Microsoft Enabling Android App Development On Windows

Microsoft has announced a new set of tools that can help Windows users to develop cross-platform applications for desktop and mobile alike, with minimal porting effort to get those applications onto multiple platforms. The core of the push for cross-platform development support is a number of enhancements to the cross-platform initiatives introduced in .NET 2.0 that will allow the same codebase to be used across multiple ecosystems thanks to tweaks in the interpreter and compiler. The second biggest part of this is a new way of handling XAML that integrates with the already cross-platform .NET standard, called XAML Standard 1.0. They also debuted a new iOS development tool called the Xamarin Live Player.

XAML Standard 1.0's cross-platform integration means that the core codebase, UI designer, and compiling tools can all be used on Windows, while developing apps for just about any ecosystem, including Android, iOS, and Windows. That makes it easier than ever to design cross-platform apps on the .NET codebase, using common and compatible standards, tools, and languages like C++, Visual Studio, and even Javascript, in older .NET versions. App codebase can be seamlessly ported from end to end, with just a few lines of code. The Xamarin Live Player, meanwhile, is a tool that makes iOS development less painful by allowing developers to feed code directly to a paired iOS device while still using Visual Studio's debugging tools in real time. While a similar tool does exist for Android, thanks to the cross-platform capabilities of .NET and Visual Studio, an app could presumably be tested on an iOS device in a pinch, then ported to Android.

This move toward embracing cross-platform developers on Windows is exciting indeed; developers no longer need to fiddle with dual-booting Linux or buy a Mac in order to develop seamless cross-platform apps, meaning that it will be easier for just about anybody to jump into mobile development and put their apps out there. Microsoft's attitude toward development and developer advocacy outside of the Windows space has undergone a number of drastic shifts since CEO Satya Nadella took office. The computing giant has not only embraced Linux by allowing the embedding of a Bash shell and Linux core into Windows 10, but has even joined the Linux Foundation. Microsoft has also been hard at work bringing some of their best tools and apps to other platforms, such as ports of Cortana and Microsoft Translate for Android.

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Daniel Fuller

Senior Staff Writer
Daniel has been writing for Android Headlines since 2015, and is one of the site's Senior Staff Writers. He's been living the Android life since 2010, and has been interested in technology of all sorts since childhood. His personal, educational and professional backgrounds in computer science, gaming, literature, and music leave him uniquely equipped to handle a wide range of news topics for the site. These include the likes of machine learning, voice assistants, AI technology development, and hot gaming news in the Android world. Contact him at [email protected]
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