boat.
  • Lord, and there is the problem. This is for Windows Phone; this is for the Windows ecosystem. Many, many more users than just Windows Phone. These developers are so much smarter than me in so many ways, and so ignorant and short sighted at the same time.
  • This is why this strategy will fail. There is (almost) no one who will benefit much from Windows 10 compatibility because almost everyone has an Android or iOS device already. And anyway, anyone who owns a PC can run Android applications if they need to. So, there is very, very little incentive.
  • So what if they have an Android or iOS device? That means they won't want to run that app on their home PC as well? I think if anything most people would love to be able to use their apps across all their devices. Say a user had an Android phone and had a choice between two running apps and one supported Windows. Surely they'd rather get the one that supported Windows so that they could check their statistics once they got home on a big screen. There's so many advantages to supporting as many OS's as possible. These days people have multiple devices, many will have an Android phone, an iPad and a laptop - a smart developer would cover them all.
  • I'm not saying there are no advantages to developers supporting Windows 10.  But you must admit that those advantages are very, very small.  In general, yes, if you can already run an application on your iOS or Android device then you will not much care to run it on your PC; it wouldn't hurt but it's also not particularly helpful. The fact that not a single major company to abandon Windows Phone/8.1 has "come back" indicates that they aren't regretting their decisions.  When BoA and Chase are back on Windows 10 Mobile, we can revisit this discussion.  Until then, the proof is in the pudding. And furthermore, as I said, Windows 10 already runs most Android applications very well via tools like DuOS and Bluestacks, so I have pretty much any "mobile" app I want on my Windows tablet, already.
  • Well said.  WRT mobile apps on PC, there are very few who want to and those few who do (like me!) already can. The costs, even if very small, of developing an UAP for W10 are generally outweighed by the advantages, which are likely to be even smaller.
  • "no, people do not want to run apps on their desktop. that's been proven with windows rt and windows 8. no one is asking for phone apps to be ported to desktop, they are asking for desktop programs and websites to come up with apps. like photoshop. and office. and facebook. and banks. and you should get the picture by now."   Why so many hits on the Windows 10 store then? Why have there been Millions upon Millions of downloads from it?
  • You haven't proven anything. An app is an app. So your comment is incorrect. The fact that there are so many apps, and that they are used often, proves that people do use apps on PC and tablets.
  • There are no Instagram Beta, WhatsApp or Spotify apps for PC. I'd definitely use those. There is little to no crossover because developers don't go universal.
  • There is a demand and Store purchases activity surge is a proof. Windows ecosystem is unique to bring diferent formfactors together, and you, if you're really a developer as you say, should know that. And there are quite a lot of 3rdparty desktop PC and Mac applications for Instagram. No demand, you say? Well, it is you just being bitter.
  • And when Windows 10 has 500,000,000 plus users, with many of then being business users at their computers 8-10 hours a day, you think devs won't be interested? They already interested at 200m as shown with the influx of apps.
  • I must have missed the influx.  I've seen updates of existing apps, but no 'name-brand' new ones. The most recent thing I noticed was ABC leaving.
  • Influx: BoA, TD Ameritrade, American Express, Dropbox, NBC Breaking News, Netflix, FlipKart, Power BI, NPR, Deezer, Foxit MobilePDF, etc.  
  • Now you're making a false speculation based on a foolish remark. There are multiple productivity apps that can be geared towards businesses, not to mention that many companies don't even pay attention to what is installed on an employees computer.
  • See here's your problem. You base what you say on speculation and the thought that what ever you think in your own little world is fact. Truth is, I work for a company with close to 5,000 employees. The company is one of the largest developers of electronic health record systems, and we pass every HIPPA audit that comes our way with no issue. I can download and install what ever I want on my PC because we actually know how to keep everything seperate. I thik what must be nice, is living in your own little world where you can make up any fact you like and not have to worry about it. It must be nice, looking dumb on a regular basis and still coming back for more.
  • You seriously need your head examined or something because I truly think you have brain damage. You pick and choose things that are your opinion and decide they are fact, you use outdated information to try and make a point, and you constantly misquote or contradict yourself. Face, it, you DON'T know what you're talking about. Do everyone a favor, and stop spending only 30 seconds on each topic you try to argue and maybe someday, just someday, you will succeed in not making yourself look stupid. 
