Maybe it is desperation time…or, perhaps Microsoft is trying to capitalize on all of the negative energy surrounding the App Store lately with the Google Voice and Google Latitude shuttering. Redmond has put together a case study on porting an iPhone App to Windows and are showing it off to other application developers in the hopes of attracting the legions of programmers who have flocked to the iPhone and its development environment.
The application in question is called Amplitude (iTunes link) and is described as:
Amplitude is a fun application that enables users to amplify sound from their surroundings. With real-time graphical representation of sound picked up by the microphone, Amplitude users can adjust the volume/gain on their microphones to amplify sounds, such as animal heartbeats, environmental sounds, distant bird calls, tiny sounds from mechanical devices, and a host of other sounds that might otherwise go unnoticed.
So this App takes sound in from the mic port and puts it though to the headphones with an equalizer. We’re not professional programmers but that doesn’t sound like rocket science, more like something that would take a professional programmer a few hours to build from scratch. Porting using this complex process would probably take longer…and since it is so simple (and doesn’t use advanced OpenGL graphics) it sounds like a bad example to follow on more complex apps.
Additionally, Microsoft illustrates some of the inherent problems in Windows development; building for different devices with different processors and different screen sizes:
Gripwire used the HTC Touch Pro as the target mobile device. Development initially started with the HTC Touch Diamond 2, then switched because the HTC Touch Pro provides updated resolution specs to help support the display of audio. It also has increased hardware performance specs for testing code performance, and uses a more recent beta build of Windows Mobile 6.5.
The HTC Touch Pro (also known as the HTC Fuze for AT&T) includes 288 MB RAM and 512 MB ROM; with 480 x 640 pixels and a TFT resistive touch screen. In the current production release it runs Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional on a Qualcomm MSM 7201A 528 MHz processor.
In any case, we don’t expect to see flocks of developers heading to the Windows Mobile Platform any time soon.
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