Microsoft Open Sources Windows Bridge for iOS Preview for Developers

Last updated:

Microsoft has released an early look at the Windows Bridge for iOS (previously known as ‘Project Islandwood’). While the final release will happen later this fall (allowing the bridge to take advantage of new tooling capabilities that will ship with the upcoming Visual Studio 2015 Update), Microsoft are making the bridge available to the open-source community now in its current state.

Between now and the fall, we’d love more eyes, feedback, and participation on the code, so we’re doing our development “in the open.”

The iOS bridge supports both Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 apps built for x86 and x64 processor architectures, and soon we will add compiler optimizations and support for ARM, which adds mobile support.

This bridge is comprised of four components:

  1. Objective-C compiler: To enable most of the heavy lifting, Visual Studio will include a compiler that knows how to take Objective-C code and compile it into a native Universal Windows app.
  2. Objective-C runtime: Additionally, the Objective-C runtime will provide you with language features like message dispatch, delegation and automatic reference counting.
  3. iOS API headers/libs: Building upon the Objective-C base APIs, the bridge provides fairly broad iOS API compatibility.
  4. Visual Studio IDE integration: Tooling that imports your Xcode project and ties into the Windows developer tools (Visual Studio 2015) and SDK.

There are three core principles that drove the architecture and design of the bridge:

  1. Full Windows API access: Making it easy to use Windows APIs within Objective-C code
  2. iOS compatibility: Empower developers to reuse as much existing iOS code as reasonably possible
  3. No sandboxing: iOS and Windows APIs should be able to work together

The source code for the iOS bridge is live on GitHub right now.

Meanwhile, the Windows Bridge for Android, or ‘Project Astoria’, is currently still only available as a technical preview by invitation only. Microsoft have been gradually inviting more developers each week and will continue to expand the preview program.


My Cart Close (×)

Your cart is empty
Browse Shop

Rapid Mobile

Rapid Mobile uses cookies, tokens, and other third party scripts to recognise visitors of our sites and services, remember your settings and privacy choices, and - depending on your settings and privacy choices - enable us and some key partners to collect information about you so that we can improve our services and deliver relevant ads.


By continuing to use our site or clicking I Accept, you agree that Rapid Mobile and our key partners may collect data and use cookies for personalised ads and other purposes, as described more fully in our privacy policy.


You can change your settings at any time by clicking Manage Settings or by visiting our Privacy Centre for more detailed information.


Privacy Settings saved!
Cookie Services

We need your consent so that we and our trusted partners can store and access cookies, unique identifiers, personal data and information about your browsing behaviour on your device. This enables us to serve relevant content and advertising to you, and to improve the service that we provide to our readers. This only applies to we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer.

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources, so we can measure and improve the performance of our site.

We track anonymized user information to improve our website.
  • _ga
  • _gid
  • _gat

Save my preferences