Microsoft adds Android to its API mapping tool

Microsoft has added Android support to its API mapping tool, just two months after it introduced a similar tool to help developers port iPhone apps top windows Phone 7.

With around 20,000 apps available in the Windows Phone Marketplace, Microsoft hopes to coax developers into leveraging their existing skills in Android and iOS to build WP7 apps.

The company has published a specialised Windows Phone 7 guide for Android developers, accompanied by a series of case studies from developers who have already ported existing apps from Android and iOS to the WP7 platform.

The mapping tool is similar to a translation dictionary. “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,” says the Microsoft developer blog. “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.”

We’re unlikely to see such tools appearing to port every platform as there’s still a great deal of disparity between architecture and user interface systems. But the existing tools will continue to evolve.

“We are continuing to expand the scope of the API Mapping tool and the technical guidance,” writes Microsoft on its developer blog. “Our next step is to include the Mango features into the API Mapping tool (planned for this summer).”

We'll be interested to see how this development proceeds; and doubly interested to hear from anyone who's had a go at porting their apps.

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