Skip to main content

Microsoft officially cancels 'Project Astoria' plans for porting Android apps to Windows 10 Mobile

After months of silence, Microsoft has now officially revealed it has canceled plans to offer developers bridge tools to port Android apps to Windows 10 Mobile, also known as "Project Astoria". Those plans were first revealed at the 2015 Build developer conference.

Microsoft announced Project Astoria alongside "Project Islandwood", which offered iOS app developers a way to port their creations to Windows 10 Mobile. Today, Microsoft stated:

"We received a lot of feedback that having two Bridge technologies to bring code from mobile operating systems to Windows was unnecessary, and the choice between them could be confusing. We have carefully considered this feedback and decided that we would focus our efforts on the Windows Bridge for iOS and make it the single Bridge option for bringing mobile code to all Windows 10 devices, including Xbox and PCs. For those developers who spent time investigating the Android Bridge, we strongly encourage you to take a look at the iOS Bridge and Xamarin as great solutions."

Earlier this week, Microsoft announced its plans to acquire Xamarin, a company that has created tools for making mobile apps for iOS, Android and Windows that can share common code and thus be quickly released for all three platforms.

Source: Microsoft

36 Comments
  • That's unfortunate. Posted using my Moto Maker Moto X Pure Edition on Verizon... Unlimited Data as well...Android Central App helped as well ;)
  • As long they are able to port iOS apps, which from my understanding is easier, it's not a big loss. Posted via the Android Central App
  • My understanding was that the Astoria project was more like emulation of Android anyway, which is extremely inefficient and would make for a mediocre experience anyway. Probably for the best. Personally, I'm more interested in whether or not Google services become available at some point. Might actually consider a Surface phone at some point if that happens (though I'd happily stick to Android if we get something Continuum-like). Posted via the AC App on my Nexus 6P
  • I'm with you on bringing something Continuum like to Android. Posted via the Android Central App
  • External display and keyboard/mouse compatibility has been in Android for some time. With Chrome merging, it well only get better. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Still nothing like continuum
    Just look it up and you'll know what they mean Posted via the Android Central App
  • There's that. At least it's not up in the air anymore.
  • All bets are on Xamarin I guess. Posted via the Android Central App
  • There pulling out guys it's over Posted from my Nexus 6/Nexus 7 2013/Surface Pro 3
  • That's what she said Posted via the Android Central App
  • Actually, she said it correctly and used "they're" instead...
  • That's not how that saying works...
  • Maybe they should rather spend their time on an Android fork like Amazon does? I still highly doubt that this will every be a success. Especially we Android users from early days have seen how bad ports are compared to real native apps with the target operating system in mind.
  • They don't want two mobile os's Posted via the Android Central App
  • Rightfully so. They should focus all efforts on Windows 10 Mobile and throw the giant marketing machine behind it. Since BlackBerry has abandoned BB10, Windows is the only other competitor with a chance. Having only Android and iOS as viable options seems unfortunate for us consumers in the long run.
  • M$ did buy Nokia and look what happened with that. Posted via the Android Central App
  • So they can have 2 separate Marketplaces with little to no Apps? Posted via the Android Central App
  • They did that with the nokia x series.
  • Is it just me or is that image that Windows used to show the difference between running an android app on a nexus vs a lumia just bogus? It's like they just dimmed the android phone screen, put it next to their phone at full brightness and are like 'SEE?!?!? Android runs better on Windows!!!!!' -smh-
  • Doesn't matter lol Posted from my Nexus 6/Nexus 7 2013/Surface Pro 3
  • Haha Posted via the Android Central App
  • Don't say "smh." I have a Windows Phone and Samsung and from experience Windows Phones (specifically Microsoft and Lumia Brand) have very very bright displays. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Smart move. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Writing on the wall. Windows phone gonna get Zuned. Posted via the Android Central App
  • They are still working on the iOS bridge if you read the post.
  • Well almost all the apps I use on my Android phone are available on iOS, and the ones that are not, are mostly platform specific (like file explorer etc.). Plus, most of the good and popular apps appear on the Apple App Store first (eg. WhatsApp, Viber, Pandora, Snapchat, Temple Run, Angry Birds... you get the picture). Also an article mentions the points of view of a few developers on why they prefer developing for iOS first/instead - http://thenextweb.com/dd/2015/12/17/reservoir-devs-why-apps-really-hit-i... (I understand this by no means reflects a general opinion, but it is a good read anyway). So it makes sense for Microsoft to focus its energy on targeting those developers.
  • Yes but this still screws us if we are using Hangouts or GV. I was hoping with Astoria we'd see Google coming in with their apps. Oh well. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Almost the entire suite of Google apps is available for iOS. If Google really wants to port their apps (and not develop them from scratch for WM), they can still easily do so through Islandwood.
  • Agreed but I was hoping this would have been a sign of better relations between them. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Oh well... :) Posted via the Nexus 6P!
  • I think it's a smart decision. Project Astoria was always the weak link in the chain of bridges, with a lot of unknown technical, legal, and security obstacles in front of it.
  • If they are doing IOS I don't see the big deal. The app scene on windows will still be much improved. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Much better to focus on 1 ecosystem to port than 2. Apple & MS have shown they can work together previously, so I would think this is a win for both.
  • What MS is saying is that IOS apps are better and rather then divide their efforts they are going to focus one just the Apple platform. Since Windows is a walled garden, it is a contained system and easier to police and maintain. Plus, MS would like nothing more then to put the Apple brand in every marketing campaign and say they support most IOS apps at some point. General public won't read the details and think that if they buy a cheap Windows phone it will be just like buying an iphone. Add in that IOS are an easier port to Windows, it make perfect sense why they did it. Only one fly in the ointment. Apple is not going to allow this willingly. Ajpple may work well with MS in some area's, but they will never allow a competitor to ride their coat tails and ransack their app store to build a customer base for MS and hurt their iphone sales. They can't outright stop it. But they can bring enough law suits and change the developer agreements enough to deter them from porting their apps. This whole idea will be dead in 12 months. Had MS decided to pick the harder route and do this with Android, it might of actually worked. Android is open source and much less influenced by Google.
  • And, just like that, Microsoft lost ANY chance they had of me ever buying another Windows Phone! Posted via the Android Central App
  • There was a tool that was suppose to help port your VB6 app to VB.net... failed. There was an app that was suppose to let you port your VB.net app to C# .. failed. There yet another app that was suppose to let your port Java to C# ... failed. So this is big fail #4. iOS port will be #5. You don't even have to be a programmer to know that languages change. Swift 2 is out and Swift 3/4 will out before MS is complete... thus making it obsolete as soon as this porting tool hits the market. Even if it it can be ported in under 1 day's time. I am not going to waste my time porting to windows, simply because there are NOT enough WP users. OH OH OH! AND With iOS you have TWO very different lang. Obj-C & Swift .. which one is it going to port? Need I add .... with this solution it would require you to have a MAC and a PC (ok..most developers do) BUT! this is just stupid. Porting in general is just a complete waste of resources. You can "cheat" your way in. Be like Oprah ... give developers free classes and throw 2 Windows Phones in the class. I'll be there :) MS would have been better off just getting Ionic to compile to Windows then messing around with iOS/Swift.