Microsoft intros iOS-to-Windows Phone 7 API mapping tool

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) continues its efforts to attract mobile application developers to its Windows Phone 7 platform, introducing a new interoperability package including an iOS-to-WP7 API mapping tool, a 90-page Windows Phone 7 Guide for iPhone Application Developers white paper and a series of videos spotlighting porting success stories. According to Windows Phone 7 senior technical evangelist JC Cimetiere, the API mapping tool includes code samples allowing iPhone developers to efficiently migrate "short blobs" of iOS code to the equivalent C# code: "Think of the API mapping tool as being like a translation dictionary," Cimetiere writes on the Windows Phone Developer Blog. "With this tool, iPhone developers can grab their apps, pick out the iOS API calls, and quickly look up the equivalent classes, methods and notification events in WP7. A developer can search a given iOS API call and find the equivalent WP7 along with C# sample codes and API documentations for both platforms." All WP7 API documentations are pulled in from the Silverlight, C# and XNA sources on MSDN, Cimetiere adds.

The mapping tool's iOS APIs are broadly classified into seven categories: Audio/Video, Data Management, Graphics/Animation, Network/Internet, Performance, Security and User Interface. "Don't expect a mapping for all of the APIs, simply because the platforms are built upon different architectures and user interfaces," Cimitiere notes. "For this first round we focused on identifying the one-to-one mapping when it exists. In the following versions we'll expand the scope and anytime the concepts are similar enough, we'll do our best to provide the appropriate guidance." Microsoft promises to expand its coverage to more iOS APIs in the near future--Android guidance and tools are also on its roadmap. Click here for more information.

Developer interest in Windows Phone 7 lags far behind iOS and Android according to mobile cloud platform provider Appcelerator and analyst firm IDC's new Q2 2011 Mobile Developer Report, conducted between April 11 and 13. Only 29 percent of developers surveyed express serious enthusiasm for building WP7 apps--by comparison, 91 percent of developers are very interested in creating iPhone apps, and 86 percent express comparable enthusiasm writing for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad tablet. Eighty-five percent of developers are interested in creating Android smartphone apps, and 71 percent express interest in creating Android tablet apps.

For more:
- read this Windows Phone Developer Blog entry

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