Microsoft's Universal Apps proposal expanded upon: "Astoria" and "IslandWood"

Discussion in 'iOS Programming' started by uid15, May 3, 2015.

  1. uid15 Suspended

    uid15

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2015
    #1
    I'm curious to know what the devs in here think of this superb new innovation from Microsoft, whereby they have developed tools to allow iOS and Android code to be ported to Windows Mobile with almost no effort at all.

    "IslandWood" = the iOS side.

    "Astoria" = the Android side.

    http://arstechnica.com/information-...rosoft-brings-android-ios-apps-to-windows-10/

    For me, this is a REALLY exciting proposition, and I can't help but feel that this can be nothing but a right step on the behalf of Microsoft, who's platform seems to have barely attracted any apps from authors who also have iOS and Android versions. Having said that, "Threes!" by Servio, and "Monument Valley" have both been ported recently - I wonder if the authors were given inside access to the new tools to achieve this?

    Any comments? :)

    Thanks.
     
  2. ArtOfWarfare macrumors 604

    ArtOfWarfare

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #2
    I stopped using Apple's SDKs when they unveiled Swift. Everything I do now is either in Unity 3D, JavaScript, or Python. I've known native was dying for a long time (that's why Steve Jobs initially said web apps only for iOS) and now it really is. It's quicker and easier to write your apps using one of the three things I just mentioned than it is to use any tools from Apple, Google, or Microsoft. And mobile devices have good enough hardware at this point that you can't tell the difference.

    The main project I'm working on right now is a program that replaces Finder, Terminal, Explorer, Command Line, PowerShell, any text editors you use, and whatever you use for similar tasks on any other platform. It's entirely written in Python, and people are amazed when I show it to them. It's amazing what it does, and it's amazing that nothing about it is native.
     
  3. uid15 thread starter Suspended

    uid15

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2015
    #3
    That's great, and well done, but not really anything to do with the topic.
     
  4. ArtOfWarfare macrumors 604

    ArtOfWarfare

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    #4
    You were discussing porting apps. I'm saying that ever having it be native in the first place is silly.
     
  5. uid15, May 4, 2015
    Last edited: May 4, 2015

    uid15 thread starter Suspended

    uid15

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    #5
    To have a translated app or language is asking for trouble; look at Java and Android. Why do you think iOS and Windows Mobile are SO smooth and RAM efficient? Because they are running compiled, native code. Asking an OS to translate code instead of you having pre-compiled it, is like taking hundreds of portions of uncooked food to a wedding reception, and asking each guest to cook their own - VERY inefficient.

    I disagree with you, and you may find that a huge number of other people would do so too, including everyone at Apple and Microsoft.

    PS: Steve Jobs is gone, and besides - he said "It's a post-PC world".... yeah, righty ho :D :rolleyes:
     
  6. ArtOfWarfare macrumors 604

    ArtOfWarfare

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #6
    Although Java is crap that I keep far away from, it's not for performance reasons. I keep away from it because it's only a modest improvement over C in productivity.

    I haven't used Java/Android in several years but as I recall, it wasn't too bad performance wise. The GUI and UX were crap, but that didn't strike me as performance problems so much as it being considered very low priority.

    For what it's worth, Unity can compile to native.

    What's it matter if his body died? He said we're in a post-PC world, and it seems to me he was right. You yourself are talking about writing mobile applications, not PC applications. My fiancée goes weeks between using her computer, using her iPad and/or iPhone for 98+% of everything she would have previously used her computer for.
     
  7. uid15 thread starter Suspended

    uid15

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    Mar 9, 2015
    #7

    And what do you use to write the applications... an iPad? ;) Nope. A PC or Mac.
     
  8. ArtOfWarfare macrumors 604

    ArtOfWarfare

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    Nov 26, 2007
    #8
    I actually use Code Anywhere on my iPhone 6+ pretty often. I can write up HTML/CSS/JavaScript/Python files for my headless server on it and test in Mobile Safari.

    But yes, I mostly use my iMac for its bigger screen and full, physical, keyboard.

