Though Android is by far the most popular handheld operating system, Microsoft’s Windows is still the king of the desktop (sorry Linux/GNU friends, your year still hasn’t come unfortunately). This means that for most of us, we’re lugging around an Android device to handle fairly basic activities while we power through our work on a mightier desktop environment. But there are often times when we wish the two platforms could integrate more closely, especially since we use both platforms so often in increasingly overlapping manners. That’s why, at their most recent developer conference, Microsoft has announced the Project Rome Android SDK.
Project Rome is a platform for creating experiences that transcend a single device and driving up user engagement – empowering a developer to create human-centric scenarios that move with the user and blur the lines between their devices regardless of form factor or platform.
The idea behind this SDK is to allow your Android application to find nearby Windows devices on the same local network or via the cloud, and then control a Windows application on the device that it finds. In essence, this allows your favorite application to provide a seamless experience while you move between devices whether it be smartphones, XBox, or your PC.
Using the new Project Rome Android SDK allows you to:
- Discover other Windows devices that the user owns that are on the same network or devices that are linked in the cloud. The Remote Systems API in Windows 10 provides this functionality.
- Once your devices are discovered, the Remote Launch API will launch your application on one of the Windows devices.
- Once your application is launched, you can use remote app services to control the application running on Windows from your Android device.
Microsoft states that only parts 1 and 2 are available at this stage but promise that part 3 is to be released in the future. The SDK also uses OAUTH for security to limit access only to credentialed users. In the blog post, Microsoft supplies some examples in both Java and Xamarin (C#) to give developers an idea of how to implement the SDK. Microsoft has listed a scenario where this can be used in a previous blog post that suggests you can listen to music on your Windows PC, transfer the same song to your phone while on your commute home, and then transfer it again to your Xbox once you arrive home.
Source: Windows Developer Blog
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