Microsoft Releases Tool To Map iOS Apps to Windows Phone 7

Microsoft last week announced  a new service for mobile developers that helps developers port their Apple iOS applications to the Windows Phone 7 platform.

This new tool looks to simplify the coding process for existing apps that run on Apple's mobile OS. It allows developers to check application programming interfaces (APIs) for Apple iOS applications and determine the Windows Phone 7 mobile OS equivalent.

"With this tool, iPhone developers can grab their apps, pick out the iOS API calls, and quickly look up the equivalent classes, methods and notification events in WP7," wrote Microsoft's Jean-Christophe Cimetiere, Sr. technical evangelist for interoperability, in a blog post.  "A developer can search a given iOS API call and find the equivalent WP7 along with C# sample codes and API documentations for both platforms."

This move by Microsoft comes on the heels of an Appcelerator and IDC study that polled mobile developers and found that only 29 percent are interested in developing for the Windows Phone platform. Compared with developer interest in Apple's platform at 91 percent, it is easy to see why Microsoft would want a tool to help bridge the gap.

While Microsoft plans to release future updates, this initial release of the tool only supports the mapping of three API categories: User Interface, Network and Internet, and Data Management.

"For this first round we focused on identifying the one-to-one mapping when it exists," wrote Cimetiere. "In the following versions we'll expand the scope and anytime the concepts are similar enough, we'll do our best to provide the appropriate guidance."

As for updates to come, Microsoft is turning to mobile developers to suggest what methods, classes and libraries they would like to see included. Feedback is being accepted at Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 interoperability page.

The interoperability tool is available for download here.

About the Author

Chris Paoli (@ChrisPaoli5) is the associate editor for Converge360.