It’s official: Project Astoria, Microsoft’s effort to create a bridge for porting over Android apps to Windows 10, is no more.
Just one day after announcing its acquisition of multiplatform app development company Xamarin, Microsoft released an update to developers on the company’s bridge projects, which reads in part:
“We…decided that we would focus our efforts on the Windows Bridge for iOS and make it the single Bridge option for bringing mobile code to all Windows 10 devices, including Xbox and PCs. 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.”
The move comes as little surprise, since Microsoft has been pretty mum on Project Astoria over the last few months, while at the same time announcing it was open-sourcing its iOS-to-Windows Bridge and encouraging developers to test it out. Both bridge projects were launched at last year’s Build conference to improve the pipeline for Universal Windows apps.
Microsoft’s acquisition of Xamarin, however, changes the game, since developers using Xamarin can take their existing C# code to create fully native mobile apps for Windows, iOS or Android. Microsoft also says developers had found it confusing that there were two bridge options.
However, there are still some unanswered question here, such as what is the best road for Android developers who are writing in Java rather than C#. Also, as Ian Paul points out in PC World,
How someone could confuse a code base for an Android app and a code base for an iOS app is unclear. It’s more likely that Microsoft was looking for a reason to kill Astoria and that’s the best they could come up with.
Initially aimed at game developers, the iOS to Windows Bridge will now seek to provide API coverage for all apps, says Microsoft: “We’re aiming for significant development cost savings for the majority of ‘typical’ apps.”