Porting iOS Apps to Windows 8 (3): Developer and Designer Tools

Author: Rafe Wu


Channel 9 https://channel9.msdn.com/Blogs/OneCode/How-to-Port-iOS-apps-to-Windows-Store-apps

Microsoft released a new version Visual Studio Developer tools which brings a user-friendly, high productivity development environment to developers. Developers who have used Visual Studio will find themselves in a familiar environment.  

A Comparison of iOS and Windows 8 developer Tools

Visual Studio 2012 is a full-featured Integrated Development Environment (IDE). Visual Studio 2012 facilitates designing, developing, and debugging of Windows Store applications.

Compared to Apple developer tools, the Windows 8 development tools offer richer functionalities. The following table gives an overview of the functionalities of each of these tools. The table also indicates the equivalent tools that you would use for iOS application development.



Software development kit is the first thing to be installed. To develop Windows Store applications, Windows 8 SDK is required.

Integrated Development Environment is also necessary to edit and compile source code of apps. For Windows Store applications, VS2012 is the only choice. VS2012  is a powerful development tool which has included the necessary components of Windows 8 SDK. So it’s not necessary to install Windows 8 SDK separately if VS2012 is installed. Interface Builder, which is now integrated into Xcode, is the only tool for UI design.

Microsoft not only provides integrated UI design tool in VS2012 but we provide a more powerful design tool Expression Blend. This tool is currently included in Visual studio 2012 installation package.

VS2012 also provides a powerful debugger tool VS JIT debugger. It helps the developer to trace the execution, set breakpoints and view various data in the memory. WinDBG is another debugger tool which can be used to debug applications or even the entire OS.

iOS provides a simulator that helps to test the application without the real iOS device. Since Windows Store application runs in Windows 8, emulator is not required. But for the convenience of testing applications on tablet, we still provide a simulator for tablet. It can help the developer to test the layout with common touch and rotate events.


In this chapter we looked at the Windows Store development tool set. It includes rich tools that are designed to support every step in the entire application development lifecycle. The design, development and testing tools are equivalent to the existing iOS team roles and processes. The tight integration inside VS2012 helps you to streamline the design, develop and test workflow.


See also  Porting iOS Apps to Windows 8 (2) : User Interface, Porting iOS Apps to Windows 8 (4): Application Lifecycle Differences

Comments (1)

  1. anwar says:

    thank you that is so good for every one

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