Microsoft Ends Project Astoria, the Windows Phone "Bridge for Android" Apps

Subject: Mobile | February 26, 2016 - 05:04 PM |
Tagged: windows phone, Project Astoria, microsoft, developers, build 2015, Android

A smartphone is nothing without a large selection of quality apps these days, and to that end it seemed Microsoft was going to follow the BlackBerry OS 10 method (injecting life into a platform barren of software by borrowing Android apps) when they announced the "Windows Bridge for Android" last year.


(Image credit: Microsoft)

Blackberry accomplished this by adding the Amazon app store to OS 10, which gave BB users at least some of the apps an Android user has access to via Google Play. BlackBerry also provided devs tools to help them convert Android apps to run on the BB 10 OS platform, but the market share of BB OS 10 just isn’t high enough to justify many doing this.

Microsoft appeared to be headed in this direction when they introduced Project Astoria at last year’s Build conference, which was going to enable devs to bring Android apps over to the Windows mobile OS. Well, that’s over. In an update published yesterday by Kevin Gallo, Microsoft’s Director of Windows Developer Platform, this news was spun positively (of course).

“We also announced the Windows Bridge for Android (project “Astoria”) at Build last year, and some of you have asked about its status. 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.”

To editoralize here a bit, I will add that I own a Lumia smartphone, and in my experience Windows Phone is an innovative and extremely efficient mobile OS. However, the lack of quality apps (and the non-existent updates for those that do exist) is too great a barrier to use a Windows Phone as my primary device. It’s telling that BlackBerry's latest smartphone, the Priv, runs Android, as BlackBerry has effectively given up trying to compete with their own OS.


BlackBerry Priv, which runs the Android 5 OS (image credit: BlackBerry)

Microsoft seems unwilling to do this, but they are a software company first and foremost and that's not surprising. But as a hardware company they have struggled with portable devices, as we saw with the ill-fated Kin smartphone, and of course the Zune music player. Android is the only realistic option if you want to compete with iOS on a smartphone, but Microsoft hasn't given up on the OS just yet. As much as I like the tiled interface, I think it's time to say goodbye to this iteration of Windows Mobile.

Source: Microsoft

Logitech G Announces Arx Control Challenge for Developers

Subject: General Tech | December 11, 2015 - 01:47 AM |
Tagged: software development, logitech g, logitech, developers, contest

Logitech G has announced their Arx Control Challenge, a global contest for game developers to create the best Arx Control app with the chance to win $5,000 in cash and Logitech G gear.


"Logitech G is looking for next-level innovators — skilled developers with a passion for gaming and creating. We are releasing the ARX Control Software Development Kit so you have the chance to invent on the cutting-edge. Give it your all and you could win cash, gear and acclaim.

The Challenge begins December 9, 2015. Submit your app before February 29, 2016 to put your creation in the running.


1st Place:

  • $5,000 USD cash prize
  • Professionally produced spotlight video for your app
  • Worldwide exposure on Logitech G’s global social media channels
  • Three full sets of Logitech G gaming gear

2nd and 3rd Place:

  • Worldwide exposure on Logitech G’s global social media channels
  • One full set of Logitech G gear"



So what exactly is Arx Control?

"Arx Control is a new app from Logitech G that works with Logitech Gaming Software (LGS), giving you access to a wide range of in-game display information on your mobile device, including in-game intelligence, vital system performance statistics and media controls. 

The Logitech® G410 Atlas Spectrum TKL Mechanical Gaming Keyboard and the Logitech® G910 Orion Spark RGB Mechanical Keyboard both feature an adjustable dock that supports most iOS® and Android™ devices, providing easy access to your Arx Control data.

The Arx Control dock can also be pulled out and placed anywhere on your desk for easy viewing. Using Logitech G’s Arx Control SDK, game developers can create customized apps to deliver content special to their games.

Major developers like Valve Software are working with Logitech to take advantage of the ARX Development kit to create advanced integration for their most popular games."

The Arx Control challenge starts now and runs through Feb. 29, 2016. Complete rules and more information is available here.