  • See you're making my point, not a single thing from this post holds any logic or fact. HIPPA was started in 96, but that doesn't mean nothing has changed. You're inventing fallacies just to attempt to make yourself look correct on this tangent that you began. Just for fun, I'll also poke holes in your first and last smart A$$ statements. If you were to get your head examined you absolutely would go to a hospital, which complies to HIPPA (something you obviously haven't researched to fully understand). And finally, you cannot claim the "vast majority" of enterprise users aren't free to install things when you have literally no data to back it up, or if you make the claim that small business users (Sally's cupcake factory, and businesses with less than 50 employees) can do so.
  • The fact that you think "Every major enterprise in north america" = majority of business, or business users just shows you don't know what you're talking about.
  • I'm not saying everything I said before was spot on, and quite frankly it's still early days for Windows 10, so nobody knows if my positive leanings or your negative ones will win out. Certainly history is on your side however!! Nonetheless I'll counter your points. Sure, you have a health app, why wouldn't you want to use a bigger screen to view full stats and history of your workouts? I admit their website should do this and there shouldn't be need of an app, but then people have said that about apps vs websites for years and people still prefer apps. "first - no, people do not want to run apps on their desktop"
    "they are asking for desktop programs and websites to come up with apps" Seems to me you are contradticting yourself here. Either they don't want apps or they do want apps? Say they are playing both CR and CoC, one of them comes out with a Windows app. Say it's like Age of Empires that has an expanded view on bigger screens where graphics are better and control is easier (so I remember reading, I don't play any of these games). I'm sure they will then play that game on their Windows machine as well and devote more time (and importantly money) to it.
  • check their statistics on a big screen? what?   My thoughts exactly. Hardly anybody would care about "checking their statistics on a big screen". This guy is naive if he thinks otherwise. 
  • You're completely incorrect. I'll start with people running Android apps on their PC. A very small percentage even know they can do that, and even less actually do, so that point is completely invalid. As far as no one benefiting, I can immediately point out the Netflix, and Pandora apps. Their experience is far better than using the websites, so a PC app is most certainly a benefit. So right there, there is potential for anyone with a Windows PC/Tablet to have a benefit.
  • The Netflix app is not better than the website. Not even close. There is no need for apps on Windows because the website is more than enough and isn't platform dependent. You don't miss out on Windows 7 or Mac users if you make a website. There is no reason to make a Windows app. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Except what you say is contradicted by the fact that A) millions of people donwload and use the apps every day, and B) the same can be said for phones. Why use a banking app on your phone when you can visit the website?
  • Right, because no one uses the apps in the Windows store on their 200 million devices, Oh that's right, there's been millions and millions of hits on the store since 10 has been out. SO I guess, per usual, you're incorrect.
  • Keep the faith, bro!
  • Oh yeah, you sure showed me. Such an interesting and well thought out rebuttle.
  • This will be my last post on this thread.  Have nice day. > A very small percentage even know they can [run Android on PC], and even less actually do, so that point is completely invalid. I have no idea how many people know they can, and neither do you.  That said, I agree that, aside from a few tens of millions (which is on the one hand a lot, but on the other hand a small percentage), few actually do.  That, however, proves the point that people don't much want to.  It doesn't invaldiate my point, it makes my point.  People don't bother becuase they already have iOS and Android devices, so why would they!?! > The [Netflix and Pandora app] experience is far better than using the websites Actually, Pandora and especially Netflix are much more usable, in my opinion, on the Web than in their W10 apps.  Go ahead and launch them side by side to see the differences and notice that there's more exposed functionality in the Web interfaces for each; I like having that level of interactivity.  That being , even if you prefer app (which I am guessing you would call streamined and I would call dumbed down) to the Web site, which is totally reasonable, the fact remains that both routes are perfectly good ones and so the benefit of having an available app is small.  Good on both Pandora and Netflix for offering us those choices. Now, please read carefully: I am not saying that there is no advantage to developers in porting their Apps to Windows 10.  Just that the advantage is very slight.  The costs, as wpkevin pionted out, may be low but are not zero, are therefore very likely larger than the gains to be had.  As of right now, no big (or even small?) companies that left Windows Phone/8.1 have come back to the platform, and so the preponderance of the evidence supports the argument that the UAP is not a major difference-maker That said, the truth will out.  Why don't we just agree to wait and see...
  • Why would you bother waiting that long when there are plenty of far superior platforms available today. There is no advantage to using Windows Phones. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Don't request it for windows phone! Windows 10 has +200 million users. A great deal of them use touch devices. I think the "trick" is to show them that and request windows universal apps that also run on mobile. +200 million is too much to ignore!
