CROS-platform development has for many years presented a major challenge for most independent developers. Quite often, simply porting your app to another platform is too much of a time and resource investment to learn a new programming language.
Due to the more lucrative market, this fact of resource allocation for the year has prompted many developers to focus their efforts primarily on iOS. Thanks to projects like Xamarin, however, developers who are familiar with C # are able to push their projects to iOS, Android, and Windows Mobile. But Android developers are most familiar with writing in Java, so to use Zamarin a developer will need to familiarize themselves with a new language and build platforms. We have covered a project aimed at bridging the gap between mobile operating systems by providing a cross-development platform for Java developers – Intel’s multi-OS engine – but it has not been revealed where that project is headed. Where is it. That’s where macdom comes
MacDome is a start-up company in California and was incorporated in January that developed a conversion tool to automatically create native iOS and OS X apps from your Android app. There is no need to learn how to use the new IDE or API. You only need to send an APK file to MacDome (they don’t need to send their source code), and the fully automated tool will compile a standalone binary for iOS and OS X in seconds that the developer then on Apple’s App Store Can deliver. We sat down in an interview with Mario Kosmiscus, founder and CEO of MechDome, to see the performance of the tool in action – and it worked. Although there are some limitations due to the basic differences between how iOS and Android operate (we will discuss it below), the tool has already produced some live apps on the Apple App Store such as the open-source Reddit client RedReader and An Open -Source Sudoku client works to prove this.
Android Apps on iOS with MechDome
The announced goal of MakeDome is to allow developers to convert an unmodified Android app to a native iOS or OS X app. Compared to technologies like Intel’s Multi-OS Engine or Xamarin, an Android developer doesn’t need to know how to bind an Object-C library, because the tool will handle it for you. Nor is there a need to use the UI builder to modify your Android app, as the Mechdome handle converts all Android UI elements. Yes, even Android tablet apps translate to the appropriate format for the iPad.
MacDome’s biggest promise is that the converted Android app will function in a way that users of the target OS will be familiar with. For example, the Android Share menu will be replaced with a native share sheet in iOS, and will include the ability to use AirDrop if applicable. Apps that post notifications in Android will instead display a notification in iOS’s Notification Center. Some intentions such as opening the camera on Android will actually open the camera on the iOS device, and the URL on Android will call the Safari on iOS. Content providers on Android who access contacts or calendars will have access to relevant iOS or OS X databases for this information.
However in general, all the hardware functionality required for the use of the Android app will be directly mapped to use the corresponding hardware in iOS. Software functions, however, can be divided into 3 different categories: 1) functionality that is not present on iOS (such as Toast Messaging) will be implemented directly, 2) functionality that exists on both iOS and Android is relevant. IOS method, and 3) functionality that is present on iOS but not on Android (such as the Apple 3D Touch library) cannot be changed but implemented through the use of the library Can. Most activities, ideas, services, explosions and basic content providers must be convertable.
But as mentioned earlier, there are actually some limitations of the device that are imposed by nature on how iOS works. One of the biggest challenges facing an Android developer is to change their app to iOS, which is to handle a background service. iOS is more stringent with when and what type of background services third-party applications can run for better or worse. In addition, the rich intent system present in Android, which allows for inter-application communication, is largely absent on iOS. Finally, the Google Play Services API is not currently supported, so any apps that rely on Google services will not function. Thus, developers will mostly be limited to functionality that is directly accessed by manual user input, which should not be a significant problem for most games or applications.
MechDome In Actions
In a private demo, the tool actually acts as an advertisement. Mr. Kosmyskas demonstrated compiling several fully functional Android apps into working iOS and OSX apps. Toast notifications, notifications in Notification Center, webview, location access, text input and common functionality of UI elements all work in the demo. Looked at the AOSP calculator running on iOS and worked just like it does on an Android device.
Currently, MacDome is undergoing a free public beta program. Developers can register their app on the MakeDome website to receive invitations to convert their Android applications. Unfortunately no pricing information has been provided for the service yet. Still, if you’re an Android developer looking for waves in Apple’s ecosystem eventually, without much effort on your own, this is an interesting project.