Source: Logitech G

Windows 10 Will Run on the Raspberry Pi 2 - and the OS Is Free for IoT Developers

Subject: General Tech | February 2, 2015 - 03:40 PM |
Tagged: windows 10, Raspberry Pi, microsoft, iot, developers

Microsoft has announced that a version of Windows 10 will not only run on the Raspberry Pi 2, but that the OS will be available free of charge to members of its IoT (Internet of Things) developer program.


Microsoft made this announcement on their Dev Center website:

We’re excited to announce that we are expanding our Windows Developer Program for IoT by delivering a version of Windows 10 that supports Raspberry Pi 2. This release of Windows 10 will be free for the Maker community through the Windows Developer Program for IoT.

Windows 10 is the first step to an era of more personal computing. This vision framed our work on Windows 10, where we are moving Windows to a world that is more mobile, natural and grounded in trust. With the Windows for IoT developer program we're bringing our leading development tools, services and ecosystem to the Raspberry Pi community!

We see the Maker community as an amazing source of innovation for smart, connected devices that represent the very foundation for the next wave of computing, and we’re excited to be a part of this community.

We are excited about our partnership with the Raspberry Pi Foundation and delivering a version of Windows 10 that supports Raspberry Pi 2, and we will be sharing more details about our Windows 10 plans for IoT in the coming months.

The Raspberry Pi 2 is currently selling for $35, and runs a 900MHz quad-core ARMv7 processor with 1GB of RAM. They offer their own statement on the linked page as well:

For the last six months we've been working closely with Microsoft to bring the forthcoming Windows 10 to Raspberry Pi 2. Microsoft will have much more to share over the coming months. The Raspberry Pi 2-compatible version of Windows 10 will be available free of charge to makers.

Though Microsoft has effectively killed WinRT after revealing that it would not be upgraded to Windows 10, the support for the ARM-powered Pi demonstrates that the upcoming version of Windows still has more than just potential to run on ARM devices. This only makes sense considering the strategy of unifying Windows with a single version, and it is possible that the fork available for the Pi is more akin to mobile than to the desktop variant. Either way it sounds like it's worth the $35 to find out!

Source: Microsoft

Google I/O 2012: Day One

Subject: General Tech | June 27, 2012 - 02:48 PM |
Tagged: tablet, google io, google drive, google, developers, conference, chrome, asus, Android

Every June, the tech world lights up with numerous tech conferences that pack dense information into a couple days (and takes weeks to fully decompress). One of the bigger conferences (by a single company, Computex is its own beast) is Google I/O.

The biggest rumor to come out concerning this year’s Google I/O announcements is an ASUS manufactured 7-inch Nexus Tablet. It is allegedly packing some high end hardware with the Tegra 3 Soc, up to 16GB of memory, IPS display, and an extremely attractive price at less than $200. Beyond that, we can expect Jelly Bean (Android 4.1) information, developer talks, software demos, and more talk of Google Wallet, and NFC technology. Heck, Google may even make a second attempt at pushing Android@Home (or maybe not heh).


Being June 27th, it is the first day of Google I/O and that means it is time for keynotes! On the schedule for today, Google has talks on the new aspects of Android, Google Play, cloud computing, Youtube cloud rendering, Google+ (including Hangouts), and new features of Google Maps. They also have talks scheduled with Google Drive information that should demo some of the things developers can do with the Drive SDK.

We are excited to see if the Nexus tablet rumors are true or not, as well as learning more about the latest version of Android. If you are interested in watching the event, check out the Google I/O schedule where you can tune into the most of the events live. The first event starts soon at 9:30am PST!

Check back later today for updates!

Update: (9:00 PST) A leaked screenshot indicates that the Nexus tablet may be called the Nexus 7.


Update: (9:30 PST) Vic Gondotra stepped on stage to kick off the Google I/O conference. He stated that there are more than 30,000 people in attendance.


What are you excited about at Google I/O? Let us know in the comments below!

See more updates after the break.


Source: Google I/O