  • There are some other facts that would push iOS app developers to port their apps over to UWP: 1.  The fact is that iOS and Android app stores are super-saturated.  It is increasiingly hard for them to sell apps and make a living.  It is reportedly that 80% of the iOS apps are considered 'lifeless'.  In other word, 80% of them are not selling and their developers can't make a living by making apps for iOS app store.  UWP provides them a new opportunity to expand.  W10 installs will be over 1 billion in a couple years and that is twice the size of the iOS user base.  It is not a question whether the iOS app developers would port their apps or not, they almost have to.  It would be a cold hard fact that they badly need a new frontier to develop. http://mashable.com/2014/07/10/zombie-apps-ios/#tFN7IDg23qqf 2.  W10 ecosystem will be dominating in the business and enterprise world.  Either you will be a part of it or you will be OUT.  This would be another cold hard fact they have to deal with.  Developers would have to swing back to the W10 camp. 3.  UWP apps will not only support W10M, they will support all the W10 devices form IoT to HoloLens and Continuum.  The UWP app development is cost effective and has great market potential.
  • Get back to them and tell them that W10 has now 200 million users. Do their poor app quality and marketing abilities require 500 mil or 1 billion users? I don't think they started doing apps for iOS or Android only when market got to 500 mil or 1 bil
  • How many Windows 10 users actually frequent the app store? Is there any advantage to making an app for one specific platform instead of making a website available on any platform? Windows store is DOA, just the same as on Windows 8. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Very true. They may not have anyway to know about Project Islandwood unless they get a personal note. I can't imagine these devs wouldn't be interested in making more dough.
  • Why are you so cynical about everything?  All I ever read from you stories of how the sky is falling.
  • That's very true.
  • why do they not start to send this around inside microsoft? Microsoft seems to do alot more appa for ios with higher quality than what they manage to do for W10M.
  • The problem is windows 10 mobile keeps getting delayed over and over again so what's the point?
  • The point is this is for Windows 10, not just mobile. So that's desktops, laptops, tablets, Xbox, etc. People need to stop just thinking of mobile (esp as it's doing so badly marketshare wise!)
  • iOS des need to install Windows in order to create a Windows app and vice versa , find the failure Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • So many people ruining Mac OSX already are running virtual Windows on their machine
  • Maybe windows central should do this lol
  • Microsoft should consider bringing back the Android bridge, but limit it to games only. I've tried using it on half a dozen games (like clash of clans) and they ran SMOOTHLY with no lag/stutter at all. On the apps side though, it still needs lots of work. What a shame!
  • It wasn't a problem with the apps running. They ran just fine. It was a problem with the Android core causing problems with Windows 10 Mobile slowing down. If you ran the Insiders program fall of 2015 you would have experienced constant Loading... Screens and severe lag. It made the phone nearly useless.
  • I've read about this but it was never confirmed, only rumors/theories. Else where I've read that the main reason for killing the bridge was that they were afraid of piracy and licensing, plus it made some big Windows developers mad (because it barely needed any work to port apps and games). Anyhow, they could have worked on improving the slow down issue - if it were to be existent instead of killing the bridge all together.
  • I can confirm the lag and bogging of the system. My 930 handled the preview build well all things considered but after a few weeks the whole OS would go buggy and slow. Some apps would simply stop working and crash back to the Start Screen. Do a Hard Reset, everything was fine again for a couple of weeks and then it would start up again. Then the update came with Astoria disabled and suddenly the above stopped happening. Sure there were a few bugs here and there but not the bogging and crashing of apps. Put two and two together and you get an answer. And if Microsoft could fix the issue with Android bloating and degrading the OS over time, maybe they could share that solution with Google so they can fix the problem with Android Devices bogging down and getting bloated over time. Anyways back to the topic, I hope someone ports the iOS version of Fallout Shelter. That's the only Android App I kept on my phone for a while while all the others I tried were crap and not as good as what I already had on my phone. Also, speaking of Fallout Shelter, while I could port the game and it would run fine for about a week, the further I got into the game, the more unreliable it became. First it would load fine, then a week later the crash at start up would happen and eventually would load after 3-5 attempts. A few days later and it would be completely useless. If it didn't crash at start up it would crash while trying to load the saved game. Degradation right there.
  • I think these issues are device dependent as I never experienced them. In my original comment, I was commenting on the apps performance without the bugging issue, it wasn't good either, and there were many apps that needed to connect to Google play store and didn't work. Games on the other hand ran perfectly as if they were native with no additional work done, just the press of a button. I think that Microsoft needed to work on the bugging issues instead of killing the bridge, it would have helped close the app gap in no time. Then again, what do we know?
