Windows 10 may be in the hands of over 200 million users, but compared to the iPhone, the universal app selection is somewhat lacklustre. That may soon change, however, thanks to a tool that can convert iPhone apps to Windows in less than five minutes.
Microsoft offers the "Windows Bridge for iOS" developer software as a free open source download on GitHub. Developer Daniel Burela has released a YouTube video that demonstrates how easy it is to use the tool and convert the iPhone game "Canabalt" to the Windows format.
"I have been playing around with the Windows 10 bridges that allow you to port applications from other platforms (iOS, WP Silverlight, Hosted web apps, etc) to the Windows 10 UWP platform," Burela wrote on his blog Tuesday. "Today I wanted to show you how easy it is to take an iOS game and port it straight to a Windows 10 UWP application."
Universal apps can theoretically run anywhere that runs Windows 10. That means, if the developer allows it, the same app can run on desktop, tablet and mobile phone. While Windows may have a reputation as hosting a large amount of apps, a lot of these are desktop only. Windows Phone has struggled to match its desktop counterpart, with just 340,000 apps in its store according to Statista. iPhone, meanwhile, has around 1.5 million.
Just because the tool is easy to use, doesn't mean that every iPhone game will come flooding into the Windows Store. It is, however, a glimmer of hope for Microsoft's mobile offerings. Microsoft has struggled to gain traction with developers, as on the mobile side Windows Phone is running on less than 3 percent of global smartphones according to Netmarketshare.
If "Windows Bridge for iOS" ends up being a simple method for more developers to get their creations running on iPhone, it could transform the mobile app landscape.