Microsoft offering help to developers porting Android apps to Windows Phone

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Windows Phone App Guy

Even with all the great new features of Windows Phone Mango, Microsoft’s mobile OS still lacks something very important: apps. Previously Microsoft has tried to make it easy for iOS developers to port their apps over to Windows Phone 7, and now its moving on to Android developers.

Microsoft is now trying to lure Android app developers into porting apps to Windows Phone by providing some tools to help. Those tools include Android to Windows Phone API mapping and a 90+ page white paper called “Windows Phone 7 Guide for Android Application Developers.” The API mapping will translate Android APIs to Windows Phone APIs for developers. It won’t work automatically, but developers should be able to easily substitute the APIs needed for the new OS. The white paper is just as it sounds, a document that is supposed to make the transition from Android to Windows Phone easier on developers.

Microsoft also has the “App Guy” in their forums to help developers transition. Presumably App Guy knows a lot about Windows Phone as well as Android and iOS so he can help developers with issues. Or, developers can just help each other if he’s too busy.

These tools don’t include APIs for Mango, but it’s still better than nothing. It’d be nice to see popular apps make their way to all platforms with little frustration. It’s doubtful that more than just the most successful apps will make their way to Windows Phone, though. Maybe once the OS gains more marketshare, but for now I wouldn’t expect a whole lot of ported apps making it to the Marketplace.

Read [Windows Phone Developer Blog]

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