When you download a mobile app, you notice immediately that it requires OS compatibility. Some apps were developed for Android, Windows and iOS. However, some are very exclusive and most of these exclusive apps are deemed compatible for iOS only. And let’s admit it—someof the world’s best mobile applications are only acquirable in iPhone App Store.
So here’s the question: Does it mean that users of different platforms cannot have the opportunity to test such apps? For most of the apps—sadly—it’s a “yes.” Some applications, albeit they are very limited in number, can cross platforms.
Why is it nearly impossible to run an ‘exclusive’ app to another platform?
When a software developer creates or develops a software application, he or she considers a lot of components and details. The first one is the OS (or operating system) the target app is going to be compatible with. Since the OS is the basis, the following elements comprising the app definitely relates to the specific operating system. Meanwhile, these elements are categorized into three major groups:
- Hardware architecture
When a developer creates their app, they need to consider specific device hardware. For example, an app is designed for a specific processor and without that kind of processor, the app itself won’t run.
- Hardware features
Some apps run closely with a hardware equivalent such as the Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint scanner. If you don’t have the fingerprint scanner, then what’s the use of the said application?
- Software features
For instance, an app requires the software feature of iCloud or iOS 8’s widgets and you don’t have it on your device. Do you think that the app can run without those necessary features?
Question: Since we mentioned that there’s a possibility of running certain apps from one platform to another, does that mean iPhone apps can run on Android?
Unfortunately, that this cross-platform endeavour is currently impossible. But when we say the word ‘currently,’ we mean it. A team of student programmers from Columbia University has been working on Cycada, a tool that can make help us with crossing platforms. However this is not yet available to the public so we better wait.
Question: How about iPhone Apps on Windows… is there a possibility?
For Windows 7 users, there is iOS simulator called iPadian that can help. There are also limitations like you won’t be able to access the App Store using it. Most of the apps don’t work as well even by using the simulator. Yet, some can actually be run using this iOS simulator.
Question: How about if I want to run Android apps on Windows?
Definitely it’s a ‘yes’ and as to prove it, we have apps that can actually help: BlueStacks App Player and You Wave.