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A New Microsoft Tool Aims to Help iOS Developers Port Their Apps to UWP

| by Sergio De Simone Follow 21 Followers on Jul 27, 2016. Estimated reading time: 1 minute |

A new tool belonging to the Windows Bridge for iOS, iOS App Analysis, aims to make it easier for iOS developers to port their apps to the Universal Windows Platform (UWP), Nick Gerard, program manager at Microsoft, writes.

According to Gerard, Microsoft’s aim for their new App Analysis tool is to make it easier to get started with the Windows Bridge for iOS:

Until now, even finding out if your app was a good match for the bridge was a multi-step process that included downloading the SDK from GitHub, setting up Windows 10 and Visual Studio 2015, generating a Visual Studio project for your iOS app, and finally running your code.

The App Analysis Tool, on the contrary, requires no download or installation as it is a web application. It will accept an unencrypted IPA generated from Xcode and provide a report aimed to help developers understand how much work would be required to port their app to UWP. As Gerard explains, the iOS bridge team has analyzed many IPAs provided by their developer community in the past few months to ensure the tool provides useful information.

Shortly, Microsoft App Analysis tool will be able to identify all frameworks an app uses, both from Apple and third parties. Based on that information, the tool provides a list of all the frameworks that are supported by the Windows Bridge, as well as of those that are not yet, or only partially supported. For the latter, it also includes actionable feedback, such as which alternative framework to use (e.g., Bing Maps in place of MapKit).

The Windows Bridge for iOS is an open-source project that provides an Objective-C development environment inside of Visual Studio. It aims to allows developers to create UWP apps that are written in Objective-C and use iOS API, along with Windows 10 features. Microsoft provides a few sample apps to show how Xcode projects can be used with Visual Studio to build UWP apps.

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