  • We'll never know if it was the Astoria bridge or something else like debug code that they happened to remove at the same time. What gets me is that Windows 10 is one code base. Why not enable Astoria for full Windows? Say it's not stable enough for mobile, but if your laptop/tablet has 4GB of RAM and a good processor any lag that Astoria brought would surely be overcome with a bit of power. Because I've been thinking of getting a tablet (finally) and would prefer Windows because 95% of my usage would be browsing and email. But it would be nice occasionally to use an app/game and I'm sure there's better and more for Android (even though there's better and more for iOS). That makes me think I should instead get an Android tablet, but that would be a bigger sacrifice due to the OS being so limited and basic. Thus I've never gotten a tablet - so just make the bridge available on full Windows and suddenly Windows tablets have a lot more to offer users.
  • I do think MS wanna avoid piracy of Android apps by certain people.
  • Yeah that slowing down of the OS is such a false excuse. It's been out of the OS for the past several months and the OS still hasn't been released publically on older devices
  •   Someone set up a full android lumia through the project and that was the reason to stop all
  • Project Astoria probably may not happen soon due to the oracle and android lawsuit. Google has to remove the java subsystem from android.
  • well if that's true google will have to create a completely new os from scratch. android itself is basically java, on top of a linux kernel
  • Still wish they had the chopps to better develop ut with windows plus features..shame
  • I think this will improve windows 10 mobile and ms will have it's attention to windows phone os .I hope so :)
  • The question becomes how much iOS specific coding is in most of the apps w10 doesn't have. Guess we'll have a rounded out picture of this tool's momentum by build.
  • It will never work, it's Microsoft they will **** up as always!
  • Woohoo...go Garry...
  • Thanks for the amazingly uplifting comment, just what I needed with my cup of coffee this fine morning. /s
  • Sounds promising. The adage "You can bring the horse to water, but you can't make it drink" seems appropriate here, unfortunately. Still, it's promising!
  • But you can drown it.
  • Lol, but who is drowning here Windows or iOS?
  • The horse
  • HAHAHA...Good one @ Chris_Kez
  • Good news.
  • If thats possible why dont they port their outlook and skype apps from IOS. I heard it runs better and has more features.
  • Lol Posted via the Note 4/Nexus 7 (2013)/Lumia 1020/Lumia 2520
  • And Skype, OneNote, OneDrive.....
  • Essentially port over ALL microsoft ios apps. Seriously:D the win 10 versions are **** hah
  • This, also agree with you.. I find the iOS apps with more options and more advanced over all. Why do they show how easy it is to port apps, and by the same time please the WM users with better apps, just re-touching some UX to be more in line with WM10
  • Isn't this because they are ports but completely different applications from acquired companies that are wrapped in a MS UI? Isn't this the case for Outlook?
  • Exactly.
    95% of their apps are much better on iOS, then there are the apps that aren't even on Windows mobile like Sway. It makes me sick for much better the apps are.
  • These are the questions the editor of such sites should ask MS.
  • Microsoft is demonstrating to IOS developers with the apps on IOS how good apps can be from the Windows side in hopes of getting them inspired to port their apps especially using the Windows universal app.  
  • Yeah, you heard right!
  • Why would a developer waste their time and effort? What would they gain?
  • Up to 200 million extra potential customers? That's at present, it's continually growing. That's kinda the whole point of the Windows 10 Universal Platform.
  • 200 million DESKTOP users who have a choice of fully functional web browsers which can perform all their required tasks (Edge excluded) and no real need for less functional "apps". Not to mention its a shrinking market too.
  • ~theefman, you are looking at it through childlike bias goggles. A cold hearted / level headed dev will look at effort vs reward. If it suits them in terms of additional revenue, or widens their app coverage then as long as the effort to port (bridge) isn't high then its could be a straightforward way to attract many more customers. 200 million isn't a small target audience. There are also millions of tablet and phone users.
  • 200 users who already have access to your fully functional website. I don't think you read his comment. There is no reason at all to create a Windows 10 app. A website is just as powerful and can be accessed on any platform. Windows app store is DOA. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Whilst I understand what you're saying and to a degree why you're saying it, you'd be a fool to dismiss it that readily. Yes, currently those 200 million are predominantly desktop users, but also includes tablets and 2-in-ones, and will evolve to include mobile, Xbox, Hololens and IoT. I'm sure you probably already know all this. How sure are you that there are no iOS devs out there that would like to tap into tha