It’s been a few years since Microsoft first made it clear that the old “Windows-only” days were behind it. Microsoft continues to push Windows 10, but it’s also putting serious resources behind supporting the competing iOS and Android platforms.
At its Build 2016 event, Microsoft announced Project Rome, yet another of its many cross-platform efforts. Project Rome is intended to connect Android devices to Windows 10 machines, and Microsoft has announced that the Android version of the Project Rome software development kit (SDK) is now available for Java and Microsoft’s own cross-platform development tool Xamarin.
Project Rome will let developers who are making apps for both Android and the Windows 10 Universal Windows Platform (UWP) enable the app to communicate across platforms. For example, a music app could discover other devices on the same network that have the app installed. The app could then be launched on those other discovered devices, and then allow the Android device to remote control the app on Windows 10.
All of the required functionality to accomplish kind of cross-platform interaction isn’t yet available, but Microsoft plans to include it soon in a future release of the Android SDK. For now, developers can access Java and Xamarin examples at GitHub, with examples of UWP apps available as well. The Windows 10 components needed to support Project Rome capabilities were released in 2017 with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.
There’s already a significant amount of interaction between Microsoft’s apps and Windows 10 platform and other devices, including iOS and Android. You can already use Cortana on both competing platforms, as well as sync your notifications between Android and Windows 10. Soon, Android apps and Windows 10 UWP apps will communicate and interact as well, meaning that it’ll be even less of a compromise to run a Windows 10 PC alongside and Android smartphone.