Google surprised the tech community when they released the Android N Developer Preview a couple months before Google I/O, their annual developer conference. Among quite a few new features was split-screen multitasking.
Much of what we know about Android N has come from reading the documentation. After all, the only features that they told us about are the ones that they want us to know about before their big event.
As it turns out, there's more to this split-screen multitasking than we had imagined. The documentation for Android N discusses a freeform mode, which would include windowed apps.
After years of speculation and rumors, it's finally official. Microsoft has acquired cross-platform mobile development company Xamarin for an undisclosed amount.
Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise Group, writes:
In conjunction with Visual Studio, Xamarin provides a rich mobile development offering that enables developers to build mobile apps using C# and deliver fully native mobile app experiences to all major devices – including iOS, Android, and Windows. Xamarin’s approach enables developers to take advantage of the productivity and power of .NET to build mobile apps, and to use C# to write to the full set of native APIs and mobile capabilities provided by each device platform. This enables developers to easily share common app code across their iOS, Android and Windows apps while still delivering fully native experiences for each of the platforms. Xamarin’s unique solution has fueled amazing growth for more than four years.
Microsoft and Cyanogen have been quite chummy as of late, with the Redmond giant partnering to bring their apps and services on Cyanogen OS phones. But now Cyanogen is taking things to the next level by introducing MOD.
MOD is basically taking Android tweaking and pumping it full of steroids, as the platform allows almost anyone, from device builders to end users to customize parts of the OS that weren’t accessible before. This includes possibilities like changing the default Android dialer, embedding apps deeper into the OS, and so on.
Cyanogen stresses that this is designed to allow its partners to develop brand new types of applications and experiences that will lead users into the “post-app era”. But interestingly enough, one partner that the company keeps coming back to is Microsoft.
The list of phones that support Microsoft’s new Continuum feature just got a bit longer, as the company has now officially added support for the mid-range Snapdragon 617 SoC.
Microsoft’s Continuum allows users to plug their Windows 10 Mobile phones into a dock (or wirelessly connect to it), connect a keyboard and mouse and use their phones much as they would a regular Windows 10 PC, being able to run Universal Windows Apps in a desktop environment, on a big screen. In theory, this could be a great boost to a user’s productivity and Microsoft is looking to push this feature and its phones to the enterprise.
Microsoft seems to be going all out with Project Islandwood-- its bridge for iOS apps, which enables developers to port their apps to the Windows platform without modifying a big part of their code. Back in December, the company has posted a guide for developers to help them start porting their apps. And more recently, it has updated the project once more, adding a new feature that brings it one step closer to reality.
Cassim Ketfi of French Microsoft fan website FraWin.com has discovered a new update to the webpage of Project Islandwood, which seems to be a tool that analyzes iOS apps for compatibility with the iOS bridge. The tool is currently being tested internally right now, but a developer can already opt to submit an app to also be able to help test the app analyzer. The tool is set to become fully functional in the coming weeks.