Did Microsoft really just announce easier iOS app porting?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by Michael Goff, Apr 29, 2015.

  1. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

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    #2
    Ha, that's pretty crazy! Could totally see a lot of the apps I use as Windows ones.
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #3
    I'm watching the build conference and yeah they did. The demo was very interesting. This could definitely help the platform with their app problem.
     
  3. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

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    #4
    If everything that Microsoft have announced over the past year works as advertised without issue, they're onto a winner.
     
  4. jeepik macrumors regular

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    #5
    Surface Pro 3 with iPad apps...man that could be the news of the year
     
  5. mclld macrumors 68000

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    #6
    Even bigger than sp3 with ios apps would be any of the sub 100 Windows tablets that could run them
     
  6. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #7
    I've seen these efforts in the past and the results are always the same...

    This marks an admit of defeat regarding Modern UI apps.

    There is now no incentive to develop natively-optimized ModUI apps. There will be some interpretive layers or runtimes to ease the transition from other platforms. That will ultimately require more horsepower to attain the same level of performance as on the app's "native" OS platform.

    These ported apps will not exploit the native/unique capabilities of Windows and will therefore provide an inferior experience compared to their counterparts from their OS of origin.

    I know that I'm pretty much alone in this view.
     
  7. Lobwedgephil macrumors 68030

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    #8
    I agree with you, Blackberry would let developers port their Android app over and the result was a non native very poor functioning apps that didn't take advantage of anything BB had to offer. Those apps were a poor experience for the most part. But to be fair, BB native apps sucked also.
     
  8. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

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    #9
    I suppose it depends on the implementation. I don't blame MS for abandoning modern UI apps, why fight the juggernaut when you can leash and use it.
     
  9. thelead macrumors 6502

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    #10
    I can't say that I've played it and know how well it performs but they did mention that Candy Crush was ported (secretly) this way. Pretty awesome if it works as advertised.
     
  10. Technarchy macrumors 603

    Technarchy

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    #11
    Agreed. It doesn't make sense for Microsoft to bang their head against the wall and waste hundreds of millions of dollars building something no one cares about.

    Better to ride the wave and let Apple do some of the lifting and cash in.
     
  11. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #12
    The 800 pound gorilla in the room is the fact that no one was writing modern apps. Either MS had to change or try to get developers to get on board. They tried the latter without much success, so the former is their best option.

    I'm not sold on the idea that it will be inferior, and if the platform takes off and starts making money, then developers will look to better leverage the hardware to maximize the profits.

    The first step is to grow the platform, MS largely failed on the mobile front, so if they can start getting more people to use the phones, and developers to port their apps - that's a great first step.
     
  12. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #13
    That's all well and good now. But leading up to this announcement by Microsoft the response to the claim you just made was met with derision and dismissal by many.


    Your argument is well-reasoned. The problem is, every time that it has been tried in the past it has failed. (not just by Microsoft, but by others as well) Each time it is attempted, reasons are given as to why THAT time the results will be different... but it ends up being the same.

    In Microsoft's case they have burned a lot of bridges over the years, and haven't done anything to show that there are substantive and foundational changes. There's a reason why few developed software for ModUI, or did so half-heartedly. Until the causes are recognized and dealt with, any attempt to grow app development will fail.

    Their missteps have longstanding consequences that often extend beyond the life of the product or service they bungled.

    It has been nearly 3 years since Windows 8 was widely seen in the tech community. Microsoft STILL has not recovered from their decision of what Win 8 would be. Their decision to include Windows RT into the mix with the launch of the Surface has had an impact as well. They're backtracking from the vision they cast with Win8 and (by some accounts) overcorrecting with the changes to Win 10.

    Those developers who went "all-in" in ramping up learning about ModUI development, spent a lot of time with little payback to develop those apps. Now, in essence, Microsoft is pulling the rug out from under them and saying, "you invested that time and effort but that was a waste of time. You should've been developing for Android and iOS... if you did, you'd have an easier time of producing a ModUI app. Sucks to be you."

    That is not going to gain favor with those developers, and it certainly is going to reinforce the decision of the vast majority of other developers who ignored the Windows platform in favor of Android and iOS.


    They don't have a good track record of do-or-die commitments to their consumer products (XBox being the lone exception). They have a case of "corporate ADD" that is only surpassed by Samsung.

    I'll bet WITH the streak, I'll only be wrong once. ;)
     
  13. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #14
    I won't disagree with you that the track record is less then stellar. I've used the OS/2 argument against running apps on another platform as an example on different sites. The ability of windows to run android apps is a mark of desperation and is actually counter productive since developers will choose to avoid writing apps for windows, since their android apps work.

