Microsoft explains how to port iOS apps to Windows 10 through Project Islandwood

By: Vamien McKalin
2 minute read

Microsoft is hell bent on having developers create more apps for Windows 10 as it moves to create synergy between both the desktop and mobile versions of the operating system. One way the company is expected to do this, is via a program known only as Project Islandwood.

For those who might have no idea what Project Islandwood is, well, it is a program that should allow developers to port their iOS apps over to the PC in order for them to work on both the desktop and mobile versions of Windows 10.

The software giant created a post on its blog that is designed to help developers port their apps. The company highlighted the best ways to port apps, and also how to deal with problems when the apps have been ported. The post mainly contains geeky languages, so if you’re not a developer and lack the understanding of the meanings of several jargons, then you’ll be overly confused.

The post also focuses on an app known as Pori Fashion Show, created by Dong Yoon Park, Senior User Experience Designer at Microsoft. The post goes into detail of how Park got his iOS app up and running on Windows along with other important information.

Here’s a snippet of what Microsoft had to say via its blog:

iOS supports layout optimization for different sizes of screens through ‘Size Classes.’ Since Pori Fashion Show used constraint-based auto layout, he decided to add phone-specific layout by using the dimension information of the canvas size.

The Windows design guideline provides the break points for adaptive and responsive design. You can use this as guideline for setting up the threshold for your own app’s content layout.

From what we can tell, Pori Fashion Show is a simple app, so porting it to Windows 10 shouldn’t be much of a hassle. What we’d like to know is how difficult it would be for developers to port something more complex. Microsoft should offer more insight into this aspect of porting iOS apps to Windows 10 in the future.

Several apps have already been ported through the Project Islandwood program. For those unaware, both the Instagram and Facebook Messenger apps are direct ports from iOS. The software giant also plans to bring desktop x86 apps to the Windows Store via Project Centennial.

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