Microsoft Releases iOS App Analysis Tool As Part Of Windows Bridge for iOS

Microsoft recently released the iOS App Analysis Tool as part of the Windows Bridge for iOS.

Microsoft has recently released the iOS App Analysis tool as part of the Windows Bridge for iOS. The Windows Bridge for iOS is an open source project which lets you create Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps that can run on Windows 10 devices, by using iOS APIs and Objective C code.
Microsoft in its official blog states,
“Our goal is to give developers a head start with UWP app development by allowing them to reuse much of their iOS code base, and also make it easy for iOS developers to use their existing skills to take advantage of Windows 10 features.”
Until now, finding out if your app is a good match for the bridge required numerous processes, which include downloading the SDK from GitHub, setting up Windows 10, setting up Visual Studio 2015, and generating a Visual Studio project for iOS app etc., so as to finally run your code.
Microsoft in its official blog states,
“For the past few months, the iOS bridge team has been soliciting iOS app packages – called IPAs – from our developer community to help test and flesh out the App Analysis tool, and we’re happy to announce it’s ready.”
You can now use the App Analysis tool to immediately get a breakdown of parts of your apps which are compatible with the bridge. It also provides you with a proper estimate of the amount of work required to turn your iOS app into a UWP app. As the tool is web-based, you need not download or install it. All you need to do is upload your ipa and you are all set to start.
How it works
The App Analysis tool will at first examine your project and cross reference the framework and the classes used with the one which is currently being supported by the bridge, returning the result in your browser. This tool will also go on to identify third-party libraries as well as SDK packages which are used in your project, letting you know ‘if they – or equivalent libraries – are available on Windows 10.’
In order to get started, it will be necessary for you to export an un-encrypted ipa from Xcode, to use with the tool. Given below are the steps on how it is done, as per the official Microsoft blog:
  • In Xcode, choose a generic iOS device or a connected device from the Scheme toolbar menu. You can’t create an IPA from a simulator build.
  • Choose Product > Archive.
  • In the Archives Organizer, select the archive and click Export.
  • Select Save for Development Deployment and click Next. The resultant IPA will be code signed with your development certificate.
  • Follow the Xcode prompts until you come to another Export button. Click Export.
  • Finder will now open a folder containing your app IPA.
The next step would be to open the App Analysis tool on your favorite web browser.
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Fill out the form available, drag and drop your newly created IPA into the submission area, and click on submit. You will almost immediately get a feedback on the status of the analysis as your IPA is uploaded and processed.
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 When the analysis is complete, you will get a complete breakdown of the entire framework along with middleware used in your app, and their corresponding statuses in the iOS bridge.
Whenever possible, the tool will also go on to provide you with an actionable feedback for unsupported items. For example, if you are using Apple’s MapKit framework in your iOS app (which is currently not supported by the bridge), you will get a recommendation for trying Bing Map and an XAML map control, along with a link to a sample project along with tutorial, showing you how to conduct it. In the same manner, if you go on to use third-party libraries which are partially supported, you will be getting feedback on how to incorporate the functionality into your bridged app.
 Microsoft concludes,
“The App Analysis tool will also get better over time as we add more and more actionable feedback.”