Microsoft: Use Xamarin to port Android apps to Windows

Microsoft is discontinuing Project Astoria, an effort announced last year to bring Google Android mobile apps to its Universal Windows Apps fold. Instead, the company is encouraging developers to look at its newly acquired Xamarin technologies to create cross-platform applications, including for Android.

Astoria was part of the company's Bridges strategy, unveiled at the Microsoft Build conference last year, for getting mobile apps from iOS and Android to run on Windows 10. But the company was criticized by developers for having two Bridge technologies, one for iOS and one for Android, said Kevin Gallo, vice president of the Windows developer platform at Microsoft. "For those developers who spent time investigating the Android Bridge, we strongly encourage you to take a look at the iOS Bridge and Xamarin as great solutions," he said.

Astoria was intended to convert Android apps by using an interoperability library to integrate Microsoft services. (The Windows Bridge for iOS, known as Project Islandwood, has already been released as an open source project, in August.)

With Xamarin's cross-platform tools now in the Microsoft fold, however, Windows Universal Platform development could be extended to Android, iOS, and other platforms. Xamarin's tools help Windows developers build cross-platform apps providing native experiences on Android and iOS. "With Xamarin, they can now use a large percentage of their C# code to deliver a fully native mobile app experience for iOS and Android," Gallo said.

Microsoft plans to elaborate further on its Universal Windows Platform, as well as on Xamarin and Bridges, at the upcoming Build conference, which begins on March 30.

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