    On the flip side, by allowing the porting of apps so easily, It allows developers with an opportunity to make more money then before, i.e., their iOS apps can be easily ported to generate a new revenue stream.

    Agreed, and I think we're seeing a recognition on their part of those missteps. They either need to recognize the error of their ways and work to correcting it, or stick to their guns and say how great their platform is. That option didn't work too well for Palm, BlackBerry seems to be adhering to this as well (though they can run android apps).

    That does seem to be the MO of Microsoft, they see they grossely miscalculated and over correct the other way. I don't think porting iOS apps to windows is that over-correction. Unless things change, I do think windows 10 on a tablet exhibits that phenomenon.

    Agreed, and this impacts the smaller developers more the larger software publishing houses, but I think the long term effects are not as devastating
     
  14. Abazigal macrumors 604

    Abazigal

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    #15
    I don't see how this allows for a better user experience for Windows device users.

    Apart from games, I daresay that most, if not all apps that were developed in line with iOS 8 or material design aesthetics in mind will look out of place on a windows interface.

    Those apps will not benefit from APIs on Apple's platforms, so you won't be getting all the full functionality anyways.

    Sure, I suppose you could argue that getting a ported version of instagram is better than no instagram at all, but what does it say when windows users continue to be treated as 3rd world citizens getting hastily-ported apps instead of native optimised apps built from the ground up?

    I can understand why Microsoft is doing this. It's the lesser of two evils, but it still sucks.
     
  15. jamezr macrumors G3

    jamezr

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    #16
    That is exactly my point. The whole user experience will suffer from apps that do not have the same functionality on one platform when ported to another. I have seen this so many times.
     
  16. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #17
    Interesting that you should mention OS/2. For a significant portion of my career at IBM, I worked on OS/2 and worked with Microsoft. I had a front row seat to what the introduction of Win-OS2 did to OS/2 overall.

    Microsoft kept making changes to Windows (some of which were obviously to throw a monkey wrench into Win-OS2), we kept chasing the changes. Apple is moving away from Objective-C and onto Swift. Microsoft would need to update their porting tools to support Swift... Apple is not one to sit still and will make updates to Swift and iOS APIs that Microsoft will need to address. (note: Apple wouldn't necessarily be doing it to foul up MS, Apple has a track record of moving forward)


    The law of diminishing returns. No matter how good the porting tools will be, the benefits of expending the cost and effort to port an app to Windows will pale in comparison to the benefits of the effort spent in making the iOS and/or Android version better. There's the danger that a sub-par/poor port on Windows can tarnish the app's reputation.

    And THAT is before Apple does anything...

    Should Apple produce an iPad Pro (with expanded hardware and OS capabilities) that would reign in developers to enhance their software to exploit these new capabilities.

    with the size of the CPU in the new Macbook, Apple appears to be close to producing a device with dual-CPU that can natively and optimally run as both a tablet and notebook. That could be a game-changer.
     
  17. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 603

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    #18
    This is a wait and see moment. I don't expect too much.
     
  18. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

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    #19
    Microsoft backtracking from Win8 is a huge mistake IMO and there will be a backlash against win10 from tablet users. Tablet use on Win10 is terrible, they nixed all the great tablet features from win8. It's really sad to see such a lack of forward vision from a company like Microsoft.

    I agree that pulling modern UI out from under developers sucks, but at the same time unifying everything is a huge step forward and in the end a plus to a developer as it opens there app up to more markets.

    Microsoft is a funny company. They have come out with some revolutionary products like the surface/surface pro and talk of having your PC on your smartphone is incredible. But man they make some obviously awful decisions sometimes. I suppose it's too many cogs in the machine.

    ----------

    I wonder if Apple would cannibalize their own market of laptops by producing a surface like device. Although I'll assume it would still run iOS, differentiating itself from a MacBook anyway. My guess is the ipad pro will just be an oversized ipad with multi window support, although that's all they need to sell millions.
     
  19. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #20
    I agree, except it being a plus for developers.

    I was a huge fan of the Zune devices and software. I was also the oddball who was a fan of the Surface RT (I referred to it as the Zune tablet that Zune fans wanted). I thought the concept and execution had merit, but was poorly handled by Microsoft.

    I have the kiss-of-death re: Microsoft consumer products. If I embrace one, it dies. Be thankful that I haven't embraced the SP3. :p



    You mention too many cogs in the Microsoft machine, and that is an accurate assessment. Apple doesn't appear to suffer from that. They care about the bottom line and as long as it doesn't affect the reputation of the corporation overall they don't care where the money is coming from.

