back to article iOS and Android apps on Windows 10: How is this supposed to work?

Microsoft has shared more details of its plans to enable Android and iOS apps to be ported to Windows 10 at its Build developer event in San Francisco. The goal in both cases is to plug the “app gap” by making it easier for developers to support Windows 10, but the approach taken in each case is radically different. Objective …

  1. joeldillon

    The other likely option for 'something else' would be MIPS.

  2. RyokuMas Silver badge

    Call me back when you can build for iOS without requiring a Mac...

    ... probably the 17th of never....

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Develop for iOS without needing a Mac?

      Perhaps this might do the job?

      1. Deltics

        Re: Develop for iOS without needing a Mac?

        You still need a Mac when using the Smoking Chimpanzee (FireMonkey).

        There are processes in the build that must be performed by Xcode to produce the final executables/packages for deployment. This in unavoidable.

    2. sed gawk Silver badge

      As an aside,

      I once made a point of proving that one could produce a native C++ graphical application for OSX purely on a Linux workstation. I mainly work on Linux but I try to make my (cross-compiled) code run on FreeBSD/Windows.

      I though OSX is basically BSD right, it should be fine, I was comically wrong.

      Eventually got it working but tbh, I came to the conclusion that it's only possible to integrate correctly into a fully automated, sane development process, at horrific cost and extreme fragility.

      I suspect that IOS would be the same, you'll end-up with a per-device+major-os copy of gcc/clang.

      The problem is going to be in fully replicating the bugs that a lot of the apple toolchain depends on.

      for example otool (edits metadata inside apple binary format) is buggy as anything.

      In short, if you want to do OSX development purely on Libre software, its possible but a PITA.

      IOS dunno, I *suspect* yes, but it'll be likewise fragile and a PITA.

      That said I use a mac (I don't do any IOS/mobile stuff) and XCode did let me basically "click next" a few times to crank out a "hello world" IPhone app.

      I don't know objc and have little interest in mobile client development, so I dunno how much effort it is to do any more with.

      If you fancy giving a whirl, please post back your results, I'd be interested to see how someone else got on.

      For me alas, I've just paid the apple tax for the times when the punters want my code to run on OSX.

      The mac mini is cheaper then the rest of the range, that said, I only tried to not use OSX, if your restriction is simply to avoid using apple hardware, perhaps these words guarded our hard work, in virtualization ;)

  3. John Sanders

    I just love it

    They could just add an Android environment to their phones, and save all the hassle, then convince you that their platform is better through the sheer MS superiority code & platform facilities.

    But noooo, it has to be our own branded piece of C***.

    What?, an Android environment where you easily drag .apks onto the phone is bad for MS?


    wasn't this about making the consumer's life easier?

    Oh no, this is like everything MS does, to entrap unsuspecting/naive users.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: I just love it

      "What?, an Android environment where you easily drag .apks onto the phone is bad for MS?...wasn't this about making the consumer's life easier?"

      I think there's a clue in the article: "While it is possible that the app could just work, it is likely that some customization will be needed."

      I don't think having consumers do the customisation would be making their lives easier. Even if there's a long MS tradition of having them do user testing of even numbered releases ;)

      1. chemnerd

        Re: I just love it

        Also has the ARC running of Android apps on Chrome gotten any better?

        1. frank ly

          @chemnerd Re: I just love it

          It couldn't get any worse in my experience. Maybe I was expecting too much. Bluestacks was much better but is Windows/Mac only. I haven't tried Bluestacks under Wine yet - any advice anyone?

  4. Steve Knox
    Paris Hilton

    "Android apps on Windows 10 are mobile-only..."

    Por que?

    Also, " Given that iOS also has the best apps..."

    That is far from given. Got a justification for such a broad generalization?

    1. returnmyjedi

      Re: "Android apps on Windows 10 are mobile-only..."

      Back in the day that they used the Metro moniker, the odd Windows Phone app was far better than its ios and Android cousins (ebay, Natwest, Right Move spring to mind) thanks to the lack of the dreaded burger menus. In their wisdom, MS decided this differing design language (however superior for the most part) was what was stalling the worldwide domination of WP so have largely abandoned it. Shame really.

  5. airbrush


    Sounds like a great platform for running pirate apps.

  6. P. Lee

    OS call redirection, compatibility libraries....

    Why would you do that when you make an ARM phone already?

    Why not just emulate the hardware?

  7. SVV

    You can already do this with emulators

    run iOS apps on Winedows :

    run Android apps on Windows:

    And no sodding redirection to MS me-too crap like "Bing Maps" to irritate the hell out of you.

  8. Jon Ramster

    Nice article

    I enjoyed this unusually well-written Reg article. Have a gold star.

  9. Deltics

    Swift in Visual Studio already exists, and it's free

    Just go ask RemObjects (

    They call it "Silver", but it's Swift alright. And as well as supporting .net you can also use it for Android, iOS and OS X development, just like all their languages (Oxygene [Objects Pascal] and Hydrogene [C#]). Collectively they are called "Elements".

    Oxygene and Hydrogene are not free, but Silver [Swift] is.

    Note also that Elements produces platform native binaries. When you develop for .net you are producing MSIL compiled directly against .net framework. When compiling for Android you are producing Java bytecode compiled directly against the Android SDK. For iOS / OS X, LLVM and Cocoa.

    No runtime to drag around with your code.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good to see

    MS going back to Embrace and Extend.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So, you're not really developing for windows, you're re-developing for windows.

    Revelopers, revelopers, revelopers...

    Revelopers, revelopers, revelopers...

  12. Dana W

    How will it work?

    To quote Marvin the Paranoid Android. "Very badly I expect"

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