    That's not what SJ meant by being in a Post PC world, though. He was referring to the demise of computers for most people. For most people, a tablet or phone is sufficient.

    Having said that, if I had a external display and keyboard to use with my iPhone, plus a split screen mechanism, I could do all my web development right on it. The only thing I really can't imagine coming to iOS in the near future (within 3 years) is the Unity Editor.
     
  9. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

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    UK
    #9
    "Post-PC" is a marketing buzz word created to promote the iPad. Nothing more.
     
  10. uid15 thread starter Suspended

    uid15

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    Mar 9, 2015
    #10
    If my Grandmother had wheels, she'd be a trolley car... but she hasn't.

    No one is able to quantify "most people"; everyone's needs are different. However, I feel a swift return to the subject matter would be good.

    Many thanks.
     
  11. 1458279 Suspended

    1458279

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    California
    #11
    Ok, so this looks like a product that will take iOS/ObjC apps and allow them to run on the Win device.

    Is this a runtime VM type solution or does it compile to native like Xcode does?

    If the changes are small and it produces a compiled app then this could change things a bit.

    I'm sure MS could make an "objC" compiler/linker and have it work with their APIs... In fact isn't the compiler Xcode uses open source?

    It's not like MS has never written a compiler.

    Maybe Google should do the same thing...


    Imagine if all the primaries (Apple/Android/BB/MS/...) had the same option as Xcode does... where you could use C/C++/ObjC

    Our lives could get easier and they would have more app sharing.
     
  12. firewood macrumors 604

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    Jul 29, 2003
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #12
    It's a lot more. Currently, a higher percentage of the planet's human population are running computer applications on their mobile phones and tablets than on PCs.

    Like the mainframe, supercomputer, and minicomputer, PCs are still used, but are no longer the dominant platform for user visible computer applications. It hasn't even been the biggest platform for invisible (e.g. embedded) computer code for close to 2 decades.

    ----------

    If these MS tools allow me to port native iOS and Android+NDK apps that wrap portable C code, and maintain UI frame rate, I'll give them a try.
     
  13. uid15 thread starter Suspended

    uid15

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2015
    #13
    If you read the article, and Google "Project IslandWood" and "Project Astoria", you'll find those questions answered; yes, these will be apps that are compiled from Android/iOS source code, NOT virtual machine type apps.

    Someone on TwiT's "Windows Weekly" (http://twit.tv/ww), mentioned that a possible downside to this approach is the fact that each platform has its own unique APIs and associated features, the likes of which may be skimmed over and unused by generic, ported code. I am not a programmer by trade, but I understand the terminology and what is being talked about, but since these projects have only just been announced, it's hard to say... yet.
     
  14. 1458279 Suspended

    1458279

    Joined:
    May 1, 2010
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    California
    #14
    One issue with a product that comes out after a market has already been around for years is that the market keeps going forward. If the product can offer more than what the developer already has now and will get later by keeping on the same track, the product will not be of much help.

    This is the problem with a product like Swift. We already have a perfectly functional language and as I understand, Swift offers nothing above what ObjC already offers.

    Apps continue to become more advanced and those that want cross platform have likely already addressed it. As a product becomes more advanced, they tend to keep the old code base. Most businesses using a mature platform will stick with it for as long as they can. They have to compare the cost of starting all over again vs the gain they would expect from doing that.

    In addition, the issue of future change. It's clear to many that Apple like things just the way they are. BB,MS and others would like developers to develop for them, while Apple would like to lock the developers into their platform. Apple could and has done things to jump out in front and keep out in front of others in many areas and seems to be doing well with that.

    Moving from what tools we have now over to something else doesn't seem that it will produce a large gain. Given the size of the iOS market, one could do very well there alone. Same could be said for the Android market.

    IMO, it's really up to the platform makers (MS,BB,...) to create something that'll work for the developers. It's hard to imagine that MS has created and/or maintained so many different languages that they couldn't produce a product that'll allow their device to run our code.
     

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