    So yes, I can see Apple doing such a thing.
     
  20. spinedoc77, Apr 30, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2015

    spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

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    #21
    Apple seems to have very strong leadership. MS seems to be divided and have many leaders and infighting. I think this is what leads to many of the obviously bad decisions seeing the light of day. RT was one of those bad decisions through and through.

    Going back to WP Microsoft has shown to have hardware at least equal to Apple's if not better, with more features and truly revolutionary designs. Instead of making a surface phone they go and spend billions on Nokia. They need to wake up and make a surface phone, give us that dream you spoke about where you can make your phone your entire PC. If the surface phone has anywhere near the build quality and functionality of the surface/surface pro line I bet it will sell in droves.

    EDIT: BTW just to add, I think the unification of platforms is a great advantage to developers. The thing is, the desktop isn't dead as much as people like to cry that it is. The continuum feature will make your phone a desktop PC so having those apps written universally will allow switching from phone paradigm to desktop paradigm, instead of having to develop 2 separate apps, or even 3 if you include a tablet in the mix. Being able to port android/iOS is great for today and MS is trying to get more developers to come to its side, but I'll bet once those devs see the possibilities and once MS starts to achieve the sales needed to drive those devs, many of them will switch over and start writing apps natively. The market for windows desktop programs is obviously still very robust and certainly is more expensive versus apps in many cases. IMO the ios/android porting is just to entice developers and garner more sales, but there will come a time when MS has enough devs and won't really need the porting ability anymore.

    It's a genius move IMO. Make it dead simple for developers to port their apps, garner sales through a larger app market, entice developers to develop natively and enjoy the huge market of desktop users in the world and the newly growing mobile/phone/tablet market.
     
  21. DarthVader! macrumors member

    DarthVader!

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    #22
    How so? Can you cite some examples, for the first time in years Microsoft seems to be focused and marching to a single drum beat, all thanks to Nadella. Before with Ballmer different divisions were in fighting, which was one reason why they struggled with their tablet vision (pre-iPad), the office division did what they could to throw a monkey wrench in the works of getting Office on a tablet, i.e., making the applications much more difficult to use with a touch UI. Now everyone is walking lockstep in Nadella's vision of MS.
     
  22. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

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    #23
    They are still very much fighting with their tablet vision, much more so than in the Ballmer days. I'm not defending Ballmer, he needed to go and Nadella seems very good for the company. But their tablet vision sucks right now, Windows 10 took away most of the features that made windows 8 an incredible experience on a tablet. They are backtracking heavily with OneDrive taking away the ability to see unsynced files, this is a huge step backwards. As for Office, I guess I'll opine on that when they actually release it.

    I'm super excited about MS announcements and I'm the biggest MS fanboy on here. So you know if I refuse to install Win10 onto my SP3 something has to be wrong. With that said I have high hopes that win 10.1 will fix many of my complaints, just like win 8.1 did for win 8. I'm not losing hope at all, just retreating and waiting on the sidelines for a bit.
     
  23. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #24
    That Surface phone-type thing that Belfiore demoed will suffer the same fate as Courier and custom blades. Remember those things? ;)


    Like I mentioned before, that has never been successful in the past and there is not reason why it will be this time around.
     
  24. spinedoc77, May 1, 2015
    Last edited: May 1, 2015

    spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

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    #25
    Well, there is NO surface phone at this time. Belfiore demoed the ability for future windows phones to function as full PC's, it's not hardware, well only so much as whatever specs are required. I don't think MS specific phone will be any different than any other OEM phone except in design. Although even if there was I wouldn't compare it to the blade/courier at all, I'd compare it to the surface pro/surface line which is successful at the moment and the surface pro will be in its 4th iteration in a couple of months. Yeah I definitely disagree heavily, a surface phone would be quite successful especially with the continuum feature. This is similar to how the SP3 has been increasingly successful because consumers realize they don't need a laptop, desktop and a tablet. Seriously, I cannot fathom how consumers wouldn't be excited to have their ENTIRE PC in their smartphone. Certainly the implementation will be what makes or breaks it so hopefully they get it right, but I can't argue that they are getting more wrong than right with Windows 10 so I definitely see your point.

    Edit: Forgot to add just how much more insane the continuum feature is, you can still fully use your phone as a phone when it's connected, and at the same time use the "desktop", truly giving us 2 devices out of one. Stuff like this is true innovation, where I see other companies with their toy OS' putting forth the absolute minimum of effort to achieve any kind of desktop type environment.
     

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