Microsoft launches iOS App Analysis tool for Windows Bridge

Microsoft has recently announced the release of its App Analysis tool as part of the Windows Bridge for iOS. The Windows Bridge for iOS is a free-to-use, open-source project that allows developers to create Universal Windows Platform apps (UWP) that can run on windows 10 devices using iOS APIs and Objective-C code. The company states that the tool will help iOS app developers bring their apps to the Windows Store by letting them test their iOS apps’ compatibility with the Windows Bridge for iOS. When developers submit their IPA file to the tool, it will analyze the file and give the developers a breakdown of what parts of their app are compatible with the Windows Bride for iOS. “Our goal is to give developers a head start with UWP app development by allowing them to reuse much of their iOS code base, and also make it easy for iOS developers to use their existing skills to take advantage of Windows 10 features,” said Nick Gerald, Program Manager, Microsoft, in a blog post.
You can use the App Analysis tool to immediately get a breakdown of what parts of your app are compatible with the bridge, giving you a good estimate of how much work would be required to turn your iOS app into a UWP app. And since the tool is web-based, there are no downloads and no installs required – just upload your IPA and you’re ready to go.
According to Microsoft, till now, developers had a hard time figuring out if their apps were a good match for the bridge. One had to download the SDK from GitHub, set up Windows 10 and Visual Studio 2015, generate a Visual Studio project for their iOS app, and finally run the code. For the past few months, the iOS bridge team claims to have been soliciting iOS app packages – called IPAs – from Microsoft’s developer community to help test and flesh out the App Analysis tool and has now, released the tool.

How does it work

The App Analysis tool claims to examine the project and cross reference the frameworks and classes used with the ones currently supported by the bridge to return the results right into the browser. The tool will also identify third-party libraries and SDK packages used in the project and let the user know if they – or equivalent libraries – are available on Windows 10. Though Microsoft states the analysis to be just a starting point, but it claims to give users a good idea of how much work will be required to bring their iOS app to Windows 10. On the Windows Dev Center, the company explains that the app analysis tool will give users a good sense of how well their code will run on Windows, but nothing will beat trying out the bridge. If the users have a PC, Microsoft directs them to download the bridge from GitHub and try it out with their app. If they have a Mac, which is the case with iOS users, the company urges developers to try one of its evaluation virtual machines which claims to be preloaded with Windows 10, Visual Studio 2015 and the Windows Bridge for iOS, and in Parallels, VMware, Hyper-V or Virtual Box. “Where possible, the tool will also provide actionable feedback for unsupported items. For instance, if you used Apple’s MapKit framework in your iOS app (which is currently unsupported by the bridge), you’ll get a recommendation to try using Bing Maps and a XAML map control, along with a link to a sample project and tutorial showing you how to do so. Similarly, if you use third-party libraries that are partially supported, you’ll get feedback on how to incorporate their functionality into your bridged app,” added Gerald.

Abhinav Mohapatra

An author who has a keen interest for the ‘off-beat’ <!--more-->An author who has a keen interest for the ‘off-beat’, he has covered and explored multiple facets of the marketing, advertising

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