Microsoft Delays Tool That Brings Android Apps to Windows
A Microsoft plan for a tool to help developers bring Android apps to Windows 10 devices appears to have been delayed. The bridge tool, being developed under the name Project Astoria, was one of four announced earlier this year at the Microsoft Build conference.
"We're committed to offering developers many options to bring their apps to the Windows Platform, including bridges available now for Web and iOS, and soon Win32," a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement. "The Astoria bridge is not ready yet, but other tools offer great options for developers."
Previous reports about the Astoria bridge noted the tool would have helped close the "app gap" for Windows devices, in particular, Windows Phones. However, reports also concluded that the project was viewed by some as a threat to the work of Windows-specific developers.
Limited Preview Participation
The Windows Bridge for Android tool had been made available through a "Limited Developer Preview" that required users to sign up for the program. Microsoft has also limited developer participation for its other bridge projects.
"By limiting the number of developers involved, the engineering team is better able to get the feedback necessary to advance the toolkit and to ensure that the toolkits meet the needs of the developer community," according to the signup page for the Windows Developer Preview Programs. "As each bridge evolves, Microsoft will make it more broadly available."
After signing up, developers who were accepted for any of the bridge programs received invitations from Microsoft. Those who didn't receive invites could still be brought on board later, as Microsoft said it intended to "expand the program to additional developers on a regular basis."
'Grateful for Developer Feedback'
In a YouTube video posted earlier this year, Microsoft Group Program Manager Agnieszka Girling demonstrated how the Astoria emulator tool could be used to bring Android apps to Windows devices. The video showed how the experience of using the Timber app on an Android-powered Nexus 6 could be emulated on a Windows-powered Lumia 1520 smartphone.
"If you build apps for other platforms, Windows 10 provides bridges to let you bring your code to Windows," Girling said in the video. "The technology we're introducing today enables you to build great Windows apps while reusing your Android code and tools."
Windows Central last Friday reported that it currently appears that the Android bridge is "not happening anytime soon." It cited several sources who said the project had been put on hold or "maybe even shelved completely."
The article noted that Microsoft had not posted replies to developer questions on its Astoria forums since September, and said that recent builds for Windows 10 Mobile Insiders did not feature an Android subsystem.
"We're grateful to the feedback from the development community and look forward to supporting them as they develop apps for Windows 10," according to the Microsoft spokesperson.
Posted: 2015-12-01 @ 8:50pm PT
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