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10-18-2012 07:51 PM
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  1. Joelist's Avatar
    I'm sorry to burst your bubble, but as someone who has been getting paid to develop on Windows for 17 years, I can tell you that your statement is flat out wrong on multiple levels.

    First of all, you can't port apps from iOS/Android to WinRT. You have to REWRITE THEM. From scratch. WinRT has completely different APIs. And in most cases, you can't even use the same language. Most iOS apps are written in Objective-C, which can't be used for WinRT. Most Android apps are written in Java, which can't be used for WinRT. Most WinRT apps are written in C++ or C#, and possibly JavaScript, none of which are particularly viable on iOS or Android (although C# and C++ can be used with certain limitations).

    There is simply no good cross platform solution for supporting Windows, Windows RT, Windows Phone 7, iOS, and Android. You have to develop entirely separate versions of your apps for each platform you want to support, which is why it's taken so long to get some of the more popular apps onto Windows Phone 7 - and why you'll never see a lot of them.

    Developers would love more than anything to be able to write once and run everywhere. Unfortunately the technology is just not there, and that's the way the platform creators like it.

    By the way, to even make a "Hello world" Windows Store app using Visual Studio, you are required to have an Internet connection and a valid Microsoft account. Some developers have already been complaining about this even though it's free. To publish your app to the store, you must pay a yearly subscription fee to be a developer. Then there are other costs, the hassle of having to go through certification, go through Microsoft to push out every update, give Microsoft a cut of every hard earned sale of your app, the sandboxing that prevents you from doing MANY things you used to be able to do and gives privileged apps such as Office an unfair advantage, etc etc. There are lots of downsides for developers to this new model from both technical and business perspectives.

    Developers will go there anyway, to the extent that it is possible, because there are some upsides (it's not ALL bad), but the picture being painted in this thread so far is entirely too rosy. Get realistic, people.
    I suggest you get up to date with what MS is doing with Windows 8 development. They have specifically provided for porting code. Your understanding of Windows 8 architecture also seems to be out of date.

    VS2012 comes with blend, which is a tool to assist in such ports. While it is true that Apple's oddball language (Objective C) requires some additional work it is not anything like what you are insinuating. Android apps are VERY easy to port as the compiler in VS already can consume Java via a free addon.

    As to apps being able to interoperate, that again is different in Windows 8/RT than in WP7. Part of the reason for the WinRT API is to allow such interaction without creating security issues.
    10-18-2012 03:50 PM
  2. tgr42's Avatar
    I suggest you get up to date with what MS is doing with Windows 8 development. They have specifically provided for porting code. Your understanding of Windows 8 architecture also seems to be out of date.

    VS2012 comes with blend, which is a tool to assist in such ports. While it is true that Apple's oddball language (Objective C) requires some additional work it is not anything like what you are insinuating. Android apps are VERY easy to port as the compiler in VS already can consume Java via a free addon.

    As to apps being able to interoperate, that again is different in Windows 8/RT than in WP7. Part of the reason for the WinRT API is to allow such interaction without creating security issues.
    Those are bold accusations. How about citing some sources to back up your claims? Ok, I will:

    Both Microsoft and Intel offer detailed and recent guides about how to port from Android to Windows Store:
    Port Android Application to Windows Store app - Windows Store app Development Support - Site Home - MSDN Blogs
    Porting Android* Apps to Windows 8* - Overview | Intel® Developer Zone

    Neither one of them mention being able to use Java as a programming language for Windows Store apps, and if you actually read them, they both describe the platforms as being completely different to the point where it's not really porting but rather rewriting your app.

    The top result on Google for WinRT java is this:
    application - Creating Windows Metro style apps with Java? - Stack Overflow

    If there was a way to do it, this question would have been updated by now. So what is the name of the free add-on you mentioned?

    As for Blend, I've been using it since 2007. It's a GUI-based UI design tool for building XAML and HTML/JS/CSS based UIs. It has nothing to do with porting, other than being just another tool used to build an app. There are similar tools for iOS and Android but they are not XAML or HTML/JS/CSS based at all. These platforms use completely different underlying UI representations which means you have to redo your UI from scratch on each one.

    The truth is, unless you're willing/able to halt development of your app for an extended period of time or hire additional staff or outsource the "port", it's not viable to bring an app from one of these platforms to another. If it was, I would be doing it right now, and so would many other developers big and small.
    Last edited by tgr42; 10-18-2012 at 04:20 PM.
    10-18-2012 04:13 PM
  3. blehblehbleh's Avatar
    There is simply no good cross platform solution for supporting Windows, Windows RT, Windows Phone 7, iOS, and Android. You have to develop entirely separate versions of your apps for each platform you want to support, which is why it's taken so long to get some of the more popular apps onto Windows Phone 7 - and why you'll never see a lot of them.
    At least MS documented the appropriate API calls though: WindowsPhone7Mapping - Library

    To publish your app to the store, you must pay a yearly subscription fee to be a developer.
    I thought all three follow this model?

    Neither one of them mention being able to use Java as a programming language for Windows Store apps, and if you actually read them, they both describe the platforms as being completely different to the point where it's not really porting but rather rewriting your app.
    Hasn't "porting" always been synonymous with rewriting? e.g. Mass Effect 3 was ported over to the Wii.
    Last edited by blehblehbleh; 10-18-2012 at 05:26 PM.
    10-18-2012 05:19 PM
  4. tgr42's Avatar
    At least MS documented the appropriate API calls though: WindowsPhone7Mapping - Library
    I applaud this effort, although its uni-directional interface is a bit off-putting.

    I thought all three follow this model?
    Windows Phone, Windows Store, and iOS require yearly subscription fees. Android does not - there's only a one-time $25 fee if you want your app in Google Play. Windows desktop applications don't require any registration or fee at all.

    Hasn't "porting" always been synonymous with rewriting? e.g. Mass Effect 3 was ported over to the Wii.
    No, quite the contrary. Wikipedia explains it well: Porting - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    10-18-2012 06:39 PM
  5. Daniel Ratcliffe's Avatar
    At least MS documented the appropriate API calls though: WindowsPhone7Mapping - Library
    I applaud this effort, although its uni-directional interface is a bit off-putting.
    Sounds slightly worrying but I'll have to give it a read later on.

    I thought all three follow this model?
    Windows Phone, Windows Store, and iOS require yearly subscription fees. Android does not - there's only a one-time $25 fee if you want your app in Google Play. Windows desktop applications don't require any registration or fee at all.
    BlackBerry - $200 per 10 apps (every update to an app counts as like a new app)
    iOS - £59/yr
    Mac App Store - £59/yr
    Android - $25 one-off
    Windows Store - unsure, will presume same as WP
    WP - £59/yr

    Hasn't "porting" always been synonymous with rewriting? e.g. Mass Effect 3 was ported over to the Wii.
    No, quite the contrary. Wikipedia explains it well: Porting - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Again will read later.
    10-18-2012 07:51 PM
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